Polish-speaking Germans?: Language and National Identity Among the Masurians Since 1871
The Polish-speaking Masurians who inhabited the southern part of East Prussia until 1945 present the clearest and best documented example anywhere in eastern Europe of national identity developing disregarding native language. Although they spoke Polish and lived adjacent to Poland, Masurians gave every indication over quite a long time period of voluntary and nearly unanimous identification with the Prusso-German state and nation. They did so in a region #A>where national identity based on language was the norm, and in spite of two exceptional opportunities which have to be considered: an internationally supervised plebiscite (1920), whose one-sided result only confirmed that identification, and the assignment of Masurians to Poland (1945), which resulted ultimately in the departure of most Masurians for Germany. Aside from its intrinsic interest, the Masurian experience should also appeal to anyone interested in questions of national consciousness and nationalism.
Germans, Poland, Mazury, Mazury (Poland : Region), Ethnic relations, History
Ethnic Studies | European History | History
Blanke, Richard, "Polish-speaking Germans?: Language and National Identity Among the Masurians Since 1871" (2001). Faculty and Staff Monograph Publications. 154.