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Peace at All Costs: Catholic Intellectuals, Journalists, and Media in Postwar Polish–German Reconciliation

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Volume 23

Contemporary European History

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Peace at All Costs

Catholic Intellectuals, Journalists, and Media in Postwar Polish–German Reconciliation

Annika Elisabet Frieberg

254 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-024-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (July 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-025-6 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Frieberg’s thoughtful and highly informative study of the Polish-German case is a welcome addition to the very limited English-language literature on this topic. A must-read for students of postwar German-Polish relations, this book will hopefully inspire further studies in this field and encourage more historians to pay attention to television as an understudied but critical source to explore changing perceptions in postwar Europe.” • Central European History

“The author’s well-informed synthesis of the West German history of the media, focusing on Poland, as well as the fact that Frieberg interviewed many of the protagonists of her book, count among the strengths of this volume. In addition, it appears at a time, when a historically grounded and at the same time future-oriented interaction with the German neighbor is more urgently needed than at any time since 1989.” • Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung / Journal of East Central European Studies

“This book provides a valuable view into the mechanisms of reconciliation in the wake of terrible atrocities. It also complicates, in a useful and provocative way, the standard narrative of German-Polish relations after the Second World War.” • Jesse Kauffman, Eastern Michigan University

“Based on extensive archival and media research, Peace at All Costs chronicles in incredible detail Polish-German postwar reconciliation efforts. By giving such a vivid account of the personalities and motivations behind this process, it puts a human face on a political narrative.” • Malgorzata Fidelis, University of Illinois at Chicago


Although it was characterized by simmering international tensions, the early Cold War also witnessed dramatic instances of reconciliation between states, as former antagonists rebuilt political, economic, and cultural ties in the wake of the Second World War. And such efforts were not confined to official diplomacy, as this study of postwar rapprochement between Poland and West Germany demonstrates. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Peace at All Costs follows Polish and German non-state activists who attempted to establish dialogue in the 1950s and 1960s, showing how they achieved modest successes and media attention at the cost of more nuanced approaches to their national histories and identities.

Annika Frieberg is an Assistant Professor of History at San Diego State University. Her research and teaching focus on war and genocide, gender, conflict resolution, media, national, and transnational questions in Central Europe. She is the co-editor of the volume Reconciling with the Past: Resources and Obstacles in a Global Perspective (Routledge, 2017).

Subject: History: 20th Century to PresentPeace and Conflict StudiesMedia Studies
Area: GermanyCentral/Eastern Europe


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