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Prussian History


rinnieangel 3 | 20  
18 Jan 2009 /  #1
I have found recently in records that a handful of my ancestors (scattered on both sides) were from Prussia. In those families we had largely identified ourselves as Polish or German.

I have asked some of my friends raised in Poland and they said that we shouldn't consider ourselves Polish, but maybe slavic. I have found that Prussia was kind of a mixed race country...

So I was wondering if anyone had any insight on Prussian History that would like to give me some hints or thoughts on this
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
18 Jan 2009 /  #2
So I was wondering if anyone had any insight on Prussian History

Your first port of call should be Wikipedia. This will give you a timeline and a basic understanding of events.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
18 Jan 2009 /  #3
I have found that Prussia was kind of a mixed race country...

Orginally Prussians were a Baltic tribe (like Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians) but their country (located where is now Polish Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship and Russian Kaliningrad region) was conquered by Teutonic Knights in the Middle Ages and they were exterminated/Germanized. Later Prussia became the name of the largest and most influencial of German states (as there were many of them before unification in 1870) which occupied parts of Poland as Poland between late 18th century and 1918 didn't exist as an independent country - was partitioned between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Prussia... Most of people living in Prussia were Germans, most of the rest were Poles as some Polish lands belonged to that state...
OP rinnieangel 3 | 20  
18 Jan 2009 /  #4
yeah ive read up a lot on prussia on wiki...

Grzegorz that was a good summary. Unfortunately it confirms my suspicions that I won't find out what I really am since there were both.

Actually, one of my ancestors said she was prussian on one census and then later said she was polish...

Thanks for the insight!
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
18 Jan 2009 /  #5
Unfortunately it confirms my suspicions that I won't find out what I really am since there were both.

Actually, one of my ancestors said she was prussian on one census and then later said she was polish...

Post their names and location where they lived before emigrating and we can tell you with +95% probability If they were Polish or German. About the census - maybe she didn't know enough English, so somebody just wrote what was in immigration papers - came from Prussia, so must be "Prussian".
osiol 55 | 3,922  
19 Jan 2009 /  #6
Orginally Prussians were a Baltic tribe (like Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians)

Grzegorz has the knowledge! Although actually the Estonians are Finno-Ugric speakers, which is linguistically unrelated to any of the Slavic, Baltic or Germanic languages. It is possible, though, that the Baltic group (Lithuanian, Latvian, Old Prussian) represent a population of similar peoples to Estonians and Finns, but whose language shifted to an Indo-European one long long ago. The Baltic languages contain fewer grammatical changes from the proposed Proto-Indo-European and even more archaisms than the Slavic languages.

This map has been lurking on my computer for a while:


  • Something off the internet somewhere
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
19 Jan 2009 /  #7
Grzegorz has the knowledge!

Actually that's what most of non-moron Poles know.
kioko - | 84  
19 Jan 2009 /  #8
Most Mazurians used to call themselves as "Prussians of Polish language use". Some Mazurians didn't actually know that their language is similar to Polish (from Wańkowicz book "Na tropach smętka"). Mazurians were called, in German lexicons, as peacefull folk living from agriculture and using Mazurian dialect (which was Polish), oh! and very important - they were Protestants, unlike Prussians from Warmia. The name Mazury comes from Mazowsze, Mazurzy = people who migrated from Mazowsze. There were parts of Prussia where 99% of people in a village were Germans (mostly Warmia), and parts where most of people in village were Mazurians (strict Mazury - from osil map Sudowia, Galindia and part that is not on a map - Sasinia). Unfortunately before the war Germans start to consider Mazurians as Polish, that is why they were persecuted. And after the war Poles considered Mazurians as Germans, and that is why so many of them left Poland. Mazurians are an example where language and culture do not follows national awareness, maybe that is the reason their history is quite sad. I think the best way to know if a family from Prussia was German or Mazurian (that is with Polish roots) is actually not the surname but to find out if they could speak Polish (Mazurian dialect). Greetings from Galindia! :) Sorry that my English is not good enough to explain things better.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #9
using Mazurian dialect (which was Polish)

Hmmm....not sure about that... de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masuren

....dem Polnischen ähnliche slawische Sprache, die ab dem 19. Jahrhundert immer mehr zugunsten der deutschen Sprache aufgegeben wurde....

trsl.: A slavic language similar to polish mixed with german....
Prince 15 | 590  
19 Jan 2009 /  #10
Yes it is true Mazurians were protestants who lived in Prussia originaly were from Mazovia ( Warsaw region) later their language became influenced by German.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
19 Jan 2009 /  #11
Actually, one of my ancestors said she was prussian on one census and then later said she was polish...

If someone said they were Polish then they were probably Polish.

It wasn't the person in the census who said Prussian. It was the immigration authority, when the person landed in the USA.

The US recognized Prussia as there was no Poland. Later when there was no Prussia.....

To settle it. you need a place of birth and name. I would also think that anyone who spoke Polish, was Polish.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
19 Jan 2009 /  #12
A slavic language similiar to polish mixed with german....

Well that certainly was the official version of Prussian government in the 19th and early XX th century. The aim was to deny the Mazurians in times of Polish struggle for independence and Prussian politics of germanization, any links with the polish nation. Unfortunately, Mazurs where the descendants of the settlers that came to Prussia from Mazowsze (Masovia), and thus spoke just another dialect of the polish language. With time German language had it's impact on this dialect, just like it had on other polish dialects. For example, my grandfather always used to say "Gdzie som moje hozy!?" but still I doubt anyone would call the greater-polands dialect as a slavic language similar to polish with a German mix. It’s just another dialect of Polish language.

At the end of the day, the Mazurians were too polish for the Prussian government and too German for the polish commie regime.

I would also think that anyone who spoke Polish, was Polish.

Ahh, if only it was so simple. There were Mazurians who felt Polish, there were Mazurians who felt German, and also there were the ones who felt neither of those, but just Mazurians.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #13
Well that certainly was the official version of Prussian government in the 19th and early XX th century.

Well...it's the actual version of 2009 too! :)
kioko - | 84  
19 Jan 2009 /  #14
At the end of the day, the Mazurians were too polish for the Prussian government and too German for the polish commie regime.

RIGHT!

There were Mazurians who felt Polish, there were Mazurians who felt German, and also there were the ones who felt neither of those, but just Mazurians.

RIGHT RIGHT!

The Mazurian dialect was the one which was used by Polish linguists to reconstruct clasical medieval Polish language. Therefore Mazurian dialect is more Polish than any other.
Prince 15 | 590  
19 Jan 2009 /  #15
As to the old Prussians - they had different choices durring history

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizard_Union_(medieval)

The Lizard Union or Lizard League (German: Eidechsenbund; Polish: Związek Jaszczurczy) was an organization of Prussian nobles and knights established in Culmerland (Chełmno Land) in 1397. Its declared goal was to combat lawlessness, although it discreetly sought the transfer of Culmerland from the Teutonic Knights to Poland.

The union was founded by Nicholas von Renys, John of Pulkow, Frederick of Kitnow, and Nicholas of Kitnow. It was named after its emblem, a lizard (eyne eydechse), and expanded its influence to other provinces. During the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, Nicholas von Renys carried the banner of the Culmerland troops for the Teutonic Order. He lowered the banner prematurely, which was considered a signal for retreat that contributed to the defeat of the Knights.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Confederation

The Prussian Confederation (German: Preußischer Bund or Bund vor Gewalt;[2] Polish: Związek Pruski) was an organization formed in 1440 by a group of 53 gentry and clergy and 19 cities in Prussia to oppose the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights.

Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #16
The Mazurian dialect was the one which was used by Polish linguists to reconstruct clasical medieval Polish language.

Do you have a link for that? Just curious....
kioko - | 84  
19 Jan 2009 /  #17
Book "Mazury. Zapomniane południe Prus Wschodnich" by German historician Andreas Kossert. No link, sorry. I checked, it was not medieval but XVI-XVII century Polish language.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #18
As to the old Prussians, they had different political afilmation durring history

They weren't "old" Prussians...those were either dead or assimiliated already but

organization of Prussian nobles and knights

Who very probably shortly before were still fighting for the Order as all nobles were.
Or how do you think they became knights and nobles if not through fighting for the Order and in return awarded by it?

Book "Mazury. Zapomniane południe Prus Wschodnich" by German historician Andreas Kossert. No link, sorry. I checked, it was not medieval but XVI-XVII century Polish language.

Thanks
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
19 Jan 2009 /  #19
Well...it's the actual version of 2009 too! :)

I was actually surpsised that you still cling to this version. Since you like wikipedia so much:

Die masurische Sprache ist eine polnische Mundart. Sie war im südlichen Ostpreußen - in Masuren - verbreitet.
Sie entwickelte sich seit dem 15. Jahrhundert aus dem masowischen Polnisch (Mazur = Masowier). Ihre Geschichte begann mit polnischen Siedlern, die vom deutschen Ordensstaat ins Land geholt wurden, das ursprünglich von baltischsprachigen Pruzzen besiedelt, doch durch Kriegsereignisse entvölkert war.

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masurische_Sprache
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #20
Hmmm...I posted from wiki....

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masuren

Jahrhundert immer mehr zugunsten der deutschen Sprache aufgegeben wurde.

See?

Interesting history nonetheless....inhabited by the ur-Prussians which got killed by the Order, then later by said Order and german settlers who in turn invited polish settlers...
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
19 Jan 2009 /  #21
And I posted from where exactly?
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #22
"Masurische Sprache"

My link is from "Masuren"...

:)
Prince 15 | 590  
19 Jan 2009 /  #23
Who very probably shortly before were still fighting for the Order as all nobles were.Or how do you think they became knights and nobles if not through fighting for the Order and in return awarded by it?

Propably yes, propably not. The fact is that Prussian Confederation lead to

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Homage

The Prussian Homage or Tribute (German: Preußische Huldigung; Polish: hołd pruski) was the formal investment of Albert of Prussia as duke of the Polish fief of Ducal Prussia.

Mazurs history is similar to Bambers history

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bambrzy

The Polonisation of this group was a voluntary act and happened very quickly. The settlers refused to build their own churches, prayed with Poles, and their children learned the Polish language. There were also many mixed marriages with Poles living there. At the end of the 19th century, during the Kulturkampf period, all Catholics in villages inhabited by Bambrzy chose Polish nationality during Prussian and German censuses.

Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #24
Propably yes, propably not.

Probably yes :)

The fact is that Prussian Confederation lead to

Yup....you see? Poles and Germans aren't born enemies! *hugs Luki* :)

Mazurs history is similar to Bambers history

Na ja....quite the reverse!
As the Bambers became polonized the Masuren were mostly germanized....

Poles and Germans "...ized" each other quite heavily during the millennia! :)
We should really build a new nation...Polany...or Germand...or ....or...hmmm:):):)

....we would have a great football team already...
Prince 15 | 590  
19 Jan 2009 /  #25
Na ja....quite the reverse!As the Bambers became polonized the Masuren were mostly germanized....Poles and Germans "...ized" each other quite heavily during the millennia! :)We should really build a new nation...Polany...or Germand...or ....or...hmmm:):):)

Polonization was much different than Germanisation :) but I see you try to learn how to Polonize :) ... you have still a lot to learn :))) I prefere Poland and Germany being honest neighbours and EU members. :)
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #26
spoil sport! :)
You should really loosen up Luki....it's all far gone history!
Prince 15 | 590  
19 Jan 2009 /  #27
You should really loosen up Luki....it's all far gone history!


Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,211  
19 Jan 2009 /  #28
:) Very far gone history! :):):)

Come to think of....

During the Battle of Grunwald in 1410, Nicholas von Renys carried the banner of the Culmerland troops for the Teutonic Order. He lowered the banner prematurely, which was considered a signal for retreat that contributed to the defeat of the Knights.

The Lizard Union was believed to have been behind messages sent from Kulm advising surrender to the Order's capital of Marienburg...

It took a German to defeat the Order....how does that make you feel? :)
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
19 Jan 2009 /  #29
and both are from wikipedia...

Basically, Mazurs came from Mazowsze, which dialect together with the one from Greater Poland and Lesser Poland constituted the core of what is today known as the Polish language.

Yup....you see? Poles and Germans aren't born enemies! *hugs Luki* :)

Between the Prussian Tribute and the 18th century there were no polish-german conflicts, and there were a lot of Germans who contributed greatly to Rzeczpospolita. The last two centuries were definitely difficult for the relationship of our two nations, though. ;)

PS: @ Prince: "But the king beats the queen!" "Maybe where you live!" hehehe... priceless. :))

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