Pomeranians


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Pomeranians

 

(in Polish, Pomorzanie), a group of Western Slavic tribes that settled along the Baltic Sea in Pomerania, between the Oder and Vistula rivers. In the late tenth century, the land inhabited by the Pomeranians was incorporated into the early-feudal Polish state. Crafts, trade, navigation, and fishing played an important role in the economic life of the Pomeranians. The main centers for crafts and commerce were Wolin and Szczecin (Stettin). In the course of their struggle against Saxon and Danish aggression, the Pomeranians allied themselves with a kindred group, the Polabian Slavs, and joined the Wend State. They retained their distinctive national traits even after becoming subject to German feudal lords between the 12th and early 14th centuries; with the help of the Catholic church, these feudal lords carried out a policy of forced assimilation and extermination.

The Pomeranians became part of the ethnic stock of the Polish nation. They maintained their distinctiveness, however, as can be seen by the particular cultural and linguistic traits and the lifestyle of the Kashubs.

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