According to the new stats Germans like Poles more than Russians.
Interesting, but it will add more reliability if such statistics would be conducted by German
authors and published in German sources. Recently I asked the same question on
forum to person who represented as an ethnic German. His answer was:
I'm not going to lie now, East Europeans in general are seen as backward and pathetic. Not something anyone wants to identify with voluntarily. And in contrast to reality, East Europeans are not seen as any good-looking either. Which is petty dumb of course, as anyone who has eyes can see that most East Europeans are far better looking than Germans, unless they are some poor drunkards, but that is exactly what Germans focus on. Many Germans are not even aware of their stereotypes, it happens mostly subconsciously.
Just a few days ago I've heard a car driver screaming at another driver: "Where did you get your driving licence from? From Poland?" As if anything made in Poland is less worth. From my own experience I know that the quality of studies and expertise of Polish, Czech and Russian employees is on the same level as the German, but often enough it is not appreciated in the same way. Moreover, many parts of Slavic central Europe are better developed than many parts of eastern Germany.
And no, many Germans don't differentiate between Poles, Russians and even Romanians, for them it is all the same.
I reviewed Sorbian language. Their self name seem to be the "Serbs"? There is many similar words with Russian. For example Sorbian hymn:
mojich serbskich wˇtcow kraj,
mojich zbˇżnych sonow raj,
swjate su mi twoje hona!
Ow, zo bychu z twojehoklina wu╣li mużojo,
hˇdni wýènoh wopomnjeŠa!
I guess Poles will understand some words too.