Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2006

In Osteuropa 11-12/2006

Ambivalences in Affirmative Patriotism
Politics of History in Poland

Katrin Steffen

Deutsche Fassung


Flanked by publicists and historians, Poland’s government has discovered history policy. This policy aims to promote identity, strengthen Polish national pride and establish an affirmative patriotism. Critics complain of an anachronistic definition of nation which excludes minorities and a reductionalist understanding of history which levels the contradictions of Polish development, the country’s diversity and European integration. The argument over sovereignty of interpretation when it comes to history is less about issues of historiography than the continuation of politics by other means. But the debate over history policy could lend itself to creating consensus on Poland’s cultural memory as well as the function and meaning of national history.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2006, pp. 219–234)