The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered [2]  |  Archives [1] 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / History  % width posts: 37

Is there a Western/Eastern divide in Poland like the Northern/Southern divide in Italy?


Guestuser    
  15 Mar 2018  #1
After finding this map* about cultural areas of Europe, based on a Swiss Italian Professor's work, I noticed that Western Poland was included into Northwestern Europe.

Description of the map. (In German)**

Considering there is a divide for countries like Italy (settentrione vs. mezzogiorno) and Spain (Basque Country, Catalonia vs. rest), and according to Christian Giordano's paper****, such differences are due to historical paths, can we say that Western Polish culture is more similar to that found in Germany or Austria? Western parts of Poland are even economically stronger than the rest of the country.

Silesia, Pomerania and Prussia were among the first territories settled by Germans***, just like Slovenia and the Czech Republic, which are nowadays largely Germanized culturally, in many aspects.

What are then Silesians and Kashubians, and other Western Poles, culturally like?

Sorry for the long wall.

*(de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_Europas#/media/File:Historische_Regionen_Europas.png)
**(de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_Europas#Historische_Kulturregionen)
***(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_German_settlement_in_Central_and_Eastern_Europe#Medieval_settlements_(Ostsiedlung)

****PDF of the paper is available online, in German. Can leave it here if asked.
Nathans    
15 Mar 2018  #2
It's probably more divided between Eastern ('less advanced') and Western ('more advanced') part of Poland (but it's tricky since Warsaw, the most 'advanced' city in Poland is located on the Eastern side ;)
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
15 Mar 2018  #3
@Guestuser
I'm not sure if you're trolling or just don't know things but no. Due to a lot of migrations of people, there are no major cultural differences between Eastern and Western Poland.
mafketis 17 | 6,718    
15 Mar 2018  #4
short answer: yes, Poland has a major... civilizational divide between East and West similar (if not as extreme) as the Italian North South divide or the English North South divide. Hungary also has an East West divide with the Danube serving as the dividing line.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland_A_and_B

the biggest differences in Poland are traced to the partitions with those parts that had been under Russian or Austrian control lagging in infrastructure, economic (and sometimes social) development though the major cities of Warsaw and Krakow are exceptions to that (though following the general rule of developing cities and neglecting the countryside
jon357 65 | 14,419    
  15 Mar 2018  #5
(but it's tricky since Warsaw, the most 'advanced' city in Poland is located on the Eastern side ;)

Quite. As Rome is towards the south.

the biggest differences in Poland are traced to the partitions

Still quite a lot of effects from the partition years, even now.

It isn't black and white though; inhabitants from the easternmost areas of pre-war Poland were moved westward; some parts of North-West Poland where there was a strong presence of PGRs (collective farms) are today still among the most backward, impoverished and religious areas in the country.
Ironside 47 | 9,394    
15 Mar 2018  #6
where there was a strong presence of PGRs (collective farms) are today still among the most backward, impoverished and religious areas in the country.

Quite the opposite son, they are not very religious, nor backwoods, they are modernized to your commie standard and hence crime, poverty and all kind of BS is thriving there as opposite to eastern or southern parts of Poland.

Western Polish culture is more similar to that found in Germany or Austria

No, we cannot. Some culinary aspects maybe some customs but generally Poland is noting like Germany.
There is no strong divisive cultural line in Poland contrary to what some Poles believe.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,259    
15 Mar 2018  #7
This is (approximately) the Western/Eastern divide in Poland.

pol
Ziemowit 12 | 3,259    
15 Mar 2018  #8
Another map ilustrating the divide (railway network in Poland) ...

pkp
OP Guestuser    
  15 Mar 2018  #9
Ok, so Kashubians and Silesians are not majorly different from other Poles, right? They are imbued with a strong Germanic mentality, right?

I am asking because everything about the history of Western Poland points to them being strongly Germanized culturally.

According to a cultural model developed rather recently, world's cultures can be divided roughly into 3 sorts, one of which is quite characteristic of Germanic peoples. Slavic countries like Slovenia and Czech Republic were classed as much more similar to Germany and Austria concerning their mentality, due to centuries of German influence. Same about Estonia and Latvia, for centuries under German rule.

Of course, such things are not as black and white. Despite the centuries-long presence of Transylvanian Saxons in Romania, they haven't shifted to other cultural categories.

But what about Western Poles? Can we say they are rather "Germanic" and less "Slavic"? Or are they rather "Slavic"? Northern Italians also contrast with Southern Italians, like Catalans and Basques contrast with other Iberians.

That is all I am asking. It is open to discussion.
jon357 65 | 14,419    
15 Mar 2018  #10
they are not very religious, nor backwoods

Statistics show otherwise. That region has areas with a lower educational attainment, a lower life expectancy , a higher church attendance and a lower average income than other parts of PL.

your commie standard

You mean yours, given your PZPR background.

Kashubians

As Gunther Grass (himself part Kaszub) wrote, they were once considered "too Polish for the Germans and too German for the Polish"
Crow 145 | 7,318    
  15 Mar 2018  #11
You Poles support Serbians or you mistake and Poland collapse from within. Only thing what uniting all (!) cohesive forces of complete Poland in its internal diversity is deep deep loyalty to Sarmatism, what is deep in you. And that loyalty is symbolized in Polish-Serbian relationship that is essence of Polish patriotism and nationalism. Its even above religious feelings, its primordial, on genetic level. If that relationship collapse, nothing is important anymore, nothing matters and Poland falling in its historic role of protection of Western Gate of Sarmatia (ie Slavic West).

Same is with Serbians. We hold Southern Gate thanks to our loyalty to Poland. So, we never betrayed Poland.

That`s how function our civilization.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 448    
15 Mar 2018  #12
Kaszeby are Polish- I have never met anyone who claimed not to be a Polish citizen.
If anything, the Silesian dialect was (is) heavily influenced by German and Czech languages.

There is a distinction- remember the Poland A (the western side) is mostly populated by Poles who has settled there after WW2; thus having fewer family connections compared to the Poland B citizens. And of course cities like Breslau (aka Wroclaw) and Warszawa are exceptions
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
15 Mar 2018  #13
About 1,5 million people were resettled from Eastern to Western Poland in the 40s. Thousands moved to other parts of the country voluntarily. They brought their traditions. So no, there are no major cultural differences between Eastern and Western Poland. Those who are interested in folk traditions cultivate them no matter where they live.

As for the infrastructure and economy, that's a different story.
As for Kashubians and Silesians being Germanic, I'd rather not repeat Nazi propaganda.
OP Guestuser    
15 Mar 2018  #14
kaprys, I am not saying Kashubians and Silesians are anything like Nazis described. I am not refering to a racial character, but rather a cultural one.

Czechs and Slovenes have preserved their languages and many Slavic traditions, despite being infused with quite a few Germanic traits.

In the book about the aforementioned cultural model (worth reading) Slovenes are described as:

"thrifty punctual
industrious factual
clean truthful
polite direct, frank
hospitable proud of their achievements
nationalistic love of music
love of nature and mountain climbing Catholic"

I could go on about Czechs, Estonians, Latvians and maybe even Finns, as it is very likely that they acquired many of their quirks with years under Swedish cultural guidance.

The book does describe Poles, but doesn't make any mention on folks like Kashubians and Silesians. Hence my questions.

By googling "Kashubian/Silesian stereotypes/mentality" I couldn't find much. I did find a book in PDF about Kashubians which had a section on their mentality, but it was not very useful as it didn't offer an all-encompassing answer.
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
15 Mar 2018  #15
In terms of their cultural heritage, I doubt they identify themselves as either Slavic or Germanic but rather Silesian and Kashubian respectively.
I don't know much about Kasubians, Silesians are often stereotyped as hard-working and religious. Both of these features connected with large numbers of Upper Silesians working in coal mining.
Ironside 47 | 9,394    
15 Mar 2018  #16
But what about Western Poles?

There are Poles, there is no major differences between -western, eastern, southern, northern Poles. There is nothing of the kind you ask. Poles are Polish and Slavic as Americans are Anglo-Saxons.

Italy is kind of artificially build country by the conquest and exploitation of the Kingdom of Napoli by the North, mainly Piedmont, so is not a good example.

Catalans, are just regionalism getting out of hand due to latency of the central gov.
Basques are completely different kettle of fish. Gestuser if you are a kid, you need to learn some more about those issues rather than look for a simplified easy answers.

Statistics show otherwise.

lol! Just stop it.

You mean yours, given your PZPR background.

What background? You are dropping some hints all over the place like a 'Lady of disrepute' her phone number. Why don't you spell loud and clear what do you mean? Go on grow a pair!
OP Guestuser    
  15 Mar 2018  #17
Ironside - Poles are Polish and Slavic as Americans are Anglo-Saxons.

I can't agree with what you are saying. I see no reason why a tribe or nation should remain monolithic. I am asking on Kashubians and Silesians, who have for better or for worse a distinct history from other Poles, and that's why claims on their uniqueness would not have come from nowhere. Slavs were once a tribe too, and now there are lots of diverse nations. Also, Americans are really far from being just a subset of Englishmen. Really far. What kind of reasoning is yours?

Of course, unless Kashubians and Silesians are none like I supposed they would be. Given their rubbing shoulders with Teutons for so long, I really thought they would turn out like the Bohemians and Slovenians did. So far I have found answers both from here and elsewhere indicating they are just as Polish as your average Pole, but also a few hints that they are somewhat Germanized. So, no concrete resolve.
G (undercover)    
15 Mar 2018  #18
Western parts of Poland are even economically stronger than the rest of the country.

Nonsense. Although not utter :))

Many areas in western Poland are as poor as those in eastern Poland. Generally "peripheral" areas on both sides of the country are poor. It's central (linearly speaking) part of the country that is more advanced economically.

Besides, people in western Poland are largely children and grandchildren of people, who were moved there from areas of current day Ukraine and Belarus. So so much for "western culture" and "Western Poles" things.

What your are quoting here seem to be showing 2 things:
1. Germans somehow like to "fragmentate" other countries.
2. Germans like to think that "culturally Germanized" means superior and anyone, who is supposedly "better" must be "Germanized".

On the other hand, there are of course some regional differences in PL, sometimes going back to the partitions or even farther back, for example Poznań area is much better developed than Lublin area, but that has nothing to do with "culture" or being "Germanized" (or not), there are simply development diffs in every country larger than Luxembourg.

If Ukraine was not a mess but an important trade partner, Lublin would quite quickly catch up with Poznań.

BTW I'm saying it as a "Western Pole".
Ironside 47 | 9,394    
15 Mar 2018  #19
I see no reason why a tribe or nation should remain monolithic.

No one say anything about monolithic. You should think what is that you want to ask. I have answered your question, nothing else and nothing more. Tribes and regionalism are of course there but pretty much in the past.

I am asking on Kashubians and Silesians,

Why? Practically there is a little difference between them and any other Poles, beside they have more colorful and pronounced regional culture.

Also, Americans are really far from being just a subset of Englishmen. Really far. What kind of reasoning is yours?

My reasoning? You asked if Poles are German or Slavic. what kind of question is that? Poles are no more Slavic that American Are English.
shockedInpoland    
15 Mar 2018  #20
Poles are Polish and Slavic as Americans are Anglo-Saxons.

Lol, thats joke, right?
Crow 145 | 7,318    
15 Mar 2018  #21
Poles are no more Slavic that American Are English.

God forbid.
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
15 Mar 2018  #22
@Guestuser
Both Slezanie/Silesians and Kaszubi/Kashubians were in fact Slavic tribes.
Slavs are diverse, too. The most general division is East, West and South Slavs. Kashubians and Silesians were West Slavic tribes.
What exactly do you mean by Germanic characteristics?
BTW, in times of the partitions parts of Eastern Poland were under Austrian partition. So ... Are Austrians Germanic enough?
As for the infrastructure and industry, coal can be found in Western Poland. Where there was coal, there were railways and industry. And that influenced the development of the area, too.
OP Guestuser    
  15 Mar 2018  #23
Fine. I just want to make really sure.

I don't really know how Germans take this because I am not German myself, but it is a fact that wherever they went they brought a lot of progress. They were said to be the most industrious of the inhabitants of old Transylvania. They were often called by Eastern European kings to populate areas and bring know-how to those parts.

Success speaks for itself. Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, all of which I mentioned as strongly Germanized, are the most prosperous among ex-Communist nations of Eastern Europe. Lots of people who have been to Slovenia mention how clean, organized and uptight they can be. Slovenia and Estonia are the two least corrupt nations among former Commies. The Czech Republic is said to be doing rather well according to the latest Economic Freedom Index. "Ordnung" is said to be characteristic of all these societies.

The only acception seems to be Latvia, which despite doing well, has not yet gotten as much praise as its fellow countries. And seemingly that not being much their fault as due to them not often being on command of most transactions in their own country.

So far, yeah, I haven't found much concerning any extraordinary trait in Kashubians or Silesians, despite them also being with Germans since long. I guess if they were really so different, someone would have noticed already. The comments on their "Germanicness" are few compared to those asserting their "Polishness", but well, this is a forum and I thought others could offer some insight.

I have never been to Poland, so what can I know except from others' testimonies?
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
  15 Mar 2018  #24
So you're saying Germans are clean and Poles are not?
Germans are successful and Poles are not.
The whole idea of a country's success or 'characteristics' depending on another country's occupation or 'characteristics' is just ridiculous.
OP Guestuser    
  15 Mar 2018  #25
What I am trying to say is that success depends a lot on culture. How can you deny it? A nation's treasure is its people. Germanic cultures are for the most part undoubtedly imbued with good values. According to that study I left in top, the new world order is based on Northwestern European creations. They gave us industrialization, modern democracy, capitalism, and so on.

I am taking Germans as a reference because they were the ones who mostly occupied Eastern Europe. The Japanese, the Koreans, the Basques, the Finns, all possess great virtues as well, never made it to those parts.

I don't speak solely for myself when I say all of that.

I can't go so far as to say Poland is an utter backwater, but accounts from 18th travelers (long before Communism ever came) point to lots of drawbacks not only in Poland, but also in many parts of CEE.
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
  15 Mar 2018  #26
Yeah ... die Uebermensch ...

Yes, we're backwards. Does saying that make you feel better?
OP Guestuser    
15 Mar 2018  #27
I was afraid that was coming...

Really, don't take it bad. I am of Rusyn descent myself and I love myself my pysanky, but I can't be blind to the fact that Ukraine is really lagging behind the rest of Europe.
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
  15 Mar 2018  #28
I have no idea where you come from. I know what you sound like.
As for Ruthenians, many were resettled to Western Poland in the 1940s.
OP Guestuser    
15 Mar 2018  #29
Anyway, Kashubians, Silesians and the like...not like Czechs and Slovenes? That's it, right?
kaprys 1 | 1,409    
15 Mar 2018  #30
They're Polish.


Home / History / Is there a Western/Eastern divide in Poland like the Northern/Southern divide in Italy?
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary and unique username or login and post as a member.