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Polonia in Germany


Torq 32 | 2,897
27 May 2020 #1
...an interesting map from an issue of Deutsch Perfekt magazine:

Foreigners in Germany

...it looks like ex-DDR is Little Poland these days (apart from Berlin where Turks are the majority of foreigners). However, it is also interesting to see that in some East German areas Poles were replaced as majority foreign group by Syrians(!).
Spike31 3 | 1,726
27 May 2020 #2
What's important is to keep Poles living in Germany strongly connected to Poland and to prevent Germanization of any kind. And to push for a "national minority" status for Poles.

In the future new generations of Poles will project Polish national interest in Germany.
jon357 63 | 15,068
27 May 2020 #3
prevent Germanisation of any kind

Why?
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
27 May 2020 #4
In the future new generations of Poles will project Polish national interest in Germany.

Won't happen. Look at how the Polish minority in the Czech Republic works - they are Polish, with Polish culture, but they simply don't push Polish interests at all. The closure of the borders did nothing but remind them that Poland is a foreign country to them.

It's very noticeable in Polish schools in the Czech Republic - they learn the Czech world view, not the Polish one. The teaching language is Polish, but the schools represent Czech national interests, not Polish interests.

...an interesting map from an issue of Deutsch Perfekt magazine:

A very interesting map! I can explain the Syrian connection - a lot of refugees were placed in places like Hoyerswerda where large amount of empty flats could be found.
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
27 May 2020 #5
to push for a "national minority" status for Poles.

Yes, it's an important issue and reciprocity principle should apply - even Sinti and Roma have minority status in Germany (even though they are definitely immigrants, and not a native minority) but Poles are denied the same right. This either has to change or German minority in Poland should be stripped of their status. Harsh, but there should be equality in relations in this matter.

a lot of refugees were placed in places like Hoyerswerda where large amount of empty flats could be found.

That's what I thought - it makes sense to put the "refugees" in depopulated aread instead of let them slowly fall to ruin.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
27 May 2020 #6
but Poles are denied the same right

Would you agree to give Indians minority status in Poland, even though they're also economic migrants? (talking about post-1990 migrants here, not the older Polish minority in the Ruhr).

I seem to remember that one reason for the Poles being denied any sort of minority status in Germany is that they'd have to recognise the Turks as a minority too, something that they don't want to do. Most of the Poles there now are economic migrants, just as the Turks are, so it would be very difficult to recognise one and not the other.
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
27 May 2020 #7
Poland and Germany are neighboring countries and both countries have genuine German and Polish minorities within their respective borders. Last time I checked Poland didn't have a border with India.

Most of the Poles there now are economic migrants

What about Sinti and Roma? Are they migrants or indigenous population in Germany? :) And yet, they DO have a minority status.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
27 May 2020 #8
What about Sinti and Roma?

I *believe* (from my bad German) that Germany has the same rule as Poland - that these people had to have been there (on the current territory) before the creation of the modern nation state. So Sinti, Roma, Danes and Sorbs all qualify, while Poles date from after the founding of the modern German state.

both countries have genuine German and Polish minorities within their respective borders.

It's a good argument, but can you imagine any German politician campaigning to give Poles minority status and refusing Turks?

IMO, it's probably a consequence of post-war German politics - Adenauer could never have given Poles minority status in light of the post-war expulsions and the powerful refugee lobby in (West) Germany, and by the time Poles started to come in any real numbers, the Turks were also well established.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poles_in_Germany - worth a read. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be possible to divide Poles into pre and post-war groups - with only the pre-war group being permitted to avail of minority rights?

Then again, thinking about Poland, there's nothing in Polish law to distinguish between 'old' and 'new' minorities...
Tacitus 2 | 1,012
27 May 2020 #9
that Germany has the same rule as Poland - that these people had to have been there

Precisely. And I don't see any sound reasoning against that. Minority rights are meant to protect minorities who at some point found themselves under different rulers without their input. They are not meant to apply to those who just wanted a better job and higher pay.

I mean do the Ukrainians have minority rights in Poland?
mafketis 23 | 8,543
27 May 2020 #10
he closure of the borders did nothing but remind them that Poland is a foreign country to them.

I remember an article many years ago about Hanna Mlynkova that make that point. Her father had been a militant Polish.... culturalist within Zaolzie but had no interest in visiting the country that was 50 or less kilometers away.

When she went to study in Krakow it was a completely different version of Polish culture than what she'd grown up with....

Also by the by, I just watched the very good Czech comedy series Dabing Street (about a down on its luck dubbing studio on the outskirts of Prague in 2001) and one of the actors had a Polish name (Marek Adamczyk) but seems completely Czech (I was looking to see if there was info on him in Polish and couldn't find anything)....
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
27 May 2020 #11
while Poles date from after the founding of the modern German state.

Are you f*cking kidding me, Delph??? :D

Look at this German map:



...are you seriously telling me that Poles on German lands date from after founding of modern Germany? :D Jaysus... let's not even go there or Crow will totally hijack this thread :D

I mean do the Ukrainians have minority rights in Poland?

As a matter of fact they do! :)

"There are presently three categories of recognized minorities in Poland: 9 national minorities (Belorussians, Czechs, Lithuanians, Germans, Armenians, Russians, Slovaks, Ukrainians, Jews), 4 ethnic minorities (Karaites, Lemkos, Roma and Tatars), and a regional linguistic minority (Kashubians)."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_minorities_in_Poland
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363
27 May 2020 #12
What's important is to keep Poles living in Germany strongly connected to Poland and to prevent Germanization of any kind.

Good luck with that....Poles are fantastic Germans! :)

but Poles are denied the same right.

When immigrating Poles get the minority right then Syrians could get it too...

....come to think of then East Germans in West Germany could get it too! :)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
27 May 2020 #13
I mean do the Ukrainians have minority rights in Poland?

Yes, they do. The law on minority/ethnic rights is actually very broad - anyone that was present on Polish territory at the founding of the modern state in 1918 is recognised as a minority. It's actually a well written law - ksng.gugik.gov.pl/english/files/act_on_national_minorities.pdf - Czechs and Slovaks are also recognised minorities, for instance.

I don't know why Armenians are mentioned (Torq? Is it connected to Łwów? I was in the Armenian cathedral there, but I know nothing about them), but for instance, the post-war Greek refugees aren't recognised as a minority.

I remember an article many years ago about Hanna Mlynkova that make that point.

Yes, it was exactly her that I was thinking of! Also Ewa Farna for a more modern version - born in the Czech Republic to Polish parents, identifies herself as Polish (and refused to change her name to Eva for the Czech market!), but it's very obvious from listening to her interviews that she doesn't identify with many aspects of Polish culture.

Is there anyone comparable in Germany, I wonder?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,038
27 May 2020 #14
.are you seriously telling me that Poles on German lands date from after founding of modern Germany?

And Delph is damn right. Your map shows the Slavdom in the times when Poland didn't exist. And you can't mistake the Polabian Slavs (Elbe Slawen) for the Polish people. The Polabian Slavs were always politically and religiously different from Poles, they did not want to be part of either Poland or Germany and they were glued to their pagan religion. The first mention ever of duke Mieszko I in history is connected with them since he was fighting a war with the Veleti in 963. Later on those Slavic tribes never became united with Poland except for a short period between 1018 and 1031 when Boleslaus the Brave established a new frontier with Germany by taking over Upper Lusatia (Milsko) for Poland in the Treaty of Budziszyn (Bautzen) in 1018.
Spike31 3 | 1,726
27 May 2020 #15
they are Polish, with Polish culture, but they simply don't push Polish interests at all

Because the vast potential of Polonia wasn't tapped by the government. PiS and most previous government were quite incompetent when it comes to handling Polish diaspora. Konfrederacja is much more focused on that subject. Many Konfederacja delegates have travelled to meet with Polonia around the EU and they also have strong ties with Polish organizations from Kresy [Eastern Borderlands].

All what is needed is to create an effective hubs with strong political - and financial when needed - backup from Polish government. All this can be done with the right people in the government. The power of Polonia was once tested in the past when Polish-American citizens have effectively lobbied for Poland's accession to NATO.
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
27 May 2020 #16
in the times when Poland didn't exist

So tell me when-oh-when did the mighty Gypsy Republic exist, that Gypsies are recognised as minority while Poles aren't?

Come on, guys, this is getting ridiculous. First you tell me that Poles can't be a recognised minority because there weren't any Poles on German lands before the creation of modern Germany (which is nonsense); then you tell me that the existence of a country of a given minority is required whilst it apparently doesn't apply to Sinti and Roma.

So, what's the story? I'm going to sleep now and maybe (just maybe) when I wake up, I will see in this thread, to my great surprise, a good reason why Poles can't be a recognised minority in Germany.

I wouldn't hold my breath though...
Bratwurst Boy 6 | 10,363
27 May 2020 #17
a good reason why Poles can't be a recognised minority in Germany.

Because Poland got bigger after WWII...it got german lands...That's why Germans in what is now Poland deserve minority rights, they didn't move into another country. Poles in Germany did!

Minority politics is about the rights of the natives and who counts as such, immigrants are just...well...immigrants!
Spike31 3 | 1,726
27 May 2020 #18
Because Poland got bigger after WWII

Actually Poland was bigger before WWII

it got german lands

Polish lands which were formerly within German borders. Forget about those lands ever being "German".

That's why Germans in what is now Poland deserve minority rights

After WWII Germans in Poland deserve nothing. Not after the majority of Polish Germans became volksdeutsche and openly collaborated with Reich against Poland.

In modern Poland were granted those right on a courtesy of Polish government. This may change in the future unless Poles in Germany will get the same rights.
Tacitus 2 | 1,012
27 May 2020 #20
Forget about those lands ever being "German".

That is a lot of nonsense and you know it.

This may change in the future

It won't. Poland is legally obligated to it according to the Treaty of Good Neighbourship
Spike31 3 | 1,726
28 May 2020 #21
That is a lot of nonsense and you know it.

Just wanted to ease your pain since it will never be part of Germany ever again. Germans are a dying breed and ongoing population swap will change its mentality forever. I highly doubt that a future German Turk or German Syrian would look with a sentiment at Polish Szczecin or Wroclaw. They just came to Germany to suck on welfare state, to breed and to tranform it into spitting image of middle-east in the future.

It won't. Poland is legally obligated to it according to the Treaty of Good Neighbourship

Everything which was once established can be disestablished in the future. Life is water not a stone. Meanwhile, it can be used against Germany since most Poles rightfully feel that it is unfair. The main goal would be to make Poles living in Germany to be at least sceptic towards German state. Unpaid war reparations, blocked minority status, enforced immigration from middle-east, agressive LGBT...there's more tools to achieve that than really needed.
Ironside 49 | 10,375
28 May 2020 #22
That's why Germans in what is now Poland deserve minority rights, they didn't move into another country. Poles in Germany did!

That a lot of rubbish here BB. Polish minority in Germany had already this status before the WWII. As well as German minority in Poland.

After the war and all that in between. Poland started to recognize German minority in Poland whilst Germans refuse to do so.
In my opinion it is a resolute of poor leadership on the side of Poland rather than anything else.

BB you just took away with your rezoning minority status from Ukrainians and Belarusians not to mention you undermined justification dished out by USA and UN for creating a state of Kosovo.

Because the vast potential

Again grandiose plans. How about build up an economical power of Poland. Improve organization as well and efficiency of its government? Shouldn't that came first>?

Defence of Polish people rights it is important but that issue should be sorted out in Lithuania first.
Solving that problems would send a strong signal to German gov that Poland is on track and serious. Right know it is just ' a thing' few people are yapping about and can be safely ignored from the German point of view.

All what is needed

wow you TOLD him.
what is need is less wishful thinking.
Tacitus 2 | 1,012
28 May 2020 #23
wanted to ease your pain

Very considerate, but what I feel pain about is when people try to distort history. Poland owes the territory now, no need to lie about the past, have a bit more confidence in yourself.

a future German Turk or German

So I suppose it is a good thing that most migrants to Germany are from Eastern Europe?

there's more tools to achieve that than really needed.

Just give it some time and those tools will (thankfully for Poland and Germany) become dull. I have no doubt that the next generation will have a similary close relationship to each other than French and Germans enjoy today. By then nobody will care about the silly reparation(non-) issue, the antiislam hysteria will have died down and LBGTQ will be fully accepted by the Polish people. That much is inevitable. the current generation of Poles living in German will play an important part in this. Better to get your opinion regarding Germany shaped by the uncle working in Berlin, than your grand-father who fought against the Germans. ;)
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
28 May 2020 #24
Because Poland got bigger after WWII

No. Poland got smaller after WWII.

it got german lands

No. Poland regained lost Polish lands. Those lands are called Ziemie Odzyskane for a reason. :)

immigrants are just...well...immigrants!

I suggest you go and tell that to Albanians in Kosovo. :)

Poland owes the territory now, no need to lie about the past

Lie? Lie??? Those lands were a part of independent Poland in the 10th century already!



(these are not some Lechitic Slavic tribes - it is independent Polish state).

No need to lie about it, have a bit more confidence in yourself!

That's the same nonsense as with Gdańsk/Danzig. Out of its 1023 years of history, Gdańsk was German for only 270...



...and yet, even today, you will meet Germans who would say that "Danzig is a German city lost to Poland after WW2". Gee, guys - hört auf mit dem Quatsch, bitte!

Seriously people, what I keep hearing from those who are against granting the Poles in Germany their minority status is such a rampant nonsense! It's unbelievable that otherwise sensible and educated people can claim such ridiculous things.

But OK, let's - for the sake of argument - assume your point of view: immigrants can't be granted minority rights. OK. But surely you must realise that both in case of Turks and Poles there is already second if not third generation of the children/grand-children growing up - they were born in Germany, never moved anywhere, but many of them are aware of their roots and consider themselves Poles/Turks with German citizenship. How long will you deny them their rights? Do you want to wait until 10th generation? 100th? Gazzillionth?

GERPOLIA!!!! :):):)

Well, yes, that would solve the problem, but it's not very likely to happen, is it? :)
mafketis 23 | 8,543
28 May 2020 #25
do the Ukrainians have minority rights in Poland?

Ukrainians from the areas that became Poland after WWII do. Current migrants don't.

One of the reasons that there aren't more problems with Ukrainian economic migration to Poland has been precisely because they don't agitate for the state to accommodate them linguistically.

Some signs are put up here in there (more likely in Ukrainian than Russian though they usually speak Russian to each other) but those that bring their children want them to receive education in Polish and not have classes in Ukrainian or Russian at taxpayer expense (that I've heard of).
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
28 May 2020 #26
Ukrainians from the areas that became Poland after WWII do. Current migrants don't.

All people of Ukrainian nationality, if they get Polish citizenship, automatically become members of Ukrainian minority, they can join Ukrainian associations, be elected for local governments (or even Sejm - there's quite a few MPs with Ukrainian roots) with their support etc.

The same should apply to Poles in Germany who live there permanently and have German citizenship. Nobody is asking to give minority rights to temporary guest workers.

Besides...

Ukrainians from the areas that became Poland after WWII

No Ukrainian lands "became Poland after WWII" - they either remained in Poland or were lost to Soviet Union (most of them).
Tacitus 2 | 1,012
28 May 2020 #27
Ziemie Odzyskane

The Wiki puts it pretty well:

Wolff and Cordell say that along with the debunking of communist historiography, "the 'recovered territories' thesis ... has been discarded", and that "it is freely admitted in some circles that on the whole 'the recovered territories' had a wholly German character",

Lie? Lie?

I am sure even you will admit that "Forget about those lands ever being "German" is a statement is completely unsubstantiated by facts.

Danzig is a German city lost to Poland after WW2

Claiming anything else is just silly. The facts are that this city had belonged at this point to Germany for centuries, and was populated almost exclusively by Germans. That makes it a German city by any indication. Or would you say that e.g. Szeczin is still a German city because it used to be German for most of its* modern history? never mind who lives there now? Or should we consider e.g. Strasbourg Italian because the Romans founded it?

There is no need to instrumentalize history in order to justify the present. Lviv used to be a Polish city but is now Ukrainian. Danzig was a German city and is now Polish. But its' present state doesn't change what it used to be at a certain point in time, nor does what it used to be gives somehow justification to change the present.

immigrants can't be granted minority

You need some sort of rule for practicality reasons. On a continent with freedom of movement, you can't just grant minority rights to any group of migrants, that is pretty clear. The idea behind minority rights was to a) pacify ethnic conflict lines and b) to help those who found themselves under different rulers without fault of their own. They were not intented to allow a group to relocate and assume special rights over the areas' original inhabitants-

I mean to be perfectly honest, I don't really think that minority rights between EU member states with freedom of movement are all that justified to begin with. Everyone can nowadays live in his chosen country, get full citizen rights and the internet allows everyone to stay in touch with his home culture if he so chooses. All countries are democracies and bound by rule of law (though sadly Hungary is on a bad path right now) and i would trust them to treat all their citizen free and fairly.

It would just reflect badly on Poland if it were to break its' legal obligation in the case of German minority rights.
mafketis 23 | 8,543
28 May 2020 #28
No Ukrainian lands "became Poland after WWII"

I'm just talking about official state borders and find long arguments about Polish or Serbian or German lands to be incredibly tedious....

minority rights between EU member states with freedom of movement are all that justified to begin wit

The idea is essentially stupid....

immigrants can't be granted minority

Around 2000 or so there was a move by some Vietnamese in Poland to receive some kind of minority recognition. It made sense since there were several times more of them than all the official minorities put together but it didn't go anywhere.

The whole issue of Vietnamese immigration was hopelessly bungled by successive Polish governments across the political spectrum...
OP Torq 32 | 2,897
28 May 2020 #29
even you will admit that "Forget about those lands ever being "German" is a statement is completely unsubstantiated by facts

Even me? But yes, this statement is, of course, far from truth. Those lands are, and always were, of mixed Germanic-Slavic heritage, and this is also what makes them so fascinating and interesting.

what it used to be at a certain point in time

But why choose this point in time that is most suitable for you? Why out of over 1000 years of Gdańsk/Danzig history choose only those 250 or so (only a quarter of its existence) and define it as German city?

you can't just grant minority rights to any group of migrants, that is pretty clear.

Of course not. But freedom of movement is a relatively new development, and we have third generation of those people living in Germany already! How many generations do you want to wait?

They were not intented to allow a group to relocate and assume special rights over the areas' original inhabitants-

So why did Germany so vehemently supported the independence for Albanian immigrants in Serbian Kosovo?

It would just reflect badly on Poland if it were to break its' legal obligation in the case of German minority rights.

As far as I am aware there are no such plans. Poland is a civilised country, but we would expect and hope for equal measure of civilizational standards from our neighbours.

find long arguments about Polish or Serbian or German lands to be incredibly tedious...

Me too. I mean, if we want the EU to become more like a federal state and cooperate ever more closely, then with time it will be a bit like historical territorial disputes between Idaho and Wyoming. However, we haven't achieved that level of unity yet (and maybe it's not such a bad thing after all).

It made sense since there were several times more of them than all the official minorities put together but it didn't go anywhere.

They are still relatively newcomers - with time I am quite sure that they will be recognised as minority. And I am really surprised when people give me examples of Indians or Vietnamese in relation to Polish-German relations. Liebe leute, Poland and Germany have been neigbours for centuries - borders shifted, populations mingled - there are both German and Polish minorities within Germany's and Poland's respective borders. How on earth anyone can mention India or Vietnam in this respect is, frankly, beyond me.
Tacitus 2 | 1,012
28 May 2020 #30
But why choose this point in time that is most suitable for you?

Well, you said it bewildered you how people would say that Danzig was German when it was transfered to Poland, and I pointed out to you that by 1945, it most definitely was by any reasonable indication. That doesn't mean that it was necessarily one at a different point in time.

Albanian immigrants in Serbian Kosovo?

d Germanic-Slavic heritage,

Well said.

Mostly because they were oppressed by Serbia and there was no other realistic solution? How is that in any way similar to the Poles who live in Germany today?

How many generations do you want to wait?

It is not a matter of time.

India or Vietnam in this respect is, frankly, beyond me.

Why? Do you think there is much of a difference between a Pole and a Vietnamese who migrate to e.g. Munich? Neither of them would have any historical link to the area, and likely travel there for the same reason (work).

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