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Are Silesians people German/Germanic?

Slavicaleks Activity: 8 / 98
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7 Jul 2012  #1

my grandmother always said they were really german is that true ?

Gruffi_Gummi Activity: - / 106
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7 Jul 2012  #2

Are Americans English? :)
Silesia has been a melting pot for German and Polish influences. There were people who declared themselves Polish. There were people who considered themselves Germans. There were people who were just saying "we are Silesians". And often the allegiances changed at a drop of a hat, because the intermarriage and cultural mixing allowed that.
rybnik Activity: 19 / 1,474
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7 Jul 2012  #3

And often the allegiances changed at a drop of a hat, because the intermarriage and cultural mixing allowed that.

my father's oldest brother was named Herbert, then came my father Reinhold, then after 1918 there came Jadzia, Henryk and Jurek :)

Silesia has been a melting pot for German and Polish influences. There were people who declared themselves Polish. There were people who considered themselves Germans. There were people who were just saying "we are Silesians".

pretty much
Hipis Activity: - / 229
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7 Jul 2012  #4

Silesia also extends into Czech territory too. Czech out the Wikipedia article on Silesia to get more background.
jon357 Activity: 53 / 10,844
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7 Jul 2012  #5

It's an irrelevance. The culture in Silesia is informed by both Poland and Germany. Some people may strongly identify with one or the other, however Silesian identity is Silesian. Most Silesians are loyal to Poland, however they are still Silesians.
PennBoy Activity: 77 / 2,444
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7 Jul 2012  #6

are silesians people German/Germanic?

'The Slavs entered Silesia in the first half of the 7th century. The territories were mostly abandoned because the Celtic and Germanic tribes that dwelt here before had earlier moved west. Chronologically the first group of Slavs were those that earlier dwelt by the Dnieper River, the second one was the Sukov-Dzidzice type Slavs, the last were groups of Avaro-Slavic peoples from the Danube river areas. In the early 9th century the settlement stabilized. Local Slavs started to erect defence systems such as Silesian Przesieka and the Silesia Walls to guard them from the peoples of the West. The north-eastern border with Slavic Polans was not defended due to their common culture and language.' Germans settled Silesia much later, 600 thousand Silesian Germans left for Germany in the 1980s, some 150 K stayed behind. Not surprisingly Silesians overwhelmingly identify themselves as Poles. Out of the almost 5 million 800 thousand claimed Silesian nationality on the last census with more them half of the also claiming Polish. I'm theorizing that the 400 thousand people who put only Silesian as their nationality are of mixed Silesian/German ancestry otherwise they'd just put Polish.
4 eigner Activity: 2 / 901
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8 Jul 2012  #7

are silesians people German/Germanic?

before 1945, most of them were certainly Germans, after 1945, definately, mostly Polish.
Palivec Activity: - / 384
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8 Jul 2012  #8

The north-eastern border with Slavic Polans was not defended due to their common culture and language.'

LOL! So, these Slavic tribes had eastern and western borders to protect their territory from the neighbouring Slavic tribes (with the same culture and language), but they already had a big brother in the north who was so good to them that they didn't need a border? Yup, makes sense.

Hint: the Odra and the southern mountains were natural borders, and the Slavic tribes in Silesia shared culture and language also with the Bohemian tribes in the south.

Germans settled Silesia much later, 600 thousand Silesian Germans left for Germany in the 1980s, some 150 K stayed behind. Not surprisingly Silesians overwhelmingly identify themselves as Poles. Out of the almost 5 million 800 thousand claimed Silesian nationality on the last census with more them half of the also claiming Polish. I'm theorizing that the 400 thousand people who put only Silesian as their nationality are of mixed Silesian/German ancestry otherwise they'd just put Polish.

You somehow forget to mention the 3-5 million German Silesians who left after 1945...

Topic: before 1945 there were German, Polish and Czech Silesians. The Czech Silesians were the smallest group, and after 1945 their Silesian identity somehow disappeared until the end of Communism. The German Silesians existed since the Middle Ages, but they were expelled after 1945 and only a small minority around Görlitz in Germany still exists (also mostly something reborn after the end of Communism). The Polish part is interesting. The Polish Silesians lived in Upper Silesia, but compared to the Germans in Lower and Middle Silesia their number was relatively small (visible on the low grade of pre-industrial structures). The settlement in (Eastern) Upper Silesia, as we know it today, mostly happened during the age of industrialisation. This was also the time when the Polish and German nationalism emerged and led to the known incidents. Many Poles who came there in the 19th century had a strong Polish identity, but their Silesian identity was mostly developed in the 20th century and partly is a product of the Commie revanchism.

What we call Silesians today are the people who lived between the German and Polish settlement area over the centuries and shared the fate of both. Historically they are no more Silesian than the Polish or German Silesians, but due to the history of both other Silesian groups they are the only ones who truly represent the history of Silesia today.
Grzegorz_ Activity: 52 / 6,271
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8 Jul 2012  #9

Some people may strongly identify with one or the other, however Silesian identity is Silesian. Most Silesians are loyal to Poland, however they are still Silesians.

First of all, vast majority of people living in Silesia, are not "Silesians". Some people simply don't get it.
archiwum Activity: 15 / 141
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8 Jul 2012  #10

Like I said before, if you are white, but you have 3 or more german ancestors,
then you are Kindred.
david885 Activity: 4 / 22
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16 Apr 2013  #11

Merged What is the origin of German Silesians?

I'm interested in knowing where the German-speaking Silesians came from. Did they come from Germany itself, East or West, or were they always there? Were they introduced to the area by Germany, or were they always a ethnicity on their own? Was Silesia an indigenously German area? I'm not entirely sure how to formulate this question properly.

My friend is a German-speaking Silesian, and when asked him nationality would say Silesian first, German second.
Marek11111 Activity: 9 / 854
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16 Apr 2013  #12

My friend is a German-speaking Silesian, and when asked him nationality would say Silesian first, German second.

Silesians were occiupy by Germans and Poland
david885 Activity: 4 / 22
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16 Apr 2013  #13

So, Silesia was German land, not Poland?
Lenka Activity: 2 / 1,050
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16 Apr 2013  #14

What period David? In my area we have very old Polish castle but then it was German land for a very long time...It's hard to define
Polson Activity: 6 / 1,899
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16 Apr 2013  #15

Silesia has always been shared with Germany, Poland, and Bohemia (Czechs).
david885 Activity: 4 / 22
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17 Apr 2013  #16

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silesia

Germanic tribes were first recorded within Silesia in the first century. Slavic peoples arrived in the region around the seventh century, and by the early ninth century their settlements had stabilized.
Rysavy Activity: 10 / 308
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17 Apr 2013  #17

The first signs of genus Homo in Silesia date to between 230,000 and 100,000 years ago. The Silesian region between the upper Vistula and upper Oder was the northern extreme of the human penetration at the time of the last glaciation. The anatomically-modern human is estimated to have arrived in Silesia about 35,000 years ago.[1] Subsequently, Silesia was inhabited by people who belonged to changing archaeological cultures in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, and the ethnic identity of whose cannot currently be determined. The civilization of Old Europe undoubtedly included Silesia. In the late Bronze Age, the Lusatian culture (in the past, variously speculated to be either 'pre-Germanic', Proto-Slavic, Thracian, Karpo-Dacian or Illyrian) covered Silesia. Later, the Scythians and Celts (the tribes of Boii, Cotini and Osi[2]) are known to have played a role within the Silesian territory. Still later Germanic tribes migrated to Silesia, possibly from Northern Germany or Scandinavia.

The first written sources about Silesia came down from the Egyptian Claudius Ptolemaeus (Magna Germania) and the Roman Gaius Cornelius Tacitus (Germania). According to Tacitus, the 1st century Silesia was inhabited by a multi-ethnic league dominated by the Lugii. The Silingi were also part of this federation, and most likely a Vandalic people (Germanic) that lived south of the Baltic Sea in the Laba, later Elbe, Oder and Vistula river areas. Also, other East Germanic tribes inhabited the region.

Most likely...meaning they assume it but have no concrete data for the times for germanic tribes in document.

Not sure what you are trying to aim at ... it is all easily searchable asn some is part of big historical events in the region.

But it seems ethnically Silesia was originally informally cut small pieces and diverse. Not heavily german, even had celts. When it became formally "Silesia" the bulk was under control from Czech(Morovian-Bohemian) before passing to the Polish in dynasty era.

The history shows Germanic tribes were hovering and immigrating through the east part before settling further south and were not a heavy portion of population until a large influx of Walloons in 12th century and the 13th century had open invitation for settlers from Germany. Then they slowly displaced the local population by the numbers. But all and all it looks like it was all polish in upper and split german/czech in lower for more than a single century. Works by Jan Potocki could help you with the tribes/ethnicities documents in first century.

:Wikipedia
::Genes, Peoples, and Languages" Scientific American, November 1991
:::The Celtic Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, Universal Publishers, May 1, 1998
david885 Activity: 4 / 22
Joined: 1 Mar 2010 ♂
 
17 Apr 2013  #18

I think Mostly they were of German origins, with considerable Slavic admixture. There was intensive colonization of Silesia since 13th century onwards, but also there was a gradual assimilation of Poles living in this region. The region was simply multiethnic, both German and Polish, am I correct?
Polson Activity: 6 / 1,899
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17 Apr 2013  #19

The region was simply multiethnic, both German and Polish, am I correct?

Indeed, something like that ;)
One of my mum's aunts was a Polish Silesian who married a German Silesian. Both very nice persons.
david885 Activity: 4 / 22
Joined: 1 Mar 2010 ♂
 
17 Apr 2013  #20

Thank you Polson, are you Polish? :)

anyone?
Polson Activity: 6 / 1,899
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17 Apr 2013  #21

Thank you Polson, are you Polish? :)

Half. Dad's French, Mum's Polish. (from Silesia)
Oberschlesien Activity: 1 / 25
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17 Apr 2013  #22

These articles explain about the German Silesians.
iz.poznan.pl/news/452_Silesia.pdf
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_minority_in_Poland
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Minority_(political_party)
users.ox.ac.uk/~oaces/conference/papers/Michael_Fleming.pdf
brendankarch.com/research/dissertation.pdf
Palivec Activity: - / 384
Joined: 22 Apr 2011 ♂
 
18 Apr 2013  #23

The region was simply multiethnic, both German and Polish, am I correct?

No. Lower and Middle Silesia were German, Upper Silesia was mixed with a strong Polish majority in the eastern parts. The border regions to Poland in Lower and Middle Silesia housed a Polish minority too, but their numbers were insignificant.

The German settlers came mostly from neighboring Saxony and Thuringia, but also from Bohemia. These people first settled in unpopulated places, i.e. the Sudete mountains and the "Preseka" (border forests). After 2 or 3 generations Silesia was developed from within. The local Slavs who moved into the new towns were quickly Germanized, Slavs who stayed in villages in remote places where not. That's why some linguistic enclaves survived until the 18th century, like in other parts of Germany too (Luther spoke of Slavs close to Wittenberg in Central Germany, and there was a enclave near Hamburg too).
david885 Activity: 4 / 22
Joined: 1 Mar 2010 ♂
 
19 Apr 2013  #24

Silesian house;

Look similar to German houses I've seen in Germany.
Palivec Activity: - / 384
Joined: 22 Apr 2011 ♂
 
19 Apr 2013  #25

That's not a Silesian house, that's a Tyrolean house built by religious refugees from Austria who fled to Prussia in the 18th century. This region was called the Silesian Elysium before WW2, because of the many royal castles, large parks and quaint villages. Most of it doesn't exist anymore, but most of the Tyrolean houses survived.

The typical houses in this region looked like this:

House

But places like this don't exist anymore. If you want to see such villages today you have to go to the other side of the border.
archiwum Activity: 15 / 141
Joined: 1 Dec 2011 ♂
 
20 Apr 2013  #26

My understanding of Silesians is: Slavic/Germanic.
Eliseusz  
3 Aug 2014  #27

It is important to note that many poles in Silesia are fully ethnic poles that were moved west by the soviets after world war 2 when the eastern provinces were incorporated into soviet union. Also remember many ethnic Germans were resettled by the soviets and moved into Germany proper. Non the less the Silesians remain in Poland with a population of 600,000. The Silesians are neither clean cut poles or Germans, and are a pretty even mix of Germanic and Slavic. Throughout history Silesia was a very complicated region for Poland and Germany. Many Silesians identified with Germany ,while others identified with poland and their Slavic heritage.
iggga  
11 Jan 2015  #28

My great grandparents names were Albert, Paul, Franz etc. But many people here feel neither Polish nor German. I as many people here feel Silesian. We respect both Poles and German, however our nationality is Silesian. Our nationality comes from the love of our land ("Heimat"), despite the fact that it has been controlled by different countries throughout centuries.
Crow Activity: 131 / 5,552
Joined: 14 Feb 2007 ♂
 
11 Jan 2015  #29

Silesians are Slavs. Totally. God know that even most of Germans aren`t of Germanic but of Slavic origin. That, if we speak truth. If we BS, then everything else could be said.
JollyRomek Activity: 7 / 726
Joined: 6 Nov 2014 ♂
 
12 Jan 2015  #30

God know that even most of Germans aren`t of Germanic but of Slavic origin.

Perhaps Germany could also join your dream Commonwealth with Serbia. Would make sense......




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Are Silesians people German/Germanic?
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