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Silesian, old Polish heritage?

14 Apr 2021 #1
Are those upper Silesian who were allowed to stay in Silesia after the war, who are speaking "Polish - Silesian language" of old Polish heritage or is the connection to the Polish rather similar to the connections of the Czechs to the Polish in terms of origin (genes) and language? I learned Polish and I also know German perfectly and I understand pretty much 90 % of Silesian however i have a much harder time understanding Czech, that why I am wondering why some Silesians claim to be totally different than Poles in terms of heritage and language. My mother Silesian herself claims that the Poles just behind the old Polish border speak just like the Silesians. So this whole " we are total different " seems to be rather a question of different history and feelings rather than actual massive differences regarding to their origin.
15 Apr 2021 #2
"we are total different " seems to be rather a question of different history and feelings rather than actual massive differences regarding to their origin.

You are right. Besides, there are many dialects in Silesia rather than a standarized version of the so-called Silesian language.

No wonder they feel different as they had lived outside Poland's borders for about 700 years. There was a remarkable number of Polsh economic migrants to Upper Silesia in the 19th century which strenghtened the Polish-speaking population there. These people adopted Silesian dialect later on rather than vice versa.

For a Pole like myself it is quite easy to understand Silesian dialect since I know a bit of German. But quite often, they use old Polish/Slavic words that no longer exist in Polish and would be strange to a Pole.

On TV there is a show on Silesian cuisine in which the cook speaks a softened version of Silesian. The way he speaks sounds really funny. For example he says: A teraz przirichtuja ten dressing, which is in fact a mixture of Polish and German and English (teraz - now; przirichtuja - ich mache richtig / I will make ready; ten - this; dressing - dressing)
17 Apr 2021 #3
I am wondering why some Silesians claim to be totally different than Poles in terms of heritage and language

Some radical Silesians want to gain autonomy, just like Scots already have in the UK, or Basques in Spain are fighting for. Those radicals claim that Poland has sucked Silesia of its riches and if they were autonomous, they would prosper much better than now.

Bratwurst Boy
17 Apr 2021 #4
Silesia has a colorful and distinctive heritage....multi ethnical and rich...but I doubt any independence will re-gain what two wars and decades isolated behind the Iron Curtain destroyed.

There is a vision of building something new again, because the East German border region didn't fare much better. But with now nearly open borders, together in the EU, and many Poles settling there already maybe in time....who knows!

(My grand-family stemmed from in and around Breslau)
17 Apr 2021 #5
around Breslau)

Yes, Breslau is also Silesia, though Lower. While the autonomy is the issue in Upper Silesia.

I doubt any independence will re-gain what two wars and decades isolated behind the Iron Curtain destroyed.

Actually, I don`t mind what the WW2 destroyed in Lower Silesia - did you know that the support for Nazis in national election before the war was the highest in Breslau and Gdańsk regions?? :):)
Bratwurst Boy
17 Apr 2021 #7
Ja genau! :)

But for a german tongue its easier and not to forget, its a nod to our shared history because back then as my family lived there it was Breslau.
17 Apr 2021 #8
Ja genau! :)


back then as my family lived there it was Breslau

Yeah, I know, and like many of the greatest Polish cities, has fine German architecture too.
I have seen this in France too, in Alsace,(Elsass?) Which was also a disputed region.
Strasbourg, Colmar and the whole region looks very pretty and very German.
17 Apr 2021 #10
Yeah, Europe has always had mixed cultures, either by invasion, royal marriage or agreements.
And to be fair, in rhe main, I think it has, in the end, benefited all of us.
18 Apr 2021 #12
who are speaking "Polish - Silesian language" of old Polish heritage

Beside that a part of what is called today the upper Silesia had been a part of Poland even before the war.
20 Apr 2021 #13
My family has been silesian for centuries at least the branches that i know of lived all in the same region not more apart than 20km.

The DNA test of my brother had though the most percentage located in Masowien , then Podkarpacie, then lesser poland and then silesia.
However it gave him information about relatives living right in the area of where all the ancestors came from in silesia...
I just wonder on what kind of information they give you the locations and województwo

it is for sure a disputed area. Most of us went to polish church. Nowadays they go to german church ironically.
But those are of course different generations that were influenced in a different way. I bet silesian 200 years ago didnt feel anything, neither german nor polish, nor did they have united feeling as silesians.

And some poorly educated members of my family in upper silesia did not even speak german or only very poorly not long ago before the war

A lot of times they have never really used german if they were in their village all their lives communicating only in silesian. From what i know there lived also many "real germans" or at least germans who did not know silesian but they had to leave silesia after the war for the most part.

My great grandma has never complained about poles and she learned real polish just by knowing silesian. She has never really studied otherwise the polish language.

However the generation after that, usually feels silesian/germans in a certain regions and in the east they rather only feel silesian, even the sons and grandchildren of people in the old uprisings and usually people do not have the best memories because of the communizm, but sometimes they also have mixed feelings and get a certain feeling of nostalgia , because they were young, so they certainly do not dislike everything.

That's what I kind of heard of silesians.
Bratwurst Boy
21 Apr 2021 #14
Nowadays they go to german church ironically.

Do you know what german church? A church where german is spoken or rather a protestant or lutheran church or something?
21 Apr 2021 #15
Silesia is as ugly as the Ruhr area in Germany. Nothing on par with Krakow there. Heck, even Eisenach and Berlin wipe the floor with the idustrial drabness of Western Poland. The good parts of Poland are Krakow and Przemysl. Everything else is either too modernist, bare brick or industrial... too much like the Rurh area, Glasgow, Leeds, Charleroi, Lelystad etc.
Bratwurst Boy
21 Apr 2021 #16
....don't forget that alot of the old glamour was destroyed during the war and the later socialist vision what a worker - and farmer architecture should look like.
21 Apr 2021 #17
destroyed during the war

Actually, there was quite a number of Lower and Upper Silesian towns which survived the war unscathed.

all thanks to the HRE!

Do you know what Goethe said on hearing the news of the HRE dissolution?
Silesian Daughter
25 Dec 2021 #18
Silesian is neither German nor Polish. Nor Czechian. Nor Moravian. Nor Bohemian. They were all in charge at one point or another, but Silesian is Silesian. Silesian is a jumble of slavic and german and other borrow words, and the dialects lean one way or another depending on where the are located. Silesians were in Silesia before any of those nation states existed. It first became 'Polish' when Piasts *married into* their duchies. And Lower Silesia was 'German' (Prussian, "German" was an invention, like "French") starting around 1200. For the most part, the various folks who claimed Silesia allowed it to operate relatively independently. Even Hitler allowed it to continue its own legislature and treasury right through to 1945. My maternal family is entirely Silesian, though none of them is there any longer, having been made stateless or killed. Their homeland is now part of Czechia and Poland. I'm guessing very few Silesians who live there now understand their own heritage, other than knowing several modern states wanted to exterminated it entirely and did a pretty good job. To the person (Silesian!) who said they were okay with Lower Silesia being wiped out because "they supported the Nazis" (be suspicious of anyone who makes blanket statements like this about Nazis, Communists, Fascists, etc. - not 'supporting' any of them at the time was lethal): my mother was a child during the wiping out. Born into it. She experienced and saw horror beyond imagination and lost her home and family and father. At 5 years old, Soviet occupiers forced her and other children clean out the bombed town. Mom mostly cleared the rubble of building she had seen destroyed. When, finally, they were loaded onto cattle cars, half of which went to Siberia, half to DP camps, they shared those cattle cars with *Jewish* Silesians who had walked back home across Europe from Nazi concentration camps, only to be loaded back up on cattle cars. The Nazis and Soviets were extremely lethal to everyone. For a thousand years before that, Silesia was a place which while carrying many of the prejudices of the rest of Europe, people of many ethnic backgrounds lived together and integrated in peace. My great great grandfather was a well known Silesian language poet and author. And although the region suffered both through world wars, Nazism, industrialization and communism, it is still very naturally beautiful. I hope if you don't know about Silesia, you will look past the distorted and wrong history you hear and the ignorant opinions to find out the truth. Whatever nationality Silesians think they are, we are all from Śląskie, Heimat Schlesien. And, yes, at least Neiderschlesien folks have Omas & Opas.
26 Dec 2021 #19
At a Steuben Parade way back in the '8O's, various once marginalized groups such as the New Jersey Chapter of the Silesian-Americans, especially the Volga Germans and the Gottscheer Sudeten Germans, showed up with a vengeance, insisting they had every right to march together as other Germans, even appearing side by side the rest with their own float! One read "LUSATIA GERMAN AND PROUD".
26 Jun 2022 #20
Is Silesia Poland's Alsace?

I know Alsace in France very well.I have family and many friends there, most of them of Polish descent.But I have never been to Silesia.

Silesia in Poland and Alsace in France have many similarities.
Both are very pretty regions with small mountains.
Both are old mining areas with an industrial history.
Both have strong German links.
Alsatians regard themselves as Alstatians first, French second but definitely not German.
Silesians regard themselves as Silesians first Poles second but definitely not Germans.
As for architecture, Alsace looks very German, Silesia does only in some places, it looks mainly Polish to me.
As for language ,the Alsatians have their own language, which is incomprehensible to both the French or the Germans, but to my ears( two years of German) sounds like German.

The first time I went to Alsace my first conversation at Gare De Mulhouse was with a bus driver.I spoke to him in French and he politely replied to me in French with a very heavy Germanic Alsatian accent.I didn't understand a word....

I have since learnt to cope with that accent.(Similar to some Swiss French speakers).
From what I have heard, the Silesians don't actually have their own language, but have a dialect that mixes Polish with German.
Please tell me more.
Lastly, Alsatians are disliked by some French people, despite them being loyal to France, and seen as Germanic intruders to France.
I remember going camping, as a young man, with my Alsatan friends, in the South of France and some campsites refusing our entry because we were Alsatians.

A bit like London landlords in the sixties saying "No Blacks, No Irish and no Dogs"!
Do Silesians get a similar reaction from ordinary Poles?

To summarise, my two main questions are;

Are Silesians looked.down upon by Poles, as Alsatians are in France.

And do Silesians have their own language as Alsatians do or is it just a Polish dialect?
26 Jun 2022 #22
That is not appropriate language. If you're not interested, don't post on this thread.
26 Jun 2022 #23
Who cares


That is not appropriate language. If you're not interested, don't post on this thread


If that moron troll has nothing to say then he needs to STFU.
26 Jun 2022 #24
Poland's Alsace?

Poland's Humberside, or maybe Tyne and Wear or Merseyside.

In Poland but not completely of it.
26 Jun 2022 #25
In Poland but not completely of it.

Got that.

But do you know enough about Alsace to compare Silesia to it.?

I do value your opinions Jon.

Unlike some idiots on here.
26 Jun 2022 #26
There are many Poles in Silesia and few (alt)Germans. There is no place for anything else between them.
26 Jun 2022 #27
I've not been nearer than Rheims, but would like to go, I have a friend who is from there (French first name, German surname) and has recently returned.

Pictures suggest the architecture is German in style and there are a lot of German speakers there. France doesn't do minorities well. It is assimilationist so Corsica, Brittany, Alsace/Lorraine, Picardy, the Basque Country haven't had the same relationship to it as, say, Wales to England

About Poland, the nationalism created by the partitions and regained independence mean that identity for minority regions loses out. Plus of course Lower Silesia had a lot of inward post-war migration from further east as well as expulsion of German speakers,

Swansea and Flint (almost an adjunct to Merseyside) are the least Welsh parts of Wales and the same effect is all over Silesia.

I think there's a strong language movement in Alsace, stronger than in Silesia.
26 Jun 2022 #29
Many Silesians spoke German fluently if not as mother tongue. My own grandfather could only read in German for a long time. However he refused to teach his kids after the war. A big part of Silesia is people from Wołyń (my other grandparents) etc.

People seem to forget the part of Chech is Silesian culture.
27 Jun 2022 #30
especially the Irish and Welsh

They aren't forced to, however they do so out of choice. Admittedly not much choice however that comes with being a nation of 3 million on an island of 65 million.

Nevertheless there is Welsh TV and radio, Welsh schools and an official bilingual policy in the public sector.


What do you mean by globalisation?

the modern world

Silesia has been back and forth between polities since before Cajuns existed.

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