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Polonia in Germany

Malgorzata Warchol-Schlottmann

In contrast to the United States or Canada, Germany is a society that developed cultural homogeneity in the course of its long history. This acquired monoculturality has recently been subject to disturbances. During the past fifty years Germany has moved toward being a multicultural society. Three factors contributed to this development: the 1955 initiation by the German government of the recruitment of guest workers from the Mediterranean countries of Europe; a liberal asylum policy in the 1980s; and special provisions for the Aussiedler, or people of presumed German origin from East European countries. Western European integration and interaction with the world markets further challenged Germany's ethno-national homogeneity, contributing to the formation of new ethnic minorities. At the turn of the millennium, some 6-7 million people, or 8.5 percent of the population, were not of German background. 'Foreign' residents constitute more than 25 percent of the population in Frankfurt and Stuttgart. The Turkish enclave in Berlin is the largest urban settlement of Turks outside Turkey.

The new ethnic minorities are mostly immigrants from Turkey, Poland, former Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy and Spain; smaller groups are from Asia and Africa. However, in spite of these numbers, the legislation concerning minorities lags far behind that of other western European countries.

The UN Subcommission on Discrimination and Minorities defines a minority as "a group numerically smaller than the rest of the population of a State, one that is in a non-dominant position and whose members, while being citizens of the State, show a sense of solidarity directed toward preserving their culture, traditions or language."(Report of the International Commission of Jurists, 1984) Many inhabitants of Germany possess all these characteristics with one exception: they are not citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In the years 1980-1990, 1,300,000 Poles emigrated to Germany; of these, 800,000 were classified as the Aussiedler. Between 1988-1999, 530,000 Aussiedler left Poland.

Among the few minority groups to whom German citizenship is a birth privilege are the Danes living close to the German-Danish border. This unique status is the result of a joint Bonn-Copenhagen Declaration signed in 1955. (1) The two other groups are the Frisians in Schleswik and, after the unification of Germany, the Sorbs, a Slavic enclave inhabiting areas near Bautzen and Cottbus in the former GDR. The Frisians and the Sorbs constitute the so-called autochthonous or historical minorities; they are de jure first of all Germans. The regional governments in Schleswik (for Frisians) and in Saxony and Brandenburg (for Sorbs) oversee the execution of some special rights that these minorities possess, such as education in the ethnic language, ethnic periodicals and bilingual road signs in Sorbian areas. (2)

Size and status of the Polish group in Germany

In contrast to the groups discussed above, the Polish group in Germany does not have a legal minority status, nor does is possess the right of citizenship. The estimates of the Polish community's size depend on several presuppositions that are not universally shared. According to the German authorities, there are 260,000-300,000 Poles in Germany, whereas some Polish sources speak of 2 million people of Polish background. The German authorities count only those Poles who are legal residents and possess a Polish passport. Polish sources include in the count the Aussiedler, or immigrants allegedly of German background; legal residents; and illegal residents. The Ruhr region has an estimated 70,000-200,000 persons of Polish background in such cities as Bottrop, Essen, Bochum, Recklingshausen, Gelsenkirchen, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, and Dortmund. By that count, about 150,000 Poles live in Berlin, 100,000 in Hamburg, and 15,000 in München.

Historically, there have been three major 'colonization' waves from Poland to Germany. The first wave went mainly to the Ruhr area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The second consisted of World War II prisoners and forced laborers who stayed in Germany after the takeover of Poland by the Soviet Union. The third wave consists mostly of the 1980s-1990s immigrants.

The German minority has several guaranteed seats in the Sejm, whereas Poles are not represented either in the Bundestag or in the Landtags (the regional parliaments).

Accordingly, Polonia in Germany is divided into the 'old' immigration (descendants of the Ruhr immigrants and World War II prisoners), and the 'young 'immigration (those who requested asylum during the communist period; those who left Poland during the communist clampdown on the Solidarity movement; the unabashedly economic immigrants; and Poles with presumed German origin, the largest of these subgroups).

The Aussiedler, or Spätaussiedler, began to move to Germany in the 1970s. These were mainly young and well educated persons whose motivation was at least partly economic. In the years 1980-1990, 1,300,000 Poles emigrated to Germany; of these, 800,000 were classified as Aussiedler. Between 1988-1999, 530,000 Aussiedler left Poland. In Polish statistics, they were counted as Poles who left the country; but in German statistics, they were Germans from Poland coming back to the country of origin.

Descendants of the Ruhr immigration have German citizenship rights but they are not recognized as a Polish minority. The Aussiedler have two passports, German and Polish. Poles who married Germans, as well as those with permanent and temporary work permits, have a status that can be renegotiated. The euphemistic German term for those who live in Germany without the rights of citizenship is ausländischer Mitbürger, or 'foreign fellow citizens.' These Mitbürger pay taxes (which support political parties, among others), but they have no right to vote. There is a group of Poles whose state is defined as Duldung, or tolerated residence: they can be told to leave at any moment. Finally, there are thousands of illegal immigrants who do not show up in German statistics.

Polonia in Germany after the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness (1991)

The end of communism in Poland and East Germany followed by the reunification of Germany created an opportunity for a new kind of relationship. The so-called "small Treaty" concerning the acknowledgment of the Polish- German border was signed on 14 November 1990, and it was followed by the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness (Vertrag zwischender Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Republik Polen über gute Nachbarschaft und freundschaftliche Zusammenarbeit) signed on 17 June 1991.(3) Articles 20-22 of the Treaty acknowledge Polish Germans as an ethnic minority in Poland with all rights pertaining to that status. Unfortunately, a reciprocal recognition of German Poles has not occurred. While such publications as the CIA World Factbooks have acknowledged since 1993 that ethnic Poles constitute a substantial fraction of the German population, the German authorities continue to refuse to grant Poles minority status.

This lack of official recognition does not mean that persons of Polish origin have no right to cultivate the Polish language, culture or traditions; to establish and maintain Polish cultural institutions; or to solicit financial contributions for their causes. But it does provide opportunities for overt and covert discrimination, as any Pole living in Germany will tell you. Without a minority status some of the provisions of the Treaty remain valid only on paper. Germany is a federation of 16 states and it possesses 16 regional governments. Poles in Germany have to negotiate provisions of the treaty with each of these 16 governments whose officials are sometimes malicious or ignorant of these provisions or of the Treaty itself. Polish attempts to access the mass media have been uniformly turned down. When Polish groups in Cologne and Bonn asked their state governments for financial help in organizing Polish courses, they were turned down in Bonn and given vague promises in Cologne. It should be noted that German groups in Poland (a much poorer state, and one which suffered 60 years of foreign occupation owing to Germany's decision to launch World War II) receive financial help from the Polish government to maintain German schools and other institutions supporting German ethnicity. In 1992, the German minority in Poland received a 272,000DM subvention from the Polish government; in 1993, this grant was increased to 700,000 DM plus two buildings and 18 offices.(4) The German minority is present in the mass media of Katowice and Opole. In the Opole voivodship, over 100 parishes offer Masses in German. In 1992/93 in the voivodship of Katowice, there opened 20 elementary schools with German as the language of instruction. 120 instructors from Germany help in these schools; their salary is paid jointly by the Polish and German governments.

There are occasional bright points of reciprocation. In Bremen, children from Polish families have an opportunity to study Polish as the mother tongue in five elementary schools, and Polish as the first foreign language in high schools. The so-called 'Bremer Model' is an example of how to introduce Polish into the German school system. But by and large, the policy of the Länder is to avoid any financial, moral or political support for Polish initiatives. According to Janusz Marchwinski, Chairman of the Polish Council in Germany, "while the Treaty obliges Germany to support and protect the Polish group in its ethnic aspirations in the same way in which the German group is supported in Poland, in practice this is not done."(5) This German policy was confirmed in the Convention of the European Council on Minority Protection signed by 30 countries in Strassbourg on 11 May 2000. In this document, the Germans drew a particularly restrictive declaration on the German minorities.

It should be noted that some of the leaders of the Polish minority in Germany were the first prisoners in the concentration camp of Buchenwald in 1939-40. Thus it was implicitly acknowledged at that time that there were in fact persons of Polish ethnicity in Germany. The descendants of the Ruhr Poles in particular meet all international requirements for being considered an ethnic minority in Germany. Yet such recognition has not been forthcoming.

In 2000, some 6-7 million people, or 8.5 percent of the German population, were not of German background.

German citizenship is inherited, and who is a citizen is decided by ius sanguinis, or bloodright. This archaic custom allows present-day inhabitants of some regions of Poland to claim hereditary German citizenship because these regions belonged to Germany at some point in history. Not all Germans are happy about it, but the law remains. R. Tichy writes: "Though they do not have any relations with Germany, they were not born here, they do not speak German, they do not understand the mentality of this country--they are declared to be German. Their only evidence of belonging to the German nation is often the fact that their grandfather was a soldier in the Wehrmacht during World War II." (6) A journalist comments bitterly: "Every day the same sad game: in front of us sit persons from Poland awaiting the confirmation of their German origin; they behave as if they were Germans, and we are supposed to believe them." (7)

That does not prevent the occasional Germans revisionist claims. Among those was a recent attempt by the extreme right wing German party, "Nationale Offensive," to establish itself in the Opole region of Poland, in the village of Dziewkowice. The Bund der Vertriebenen, an organization representing those expelled from east of the Oder-Neisse line, occasionally expresses revisionist goal and demands that Germans from Germany be allowed to join the German minority organizations in Poland. "Helmut, you are our chancellor too:" such posters (in Polish) occasionally appeared in Silesia under the auspices of such German organizations.

My research into these issues indicates that the present German laws cause great harm to Polish immigrants. (8) I concentrated on the 1980s immigration, and followed closely a group of 40 people, all of whom obtained university degrees in Poland, had no German language skills, had lived in Germany for at least 8 years, and were of similar age.

My first criterion of the degree of assimilation and professional success was language acquisition. I subdivided my group into three subgroups: those who acquired near-native or native fluency in German (16 persons), those of intermediate language competence (9) and those with very poor language skills (15). Here is what I found:

  1. all members of subgroup I were the Aussiedler; all members of subgroup III were immigrants without the right of citizenship

  2. all members of subgroup I were working in their professions as physicians, engineers, lawyers, or computer scientists; in striking contrast, all members of subgroup III were employed as relatively unskilled laborers, e.g., an engineer and a university professor worked as janitors, a lawyer worked as a physician's assistant, a computer scientist was a waitress, another engineer was a truck driver, and a physician worked as a shop assistant

  3. the average income of subgroup I was two and a half times higher than that of subgroup III

This discrepancy suggests the existence of what in American terms would be called ethnic discrimination. While it is to Germany's credit that it received immigrants and continues to help displaced persons in many localities, the institutional pattern of 'closed doors to citizenship' with regard to those of presumed non-German origin can hardly be doubted. In particular, the treatment accorded to Poles has obviously been not on the agenda of the German civil rights organizations or of those German scholars and thinkers who spend time agonizing over Germany's actions in the twentieth century.

For a non-Aussiedler to apply for German citizenship, it is necessary to fulfill multiple conditions. A candidate must have lived in Germany for at least 10 years; he or she must have a permit to reside and a permit to work; he or she must own an apartment, speak German well and, last but not least, must demonstrate bonding to German culture and the German way of life. It is also required that previous citizenship be relinquished: Germany does not tolerate dual citizenship. For the majority of immigrants, among them Poles, the regulation imposing total abandonment of their previous identity is not acceptable, especially because it is administratively imposed. Under present German law, however, citizenship is the only guarantee of non-discrimination. The outcome of this Catch-22 situation is predictable: it is only too easy to treat with contempt and a sense of superiority waiters and waitresses, janitors and shop assistants of foreign background.

Poles in Germany expected that the 1991 Treaty would make it possible to have dual citizenship. But paragraph 5 of the Treaty states: "This Treaty does not take into consideration the problems of citizenship or ownership." In the opinion of many Poles, this remark consolidates the discrimination of Poles in Germany. While those Polish citizens in Poland who can prove by means of ius sanguinis that they are 'of German blood' hold special passes to Germany, just in case, Poles who reside in Germany have no comparable 'dual exit.' The 1991 Treaty was extremely advantageous for Germans in Poland but it did not change the status of Poles in Germany.

Germans and history; Germans in Poland

Few Germans wish to remember that the establishment of Poland's western border along the Oder-Neisse rivers is linked with the incorporation of 46 percent of Poland's prewar territory by the Soviet Union and the decision of the three Great Powers to transfer German population from Poland to Germany, and the Polish population from Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to post-German territories. The forced human dislocation, without precedent in modern history, compelled 4.5 million Poles to leave their eastern and rural homelands and move to the industrialized region abandoned by the forcibly expelled millions of Germans. The Germans remember the tragedy of their dislocation but conveniently forget that of the Poles. The Poles, on the other hand, had no access to information about what happened during the first years of communist terror (1945-50), when disseminating political information of that kind led directly to prison. Only in the 1990s the tragedy of the Germans began to be remembered and written about in Poland.

The 1991 Treaty was extremely advantageous for Germans in Poland but it did not change the status of Poles in Germany.

Before 1939, almost ten million people, among them 1.3 million ethnic Poles (so-called autochthons) lived in German territories east of the Oder and Neisse rivers. The expulsion of Germans from these territories (as well as from Czechoslovakia and Hungary) was implemented "in retaliation for Nazi oppression."(9) The retaliatory decision was undertaken by the Great Powers and not by the government of Poland. Poland was occupied by the Soviets at that time. Of the 3.5 million Germans remaining east of the Oder-Neisse rivers, the government of Soviet-occupied Poland transferred 2.3 million between 1946-49. About 3.6 million either fled before the retreat of the German army in 1945 or were evacuated by order of the Nazi authorities. According to the American Bureau of the Census, on 1 January 1949 there were in West Germany 6.2 million refugees from the East.

The transfers halted around 1950. The 1.3 million who were allowed to stay were dispersed to support assimilation. The majority of them could demonstrate Polish language competence or claimed Polish background, in ironic and reverse anticipation of what happened after several decades of communist rule, when the same group began to claim German background. About 65,000 ethnic Germans were also allowed to stay as needed professionals.

After 1956, when communist rule became milder, liberalized emigration procedures allowed about 275,000 persons native to the Oder-Neisse area to leave Poland for West Germany. Among them were many autochthons, almost all of whom were bilingual, speaking a Polish dialect at home and using German in official communication. As all borderland populations, the autochthons were influenced by both traditions; in conditions of post-war Soviet occupation of Poland and the ensuing destitution, their equivocal national identity suffered. The isolation and discrimination imposed on them by Poles who moved in from the East also induced many autochthons to 'choose Germanness' and emigrate when an opportunity presented itself. Others remained in Poland but gravitated toward a German identity.

In 1960, virtually all those who wished to leave did so, providing an excuse for the communist government to close down German language schools, church services and newspapers. Only in the 1970s, after West Germany officially recognized the Oder-Neisse rivers as the border of Poland (this happened on 7 December 1970), further emigration became possible. Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik allowed a number of persons who had relatives in West Germany to leave Poland. But officially, the government of Soviet-occupied Poland pretended that there were no persons of German ethnicity in Poland any longer.

The return of Polish national independence in 1989 dramatically changed the situation of Germans in Poland. The German Circles of Friendship (Niemieckie Kola Przyjazni), an informal (and illegal) entity during the waning years of communist rule, were transformed into German Social and Cultural Societies (Niemieckie Towarzystwa Socjalno- Kulturowe) with membership reaching 300,000 at the turn of the millenium. An umbrella organization, the Association of German Social and Cultural Societies in the Republic of Poland (Zwiazek Niemieckich Towarzystw Spoleczno- Kulturalnych w Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej) coordinates nationwide policies of these groups. The German youth and German farmers have their own organizations as well.

Polish sources say there are 400,000 ethnic Germans in Poland, while German sources speak of as many as one million. Over 90 percent of Germans live in Upper Silesia, in the voivodships of Opole, Katowice, and Czestochowa. The Social and Cultural Society of Germans in Silesia (Slask Opolski) is the strongest political force in the Opole region.

The government of the Third Polish Republic treats the Polish-German Treaty very seriously and supports its execution in every way. In 1992, a special office for minorities was created at the Ministry of the Interior, with branches in the Ministries of Culture and Education. The German minority in Poland has special privileges in the Parliament: the required 5 percent clause has been waived in their case in order to allow Germans to be represented in the Sejm. In effect, the German minority has several guaranteed seats in the Sejm, whereas Poles are not represented either in the Bundestag or in the Landtags (the regional parliaments).

Polish views on the situation of Poles in Germany

Among Poles, two views on their situation in Germany are evident. A recent interview with Zbigniew Kostecki, chairperson of the Polish Congress in Germany (Rada Polska w Niemczech-Zwiazek Federalny), articulates the first view. Kostecki blames the German and Polish governments for the unhappy situation: the first for discriminating and the second, for its passivity toward discrimination. He also minimizes the fact of dispersion of Polonia in Germany and its inability to organize.(10) The other view emphasizes the indolence and apathy of the Poles themselves, their inability to cooperate and institutional weakness. This opinion is primarily voiced by the German officials.(11)

Which side is right? Here are the facts. As stated before, until the 1990s the German government largely ignored the presence of significant ethnic minorities in the country. While there were 6-7 million very visible 'foreigners' within Germany's borders, encyclopedias and history books stubbornly maintained that Germany was an ethnically homogeneous country. In contrast, the presence of minorities in Poland has usually been taken for granted. Now it appears that the percentage of minorities in Poland is smaller by a factor of two than the percentage of minorities in Germany. The ironies of history.

The lack (until 1991) of a Polish-German treaty regulating the most basic elements of mutual coexistence further exacerbated 'the Polish problem.' The fact that 'People's Poland" was in fact a Soviet-occupied country exerted a negative influence on Polish aspiration to exist as a recognized minority. The oldest and most meritorious Polish organization in Germany, Association of Poles (Zwiazek Polaków, established in 1922), did not cooperate with the Association of Poles-Consent (Zwiazek Polaków-Zgoda, established in 1950). The second organization cooperated with the government of People's Poland, whereas the first one repudiated it. In the 1980s, neither organization was prepared to embrace hundreds of thousands of Polish immigrants arriving after martial law was imposed on Poland. The old organizations failed to update their 'Cepelia image' that was not attractive to the young and well educated immigrants. A 1990 guide to Polonia in Germany listed about 300 organizations, clubs, and enterprises possessed of Polish identity. (12) Owing to political inexperience, many of these organizations competed against each other instead of uniting into a common front. When in the 1990s the German side was ready for a dialog and demanded a partner that would represent the entire Polonia, it could not find such a partner. During a meeting of various Polish groups in Boppard in June 1995, a Council was selected and charged with preparing the statute of unification that would take into account two separate proposals for unification, one submitted by the Congress of German Polonia (Kongres Polonii w Niemczech) and the other, by the forum and Association of Poles-Consent. The second meeting in Boppard in November of the same year was the largest German Polonia meeting in history. 85 organizations were present, from the trivial to the significant. The meeting was sponsored financially by the German Ministry of the Interior. On 19 November 1995, the Polish Council in Germany--A Federal Association was created. Janusz Marchwinski was elected president. The unification had beneficial results: in view of a united Polonia force, the German government began to sponsor some Polish projects, such as the festival "Ojczyzna na obczyznie" in Berlin, the Festival of Folklore Groups in Dortmund, and the Song Festival in Bonn.(13) Characteristically, the German government encourages the 'Cepelia image' activities, while Polonia seems unaware that concerts, socials and songs have few if any long-term benefits.

In addition to this umbrella organization, the Congress of German Polonia remained a viable voice that represented Polish patriotism (while the Polish Council in Germany represented European pragmatism). The Congress is presently proposing a renegotiation of the Treaty of Good Neighborliness so that the minority status of the Polish group could become part of it. The Congress considers the attitude of the Polish government to be too conciliatory. It wants to organize a school system and acquire access to the mass media. It expects financial help from both Polish and German governments, since the German minority in Poland receives help from both governments. The Polish Council stands for 'integration without assimilation' in German society. The integration is understood to be a condition for the maintenance of Polish identity. Operating within the limits of the German legal system, the Council uses it as best it can to help Poles in professional and social domains. Language competence, good jobs, social status are issues with which the Council deals. (14)

The Polish Catholic Mission in Germany (located in Würzburg) remains a stable element of the Polonia landscape. It was formed in 1976. There about 60 Polish parishes staffed by 70 Polish priests. The most active parishes are in Bremen, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Lübeck, Hannover, Essen and München. In Sunday schools, in addition to catechesis, children learn the Polish language and get some rudimentary information about Polish history and culture.


Sociologists have identified three ways of dealing with ethnic heredity in conditions of being an ethnic minority: isolation, integration, and assimilation. It appears that Poles in Germany all too often chose either isolation or assimilation. The old immigration in particular tended to build 'little Polands,' continued to speak Polish almost exclusively, maintained social and other ties with Poles only. In contrast, the assimilative strategy has been adopted by the Aussiedler. They regard themselves as Germans, but German society regards them as Poles. In my opinion, this is the most tragic group. They are often young people, and their personalities were formed by a Polish environment. Their attempt to reject it produces great social and emotional tensions.

These two extremist strategies are disadvantageous for the people involved. The first invites alienation and segregation, while the second forces one to reject an important part of one's life. The intermediary way is integration; Danuta Mostwin calls it "the third value" because it allows the immigrant to accept both societies and feel comfortable in both. (15) A creative synthesis of two sets of values need not be merely a compromise. It should develop into an ability to be affirmative and also critical of both cultures. But the development of an integrated personality requires a certain balance between Polish and German elements and similar institutional access to both cultures and languages. These conditions generate a sense of loyalty to both ethnic groups. Needless to say, given a turbulent Polish-German history, such a sense could have beneficial effects on relations between both countries in the future.

Alas, the legal conditions afforded by the German political system act against such harmonious integration. As a result, both the Aussiedler and other Polish immigrants usually believe that it is better not to reveal Polish identity in Germany. Countless examples of hostility (extending even to tourists) and discrimination support these conclusions. (16)

The Germans speak arrogantly of Polnische Wirtschaft, thus confirming the economic differences between the two countries but conveniently forgetting the German (and Prussian) contribution to the destruction of that Wirtschaft. In the opinion polls about various nationalities, Poles rank lower than Turks or Russians, and 87 percent of young Germans regard them as "worse than themselves."(17) In popular TV programs, Poles are presented the way blacks were presented in the American press half a century ago. On the other hand, during the time of communism in central and eastern Europe, it was difficult for Polish and other immigrants from communism to develop pride concerning their country of origin. The poverty of eastern and central European countries, their lack of democracy and constant economic crises evoked the feeling shame and jealousy as contrasted with West German prosperity. The discrimination of Poles (and of other ethnic minorities) in Germany has been exacerbated by the extremist right and its slogans of Deutschland für Deutsche and Ausländer raus!

Still another problem is the culture shock stemming from two different perceptions of what Europe really means. To Poles, it seems natural that they, together with the Germans, belong to a common European culture and share a common religion. This feeling of belonging together is not shared by the Germans. While the Poles accept German culture as part of European culture, the Germans do not see Polish culture as sharing the same cultural roots. While an educated Pole knows at least some German writers, the opposite is not true of an educated German. The growing realization of this situation, the feeling of frustration, anger and resentment not only against the Germans but also against Polish culture is a natural result, and some immigrants begin to share the prejudices of the dominant group. While the emigration of the last 20 years has somewhat softened these problems, they still do exist.

In spite of the problems outlined above, many recent Polish immigrants are self-confident, dynamic city dwellers who easily intermarry and join German society. For them, ethnicity is not the prime category through which they wish to characterize themselves or want to be evaluated by others. In my opinion, however, their ethnic indifference if a factor disturbing their integration. The refusal to acknowledge one's ethnicity evokes pejorative associations with the sociologic notion of a 'marginal man.' The marginal man stands on the edge of two worlds: a part of both but a partner in neither; he is a man caught between two cultures and does not feel at home in either. The marginal man is 'not here, but not there either.' A sense of personal identification with an ethnic group, or groups, is essential to the feeling of self-worth; a person who declares himself or herself to be 'a European' or 'a citizen of the world' is trying to fool himself, but he seldom succeeds in fooling others.

Thus it appears that three factors determine the degree of integration of an ethnic group into political and social life of a host country: the policy of the host state (granting the ethnic group legal rights and guaranteeing the right to maintain an ethnic identity including support for its cultural activities; active support from the country of origin; and a willingness of the immigrants themselves to organize and identify themselves as an ethnic group. With regard to Poles in Germany, neither of these factors works in a satisfactory manner. It goes without saying that in the situation where institutional support from both Germany or Poland is inadequate, it is up to the Poles themselves to make up for these deficiencies and to exert themselves more than they had done in the past.


1. A. Kuhn, Pirvilegierung nationaler Minderheiten im Wahlrecht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und Schleswig-Holstein (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1990).

2. C. Schmalz-Jacobsen, Kleines Lexikon der ethnischen Minderheiten in Deutschland (München, 1997).

3. A. Timmermann-Lavanas, Die politischen Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Republik Polen von 1970 bis 1991: vom Warschauer Vertrag bis zum Freundschaftsvertrag (Saarbrücken, 1991).

4. Niezalezne Forum Kulturalne, nos. 2-3 (1994).

5. "An Interview with A. Krzeminski," Dialog, no. 1 (1996). Also Roch Kowalski, Dialog, no. 1 (1993).

6. R. Tichy, Ausländer rein! Verschiedene Herkunft, Gemeisame Zukunft (München, 1993).

7. Der Spiegel, no. 52 (1989).

8. M. Warchol-Schlottmann, "Wplyw czynników pozajezycznych na nabywanie jezyka drugiego (niemieckiego) na przykladzie polskich emigrantów w Niemczech," Przeglad Polonijny, no. 4 (1995).

9. Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe (London: Minority Rights Group, 1993); Z.A. Kruszewski, The Oder- Neisse Boundary and Poland's Modernization: The Socioeconomic and Political Impact (NY: Praeger, 1972).

10. "Niemcy, Niemcy ponad traktat," Angora, no. 48 (1998).

11. "Polskie pieklo," Wprost, no. 49 (1995); an interview with J. Marchwinski, Dialog, no. 1 (1996).

12. J. Górski and D. Tymochowicz, Informator: Polska Emigracja i Polonia w Republice Federalnej Niemiec i Berlinie Zachodnim (Warsaw, 1990).

13. Dialog, nos. 3-4 (1996).

14. K. Karwat in Dialog, no. 1 (1996).

15. D. Mostwin, Trzecia wartosc (Lublin, 1994).

16. J. Mazur, "Jezyk polski jako narzedzie komunikacji przesiedlenców z Polski do RFN," Jezyki slowianskie wobec wspólczesnych przemian w krajach Europy Srodkowej i Wschodniej (Opole, 1993); M. Warchol-Schlottmann, "Jezyk polski w Niemczech--perspektywy zachowania jezyka etnicznego u najnowszej emigracji," Przeglad Polonijny, no. 3 (1996).

17. Der Spiegel, 19 September 1994.

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