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GERMANS LIVING IN POLAND vs POLES LIVING IN GERMANY


rychlik 41 | 373  
17 Oct 2009 /  #1
I live in Canada but have family in the Wrocław region of Poland. I read that in that part of Poland especially Opole, there is a German minority. Apparently they have German speaking schools and their own media (newspapers). But I hear that in Germany, Poles don't have as many rights. For example, can the Polish community in Germany open up Polish churches like we can do here in Canada? Are Poles allowed to start Polish newspapers for the ex patriot community? How are the Germans accepted in Poland? I am curious about all of this and would be glad if someone could clear things up for me.
Torq 32 | 2,897  
17 Oct 2009 /  #2
German minority in Poland (152 897 people, according to 2002 census) has guaranteed
place in Polish parliament for their representatives, whilst Polish minority in Germany
(over 2 million people) doesn't have similar rights.

There are other similar inequalities regarding Polish and German minorities.
It is a serious issue and will have to be adressed if there is to be any serious
improvement in Polish-German relations.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_minority_in_Poland
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #3
Poles want to immigrate to Germany (Polonia in Germany biggest in Europe and second biggest overall)
Germans don't want to immigrate to Poland (in big numbers)

Poles are represented in german football Mannschaft/Germans are not represented in polish football team...

It is a serious issue and will have to be adressed if there is to be any serious
improvement in Polish-German relations.

Torqi,

the main difference is the kind of minority here.
German and polish governments distinguish between native minorities and immigrants.

Look here:

ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/401/212schlott.html

...
Among the few minority groups to whom German citizenship is a birth privilege are the Danes living close to the German-Danish border. This unique status is the result of a joint Bonn-Copenhagen Declaration signed in 1955. (1) The two other groups are the Frisians in Schleswik and, after the unification of Germany, the Sorbs, a Slavic enclave inhabiting areas near Bautzen and Cottbus in the former GDR.
The Frisians and the Sorbs constitute the so-called autochthonous or historical minorities; they are de jure first of all Germans. The regional governments in Schleswik (for Frisians) and in Saxony and Brandenburg (for Sorbs) oversee the execution of some special rights that these minorities possess, such as education in the ethnic language, ethnic periodicals and bilingual road signs in Sorbian areas. (2)...

These are all native minorities in Germany and Poland would had much more native Germans hadn't there been the expulsions.

So no, immigrant Poles will never get the same rights as Danes or Sorbs nor will immigrating Germans to Poland get the same rights like the tiny rest of native Germans who were already there before the war and still stayed somehow.

The usual immigrant (polish or german) falls under the EU laws with all your usual rights and duties.
And there won't be any changes...
Torq 32 | 2,897  
17 Oct 2009 /  #4
So no, immigrant Poles will never get the same rights

So, what are you saying, BB? That Poles who emmigrate to Germany and settle
there permanently in large numbers have no rights to be represented in the German
parliament but those Germans who stayed in Poland after WW2 (started by Germans,
who murdered 6 million Polish citizens, out of which 3 million were ethnic Poles)
but were let to live and prosper among Poles (an incredible sign of forgiveness and
kind-heartedness of Polish people) should have their representation in Polish parliament
as a German minority representatives?

I'm not quite sure I'm following your logic.

Poland would had much more native Germans hadn't there been the expulsions.

Poland would have much more native Poles hadn't there been the war and genocide
by Germans on the Polish nation.

Germans who were already there before the war and still stayed somehow.

Amazing, isn't it? Well over 150 thousand people (most of them living in a relatively
small area in Opolskie Vojvodship) living and prospering among the nation that they
tried to slaughter. Among those hostile, xenophobic, intolerant Poles... feckin amazing :)

And now they have their own representatives in Polish parliament, German
as a second official language on some areas and all the rights that Polish
citizens have (and more!). It makes me proud of my country and my people.

One of my greatest dreams is the final and full reconciliation between Polish
and German nations. My dream, however, will not come true as long as our
German partners won't realize that such inequalities as mentioned above are
unacceptable.
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #5
Nope...that are two different things.

Take the Danish for example. They live in a place where once where Danish territory but fell to Germany during the course of history. Now the still there living Danes have special rights as have the Germans on the other side of the border.

Or the Sorbs, a people which were already living in this area as there wasn't a Germany at all.

They were never immigrants (political or economical)!

The same with the Germans in what is now Poland. Neither did they murder 6 million Poles nor are they immigrants into Poland, but lived there for ages already. They only became a minority in your country because of shifting of borders.

(And after your unbelievable sign of forgiveness of sending millions of them packing and leaving at gunpoint)

All minorities yes, but totally different pair of shoes.

The ordinary immigrants like Poles or Turks have their rights and duties written down in the EU laws all EU members have to adhere to.

Amazing, isn't it? Well over 150 thousand people (most of them living in a relatively
small area in Opolskie Vojvodship) living and prospering among the nation that they
tried to slaughter. Among those hostile, xenophobic, intolerant Poles... feckin amazing

Well, I doubt they felt prospering as more than a million left for Germany again during the 80s, leaving now a tiny rest of barely 150.000 what has once been MILLLIONS!
Torq 32 | 2,897  
17 Oct 2009 /  #6
(And after your unbelievable sign of forgiveness of sending millions of them packing and leaving at gunpoint)

Which was so much worse than slaughtering, putting into gas chambers and using bodies
to make soap. Yeah, that was a TERRIBLE POLISH REVENGE on the Germans - making
them leave at gunpoint. Those feckin bloodthirsty Poles...

We could go on like that, but we wouldn't get anywhere and I have to go to work
anyway, so see ya later, BB.

P.S. Try to re-think calmly and logically, if it wouldn't be a nice gesture and a huge step
forward on the way to German-Polish reconcilliation, if Polish minority were given 1 or 2
places in German parliament.
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #7
P.S. Try to re-think calmly and logically, if it wouldn't be a nice gesture and a huge step
forward on the way to German-Polish reconcilliation, if Polish minority were given 1 or 2
places in German parliament.

Why?

The Poles who came to Germany during the course of centuries came for work and a better life, a better future for themselves and their children.

They got it (mostly)...why is that not enough for you? They have no special rights on Germany, it was never their homeland, that was Poland, which they left, voluntarily!

PS: But when you look deeper there you will find lot's of Germans in the parliament with polish roots, no doubt about it!

PPS: After your logic Polonia in the US or in the UK should demand seats in the government too...;)
(Or the Germans there....)
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #8
only recenly there are 2 Polish people in German parliament - but both represent regular political parties

and to be really precise there's no significant German minority in Poland - those who claim being Germans have mostly ambiguous identity and that's it (and they were awarded special rights for claiming German ancestry or German citizenship (by both German and Polish ))

there were already discussions about German minority in Poland (especially upper Silesia) on this forum - of course there was no real consensus - the fact is most people lack basic knowledge (I live in the area so I can tell a couple of things about this and that)

btw German official sources claim an estimate of German minority in Poland to be around a million - they must have high ceilings in German offices you might think
Softsong 5 | 495  
17 Oct 2009 /  #9
Adding to this....the ethnic Germans that BB speaks of were Polish citizens who lived for centuries in Poland as simple farmers and villagers. My grandmother was one of these and others that I know of. For the most part, they were caught between the horror of Hitler, Russians and their fellow Poles who now viewed them as the enemy race.

Just like in America during WWII, many U.S.A. Japanese citizens were rounded up because we were at war with Japan.

Some ethnic Germans did collaborate with Hitler because they were given a rotten choice to be mistreated with Poles or declare themselves German. Some were openly for Hitler. But most were just simple farmers who did not care about Germany, but lost their homes due to Hitler. Some stayed because they loved Poland and did not want to emmigrate to Germany.

I understand that after the war, many Germans within the current borders called these ethnic Germans from Poland, "Pollacks." They were not Polish enough to be Poles, or German enough to be German.

So, those who stayed have minority rights because they had lived for centuries in Poland as Polish citizens. Some probably even fought against Hitler.

My elderly friend in Canada cheered for the Poles as his ethnic German father fought with Poland.

People who come to Poland from Germany...NOW....do not have minority rights. Just like people who come from Poland to Germany do not have minority rights. Only former residents who have lived their before border changes.

The people in both countries who have minority rights are those native to both countries, rather than recent immigrants.

I am pretty neutral as for Poles and Germans because I am half each. My mother's side are Polish from Gneizno and Poznan.
Polson 5 | 1,771  
17 Oct 2009 /  #10
But I hear that in Germany, Poles don't have as many rights.

I'd say that is because Polish people in Germany have only been there for 'years', while Germans in Poland have been there for centuries (many generations). Many of them would describe themselves as German-Polish people, when the Polish people in Germany will only describe themselves as Poles, that's it. I may be wrong, i don't know.

Germans are not represented in polish football team...

Lucky b*stard... ;) I'd rather play for Germany now, than Poland ;) (no World Cup *sigh*).
But you're not totally right, there have been several Polish national team players of German descent in the past, i think most of them were actually Silesian, German and Polish parts.
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #11
true, google Ernest Wilmowski
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #12
Interesting....a Volksliste Silesian....
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
17 Oct 2009 /  #13
whilst Polish minority in Germany
(over 2 million people) doesn't have similar rights.

Are these rights denied to them or is it simply because they are not interested? If it is the latter, then they should get up from their lazy *sses and get something done in that department, instead of just moaning and whining about not having "rights". Germany is a free and decent country, I'm sure that if the Poles living there would start something political there, they would participate in the German government too. But I know, it's easier to whine about it and do nothing, than it is not to whine and actually do something about it, eh?

Poles want to immigrate to Germany (Polonia in Germany biggest in Europe and second biggest overall)
Germans don't want to immigrate to Poland (in big numbers)

Poles want to immigrate into any Western country in large numbers :)

But Bratwurst, I'm sure you are aware of the fact that Germany has the largest count of minorities living OUTSIDE her borders in Europe? There are German minorities just about everywhere in Europe.

Which was so much worse than slaughtering, putting into gas chambers and using bodies
to make soap. Yeah, that was a TERRIBLE POLISH REVENGE on the Germans - making
them leave at gunpoint. Those feckin bloodthirsty Poles...

Don't be sarcastic, Torq. Leave that to me :)

only recenly there are 2 Polish people in German parliament - but both represent regular political parties

Should they have a seperate party for the Poles in Germany, then? Well - if that happens, it'll probably premiere in NL as we have political parties for everything.

Some ethnic Germans did collaborate with Hitler because they were given a rotten choice to be mistreated with Poles or declare themselves German. Some were openly for Hitler. But most were just simple farmers who did not care about Germany, but lost their homes due to Hitler. Some stayed because they loved Poland and did not want to emmigrate to Germany.

That's actually a very good point, Softsong, the Germans in Silesia were caught between a rock and a hard place. But as usual resentment rides high in post war days and mistakes do happen. I think in the first place they felt Silesian. Maybe you want to compare the treatment of Japanese ppl in the US after Pearl Harbor.

Another thing is: ppl nowadays are so quick to condemn the contemporaries of supporting Hitler, but you have to place yourself into the mindframe of the times: there you have the actual choice of a life of unemployment, misery, poverty and you have a guy who promises work, a strong nation, no more poverty and misery. Ok, he may have some crazy sh*t he is talking about, but ah well, that's just rethorics, the soup probably isn't eaten as hot as it's served, he won't do that anyway. So what do you do if you are faced with these choices. From hindsight it's always easier to say that you would prefer poverty, but that would make you a liar as I think that the choice would be obvious. Not that I condone these choices, but I do understand why ppl chose for Hitler. It's not for nothing that NEARLY EVERY country (except perhaps the USSR) looked upon Germany in the 1930's with admiration and kinda wished they were able to do the same. Yes, that goes for Poland too.

>^..^<

M-G (amazingly clear, considering an alcoholic evening)
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #14
Are these rights denied to them or is it simply because they are not interested?

Did you somehow missed the post about the differences?

There are German minorities just about everywhere in Europe.

Well, they don't demand special minority rights as natives, don't they!

From hindsight it's always easier to say that you would prefer poverty, but that would make you a liar as I think that the choice would be obvious.

That's why I don't trust people who claim loudly they would have been brave resisters of course in this time...

I would had been born in german Silesia at that time and knowing me I would had been patriotic and even nationalistic and I would had fallen for Hitler for his promise to get Danzig back alone...yeah I admit it! I don't judge the people who fell into the same trap, it were millions...I would never judge them with hindsight!
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
17 Oct 2009 /  #15
Did you somehow missed the post about the differences?

Hey, I just got out of bed. I read the posts after I posted mine. A mea culpa is in place and granted. I read that indeed there are two Poles participating in the German government. Well, that just goes to show.

Well, they don't demand special minority rights as natives, don't they!

Gee, who stole your cookies today? I just mentioned it as a fact, I didn't label any politics to it.

That's why I don't trust people who claim loudly they would have been brave resisters of course...

I never trusted those voices. I'm from Holland and in another thread it's already made clear what every normal Dutchman knows about the myth of every Dutch being a resistance-fighter. Yeah, in March 1945 they were, if you catch my drift.

>^..^<

M-G (thinks Bratwurst shouldn't be such a grump today - it's Saturday, Sabbath, and everybody should be happy and all)
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #16
A mea culpa is in place and granted.

'msorry too
*goes for more coffee*
Polson 5 | 1,771  
17 Oct 2009 /  #17
Ernest Wilmowski

Also some other German(ic) names (or Jewish): Bernard (Adolf) Blaut and his elder brother Zygryd Ewald Blaut, Walter Brom, Hanke, Hausner, Hogendorf, Klotz, Kraus, Krumholz, Kryger, Lenart, Lentner, Loth, Horst Lothar Mahseli, Marx, Miller/Müller, Nyc (Nytz), Pohl, Reiss, Riesner, Schaller, Scherfchen, Scherfke, Schwartz, Seichter, Sperling, Stencel, Steuermann, Szefer, Sznaucner, Szubert, Szuster, Winkler, Zejer...

Dammit, that's a looong list, BB ;)
They all played for Poland.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
17 Oct 2009 /  #18
Szuster

Bernd Szuster?

Hm, don't think so.

>^..^<

M-G (remembers Bernd)
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #19
They all played for Poland.

Well, they were Poles, weren't they???
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #20
in Poland ethnic minorities are privileged as for parliamentary rights - they don't need to exceed the 5 per cent threshold to get their representatives into the Sejm - one or two "German minority" representatives can possibly be very influential

these leads to some absurds - Polish courts don't allow Society of Silesian (not German) National Minority to be created on grounds there is no such nation - which is very patronizing judgement - the thing is if minorities have such rights (be it national or any other) - the actual reason is if the courts would allow any national minority societies to be created many fringe factions would go for it and get elected which would hugely affect politiacal scene -

btw I think it is quite reasonable to think of Silesians as a separate ethnos especially when a considerable percentage of them perceive it this way (I guess it is about 15 per cent - still it will be much more of them then the so-called 'German minority' - ok I am overdismissive about German minority in Poland (but won't go into the details here)

this is a fair point
Polson 5 | 1,771  
17 Oct 2009 /  #21
Bernd Szuster?

Not really ;) Krystian.

Well, they were Poles, weren't they???

Some of them were born in Germany.
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #22
Interesting....a Volksliste Silesian....

no BB - Wilmowski was of German speaking family from Upper Silesia (you see not all of them were forced to leave - one could easily guess from Wilmowski case thousands and thousands stayed
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #23
Well, I read the translated page of Wilmowski and there they say he chose Germany during WWII and relocated to Germany and died there.

...
After the outbreak of World War II, Ernest Willimowski signed Volksliste. Wyjechał w głąb III Rzeszy i kontynuował karierę sportową. Moved into the Third Reich and continued their sporting careers.
...
After the war Willimowski been erased from the history of Polish football.
...
After the war he remained in Germany, on the pitch for the 1959 year. Osiadł w Karlsruhe. He settled in Karlsruhe. Został urzędnikiem, odmówił pracy w Niemieckim Związku Piłkarskim. Became an official, refused to work at the German national association. Nigdy już nie wrócił na Śląsk . I have never returned to Silesia.

A typical german-polish story of that time...

btw I think it is quite reasonable to think of Silesians as a separate ethnos especially when a considerable percentage of them perceive it this wa

The silesian ethnos is extinct.
Nothing and nobody to give minority rights to anymore.
There might be one or two small pockets but they will vanish soon too..

Silesia got repopulated by eastern Poles and others who lost their homes in what is now western Ukraine, true bred Poles.
Just living now in the region Silesia doesn't make them to that precious, unique brand what Silesians once were.

(Doesn't mean there won't develop something similiar again during the next generations and centuries as Silesia will become once more the crosspoint between Poles, Germans and Czechs)
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #24
Silesia got repopulated by eastern Poles and others who lost their homes in what is now western Ukraine, true bred Poles.

have you ever been to Upper Silesia - Katowice, Chorzów, Bytom, Ruda Śląska, Rybnik, Jastrzębie??
it is true that hundred of thousands of Poles from outside of Silesia came and settled there - but autochtonous population still remains strong there and they keep their dialect and culture
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #25
I'm not sure you understand the Silesian ethnos Gumi.

Being Silesian means to be of german, bohemian heritage, mix in with some polish...the far majority had to leave after WWII and living their german-silesian heritage was for sure not encouraged during the post war times for the survivors who still stayed....

There was an ongoing exodus to Germany during all the decades till the iron curtain fell and Poland became a member of the EU.
Those who didn't had to leave directly after the war dripped out of Poland during 60 years of oppression.

There is not much left...
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #26
I can't help our definitions of Silesian ethnos differ (I will not let my (Polish) definition go)
To me Germans living in Upper Silesia were just Germans
this is true that Silesians (in the Polish meaning of the word) were heavily influenced by German state and culture - this is to some extent the reason for their separateness

but those who eventually adopted the German language as their own and then consequently German culture were just simply Germans in my view
Maybe in the German eyes they were different enough from other Germans to call them some particular term (be it die Schlesier or whatever)
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #27
To me Germans living in Upper Silesia were just Germans

Well, the Silesians there lived there since ages, even before there was a Germany or a Poland!

Forget the nationborders for once...not fitting into any clear border was the drama of the Silesians!
They were a great mix of all the main peoples in this territory, forced to choose allegiances which differed from family to family, split between the new nation-states and fighted over.

The winner got it all and decided to be done with the "non-fitting" Silesians...

Maybe in the German eyes they were different enough from other Germans to call them some particular term

Maybe the Germans, during their centuries of living in many independent regions (over 500 it was once) have just a better understanding for cultural and regional differences than Poles who more or less always seemed very "blocky"....
gumishu 11 | 5,326  
17 Oct 2009 /  #28
The winner got it all and decided to be done with the "non-fitting" Silesians...

well this is true
but doesn't show how the mix took place
and it wasn't always peaceful and in the spirit of cooperation and common respect of the nations involved
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363  
17 Oct 2009 /  #29
and it wasn't always peaceful and in the spirit of cooperation and common respect of the nations involved

The coming up of nationstates was the beginning of the end of territories and peoples like Silesia...
I'm glad we see the end of these nationstates now (in the EU) and the return to the regions in Europe!
Mr Grunwald 22 | 1,641  
23 Oct 2009 /  #30
nationstates

Oh I hope that idea vanishes
National states like wtf?
If someone work just as hard or even better then the majority does it mean they shouldn't get rewarded for that?! Becaouse their in smaller numbers?! That's just stupid

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