Cultural Heritage of Central and Eastern Europe is still little known, but is increasingly being exposed as an area for scientific research. This region of Europe has experienced exceptional historical events in the twentieth century. Along the majority societies associated with different states, there lived communities of the minority and stateless, torn by totalitarian regimes of the previous century. The politics of assimilation aimed at the national, ethnic, and religious minorities has taken an enormous toll on their cultural heritage. The empty, devastated Jewish synagogues, Orthodox, Greek and Roman Catholic churches serving as warehouses are still to be seen on these lands. We encounter fallen mansions or houses abandoned in a hurry of those who once lived their life in a colourful multicultural reality of the borderland. The fall of communism in this part of Europe has restored the memory of the “absent” and triggered activities to rescue their tangible and intangible cultural heritage. In Central-Eastern Europe, the passing decades have been characterized by many interesting and new projects created within the framework of the forgotten and uncomfortable heritage, undertaken by many public, self-government, private and non-profit institutions They are supported by the organizers and implementers of culture, as well as regional activists and enthusiasts who realize there will be a big void in the history and collective memory of this region if the minorities’ heritage is to disappear. The monograph includes papers from international researchers tackling various issues on cultural heritage and its management. They present multiple involvements of this area of culture within different European countries’ politics or ideology.
Ewa Kocój, Introduction