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The XVIII general congress of the Polish historians



The regular congress of historians of Poland took place on September 16 — 19, 2009 at our neighbors in Olsztyn on the basis of faculty of the humanities of the Varminsko-Mazursky University (VMU). Since the end of the 20th century these congresses are held under patronage of the president of Poland. Their organizer is the Polish historical society (PIO, Polskie Towarzystwo Historyczne, the chairman professor Krzysztof Mikulsky) — one of the public scientific associations, oldest in Poland, which appeared in 1886 in Lviv for the purpose of support of development of historical science and, in particular, for studying the history Chervonoy of Russia. Created as society of historians on the Polish lands of Austria-Hungary, PIO since restoration of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth became the vsepolsky organization.

In modern Poland PIO plays an important role not only in support and development of historical science, but also in maintaining national traditions, in development of civil consciousness of Poles. Therefore members of society are not only professional historians, but also teachers of history, employees of archives, museums, libraries and just fans of history who are included into 46 local offices of society.

The school Olympic Games on stories (since 1975), vsepolsky congresses of historians students and vsepolsky congresses of historians belong to number of the major events held by society (since 1880). Since 1963 the congresses of historians are held every five years. The penultimate, XVII congress took place in 2004 in Krakow under the slogan "Tradition and the Present — Identity".

The slogan of the XVIII congress in Olsztyn: "Return to sources" where sources are understood, on the one hand, as the European past in general and a role of Poland, and with another — historical sources in traditional understanding of historians including sources on modern data carriers.

The congress brought together about 300 delegates and guests invited from various countries including from Russia (Kaliningrad was represented by V.I. Galtsov and Yu.V. Kostyashov). Work of a congress fell on days when in Europe anniversary of the beginning of World War II was celebrated. Therefore it is not surprising that during the ceremonial opening of a congress the president of Poland Lech Kaczyñski in the speech spoke not only about value of historical science and tasks of historians in the modern world, but did not forget to mention also the Soviet aggression to Poland on September 17, 1939. About same he told the day before during opening in the territory of the campus of the memorable sign and "The avenue of the victims of Katyn". However at the congress the subject of World War II was not touched.

The program of a congress was extremely extensive and informative. Work was organized in five main sections: "Europe at sources", "At identity sources", "The sciences learning sources", "Training of history as walk to sources", "At sources of changes in the Polish foreign community". Sessions were held in a look

symposiums and round tables. Besides, at specialized seminars the discussion took place on eras from antiquity to the present and on branches of historical science: military history, historical demography, history of medicine and pharmacy, biografistik, economic history, history of education, historical geography, Slavic peoples history, history of parliamentarism, history methodology. Also two separate sections for students and graduate students worked.

Of course, the forum similar to a congress of the Polish historians is some kind of "review" of scientific achievements, gives rich material for understanding of the modern level of development of historical science and idea of the centers of this science in Poland. Materials of a congress allow to judge top trends and preferences in a modern Polish historiography. For example, considerable attention at a congress was paid to economic history, especially the latest time (problems of modernization and reforms). Historians more often began to address studying history of the Polish People's Republic (PPR): to problems of economy, social anthropology, way of life. The attention of participants of a congress was drawn also by work of the sections devoted to problems of a historiosophy, methodology of history and a theoretical source study.

The important place in work of a congress was taken by identity problems, including regional. In particular, one of sections was devoted to the subject "Regional and National Consciousness in Historical Development in Medal/ducal/east Prussia, in Varmiya and Mazurakh", important for the Kaliningrad historians. In reports the general questions of theoretical character were mentioned as private questions of a regional historiography (for example, "East Prussian lands and their history in publications of teachers of gymnasiums of the province East Prussia in the 19th century" Tomasz Hrzanovsky), and (the famous historian, the author of the monograph on the history of Konigsberg Janusz Yasin-sky raised a question of receptions of the decision and a basic possibility of reconstruction of the general portrait of the Poles living in the territory of Varmiya and Masur in the 19th century). At all specifics of regional researches of our Polish neighbors it is possible to note a lot of similar to Kaliningrad problems of studying consciousness and cultural memory of the inhabitants inhabiting nowadays the territory of the former East Prussia. It was noticeable, for example, in the report Lapo's Hedgehogs (Museum of national culture of Mr. Vengozhevo) devoted to modern perception and use of the German military monuments and also in Wojciech Lukovsky's report (Warsaw university) on the content of modern regional consciousness of inhabitants Masur. Andrzej Sakson (Institute of the West, Poznan) presented the results of comparative sociological inspection demonstrating very similar processes of transformation of consciousness of youth of Klaipeda, Kaliningrad and Olsztyn in the report.

The congress of historians summed up the results of the next fifth anniversary in development of historical science in Poland and at the same time became one more confirmation of that constant attention and real practical support which are got from the government by the humanities and

arts education. Work of a congress was promoted by excellent conditions of a new huge modern complex of buildings of faculty of the humanities of UVM where only historians about one and a half thousand students study. And why it is necessary to Poland so much, will ask some the power priderzhashchy us in Russia?

V.I. Taltsov,

edging. east. sciences, dots., dean of department of history of RGU of I. Kant

Eric Williams
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