Monday, 10 June 2013

On the beginnings of urban life in Poland

When did cities begin to thrive in Poland? Was it associated with the German colonization in the thirteenth century, or had the Piast developed these centres several hundred years earlier? Prof. Zbyszko Górczak of the Institute of History, A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań, presents contemporary position of Polish historiography.
"The history of the dispute between the Polish and German historiographers is long and dates back to the birth of modern historiography in the second half of the nineteenth century. The dispute was intertwined with nationalist slogans, German scientists and politicians viewed the matter of the formation of cities in the East as evidence of the inferiority of Slavic civilization, which of course gave rise to protests of Polish science. The conflict has not died down until the end of the communist era in the late 1980s" - explained Prof. Górczak.

From the very beginning, Polish scientists argued the native and very early birth of urban life in Poland. This was supported by renowned scholars like Prof. Gerard Labuda and Prof. Henryk Łowmiański. At the other extreme were German researchers, convinced that the idea of the formation of the cities was brought to the East only by immigrants from Germany.

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