This chapter looks at how incorporating the German territories into Poland entailed a large-scale renaming operation. In order for state authorities, the railways and the postal service, the military, and other institutions that had to rely on fixed place names not to descend into chaos, the renaming procedures had to be carried out as quickly as possible. It also had to be implemented systematically and competently in order to avoid the duplication of names and to assure that they would be permanent. Despite these demands, the Polonization of place names began chaotically. In the early days there were no clear instructions or standard procedures for renaming, and even the general principle of restoring former Polish names wherever possible was of little help as long as the archival materials that would supply these historical names were not accessible.
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