Remembering Flight and Expulsion

The flight and expulsion of the German population from Silesia are a central topic in the work of the Silesian Museum. The collection of memorabilia, diaries and reports of the people affected or of their descendants is therefore of special importance. The value of those objects is usually not determined by material or artistic quality, but it lies in the memories that people relate to them.

Thus, among other objects, there are numerous simple items of daily life, which people carried with them when they left their homes, for example suitcases, rucksacks and handcarts, textiles, sometimes even toys or valuables. Keys have a high symbolic value, people took them, when they had to leave their homes, still hoping to come back one day. In addition, the museum has collected memorabilia which expellees brought here later, after they had visited their hometowns and parental homes once again. The stories related to such visits are usually archived in object documentations.

Furthermore, this collection contains more than 100 personal reports and some diary entries, included either in the original form or as a copy. There is also a small number of audio recordings. Finally, the museum library provides published reports.

Photo: © SMG