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CHIBOW panel at the „Vierter Kongress Polenforschung“

CHIBOW supervisor Prof. Maren Röger together with ESRs Jakub Gałęziowski and Lisa Haberkern presented their work and the ITN at the The Fourth Congress of Polish Studies Grenzen im Fluss (“Borders in Motion”) in a panel on the dissolution of boundaries and exclusion.

Maren Röger gave an overview on the legal situation of Polish women having had children from sexual contacts with German occupiers and hereby showed the variety and complexity of (war-) relations as well as the contradictions of the legal system. Jakub Gałęziowski introduced the audience to the challenges that he is faced with in his endeavour of researching polish Children Born of War. These are rooted in various taboos centred on the topic and the fact that topics like sexual violence were so far not subjects of research in Poland. Lisa Haberkern presented cases of Upper Silesian families that were subjects to prosecution and imprisonment due to their citizenship status during World War II that give reason to further the thesis, that the post war period is formative for Upper Silesian family memories.

The conference took place at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) as well as at the Collegium Polonicum - a cross-border, academic institution, which was jointly brought into being and is being maintained by the European University Viadrina and the Adam Mickiewicz University from Poznan. Organizer was the “Deutsches Polen Institut” situated in Darmstadt. The theme of "Borders in Motion" was also a symbolic link to the venue of the Fourth Congress of Polish Studies: the cities of Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice.

Especially in Eastern Central Europe, boundaries in history and in the present have shown themselves in very different forms, as milestones, walls or fences, as streets or rivers, as social, ethnic, cultural or linguistic divisions. They can be walked (frontier), be spatially stable or even imagined, but they also change, they are "in flux". Boundaries separate inner and outer spaces, past and subsequent, they separate narrations and imaginations, and they can unfold an inclusive or exclusive effect. In this way, border-building processes structure our social orders and orientation in time in a fundamental way – we could read in call for papers.

The Fourth Congress of Polish Studies offered the opportunity to establish and further contacts between specialist areas and the German-speaking research community working on Poland-related topics. The conference was attended by more than 300 scientists participated that presented their work in 27 panels and was accompanied by many other events like workshops, exhibitions, movie screening, theatre play and excursions.

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