Wroclaw

Recovered Territories

26 Apr 2016

In 1948, Wrocław’s Centennial Hall played host to the largest, most organised propaganda event in Poland’s history: The Recovered Territories Exhibition. An official term coined by Poland’s post-war communist authorities, the ‘recovered territories’ denoted those lands re-appropriated to Poland as compensation for territorial losses in the east which had been absorbed by the Soviet Union. The Party’s underlying aim was to construe the country’s new western territorial acquisitions – of which Wrocław (formerly 'Breslau') was the largest city - as belonging to a Polish Piast tradition that dated to medieval times; centuries of German presence in Silesia was explained as evidence of unyielding German aggression, and Poland’s repossession of the resource-rich region, which had repeatedly fed the German war machine, would ensure world peace in the future. Poland’s post-war generation was actually educated to believe that the Potsdam Agreement had returned the country to its rightful boundaries and 1948’s Recovered Territories Exhibition aimed to propagate the same message to everyone in attendance.

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