The Europeanization of the Cemeteries of World War I in West Galicia

In Search of Transnational Heroism and Sacrifice


  • Krzysztof Kowalski Uniwersytet Jagielloński



World War I, cemeteries, lieux de mémoire, discourse, Europeanization


Focusing primarily on the Łużna-Pustki military cemetery constructed by the Austro-Hungarian army on the Eastern Front after the Battle of Gorlice, also known as the ‘Little Verdun’ (2-5 May 1915), the article deals with the memory of World War I and its use in local, national (Polish) and European contexts. The text shows the history of this lieu de mémoire: its creation, cultural and artistic contexts, and ultimate slide into oblivion during the interwar period and after World War II, before a resurrection in interest in Poland at the turn of the 21st century. Taking into consideration Europeanization processes, the author shows how tangible remnants of World War I are brought into the limelight within European frames of reference and discusses the consequences of this discursive reinterpretation of the Łużna-Pustki military cemetery, awarded a European Heritage Label in 2016.


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Author Biography

Krzysztof Kowalski, Uniwersytet Jagielloński

holds an MA degree in ethnology from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (1993), a PhD in history from the same university (2000) and a Master of Public Administration (2004, double degree programme) from the University of Economics in Kraków and Copenhagen Business School. He works and teaches in the Department of European Heritage of the Institute of European Studies at the Jagiellonian University. His specialization is the theory of heritage and anthropology of Europe. During his academic career he has received many scholarships (including those from the Swiss government, Stefan Batory Foundation, Swedish Institute). He had a postdoctoral position in the Centre for European Studies at Lund University (2015) and has frequently been a visiting professor at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Strasbourg as well as in Lyon (2015). He wrote O istocie dziedzictwa europejskiego – rozważania (Kraków 2013) and co-edited with Barbara Törnquist-Plewa The Europeanization of Heritage and Memories in Poland and Sweden (Kraków 2016).




How to Cite

Kowalski, Krzysztof. 2018. “The Europeanization of the Cemeteries of World War I in West Galicia: In Search of Transnational Heroism and Sacrifice”. Politeja 15 (1(52):95-123.