Paulina Florjanowicz, Ph.D. – Archaeologist, policy maker, expert on heritage management and remembrance policy
Her research focuses on the relation of archaeology and politics, especially regarding totalitarian systems of the 20th century and their influence on archaeology. She defended her doctoral thesis entitled “Polish Archaeologists in the face of Nazism and Stalinism” in the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2022. She received her master’s degree at the Warsaw University’s Institute of Archeology in 2000, specializing in archeology of late mediaeval and modern times.
For the past two decades she has been working in the public sector for various state cultural institutions, including National Heritage Board of Poland (Director General 2010-2013), National Institute for Museums and Public Collections (2013-2016 and Director General since 2023) and governmental administration (Director of Department for Cultural Heritage of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage 2016-2022). She is an expert on heritage policy issues for international and intergovernmental organizations including European Archaeological Council, Council of Europe and European Commission (currently on the European Heritage Label panel). Member of ICOM and EAA.
POLISH ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN THE FACE OF THE TOTALITARIAN SYSTEMS OF THE 20TH CENTURY: NAZISM AND STALINISM – CHOICES TO MAKE, LESSONS TO LEARN
The analysis of the impact of Nazism and Stalinism on Polish archaeology is an extreme case of ideology’s potential influence over a scientific discipline. The aim is to examine the attitudes of archaeologists towards both types of imposed totalitarianism, and to show the consequences of their choices on the development of this academic discipline in Poland. The time frame covers the period from the outbreak of The Second World War to the so-called ‘thaw’ in October 1956. Despite the highest level of terror, Nazism did not leave a lasting mark on Polish archaeology. Polish archaeologists definitively rejected the possibility of collaborating with the German occupiers, and mostly became engaged in conspiracy, including above all taking part in secret teaching. The nature of the Soviet Russia occupation differed from the colonial approach of the Germans. Scholars with communist views saw in Marxism the potential for the development of archaeology. Others firmly rejected the possibility of collaborating with the occupier. After the war Marxism had a limited influence on the way archaeology was practised in Poland. This trend and the related historical materialism associated with it were mainly superficial. The authorities of post-war Poland, like those in the interwar period, did not perceive any propaganda potential in archaeology. The situations in which the state did become involved and supported archaeological projects, as well as noticing their political potential were initiated by the archaeologists themselves.