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The Kashubs: Past and Present

Past and Present


Edited By Cezary Obracht-Prondzynski and Tomasz Wicherkiewicz

The Kashubs, a regional autochthonous group inhabiting northern Poland, represent one of the most dynamic ethnic groups in Europe. As a community, they have undergone significant political, social, economic and cultural change over the last hundred years. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Kashubs were citizens of Germany. In the period between the two World Wars they were divided between three political entities: the Republic of Poland, the Free City of Danzig and Germany. During the Second World War, many Kashubs were murdered, and communist Poland subsequently tried to destroy the social ties that bound the community together. The year 1989 finally brought about a democratic breakthrough, at which point the Kashubs became actively engaged in the construction of their regional identity, with the Kashubian language performing a particularly important role.
This volume is the first scholarly monograph on the history, culture and language of the Kashubs to be published in English since 1935. The book systematically explores the most important aspects of Kashubian identity – national, regional, linguistic, cultural and religious – from both historical and contemporary perspectives.


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Acknowledgements vii Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński and Tomasz Wicherkiewicz Introduction 1 Józef Borzyszkowski A History of the Kashubs until the End of Communism 5 Jerzy Treder The Kashubian Language and its Dialects: The Range of Use 75 Jerzy Treder and Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński Kashubian Literature: The Phenomenon, its History and its Social Dimension 109 Tomasz Wicherkiewicz Language Policy and the Sociolinguistics of Kashubian 141 Cezary Obracht-Prondzyński Dilemmas of Modern Kashubian Identity and Culture 179 Appendices 227 Bibliography 257 Index 275

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