How to research what no longer exists: disappeared villages, buildings where the wind blows through broken windows, cemeteries where tombstones have sunk into the ground under the weight of time or have been taken away? After 1945, Central and Eastern Europe became a space of mass displacement. One of the groups that was supposed to disappear from there were the Germans. In former Czechoslovakia, the displacement of German-speaking communities had a special significance: it marked the end of centuries of coexistence of two cultures, developing interdependently.
Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska has addressed these questions during her lecture, held as part of the “Podróże z antropologią” series (Travels with Anthropology), a project of the Stowarzyszenie Pracownia Etnograficzna. The lecture was entitled “Ghosts in glass factories and health resorts. Anthropology of landscape in the Czech pohraničí” and took place on October 24, 2023. Karolina talked about her fieldwork in Czechia, focusing on the themes connected to particular spaces: the glass factories in Krkonoše region she currently studies, and health resorts in Mariánskolázeňsko region she studied during her PhD.
You can watch the recording on Facebook of the Pracownia Etnograficzna here and get to know more about Czech regions where the German inhabitants were displaced and new settlers came.