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Some details, however these all shoul be marked IIRC since i've read books about history of Sielsia long ago 1) Piasts did not died out in 1370. Most Piasts lived well into, IIRC XVI century.

2) Piast rulers under Czech gvt in XV century were called ,,Polish princes

3) Whether Silesia was part of Great Moravian state is still controversy among the historians, although most are supporting that view

4) Polish kings (Polish from origin, not title) ruled Silesia also in XV and XVI century (Jagiellons).

5) One could argue that Poland was part of HRE in XIII century after Krzyszkow, ealier - well, there is enough arguments both for showing that Poland was in HRE, or that it wasn't. Hundred pages of paper were filled with discussion of terms like ,,friend of emperor or ,,paid tribute up to warta. However one could also argue that allegiance given by, IIRC Mieszko Stary (?) was just single event.

6) In XIII century one of centres of rebuilding Poland was Silesia (Henryk Brodaty etc)

7) in XIV and XV century some of Piasts from Silesia were close Polish allies, were ready to join Poland, as were some cities which begged Poland for protection (telling the truth, mostly because hussite wars not nationality, but hey, i can biased too :))) ).

8) Up to XVIII century most of Silesia population was Slavic (not Polish or Czech, but Slavic), which quickly changed with introduction of modern educational system. I would have to search for more data on this, but i think i have some book about that in my home.

I would like to add that the name of mountain /(soft S)L(nasal E)(hard Z)A/, which is mentioned above, comes probably from the name of dense fog which is characteristic for Silesia, also nowadays. The mountain was a place of solar cult in prehistoric times, special ceremonies took place there during the shortest day in the year. A number of interesting prehistoric sculptures (mainly animals) is preserved and can be seen in its slopes. Now Sleza is very popular destinations for tourists from Wroclaw, especially during weekends. Kazik. For how long before WWII was Silesia in Germany? Was it, earlier, part of the kingdom of Poland and, ever, part of the Holy ROman Empire? --rmhermen

The Prussian conquest of Silesia from Austria was the crux of the War of the Austrian Succession in the 1740s. Prussia eventually turned into Germany, of course. -- Paul Drye

A very good website ; gives a pretty good overview of Silesian history. To that history add :

1. In 895 the Bohemia / Moravia (including Silesia at that time) princes came to Regensburg of Frankish and Holy Roman Empire and pledged allegiance to German emperor Arnulf of Carinthia .

2. 622-662 first Slavs in Europe are the Moravians under Frankish ruler Samo.

3. Mieszko I was first duke of a Poland seperat from Czech (formerly Czech and Lech)Mieszko I and son Boleslaw I Chrobry (as well as later Polish rulers pledged allegiance to emperor in turn for receiving land on loan (landlien) to rule over.

4.The Polish Piast rulers died out in 1370. (Imperial law, when a ruling house dies out , the land reverts back to the empire.

5. In circa 1537 Brandenburg Hohenzollernrulers made an agreement with the Silesian German Piasts, that Brandenburg would inherit Silesia rule. Emperor did not permit it, because the emperor (Maximilian I) had made an agreement in 1515 with Polish and Hungary ruler .Maximilian adopted Luis of Hungary.

6. Crossen , Or Krossen district (Schwiebus referred to in above website as 1815) including Zuellichau came under Brandenburg rule in 1472.

i checked out the site -- some of it is pretty useful, but other parts are questionable -- especially the stuff before about 1500. good overview, though. I found it interesting to note that Silesia seems to have been Polish in the Middle Ages...JHK

Silesia derived its name from the Silinger, a Germanic tribe like the Vandals and the (Celtic) Germanic Lugier or Lygier who all lived south of the Baltic Sea in the Elbe?, Oder, and Vistula river area. It should be noted that there is considerable debate among archaeologists and historians as to whether there is such a thing as a Celtic-Germanic people. Exhibits such as the one in Rosenheim (Bayern) certainly demonstrate that the Celts had an influence on the area; however, the movement of the Celts westward through Europe was such that there is little if any overlap between them and the Germanic tribes.

Are you sure about etymology of name Silesia ? It seems too similar to its Polish name Śl&aogonek;sk which is of clearly different etymology (from Mount Śl&eogonek'&zdotabove;a)

There are many other geographical Polish names that were latinized with ending -ia, and there was either a short vocative e/i vowel (vocal yer) between first two consonants or second consonant was a vocal l, which sounds like el/il, so s(short i)l(something that sounds like on)sk(short e)/s(short i)l(something that sounds like nasal e)(hard vocative z)- -> silesia seems very likely.

Sorry, but your etymology sounds like some German propaganda. --Taw

Hi Taw -- could you please write out the Polish again in a pronounceable way, so that the rest of us can follow the argument? I reserve judgement on the whole thing, although it does make sense that we have a Latin name after early inhabitants, whatever their ethnicity...JHK

One of pre-1000 year Slav tribes of Silesia is called /(soft S)L(nasal E)(hard Z)A(soft N)E/, where /-A(soft N)E/ is usual Polish suffix to describe tribes (other Polish-territory tribes were called Polanie, Wis'lanie, Mazowszanie etc.). They were called from mountain that is nowadays called /(soft S)L(nasal E)(hard Z)A/. Later whole Silesia were called /(soft S)L(nasal O)SK/ (but this name has many other changes, like 'Polish umlaut' E->O, lost final yer, and quite complex consonants change (hard Z)<->SK). Anyway because it's accepted without doubt that Polish name of Silesia comes from this tribe, and because name of this tribe changed less, I'll use this name for explanations.

Generally there is no such consonant pair in old Polish as /(soft S)L/. But in Polish 'short soft e/i' and 'short hard e/i' (these two letters exist in Russian spelling as soft yer and hard yer, but they aren't pronounced) become silent in most positions. So it was probably /S(short soft e/i)L(nasal E)(hard Z)-/. Usual way of latinization at that times were taking local name (which was only spoken, national languages weren't written at that time), write in to be pronounciable in Latin, and append grammatically-correct suffix. This suffix was often '-ia', as in (Mazowsze -> Mazovia, Kalisz -> Kalisia, Warszawa -> Varsovia). Also because Latin had no letter for nasal E and hard Z, they were written as E and S. So natural latinization was 'S?LESIA'. The last problem is what has happened to short soft e/i. It could be any of E I or nothing. At that time short vowels were pronounced, so nothig wouldn't be very probabe. I don't know why it became I and not E. That might have been feature of local dialect or something like that. Anyway 'SILESIA/SELESIA' is clearly Latin encoding of Polish name of this tribe and region.

I've never heard anything about this Silinger tribe. I think that I would if their existence and name were generally accepted, because I live here. --Taw

Thanks, Taw! Here is my guess as to how Helga came up with the Silinger as the source, based on what I know of name-studies and historiography (which is a good deal more than most people!) -- Silesia is undoubtedly named after the Slezne (correct spelling as needed). German scholars undoubtedly Germanized the Latin name, which is very common. So really, we're talking about the same group. I think (if it isn't already there) that the article should probably refer to the Silesians (what we call the people in English) as Slavs. Does that work for you? Any disagreements?
Just back from more searching...not as simple as it looks -- Catholic Encyclopedia says the Silingii were a really early Germanic people, and that, after they migrated, the name stuck to the area, becoming Polanized -- so the area has really nothing to do with an inherent Germanness -- the Silesians post-Völkerwanderung were in face Slavs, but the name derives from a place-name for a Germanic people. WIll check more. JHK


I would like to add that the name of mountain /(soft S)L(nasal E)(hard Z)A/, which is mentioned above, comes probably from the name of dense fog which is characteristic for Silesia, also nowadays. The mountain was a place of solar cult in prehistoric times, special ceremonies took place there during the longest day in the year. A number of interesting prehistoric sculptures (mainly animals) is preserved and can be seen in its slopes. Now Sleza is very popular destinations for tourists from Wroclaw, especially during weekends. Kazik.

To Taw. It does not surprise me ,that you have never heard of the Silinger , even though you live in Slask (Silesia) now. Where did your parents, grandparents, greatgrandparents live ? It was not in the interest of the communists who took over in 1945. It was not in the interest of all the allies who took over Poland and Germany to let the people involved know the true histories. The Roman empire received its power by having the people and countries fight each other , then taking them all over . Think about that. On the Silesia page I have added some more history, which (it and or I) will be discredited real soon, I am sure. H. Jonat

I do not understand. What is the connection of Silingers with the way in which Roman empire received its power and with the place in which parents, grandparents, grandgrandparents of Taw lived ? Kazik.

I'm fully aware that both Germans and Polish spreaded lot of propaganda about history of Silesia. That's why everything about it has to be checked twice. There is plausible detailed etymological history of the name Silesia from name of mountain /(soft S)L(nasal E)(hard Z)A/, and I don't know about such etymology from these 'Silingae'.

And, the second issue, history of Silesia presented in this article is strange. Around year 1000, where written history of this region starts, whole Silesia and most of east Germany were completely Slav. Western (German, Dutch, Jewish and other) settlement happened only later, and this part of history is well documented, as all cities have their history written, there are different types of city laws etc. Probably all of early city names in Silesia have Slav origins, so if there were any Germans there at that time, they were very few of them.

Sentence 'This endet the free Silinger Silesia era' is very silly, as Silesia became independent not much time later.

And last thing, this history doesn't notice Silesian Walls - fortifications build on western border of Silesia (current Polish western border is further west than Silesian border) before 1000, so it's way incomplete --Taw

Stuff Removed from page by JHK

comments in italics

Ptolemy in his book Geography recorded in Germany as follows: "Below the Semnones the Silingae have their abodes, and below the Burguntae are the Lugi Omani: below these are the Lugi Diduni extending as far as the Asciburgius mountains,and below the Silingae are the Calucones on both banks of the river Albis; below whom are the Chaerusci and the Camavi extending as far as Melibocus mountain,from whom toward the east along the Albis river are the Banochaemae; above whom are the Batini, and above these, but below the Asciburgius mountains are the Corconti and the Lugi Buri extending as far as the source or the Vistula river; first below these are the Sidones, then the Gotini, then the Visburgi above the Orcynium forest... The source and mouth of the Albis Oder River and of the Vistula River are in Germania." Source: Claudius Ptolemy The Geography, Translated and edited by Edward Luther Stevenson, Dover Publications, Inc N.Y. ISBN O-486-26896-9.

Again, I would like to remind everybody that ptolemy isn't what we'd call an accurate source -- he based his map upon what people told him --often second- or third hand

Procopius of Caesarea , historian of Byzantium reported that those Vandili remaining in the Oder area ,sent messages to the 'Vandili' in Northern Africa.

i'm not sure what Vandals sending messages to Vandals has to do with Silingii???

Vandali , Asdinger , Silinger and Alans were in confederation with the Franks.

I've heard of loose alliances between the Vandals, Alans, and Franks -- very early on, and susceptible to the whims of the idividual leaders -- where did you see the Asdingeer and Silingii as part of this group, and when?

First the Huns, then Avars and Slavs , then Hungarians stormed into Germania.

I don't think they stormed in any more than anyone else at the time -- Germans stormed into ROme, Vikings stormed into the continent...kinda meaningliess, really -- more inflammatory than anything else

By the 7st century small amounts of Slavs started to take over some areas, vacated by those Vandali who had left for Africa. There they lived amongs the remaining Germanic people. Silinger then concentrated around the mount Zobten.

possibly also those areas left by the Silingii -- who, if allied with the Franks, must have moved west with them...

The Regensburg (table of peoples) Voelkertafel lists four Silesian Gaue (latin pagi).


990 Polish duke Mieszko Icame and attacked the Oderland , the region around the Oder river. He was aided by German troops of margrave of Meissen and by men of the bishopric of Meissen. Mieszko I first conquered the Boehmenburg (Bohemia burg) on the Oder island . This endet the free Silinger Silesia era, because from then on ( the first Christianization-take-over) Silesia was embroiled in political battles.

if everybody agrees (and they pretty much do) that the Silingii were long gone by the 10th century, what does this mean. Also -- what "free" era are you talking about? Some kind of idealized Ur-Germanic state? That is sadly just a remnant of 19th c. political and historical theory -- right along with the ideas of the noble savage... doesn't have anything to do with modern evidence (by which I mean evidence discovered recently having to do with previous times)... JHK

The significance of the four Gaue or pagi in Silesia is, that Charlemagne sectioned all Lands under Frankish rule into Gaue . A Gau was an old Germanic land entity and you can still tell many of these land entities by the remaining names of the "Gau" , earlier spelling Gawe, Gouwe ,Gow ,or "Gaeu" (Allgaeu, Thurgau or Tvrgow from 1660 map , Purger Gow, Zurich Gow, Argow and many Aue places, Aue mening meadowland. Gau and Au Gaw and aw or ow (w or vv=u in old German) always indicates that this was a Germanic Gow- ernment entity at least since Charlemagne or from before. H. Jonat

Well, H.J., if you are deriving the English word 'government' from 'gow-ernment', then it casts further doubt on the rest of your etymologies. Government is derived from the Latin gubernator, "a helmsman". Just because two things sound similar in languages that are related does not mean that the connection is meaningful. Taw's consideration of the phonetic components is more likely. --MichaelTinkler

I know what a gau is. Sometimes people take the Latin pagus and say that a gau is the Germanic form of pagus -- but that in the western kingdoms, pagus became comitatus, or county. For the Carolingians, gau and pagus are used interchangeably in the documents from the time. Comitatus was almost exclusively (but still not always) used as an military-administrative area run by a comes Latin for count (but not the same as whaat we now think of as count, because titles weren't inheritable, and count was a military and occasionally administrative office. In fact, Charlemagne had a count who generally resided at his court whose legal status was servus, meaning that he was not a free person!

I know that popular knowledge says that Charlemagne divided everything up nicely into counties and gaue -- but can you tell me which primary source says he did? I've worked with a lot of sources from the 8th through 10th century, and have never seen one that demonstrates this -- in fact in several hundred land transactions that I used for the main part of my thesis (transactions dating from 740ish to 911), pagus was used only about 10 times to describe an area, and comitatus only about 5 -- mostly after 900).

Michael Tinkler is right about gubernator, by the way. J Hofmann Kemp

To JHK and MichaelTinkler. My Webster's Collegiate Dictionary tells me : govern : M.E. governen, O. Fr. gouvernen L. gubernare ... to exercise authority... M. E.= Middle English = ca 1150 -1475 O. Fr = Old French = 9st to 16st century

H. Jonat

To HJ: The Oxford English Dictionary tells me: [a. OF. governer (F. gouverner) = Pr., Pg. governar, Sp. gobernar, It. governare:L. gubernre to steer (a vessel), hence to direct, rule, govern, ad. Gr. kubernan to steer.] And notice that Old French took the word from Latin. It has no link to the German word for 'administrative district' UNLESS that word is descended from the same Latin word. Which it might be. Then they would be cousins. I don't have access to a German etymological dictionary in my office, or I'd check that, too. --MichaelTinkler

I don't have a full etymological German dictionary in my office either, but the kleines Wahrig says that Gau is "(urspr.) wald- und wasserreiches Gebiet" which implies that the origins of the word are Germanic, and have NOTHING to do with Latin. JHK]

I was thinking it might be an Indo-European cognate. Any chance of that? --MichaelTinkler

Possibly very far back, but I don't think so...could be wrong, I suppose :-)JHK

HJ ended a paragraph about language policy with Catholic priests saying:

, God only understands Polish.

The average priest is more likely to have said "God only understands Latin." I can easily believe that the German language was suppressed in Poland (just as I can easily believe that the Germans suppressed many other languages and even many dialects of German themselves), but to say something that silly! Not that I don't believe that some silly priest said it (disclaimer: the writer is himself a Roman Catholic), but it was hardly communist party line (they don't believe in God) or Catholic doctrine. --MichaelTinkler

To MichaelTinkler You are right about all this . And they did say it. And the Catholic priests were or are very powerful in Poland , which after all was a part of the cause of the Fall of the Iron Curtain. And the Gouwe Gawe , Gaue etc was already written down in the Gothic empire, but I can't find the exact source right now. And Old French in the 9st century was obviously Frankish under Charlemagne , who partioned the administration units of Gaue in all Frankish land, no matter what language. Since Switzerland (earlier part of the empire )also still has the Gaue names, it might be interesting to know when they were first recorded ?

I do know, that the Catholic church for a long time handled THE administration of the empire , because the newly converted 'heathens' did not read nore write. Therefore you have to look at all bishops and archbishops for early German history. At some interregnum times the archbishop of Cologne was THE higest authority in the empire.

About Latin ,in confession ,I believe, people are allowed to speak their mothertongue ?

H. Jonat
First - if Polish priests said something AS representatives of the Catholic Church, there has to be documentation. Please provide. As I said above, I find it entirely believable that INDIVIDUAL priests said things like this. Individuals say stupid things like this all the time. It is NOT a doctrine or dogma of the Catholic Church that God only understands one language. If you want to give the name of a particular priest or a particular conference of bishops, feel free. Confession and *sermons*, even in the days of Latin masses, were always in the vernacular. What *may* have happened is that Polish nationalists in the clergy (note, I am not denying that people like that existed) may have insisted that inside the boundaries of the Nation of Poland the *sermon* would be preached in Polish. That would have been entirely within their rights, under Canon Law. It would have been stupid, but possible. But that's not what you said. So I will continue to delete such statements as you have made so far.
On the grounds of lay-literacy in the middle ages, you have just stepped into yet another history-trap.  I am giving a paper in January at a session of the American Philological Session annual convention in which all the papers are devoted to lay literacy in the early middle ages.  There was a LOT of it, Helga. Much more than 19th or early 20th century historians knew.  Most of the administrators of Charlemagne's empire whose names are known were laymen.  So don't go playing the old 'only clerics were literate' card, because it's not true.  I'll be happy to give you bibliographical references.  Start with Rosamond McKitterick, The Carolingians and the Written Word (I think that's the correct title).It is. Cambridge University Press:1989.  ISBN 052130539X or 0521315654 (paper.  See especially c. 6, "The Literacy of the Laity" -- JHK.  Some of the best evidence, by the way, comes from East Frankish areas - so there was lay literacy there, too.  The rest of your argument is IRRELEVANT.  The

position of the Catholic Church in the middle ages has precious little to do with 1950s Poland. --MichaelTinkler

Helga -- I wish you would pay more attention to what is being said before you just start throwing in your not-NPOV arguments. I spent some time researching the different viewpoints of the Origins of Silesia argument. I presented none of them as the "correct" version, but instead wrote it to demonstrate that there were three general schools of thought, which there are. The third point of view was the most neutral of the three. What you added to my explanation of that opinion essentially turned it back into the "Silesia is German" argument. Since the point of the section was to explain that there are different arguments, your additions were detrimental to the article as a whole. Also, in English, the Silinger are Silingii and the Vandali are Vandals. That's why I used those forms.

I know that this is open content, everybody can edit, stuff, but at least try to make edits that fit into or better what is written. If you must add stuff about the Polaken (?) that I saw in none of the German-Silesia origins stuff I read, then put it under argument number 1, Silesia is German.

Oh -- I note that you are still avoiding putting any thought into what I wrote above on Charlemagne and Gaues. You might want to re-read that before you continue making the same claims over and over again JHK

HJ -- I removed the paragraph between the geographical identification of Silesia and "Origins" because it makes no sense there. There are sections below for Silesian history. That paragraph should be split up under those various headings. JHK

I don't think that "Heimatvertiebene" term should be used in English Wikipedia maybe German. This article should be placed under English name and "Heimatvertiebene" deleted.
"Polanized" term is also incorrect. And it should go away.

Removed following from main page because it's chatty and not NPOV. Kpjas, it doesn't make the article better to change to a different non-NPOV. I'm restoring the more neutral version and hoping that we can all work together to incorporate both sides of the story J Hofmann Kemp

In 1945 all of Silesia was taken by Soviet Union troops. Stalin (the Four Powers) assigned it Poland.

During the years 1946-1989 thousands of people claiming German ancestors moved to the Federal Republic of Germany, which then became their new home. [[West Germany]] welcomed warmly the German people from Poland, because of the negative demographic growth.
There were at least three reasons why people of mixed German-Polish ancestry or ethnic Germans left Silesia.
During the WWII they fled out of fear, they were often families of German soldiers, administration, policemen, secret police (Gestapo) or criminal police etc. They had quite substantiated fears that they might be persecuted by the advancing Red Army.
Soon after the WWII when Silesia was handed over back to Poland there were pressures or direct orders for Germans to repatriate to their homeland. Probably those who stayed behind claimed and pledged Polish citizenship.
Between around 1960-1989 thousands of people applied for transfer to West Germany. They tried hard to find a German grandparents or other close relatives and learn a precious little of German language to become elegible. They were not by no means Heimatvertriebene (whatever it means in English) they were rather affluency seekers and in a considerable proportion of cases they wanted to reunion with their families in Germany.
Obviously some of so called German minority chose to stay after all - they were simply too old or had a house and some real estate they were attached to.

People of mixed origin (German-Polish families or ancestors) and some German Silesians stayed in their homeland. They were exposed to some forms of discrimination by the Polish communist authorities and by some Polish priests in the years after the World War II, who told the Germans they should learn Polish.

Changing names, forbiding speak or learn German - it was true injustice but let's remember Germanisation of Polish people under the German rule that had been going on for centuries.

After the fall of the communist regime in Poland the Silesia Germans, now a minority in Poland,were guaranteed freedoms of democratic societies, they even have their representation in the Polish Parliament as well as freely elected local governments. They have German press, radio and TV programms and they can freely learn and speak German as well as cultivate German cultural activities.

Would you pinpoint my lack of NPOV and show me where is NPOV in Helga Jonat inflammatory disfigurement of history ?
I used to know Silesians and studied at the Medical School in Katowice and Zabrze that has "Silesian" in the name so I have some insider look at the things. Moreover I witnessed many people and colleagues leaving for West Germany permanently and they were not by no means Heimatvertriebene.--Kpjas

No problem -- here's one example...

Changing names, forbiding speak or learn German - it was true injustice but let's remember Germanisation of Polish people under the German rule that had been going on for centuries.

Kpjas, my objections are less to your POV than to the chatty and argumentative style that you used. I don't doubt that both you and Helga have valid points, but this is becoming a "who's the bigger victim" article. I think that Silesia deserves careful attention to ALL details, and it would be good to use your and Helga's arguments to illustrate the resentment that still exists over it. I think that we need an article that discusses that some ethnic Germans had to flee Silesia (perhaps as Heimatvertriebene) and others left of their own accord -- I just don't see that your and Helga's trying to trump each other on which side "really" owns Silesia makes sense. JHK