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Memory in the local context – the example of Ústí nad Labem after 1945

This project is concerned with the Czech (re-)appropriation of the Bohemian borderlands (pohraničí) from 1945 to the present and representations thereof. It focuses on the construction of local, regional and national identities. This process, which began with the post-war reincorporation of the Czechoslovak borderlands ceded to Germany in 1938, is examined in a case study of the Northern Bohemian town of Ústí nad Labem. At the end of the war the majority of the town’s German-speaking population was expelled. This meant that of the town’s post-war population, only one quarter had lived there before the end of the war. New residents had to be lured to the border town and returned from more central-lying regions. The project analyses the reinterpretation of the local and regional past in narratives, symbols, cultural institutions and other representations of history and in memory politics, paying particular attention to the tension between official guidelines and their implementation and everyday adaptation at local level.

Frauke Wetzel

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