German Empire border reappears on recent Polish electoral map

NapperTandy

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“Your map showing the electoral divide in Ukraine (#343) is quite interesting, and put me in mind of a similar one that I saw last year, that prompted me do a bit of map research,” writes David G.D. Hecht. “If you look at the Wikipedia article on the Polish legislative elections of 2007, there is a map there similar to the Ukrainian one. I looked at this map and thought, hmmm…where have I seen this divide before? Looks very familiar. This isn’t just some urban/rural, professional/worker, white-wine-and-brie/beer-and-sausages thing!”

Mr Hecht did some overlay work, and came up with this remarkable fit: “The divide between the (more free-market) PO and the (more populist) PiS almost exactly follows the old border between Imperial Germany and Imperial Russia, as it ran through Poland! How about that for a long-lasting cultural heritage?!?” How about: amazing, bordering on the unbelievable?

The Ukraine map isn’t the first example on this blog of electoral cartography showing older cultural divides. Map #330 demonstrates a correlation in the Southern US states between areas of intense cotton production in 1860 and counties voting for Obama in 2008. And map #108 shows the regional divides at issue in France during the 2007 presidential election. I am reminded of German artist Heinrich Böll (b. 1917 in Cologne), who once said that he could still sense the cultural difference between both banks of the Rhine, once the border between the Roman Empire and the barbarian hordes across the river.

The erasure of older borders doesn’t mean they totally disappear — the new map is a palimpsest, even if it sometimes has to be held up to the UV light of an election for those old, overwritten boundaries to reappear. But it is quite strange for an old border like the one between the Kaiser’s Germany and the Czar’s Russia to reappear on a Polish election map as recent as 2007. Poland has moved around the map of Europe quite a bit, most recently in 1945. Poland basically moved west, losing its eastern part to the Soviets and gaining the eastern part of Nazi Germany.

The losses and gains of territory were accompanied by huge movements of people, in numbers probably not seen since the Völkerwanderung at the collapse of the Roman Empire. Expropriated Germans moved west, as did Poles, who took their place. In the context of that momentous re-organising of the region’s ethnic composition, the palimpsest of the Imperial border, cutting Poland in half, seems improbable. And yet there it is, in an almost perfect fit. As I am not an expert in Polish politics, the history of Polish resettlement in the country’s new territories, or the putative phenomenon of cultural-historical anamnesis, I welcome all tentative explanations for this phenomenon.
Strange Maps

I came across this recently. It is very interesting, It shows the reappearance of the old German Empire border following the 2007 elections in Poland. It appears there is a Poland A and a Poland B. Anyone know any further information on this?
 


H.R. Haldeman

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I do hope the TAG for "German Empire" isn't one that's needed too much.

Anyway, very interesting if pretty esoteric website.
 

Clanrickard

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Strange Maps

I came across this recently. It is very interesting, It shows the reappearance of the old German Empire border following the 2007 elections in Poland. It appears there is a Poland A and a Poland B. Anyone know any further information on this?
Poland A is the west which was German before 1945. It tends to be socially and economically more advanced than the east which was Russian.
 

Catalpa

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Perhaps only pure blood Germans were kicked out and a fair sized residue of those left behind were of mixed German/Polish background?

IIRC Gunter Grass in the Tin Drum portrays this hero's family as having both German and Polish relations.

Great site BTW - Tory 'Map of the World' class!
 
P

piccas75

How could one part of a country be more socially advanced than another? Does the east have slavery?
the basic infrastructure of western Poland was in better condition for 2 reasons.

1. The eastern parts of the Third Reich (now west Poland) only saw war for a small amount of time compared to the now east (then west Poland).

2. Germany was more advanced than Poland was in 1939 (technologically and socially speaking)*

*This tends to carry over to next generations. Just look to Africa, no matter how many billions you will plough in, you'll never fix it. It's the social advancement of peoples there that is lacking.
 
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Met someone last year in Poland whose brother was forced to join Nazis in WW2 and fought at Stalingrad, from Silesia which was a League of Nations protectorate between the wars, he got evacuated out as got shot in the chest and came home and then was injured again in another attacked when shot in the head. He survived the war and returned back to his family who weren't rounded up and kicked out as they were never Volkspeople and his brother lived and worked where he grew up for rest of his life.

In later years his niece used old Germanic heritage to gain a German passport and moved to Munich where she married a French guy from Alsaace who family were never part of the Nazi scene when Alsaace / Lorraine were grabbed by Germans pre WW2. Their surname though German was almost exclusively French but they were mine workers who just worked in the mines as Nazis weren't sure whether they were trusted or not.
 

flavirostris

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wasn't there a Polish-German football player - Pierre Littbarski.
Also Miroslav Klose - think he might have been born in Poland.
One of the other posts referred to Gunter Grass's "The Tin Drum" - this book gives a great insight into the relationship between the 2 countries in the inter-war years.
I think the protagonist's ( who was German) mother's lover was a Pole. Danzig had dual Polish-German identity.
One of the most memorable parts in the book was Oscar's father accidentally swallowing his NSDAP party pin when Soviet troops entered the house amid much raping and pillaging
 

Tadzio

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2 things wrong with your text

Met someone last year in Poland whose brother was forced to join Nazis in WW2 and fought at Stalingrad, from Silesia which was a League of Nations protectorate between the wars, he got evacuated out as got shot in the chest and came home and then was injured again in another attacked when shot in the head. He survived the war and returned back to his family who weren't rounded up and kicked out as they were never Volkspeople and his brother lived and worked where he grew up for rest of his life.

In later years his niece used old Germanic heritage to gain a German passport and moved to Munich where she married a French guy from Alsaace who family were never part of the Nazi scene when Alsaace / Lorraine were grabbed by Germans pre WW2. Their surname though German was almost exclusively French but they were mine workers who just worked in the mines as Nazis weren't sure whether they were trusted or not.
1) Schlesien (Silesia) was NEVER a protectorate of the League of Nations.
Parts of Upper Silesia were meant to have a plebiscite, supervised by the L.of N. in order to determine if this part should remain in Germany or to be ceded to Poland. In 1923 this small territory got divided, the eastern part around Kattowitz/Katowice was annexed by Poland, and the western part (Brieg, Gleiwitz, etc.) remained with Germany. This contested area comprised about 10-15% of the total territory of Silesia - and in the years 1919-1923 was administered by France - but it was never a "protectorate" of any kind.

2) Alsace/Lorraine was NOT "grabbed" by Germany "PRE-WW2" as you state, but annexed in 1940 after the war with France had already started.
 

Tea Party Patriot

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Strange Maps

I came across this recently. It is very interesting, It shows the reappearance of the old German Empire border following the 2007 elections in Poland. It appears there is a Poland A and a Poland B. Anyone know any further information on this?
Just commenting from a map I saw some time ago but the areas shaded in by this map appear to be Silesia and Eastern Prussia which were governed by the Prussians. In fact I believe Blucher the savior of the battle of Waterloo was from Silesia.

Edit: One should say the areas shaded at the German Empire side of the border.
 
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Mitsui2

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One of the most memorable parts in the book was Oscar's father accidentally swallowing his NSDAP party pin when Soviet troops entered the house amid much raping and pillaging
Poetic justice, that was.

A great book, The Tin Drum. Much of the general detail about Danzig comes from Grass's childhood memories, I believe. I finally got the excellent movie version on DVD recently - the subtitled version was unavailable for a good while. Obviously no film could hope to replicate such a dense book but it's a very good attempt. The film version of the scene with the horse's head full of eels is quite memorable!
 

vanla sighs

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Perhaps only pure blood Germans were kicked out and a fair sized residue of those left behind were of mixed German/Polish background?

IIRC Gunter Grass in the Tin Drum portrays this hero's family as having both German and Polish relations.

Great site BTW - Tory 'Map of the World' class!
When I used to work in Poland teaching English back in 2003 I worked in a city near Katowice in south western Poland (Silesia) and was told that some people in Katowice, one of Polands biggest cities, spoke either German or a German-Polish mix (after some checking I think they must have actually meant the Silesian language) and weren't regarded too kindly by other Poles it seems.

Seems some Silesians want autonomy within Poland or even possibly independence, in a recent Polish census 200,000 people in Silesia put down their nationality as Silesian rather than Polish.

[video=youtube_share;T5qNq1HzjcE]http://youtu.be/T5qNq1HzjcE[/video]
 

Riadach

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