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Welcome to the Wendish Research Exchange's WendBlogs section. Here you will read the musings and advice from one of several Wendish Blogmeisters whom have generously volunteered their time to participate. Please recognize that responses to your comments may or may not be forthcoming, but you are certainly encouraged to comment.

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Dislocation and Reorientation in the Sorbian Community (1945-2008) by Peter Barker

Monday 17 October 2016 at 12:54 pm

This article by Dr. Peter Barker first appeared in: Dislocation and Reorientation. Exile, Division and the End of Communism in German Culture and Politics, ed. Axel Goodbody, Pól Ó Dochartaigh Denis Tate, German Monitor No. 71, Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, 2009, pp. 179-195.

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This chapter will highlight three particular points in the post-war social development of Sorbian communities in Lusatia after the Second World War. It will firstly highlight the demographic and social changes which took place in Sorbian villages in both Upper and Lower Lusatia as a result of post-war migration into Lusatia in 1945-47. Secondly it will examine the effect of the industrialisation of Middle Lusatia from 1955 on Sorbian identity and culture. Many Sorbian villages were destroyed to make way for open-cast mining and its inhabitants relocated to nearby towns such as Weiß­wasser and Hoyerswerda. Sorbian identity suffered a dramatic decline as a result of resettlement into urban German-dominated environments. Finally it will look at the latest phase in the erosion of Sorbian identity post-1990 caused by the reduction in employment prospects in eastern Saxony and south-east Brandenburg. The last two points will be discussed in the context of ‘modernisation’ theory and the policy of the Catholic and Protestant Churches.

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Re-writing My Life and Work: Jurij Brězan’s Autobiographical Writings by Peter Barker

Monday 17 October 2016 at 12:39 pm

This article by Dr. Peter Barker first appeared in Editions Rodopi, German Monitor, no. 75 in 2012.

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Jurij Brězan was the major Sorbian writer of the 20th Century, who was known above all for his novels, a genre which before 1945 hardly existed in Sorbian literature. Despite his view that his most important task was the protection of the Sorbian language and identity, he was a significant literary figure at national level in the GDR. His two major autobiographical works, Mein Stück Zeit (1989) and Ohne Pass und Zoll (1999), illustrate the dilemmas of a socialist writer caught between politics and writing in the GDR who in the end gave up his belief in the power of literature to have a direct influence on politics.

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