Eastern Europe is forgotten in many cases when one thinks of Europe. Many people in my country also know it too bad. The reason for that is, of course, the fact that it was once the Eastern bloc. Traditionally one goes on vacation to France, Italy or Spain. The iron curtain exists still in our minds.
I’m trying a certain cultural exchanges by e.g. staying at my 32th stage at a teacher’s home who was born about 30 years later in the place where my grandmother was born. Only that this village used to be German and became Polish after 1945th. It makes no sense to debate on shifting boundaries nowadays. The Poles, for example, lost territory in its former east, which today belongs to Ukraine or Lithuania. It is now as it is. But what is interesting and important to collect the facts and work on the history. The Polish teacher wrote a book about the little village (not far from Zielona Gora, formerly Grünberg, away). I could help him already four years ago with information about my family. He showed me the church register with birth records. Now I have visited him again.
Another thought: Silesia was formerly a multicultural area. In many villages their lived Poles and Germans. Then there was a dialect – Silesian – consisting of German, Polish and Czech elements. The Nazis despised this dialect. At some point in history you had to decide whether you were Pole or German. This may be a strange decision if you feel at home in an area that gives home to both elements. One destroyes by such a decision homeland. The Nationalist is at this example opposite to the term homeland. And since the concept of homeland and culture must always be indefinite (read the later Wittgenstein, then maybe you understand what I mean) and has fuzzy boundaries, it is contrary to the concept of nationalism which arbitrary determines boundaries. The same problem have Turkish families in Germany for example or perhaps soon British-European intermarriage (Smilie).
By the way: In the Czech Republic it is again mountainous and Brno is very beautiful! There is also some beer. Tasty!
Leszno – Wroclaw 103 Km
Wroclaw – Klodzko 108 Km
Klodzko – Moravská Třebová 102 Km
Moravská Třebová – Brno – Vojkovice 96 Km