Silesians


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Silesians

 

(Polish, Ślązacy; Czech, slezane), one of the West Slavic tribes from which the Polish and Czech peoples are descended. The Silesians are mentioned along with other “tribal” princedoms by the Bavarian Geographer of the ninth century. In contemporary Czechoslovakia and Poland the term “Silesians” refers to the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Silesia.

References in periodicals archive ?
35) At this time, tens of thousands of Silesian Catholic expellees could be mobilized to support events, groups, and periodicals organized expressly for them.
A distinctive discourse on the importance of homeland and its integral role in a life of faith animated the efforts of Silesian Catholic expellees to preserve their community in exile and to maintain their claims to Silesia.
In a documentary account of the deportation of Silesian Catholics, Johannes Kaps argued that a "normal person" requires a sense of rootedness in place (Bodenstdndigkeit).
If a strong attachment to homeland was taken as a fundamental component of a healthy existence and the God-given order, it should come as no surprise that many Silesian Catholics also viewed it as an important virtue in the Christian life.
In an article concerning the divinely ordained nature of human attachment to homeland, the Silesian priest Edmund Piekorz argued that Jesus Christ set an example that Christians should strive to follow: "Jesus Christ is thoroughly of man of the homeland.
Echoing a sentiment often expressed in Silesian Catholic circles, Johannes Kaps argued that the human relationship to homeland has considerable theological significance, for it can serve as an analogue to an eternal home with God.
In an article in the Konigsteiner Rufe, a magazine popular among Silesian Catholic expellees, an unnamed author reflected on the full ramifications of the expulsions: "It was a dark day, full of suffering and bitterness.
Silesian Catholic expellees sometimes compared the spiritual plight of their community to grim portrayals of postwar German society as a whole, where the forces of modernization were steadily eroding communal bonds and rendering the population into a rootless, isolated, godless mass of individuals adrift in an uncaring world.
As they extolled the importance of rootedness in a homeland and warned of the dangers of displacement, at times Silesian Catholic expellees offered disturbing echoes of the Blut-und-Boden ideology in circulation during the Nazi era.
Another argument that repeatedly surfaced in Silesian Catholic discourse concerned the nature and effects of homesickness (Heimweh).
56) So noted Oskar Golombek, a priest of the Archdiocese of Breslau, who from his postwar base in Cologne served as one of the most prominent leaders of the Silesian Catholic community in exile until his death in 1972.
In the case of expelled Silesian Catholics, these motivations can be broken down into three interrelated categories: to preserve their psychic well-being, to advance their political interests, and to meet their religious needs.