Our Collections

Purda Wielka (research by Stanisław Ossowski’s team in Warmia from 1948–1949)

The research was carried out in 1948–1949 in Warmia (North-East of Poland) in the village of Purda Wielka, which lied within the Third Reich’s borders until 1945. Works commissioned by Stanisław Ossowski as a the principal researcher were taken up by a team composed of the following members: Wanda Górszczyk, Danuta Malewska, Jolanta Wojciechowska, Wanda Pomianowska, Zofia Józefowicz, Aurelia Duszyńska, Jerzy Szacki, Wacław Makarczyk, Aldona Judycka and (probably) Jadwiga Possart. During the research, individual and collective interviews were conducted, observations were made and materials were collected on the basis of available documents produced by the public administration. The interviews touched upon issues related to the history of the village, pre-war and wartime experience, the experience of the first post-war years, ethnic and national relations as well as everyday life, material situation of the residents, their problems, local customs and beliefs. The interviewees’ statements were written down by hand during or after the interviews.

Most materials in the collection were rewritten by Elżbieta Traba in connection with her work on the series entitled History and Memory of the Polish-German borderland. Purda in Warmia [Historia i pamięć polsko-niemieckiego pogranicza. Warmińska Purda]. Within this series, two publications containing research materials from 1948–1949 had been published until the compilation of this collection.

The collection consists of digitised materials gathered in 10 folders. They include interviews numbered from 1 to 135 (Folders 1–6), residents’ files (Folder 7), observations from interviews, descriptions of customs and beliefs known from hearing (Folder 8), the first versions of research papers and the draft publication (Folder 9), information about families living in Purda Wielka or those who had some connection to the village, entitled ‘economic records’ (Folder 10).

Digitisation (scanning) was applied to the materials stored by Wanda Górszczyk, one of the participants of the research, which were then passed on to Prof. Robert Traba, who continues to be their depositary.