The fact that controversies about the past become the subject of public debate testifies to the growing significance of the role of collective memory. In Poland two such controversies emerged recently. The first was triggered off by Jan Tomasz Gross' book 'The Neighbours' that describes the murder committed during the war on Jews by the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne; the other is a consequence of the actions taken up by the head of the Union of the Expelled, Erika Steinbach, and her many years' endeavours to create the so-called Centre Against Expulsions in Germany. The matter of post-war 'expulsions' divided Polish disputants into adherents of two opposed points of view. One thread of the debate that started in 2000 embraces controversies around the exhibition: 'Enforced Roads. Escapes and Expulsions in 20th Century Europe' opened in August 2006 that commemorates the victims of expulsions. The article analyses the press debate around this exhibition in the context of the earlier stages of this controversy. It also describes the changes of relations between the main standpoints and their influence on the ideas of the past.
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