Ostpreußen und sein Nachleben: Von der Hartnäckigkeit eines historischen Phänomens | East Prussia and its Posthumous Life: on the Tenacious Vitality of a Historical Phenomenon
Volume 30 (2015): Contact Zones in the Historical Area of East Prussia = Kontaktų zonos istoriniame Rytų Prūsijos regione, pp. 20–38
Pub. online: 2 December 2015 Type: Article Open Access
2 December 2015
2 December 2015
The paper is a keynote address to the conference ‘Contacts and Cultural Transfer in the Historical Region of East Prussia (1700–2000)’ that took place in Nida in September 2013. It considers what the East Prussia region means, and what it is associated with today, after it stopped existing 70 years ago. The question is asked what the current situation of East Prussian historiography is, and potential directions for the development of new relevant research are outlined. The author argues that in the process of the cognition of East Prussia, a shift was made from the conservative system of meanings, developed mainly by the former local elites in Germany after the Second World War, to the cognition of regional diversity, which existed before the era of nationalism, and to coping with national narratives about East Prussia. Simultaneously, in the former territory of East Prussia, which currently belongs to Poland, Russia and Lithuania, individual elements of the past of the region continue to occupy an increasingly important role in layers of the local identity, and form opportunities for local cultures of remembrance.