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UprootedHow Breslau Became Wroclaw during the Century of Expulsions$
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Gregor Thum

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691140247

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691140247.001.0001

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A Loss of Substance

A Loss of Substance

(p.105) Chapter Three A Loss of Substance

Gregor Thum

, Tom Lampert, Allison Brown, W. Martin, Jasper Tilbury
Princeton University Press

This chapter demonstrates how, after the population exchange, the most urgent task that Polish leaders in the western territories faced was the revitalization of the economy. The western territories that now belonged to Poland had been ravaged by the war. Countless cities lay in ruin; bridges and railway facilities had been blown up; farms were burned to the ground; seed stock and agricultural equipment were either destroyed or carried away by the Germans as they fled westward. But the end of the fighting did not mark the end of the destruction. In fact, a wave of vandalism followed the conquest of German territory. The chapter also shows how Poland's communist government was concerned about its reputation among the Polish people, which was compromised not only by the sheer volume of the Soviet dismantling but also by the recklessness with which it was carried out.

Keywords:   population exchange, Polish leaders, German territory, communist government, Polish people, Soviet dismantling

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