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The Kashubs: Past and Present

Past and Present

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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

Extract

Acknowledgements The editors and authors are highly indebted to the University of Gdańsk and the Kashubian Institute in Gdańsk for their financial and organisational support when preparing, translating and editing this volume. We are also highly grateful to Dr Tomasz Kamusella for encouraging our work, and for providing us with his precious remarks. We wish to thank wholeheartedly Ewa Michalina Orzechowska (from Baranowo), Justyna Walkowiak and Dr Michael Hornsby, Adam Mick- iewicz University in Poznań, for their kind assistance as translators and proof-readers of the original texts. Last but not least, thanks must go to Maciej Ostoja-Lniski and Jacek Swędrowski for their technical assistance.

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