9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Excellent account of forgotten city in the West,
This review is from: Microcosm: A Portrait of a Central European City (Paperback)
Wroclaw/Breslau remains, despite its turblent recent history, a beautiful and impressive central European city. If you get the chance go! It is ideal for a city break, and stands scrutiny against Prague, Cracow and Vienna.
This book more than does justice to its incredible history, torn between the ethnic fault lines of Slav and German. In particular how the second largest city in Prussia (today with a population similar in size to Frankfurt) as a result of the most terrible war in human history changed in a matter of three years into the Polish city of Wroclaw. Altogether up to 14 million Germans were "evacuated" from the East and Breslau was along with Stettin, Danzig and Konigsburg were the most spectacular casualties.
Poland's borders also moved 200 miles to the West, involving the loss of Wilno (todays Vilnius in Lithuania) and more significantly to this story Lvov (now Lviv in the Ukraine)- better known to many by the German name of Lemburg when part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Amazingly many of Lvov's institutions including the university simply upped and moved directly to Wroclaw.
A totally fascinating and largely unknown story in the West. Norman Davies is one of my favourite authors, and this is probably his best book. One day I hope he may write an account of the whole movement of peoples in the East at the end of WW2.