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Andrew Demshuk

Andrew Demshuk's research focuses on post-1945 German and Polish history. His first monograph, "The Lost German East: Forced Migration and the Politics of Memory, 1945-1970" (Cambridge University Press, 2012) examines how, amid the charged political context of the early Cold War, millions of West Germans expelled from the province of Silesia after World War II came to recognize that physical return was not possible. A fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2014-2015) supported work on two further book projects. His second book, "Demolition on Karl Marx Square: Cultural Barbarism and the People’s State in 1968" (Oxford University Press, September 2017) looks at how the 1968 demolition of Leipzig’s medieval University Church brought about an essential turning point in relations between Communist authorities and the “people” they claimed to serve. The largest East German protest between the 1953 Uprising and 1989 Revolution, this intimate story clarifies how the “dictatorial” system operated and lost public belief. His third monograph, "Three Cities after Hitler" (currently under review with an academic press) measures the politics of memory in urban reconstruction under three contrasting regime ideologies haunted by the recent Nazi past. Weaving back together a common narrative, it offers a comparative history of post-1945 urban planning in three cities which had been part of united Germany before 1945 and were then divided by Cold War borders -- Frankfurt (West Germany), Leipzig (East Germany), and Wrocław (western Poland). Demshuk specializes on courses relating to twentieth-century Central and Eastern Europe, with close attention nationalism, genocide and ethnic cleansing, urban planning and memory, and the broader effects of mid-20th-century forced migration on the world we inhabit today.