After political independence came Nazi occupation and then communism: the cities of East Central Europe were affected by numerous upheavals and caesuras in the middle of the 20th century. War and destruction, changing administrations, the subsequent reconstruction and new, ideologically shaped urban planning concepts are reflected not only in the cityscape, but also in maps, plans and other written sources. But how are these developments presented here? How are they classified and evaluated?
Geographical knowledge and the appropriation of space always combine historical, social, political and economic aspects. This project aims not only to investigate the production, distribution and reception of city maps and accompanying texts, but also to explore how maps shape the perception of cities and their "character".
The project analyzes six cities (
deu. Brieg

Brzeg is a city of 36,000 people in the Polish Opole Voivodeship. It is located in southwestern Poland on the Odra River. Brzeg is located between Wroclaw and Opole. The city was part of the German Empire until 1945.

deu. Kolberg

Kolobrzeg is a city on the Polish Baltic coast in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship (Polish: Zachodniopomorskie). About 46,000 people reside in the city. It is located in the northwest of the country and is an important place for tourism, port and fishing industry. The city is located about 145 km northeast of Szczecin.

rus. Drogobyč, pol. Drohobycz, ukr. Drohobytsch, ukr. Дрогобич, ukr. Drohobych, yid. דראהביטש, rus. Дрогобыч, yid. Drohobjtš

Drohobych is a city (population 2021: 73,682) in the far west of Ukraine, in the Lviv oblast. Lviv (Lviv) lies to the north of Drohobych. The city belonged to the Kingdom of Poland for several centuries and was once an important place for Judaism in Galicia. In the interwar period, Drohobycz was the center of the Polish oil industry which was one of the leading oil producers in Europe in the 1920s.

bel. Гродна, yid. Grodne, lit. Gardinas, deu. Grodno, yid. גראָדנע, rus. Гродно, rus. Grodno

Hrodna is a large city in the west of Belarus. It is inhabited by 370,000 people and is located directly on the border with Poland. It is on the Memel River and is considered the administrative seat of the Woblasz Hrodna. Since 1991 the city belongs to Belarus and is still characterized by a large Polish-speaking minority. Before the Second World War, many Poles and Jews lived in the city.

pol. Brześć, lit. Brestas, bel. Брэст, pol. Brześć nad Bugiem, bel. Берасьце, eng. Brest-Litovsk, eng. Brest-on-the-Bug, pol. Brześć Litewski

Brest is a large city in the southwest of Belarus. The city is located directly on the border with Poland on the river Bug. The city belonged to Poland for a long time and nowadays it is the capital of Brest Voblasts.

) that underwent massive political, administrative, ethnic and structural changes in the period 1939-1953 and analyzes them according to four guiding questions:
  1. What is the relationship between discourses on the reconstruction and development of cities in cartographic sources on the one hand and in textual sources on the other?
  2. Which actors (map authors and text authors) shape these discourses, and which approaches succeed?
  3. How did the relationship between the National Socialist urban reconstruction and rebuilding projects from 1941 on and the socialist city administration after 1945 develop? How did this change and influence the objectives of reconstruction and the local appropriation of historic buildings and structures?
  4. In what way did the actors argue about what was to be considered a “loss” or a “gain” or even as “progress” with regard to the effects of the Second World War?
The interdisciplinary approach brings together maps (maps and map drafts for planning, status surveys, internal and published city plans) and text material of different kinds (travel guides, university and school textbooks and so-called grey literature such as jubilee publications and city chronicles).
Besides the analysis of the rhetoric of gain and loss in the face of war destruction, the interplay between socialist maxims and the country-specific (
deu. Polen, pol. Polska

Poland is a state in Central Eastern Europe and is home to approximately 38 million people. The country is the sixth largest member state of the European Union. The capital and biggest city of Poland is Warsaw. Poland is made up of 16 voivodships. The largest river in the country is the Vistula (Polish: Wisła).

bel. Belarus', rus. Белоруссия, deu. Belarus, deu. Weißrussland, bel. Беларусь

Belarus is a state in eastern Europe inhabited by about 9.5 million people. The capital and most populous city of the country is Minsk. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the state is independent. Belarus borders Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Russia.

ukr. Ukrajina, deu. Ukraine

Ukraine is a country in eastern Europe inhabited by about 42 million people. Kiev is the capital and also the greatest city of Ukraine. The country has been independent since 1991. The Dnieper River is the longest river in Ukraine.

) interpretations of urban development is to be scrutinized: How is the reshaping of historical consciousness brought together with national urban space narratives? How, for example, is responsibility for destruction addressed, given that many cities suffered from massive damage after the end of the war due to arson and looting by various groups. How do local actors try to present their own visions of reconstruction (in the face of censorship)?
The project is a sub-project of the research network "UrbanMetaMapping - Mapping and Transforming: An interdisciplinary analysis of city maps as a visual medium of urban transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, 1939–1949." In addition, the Institute for Archaeology, Heritage Conservation Studies and Art History (IADK) at the University of Bamberg, the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Mannheim (GESIS), the Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) and the TU Wien are involved. The joint project is led and coordinated by Dr.-Ing. Carmen M. Enss.

Siehe auch