Przybylska L., Flaga M., 2019, The anonymity of roadside memorials in Poland, Mortality (on-line 29.03.2019), DOI 10.1080/13576275.2019.1588240
Abstract: In Poland, the majority of roadside memorials erected at the site of fatal accidents are anonymous. The purpose of this article is to explain the reasons for their anonymity. It was assumed that a roadside memorial is anonymous when it is not marked in any way with letters identifying the person who it is devoted to or who erected it (e.g. names or nicknames). Based on six semi-structured interviews, it was concluded that the main reasons for the anonymity of roadside memorials were of social and not private nature. The main reason for the anonymity of roadside memorials is the lack of the need to share information, through an inscription, about the deceased and their death, in a neighbourhood where everybody knew the person and most of the inhabitants have heard about the victim and the circumstances of the accident. Some respondents referred to the general rule of not inscribing roadside memorials, partly resulting from the cult of the dead, strongly rooted in the Polish culture and commonly observed at cemeteries.