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Nation and Loyalty in a German-Polish Borderland
Upper Silesia, 1848–1960

$105.00

Part of Publications of the German Historical Institute

  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108487108

$ 105.00
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About the Authors
  • In the bloody twentieth-century battles over Central Europe's borderlands, Upper Silesians stand out for resisting pressure to become loyal Germans or Poles. This work traces nationalist activists' efforts to divide Upper Silesian communities, which were bound by their Catholic faith and bilingualism, into two 'imagined' nations. These efforts, which ranged from the 1848 Revolution to the aftermath of the Second World War, are charted by Brendan Karch through the local newspapers, youth and leisure groups, neighborhood parades, priestly sermons, and electoral outcomes. As locals weathered increasing political turmoil and violence in the German-Polish contest over their homeland, many crafted a national ambiguity that allowed them to pass as members of either nation. In prioritizing family, homeland, village, class, or other social ties above national belonging, a majority of Upper Silesians adopted an instrumental stance towards nationalism. The result was a feedback loop between national radicalism and national skepticism.

    • Recasts mid-twentieth-century national radicalism as partially motivated by local resistance to nationalization
    • This interdisciplinary study of nationalism will appeal to scholars of sociology and political science
    • Provides new insights into the relationship between Nazi Germany and international political organizations on the Jewish question
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108487108
    • length: 346 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.678kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. The battle before: Catholicism and the making of upper Silesians, 1848-1890
    2. Nationalism's debut: imagining a Polish community, 1890–1914
    3. Breakdown: World War I and the upper Silesian plebiscite, 1914–1921
    4. The Weimar gap: democracy and nationalism, 1922–1933
    5. Reprieve: Jews between Germany, Poland, and the League of Nations
    6. The instrumental Volksgemeinschaft: making 'loyal' Germans, 1933–1944
    7. The postwar ultimatum: making 'loyal' Poles after 1945
    Epilogue.

  • Author

    Brendan Karch, Louisiana State University
    Brendan Karch is Assistant Professor of History at Louisiana State University.

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