Northern Illinois University Press

Remembering Occupied Warsaw

Polish Narratives of World War II

Erica L. Tucker

Moving study on Polish memories of German occupation

“The oral history material Tucker presents is of enormous historical importance and at times quite breathtaking. This book deserves to be widely read. Its author should be congratulated on her achievement.” —Vieda Skultans, Professor Emerita of Social Anthropology at the University of Bristol.

“The narratives in this book are extremely rich. The author has done an excellent job of reconstructing life in the 1940s in Warsaw. This is an important contribution to survival literature.” —Carole Nagengast, Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and Visiting Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Offering a rare glimpse into the lives of those who lived through the German occupation of Poland’s capital, this important ethnography explores how elderly residents of Warsaw recollect, narrate, and commemorate their experiences, thus showing how the cultural legacies of the occupation reveal themselves in contemporary Polish society.

The individuals who are the focus of this study, all long-time residents of the Warsaw neighborhood ¯oliborz, responded to the daily deprivations and brutality of the German occupation by joining branches of the Polish underground, ultimately participating in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944—during which their neighborhood was burned, but not destroyed—as soldiers, couriers, and medics. Using life histories and ethnographic fieldwork, Tucker examines the ways that her informants recovered from the rupture of war, arguing that this process was connected to efforts to rebuild the city itself.

Remembering Occupied Warsaw makes an important contribution to studies of collective memory. A moving work of oral history, this book will appeal to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, and East European studies, as well as general readers interested in Polish history.

2011, 276 pages
ISBN: 9780875806556
paper, $28.00

Erica L. Tucker is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Stonehill College.

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ISBN: 9780875806556