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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2022

Between Orwell and Fukuyama. Poland and its Neighbours: Disputes over History

From the book Instrumentalizing the Past

  • Jan Rydel and Przemysław Łukasik


The article provides an overview of the most important challenges in Poland’s relations with neighbouring countries at the beginning of the twentyfirst century in terms of understanding past events and their presence in the historical consciousness of societies. The “historical relations” with Lithuania, Germany, Russia and Ukraine were analysed. The Polish experience, like the experience of other countries, is very well illustrated by the words of the American writer William Faulkner: the past never dies. It is not even in the past. Historical disputes between Poland and its neighbours are varied depending on the internal state of historical discourse, opinion-forming elite views, but also on the current conditions and political interests. Polish experience also shows that both the state of conflict of states on historical issues and the processes of historical reconciliation are reversible

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