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Thread: 'Movement for the Autonomy of Silesia' (Schlesien)

  1. #11
    Senior Member Volksdeutscher's Avatar
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    Silesian Autonomy Movement

    The Silesian Autonomy Movement has sent a petition to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk asking him to allow all regional communities to gain autonomy status.

    If he does not agree, the Silesians say they are ready to raise the issue of separation, according to Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

    The movement officially declares its support for the autonomy of Silesia. The association was founded in 1991 and is based mainly in the Polish part of Upper Silesia.

    A similar petition has been sent to the Polish Sejm, the lower house of parliament, which along with the Senate (the upper house) has adopted the Act on National and Ethnic Minorities and on Regional Language in the country. The Silesians and the Silesian language have not been mentioned among other nationalities and ethnical minorities.

    In the 2002 national census, over 170, 000 Poles described their nationality as 'Silesian'. One third of them use the Silesian language at home. The language has been entered into the list of languages at the US Library of Congress.

    Silesians have appealed to the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights after the Polish district court in Katovitsy ruled that the Silesian nation does not exist, and did not let the Silesian Union to be registered.

    According to experts, a deliberate decision to ignore the Silesians’ interests could provoke the ‘Kosovo scenario’.

    The problem has a long history. Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located in modern day Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. Modern Silesia is inhabited by Poles, Germans, Czechs and Slavic Silesians. The last Polish census of 2002 showed that the Silesians are the largest national minority in Poland, Germans being the second. Both groups are located mostly in Upper Silesia. The Czech part of Silesia is inhabited by Czechs, Moravians and Poles.

    In 1920-1939 Silesia had its own Sejm, the governing body in control of the budget. It was elected in democratic elections and had certain influence over the usage of taxes collected in Silesia.

    http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/26286

    What do you think about Silesians/Silesia? Should it secede from Poland and be autonomous? Do you consider Silesia a multiethnic region, or a historic German region with some other minorities?

  2. #12
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    Since half of Poland is currently residing in the UK, and the existence of the EU has all but made National frontiers in Europe symbolic at best, what difference does it make if Silesia is officially part of Poland, Germany, or independent. In the end, it's cities and towns are going to be just as full of Negroes and Asians as every other part of Europe. What next? Will the Prince of Baden be demanding the restoration of his sovereign prerogatives, or will Napoleon XI decree a new French Empire? These events would have about as much relevance to the contemporary European political and social millieu.

    But best of luck to the country of Schlesien. I guess.

    .Scear

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volksdeutscher View Post
    http://www.russiatoday.ru/news/news/26286

    What do you think about Silesians/Silesia? Should it secede from Poland and be autonomous? Do you consider Silesia a multiethnic region, or a historic German region with some other minorities?
    Schlesien is, well, Schlesien. It has elements of both of what you mention. It is a historic German region with other minorities (from 1526 onward, if memory serves). At the same time with the millions of Germans that fled the area during, and subsequent expulsions after, WW2 it has become a multiethnic region. Correct me here if I'm wrong, around 20% are German-speaking/ethnic Germans...perhaps more, as plans for more German schools and various other ethnic associations got nixed by the government numerous times in the 90's. Autonomy would be interesting (doesn't Niederschlesien, Lower Silesia, have an autonomos voivoidship within Poland currently?), though as pointed out in another post with the EU would it matter?

    Of course, I still remember the Polish government wanting to declare war on the German minority there in the mid-90's because we were helping to fund German schools and others were helping to set them up (which was illegal at the time). Hopefully things have changed...

    FFF
    Ragnar

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    I consider Silesia significantly German. It had its own "Lied".
    SchlesierLied


    Schlesierlied

    1. Kehr ich einst zur Heimat wieder,
    Früh am Morgen, wenn die Sonn' aufgeht.
    Schau ich dann ins Tal hernieder,
    Wo vor einer Tür ein Mädchen steht.

    Refrain
    Da seufzt sie still, ja still und flüstert leise:
    Mein Schlesierland, mein Heimatland,
    So von Natur, Natur in alter Weise,
    Wir sehn uns wieder, mein Schlesierland,
    Wir sehn uns wieder am Oderstrand.

    2. In dem Schatten einer Eiche,
    Ja, da gab ich ihr den Abschiedskuß.
    Schatz, ich kann nicht bei dir bleiben,
    Weil, ja weil ich von dir scheiden muß.

    Da seufzt sie still, . . . . .

    3. Liebes Mädchen, laß das Weinen,
    Liebes Mädchen, laß das Weinen sein.
    Wenn die Rosen wieder blühen,
    Ja dann kehr ich wieder bei dir ein.

    Da seufzt sie still, . . . . .

    Some more videos of Silesia

    Brieg / Brzeg once upon a time und today (Silesia)
    Brieg


    Silesia unforgotten fatherland
    Schlesien Unvergessene Heimat


    Expelling from Silesia
    Vertreibung aus Schlesien

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    Senior Member Kreis AnnA's Avatar
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    My grandmother was Silesian. Many Silesian Germans were forced out by Polish expansionism at the beginning of the twentieth century. The ones the came to America were stripped of their assets before they left. When my grandmother got here (as a girl) she was shocked to be called Polish. She spoke a dialect known as Silesian German or Slesisch. I would think if she were around she'd be just as surprised to find out that her homeland re-emerged.

    http://www.everyculture.com/Europe/Silesians.html

    "Silesian," in today's literature, has come to refer to two distinct groups: "Polish-speaking Prussians" and "German-speaking Poles." Both these groups exist as cultural and ethnic minority enclaves within the larger political entity that serves as their host. The Polish-speaking Silesian population in Germany sought throughout the 1800s to maintain a Polish linguistic and religious identity, particularly in the face of the Kulturkampf, launched by Germany in 1872 as an effort to insulate the Reich against regionalism, ethnic nationalism, and Catholicism. In Poland, this development resulted in a closing of Polish ranks against all things German, which had the effect of sensitizing the German-speaking communities of Lower Silesia to their own ethnic and linguistic roots. In both portions of Silesia, the minority populations have, over time, become fully integrated into their respective host economies, but in both cases there remained, and remains, a high level of national consciousness and a will to resist political assimilation.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Jute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kriegersohn View Post
    Schlesien is, well, Schlesien. It has elements of both of what you mention. It is a historic German region with other minorities (from 1526 onward, if memory serves).
    I'm not sure what event you are refering by that year, but History is much older than 1526.

    Silesia was an solid part of Ancient Germania. No Slavs lived there until after the 500s AD, when they began to invade and take over our eastern territories. The ancient authors all considered the Vistula River [Weichsel] as the eastern border of Germania, with some of our kinsmen even living east of it. It was to our eastern frontier what the Rhine became to our west. I.e., that we had some Germanic tribes living on both sides, but no one questioned our supremacy on the east side of the Rhine / west side of Weichsel. (Something interesting: In German "wechseln" means "change"...I wonder if this is a coincidence!).

    From Pre-History until 1945, Silesia was Slavic for only around 500 years (in the post-RomanEmpire / Pre-Crusades period). Silesia, lost to Germania for some centuries, was resettled by Germans in the early second millennium AD. It was Germanic/proto-Germanic for a long time before the Slav invasion, and It was Germanic after the resettling [until 1945 when, once again, invaders from the East stole it].

    As for the original question, I care nothing what Silesia's Slavic occupiers will do or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jute View Post
    I'm not sure what event you are refering by that year, but History is much older than 1526.
    I realize the history of the region is much older. At the same time, with the influx of Slavs and the rise of Bohemian, Moravian and Polish states...the area came under Slavic rule *until* 1526 when it passed back into Germanic hands, under the Austrians and, later, the Prussians. As for 500 years of rule being insignificant, it does provide a historical reason/claim of Slavs to rule the region now...particularly with the expulsion of the majority (though not all) of the Germans in region after WW2.

    FFF
    Ragnar

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    Senior Member Volksdeutscher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jute View Post
    As for the original question, I care nothing what Silesia's Slavic occupiers will do or not.
    So you don't care about the state of Silesia? Whatever happens to it will affect the ethnic Germans who live there. Don't you think they would be better off in an autonomous or even in dependent state than as part of Poland?

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    Senior Member Jute's Avatar
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    How many Germans live there? As far as I know there are none or almost none, anymore.

    Breslau is still technically the seat of an Lutheran bishopric, but he is a shepherd with no flock.

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    I couldn't find any numbers, but here what Silesian demographics say:

    Modern Silesia is inhabited by Poles, Germans, Czechs and slavic Silesians. The last Polish census of 2002 showed that the Silesians are the largest national minority in Poland, Germans being the second; both groups are located mostly in Upper Silesia.

    The source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesia#Demographics

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