Luxemburgische Zeitgeschichte

Nationalization campaigns and teachers' practices in Belgian–German and Polish–German border regions (1945–1956)

This contribution looks into nationalization and education in European borderlands inthe early post-World War II period. Belonging to Belgium and Poland, respectively, inthe interwar years, the Eupen – St. Vith – Malmedy and the East-Upper Silesia regionscame under German rule during World War II. Returned to the Belgian and Polishnation-states once the war was over, the regions experienced a pronounced upheavalin the population profile as a result of population transfers and reorientations ineducation curricula. The aim of these measures was to guarantee the nationalreliability of borderland inhabitants, with a special role being designated forteachers, who were perceived as crucial in the raising of children as national citizensimbued with certain core values. This contribution compares the methods employedby the authorities in selecting educational personnel for their borderlands, thenationalizing role teachers were to play and the way teachers gave meaning to theirprofessional practices.

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