Single haren ems
However, the situation of the Polish exiles started to get worse soon.
A flood damaged the town in February and March 1946, and the Polish did not fix the damages.
Gregor Christiansmeyer tells the story of the town Haren an der Ems in Western Germany, which used to be the center for a Polish administration after WWII 1945-48.
This story of a vivid cultural community of Polish exiles is connoted by misunderstandings and the lack of communication – yet another lost opportunity for a peaceful dialogue in Europe?
During the era of the Nazi-government, especially throughout the Second World War, many concentration camps were established in the Emsland: the so-called Emslandlager.
First political opponents of the regime were arrested here, later many prisoners of war had to live there and work hard under terrible conditions.
Moreover, the cultural activities were enriched: theatres were established and concerts organized.
Therefore on Pentecost in 1945 all citizens had left the town – forced to do so by the British army.
Since the British had acknowledged the soviet-influenced government in Poland, first displaced persons were sent to other destinations.
The dream of building up a small new Polish-state in this area began to die.
If one visits Haren an der Ems today, nearly nothing will remind him of this episode of the War- and Post-War-history.
While the Emslandlager are quite present in the local remembrance, “Maczkow” is only known by a few.