Current projects

BKGE | Projects | Aristocracy in Silesia

Power, Culture and Self-Image

In 2004, the BKGE initiated a bilateral German-Polish research project on the history of Silesia, in response to a proposal by Christina Weiss, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM) at the time. The BKGE assumed the coordination of the project.

"Aristocracy in Silesia - Power, Culture and Self-image" is the general theme of this project which ran from May 2005 to its completion in 2009. The project was lead by renowned cultural scientists from the Universities of Wrocław/Breslau, Dresden, Kraków/Cracow, Passau and Stuttgart as well as at the BKGE. The project comprised fundamental research (documentation of art monuments, repertories of archival sources, bibliography) and within the framework of bilateral graduate collegiality, the project placed a particular emphasis on encouragement and promotion of young graduate professionals.

Since the end of 2010, an extension program has been running at the University of Passau based on the theme `Silesian Aristocracy in the Twentieth Century: Crisis Experiences, Transformation into an Elite and Self Perception in an Age of Extremes´.



Volume 1: Jan Harasimowicz, Matthias Weber (Ed.): Aristocracy in Silesia, The Papers Volume 36: Power - Culture - Self-Image. Munich 2010.

This anthology includes articles on origins, tradition, memorabilia and self awareness, on historical relationships, politics, commerce and administration, as well as education and patronage.

Volume 2: Joachim Bahlcke, Wojciech Mrozowicz in cooperation with Karen Lambrecht, Petr Mat’a and Marian Ptak: Aristocracy in Silesia, The Papers Volume 37: Research perspectives - Study of Resources - Bibliography. Munich 2010.

This edition assesses the research findings on the Silesian aristocracy up to the current time in the various national written histories. It also documents the primary resource inventories, and provides comprehensive bibliographical access on the theme.



Walter Schmitz in collaboration with Matthias Weber (Ed.): Aristocracy in Silesia and Central Europe. Literature and Culture from the Early Modern Age tot eh Present. Munich 2012.

In this volume, the cultural representation of the Silesian and Central European aristocracy is investigated from a literary and historico-cultural perspective. Through the analysis of the Early Modern Age and the `Axis-time´ around 1800, this study focuses on these two eras of considerable upheaval, that each left their mark on and changed irrevocably the long-term position, functioning and the mentality of the aristocracy.

The results are currently being discussed at conferences in Germany and Poland and will be published in both German and Polish. Further information on the project´s progress can be found at

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