Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies 2017 “Remembering Communism”
The Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies held its the fourth annual Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies from June 5 - July 14, 2017.
In addition to providing the equivalent of one academic year of language instruction, the summer school also offers graduate level seminars on Polish studies (in English and in Polish) by the academic staff of a renowned university. The Summer School was made up of four main parts: language instruction, advanced research seminars, excursions, and a publication.
Thanks to the generous support of the Wende Museum, the Summer School could be offered free of charge to up to 20 students.
This year`s Summer School focused on different aspects of everyday life and society in our region, and shows how East Central Europe dealt with the collapse of communism. From retroactive justice to “Ostalgie,” we will explore how East Central Europe not only overcame communism, but also the ways in which each country specifically remembers communism. The ways in which societies remember communism—from physical destruction of relics to hesitant (or not-so-hesitant) preservation of buildings, monuments, but also bureaucrats and the intelligentsia—reveals how complicated and complex the process is. It must be highlighted that this is an ongoing project: Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice—with their monument to Karl Marx, a renovated Jewish cemetery, and commemoration of Poles deported to Siberia—is an ideal location to gauge the process of change. The Summer School focuses primarily on history, but the scope ranges from economics to anthropology. It is an attempt to explain the ways culture changed after the Iron Curtain fell, and our understanding of the legacy of communism in a plethora of societies.
During the summer school, we also participated in excursions to Berlin, Eisenhüttenstadt and Szczecin to witness how different societies commemorate the period of state socialism.