The Origins of the Polish-German Reconciliation, 1965-1966 Cover Image
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The Origins of the Polish-German Reconciliation, 1965-1966
The Origins of the Polish-German Reconciliation, 1965-1966

Author(s): Karina Marczuk
Subject(s): History, Political history, Recent History (1900 till today), Special Historiographies:, Theology and Religion, Post-War period (1950 - 1989), History of Communism
Published by: Institutul National pentru Studiul Totalitarismului
Keywords: Catholic bishops’ letter of 1965; Ostdenkschrift; EKD; Germany; Poland; reconciliation;

Summary/Abstract: The topic of the article concerns the origins of the process of establishing and then developing bilateral relations between Germany and Poland at the turn of 1965 and 1966. The main argument is that advancing reconciliation in bilateral Polish-German relations was possible owing to the considerable input of the Polish Catholic Church, including the memorable letter of the Polish bishops to their German counterparts (“We forgive and ask for forgiveness”). These two years are significant for the mutual relations of Poland and Germany. First, in 1965 the Polish Catholic bishops submitted to their German counterparts the letter that opened the path to an improvement in relations between the nations. Afterwards, “reconciliation” was introduced into the public discourse. Second, in 1966 the Polish Catholic Church celebrated the 1000th anniversary of the Christianisation of Poland, which became both a challenge and a chance for developing the dialogue with Germans. Therefore, the main research questions concern, first, the determinants of the tensions between Poland and both German states after World War II as well as the impact of the 1965 bishops’ letter on the development of bilateral relations.

  • Issue Year: XXV/2017
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 171-180
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Romanian