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NUMERO 14 - 12/06/2024

 Some enduring elements to read the 'Polish question' and its impact on the European integration process

If it is true that history is in function of geography, it is not unreasonable to approach the analysis of a state and national community from a territorial perspective. And this assumption is even more valid for Poland, which occupies a border space between German-speaking Mitteleuropa and the vast Русский мир. The country has no great natural barriers to defend the vast hilly lowlands and extensive plains that extend northwards from the mountainous south to the shallow, sandy shores of the Baltic. A more pronounced border line is found to the west, in the passage that follows the northern heights of the Sudetes and then descends to the water line of the Neisse and Oder rivers, marking the border with Germany. The large territory adhering to the western border was annexed to present-day Poland at the end of World War II, after it ceded the space east of the Bug River to the Soviet Union (today, Belarus and Ukraine). This westward displacement of Polish territory led to a simultaneous movement in the same direction of the Polish population, who found themselves inhabiting territories that had been culturally linked to the Prussian and then German geopolitical space: that crescent from Wroclaw to Gdansk, a direct link with the easternmost of the historical German cities, Kant's Könisberg, today Kaliningrad, under the administration of the Russian Federation. The historic Slavic heart of the country is instead displaced in the east, between the Beskydy Mountains and the course of the Vistula River, around historic Austro-Hungarian Galicia and the city of Krakow... (continues)

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