The author presents the search for the identity of individuals and families displaced after World War II from Vilnius to Gdańsk in the context of the urban community integration. Gdańsk being a city where the population after the war was almost fully replaced, becomes in this sense a kind of laboratory of social integration processes. The text serves as an introduction to the topic and is based on the results of the pilot qualitative research conducted within the The Common Room Gdańsk” (2013–2015) project coordinated by prof. M. Mendel. The analyses are a contribution to the reflection on identity determinants of integration processes within the urban community, also in relation to contemporary times. When discussing the issues of identity, the author points to the importance of the turning point which was the end of World War II, and the experience of expatriation in the spatial and socio-cultural context.
The ten years Stanisław Pigoń spent in Wilno (1921-1931) was a very important phase of his life. Wilno not only attracted a great deal of his research but also became the focus of a lasting emotional attachment, a sentiment which he reaffirmed in a memoir published shortly before his death in 1968. Although a lot is already known about Pigoń’s Wilno decade, there are some episodes that are worth a closer examination. One of them is a debate about Konrad’s cell which he triggered off just before leaving Wilno. The controversy concerns a cell in the former Basylian Monastery where Adam Mickiewicz was imprisoned in 1823 and where Konrad, the main character of his Dziady (Forefathers’ Eve) undergoes a spiritual transformation, the climax of the poetic drama. Pigoń contributions to this interminable debate exhibit a fine balance of scholarly precision and passionate conviction. This article not only looks at the origin and the early phases of the Konrad’s cell controversy in their contemporary background but also tries to show Pigoń’s involvement in the life of the university and the cultural and literary life of Wilno.