One of the most amazing people – Lusatian Sorbs, Slavs, whose identity was on the highest level, and the willingness to confront cultural and linguistic occupation is high even in our days, when the specter of globalization measure long strides across the globe. Lusatian tribal alliances originate from 6-7 century during the Great Migration, the Slavs settled on Elbe, compactly populated considered as “native German” territory. Tribes of Sorbs created powerful military alliances with Milceni, Glomacze and other West Slavic peoples. Until the 10th century military alliance Sorbs expand its influence in the vast land between the Elbe and the Oder. By the 9th century one of the main historical characters of Sorbs – Prince Miliduch that ruled Sorbian tribes with iron fist. By this time, the Germanic tribes established themselves in the north of Central Europe, with fire and sword burning indigenous population. Most of the Slavs in the region have already been exterminated or, at best, were assimilated by invaders. In the course of Germanization and Christianization to preserve the identity of the Sorbs they were divided into two smaller areas in the east of Germany.
It is difficult to say exactly how the Sorbs were able to carry their Slavic culture through the horrors of the European wars, doom and gloom however as is known, the rest of the Slavic tribes of Central Europe disappeared from her map after just 13-14 centuries, as well as the Baltic Slavs – due to the absorption of German expansion. Nevertheless, the Sorbs literally saved almost all of its national characteristics. Until now, the use of Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian stayed official language and is an almost primitive and archaic for this respected linguists. Most Sorb converted to Catholicism or Protestantism, but, nevertheless, their level of self-awareness as a nation exists today.
The long struggle for the right to live
The Germans have never belonged to the Sorbs as an independent ethnic group, have the ability to develop their culture and language. As already mentioned, forced Christianization of these tribes, mostly pagan, was successful, but an attempt to destroy any separation of the Sorbs of the German people turned into a complete failure.
Throughout the existence of the Holy Roman Empire, the Second Reich and even Hitler’s Germany Sorbs considered as an ethnic group that is about to fall into oblivion, will disappear along with their originality. 16th century religious reformer Martin Luther refused to translate church literature on sorbian languages, saying that “… a hundred years of it (language) will not be even a hint …” And one of the classical theorists of communism, Friedrich Engels, even taking into account its tolerant attitude towards others Nationalities and Peoples, spoke of the Sorbs only in the past tense and said: “This is completely Germanized Slavic area, the case has already been done. ”
Ironic prediction Engels, to everyone’s surprise, partly fulfilled. Today Stettin – Szczecin is, and no matter how high was the level of Russophobia in Poland, they say, will speak a Slavic language. The same applies to the Central European lands ceded to Poland and the Czech Republic – the western outpost of the Slavs. A Lusatian enclaves in eastern Germany have restructured their community and were able to maintain limited autonomy in the early 20th century, and at the end.
Sorbs in modern social and political life
Descendants of the Sorbs live in the historic area called Lusatia. Upper Lusatia refers to German soil Brandeburg, the lower – in Saxony. And there, and there Sorbs have a limited cultural and territorial autonomy, have laws that promote the preservation of their language and culture. Themselves Sorbs is officially recognized as one of the few national minorities in the territory of Germany with all the attendant legal characteristics.
In Germany, there are about 60,000 Sorbs. Of course, it is much less than it was 150-200 years ago, but their struggle for self-preservation deserves respect. Sorbs is not divided – their primary language was the German, but almost all at a good level know the indigenous dialect. Sorbs are harmoniously integrated into the German social activities, protects their rights association Domowina running for over a hundred years. Under the auspices of Domowina combined scores Sorbian cultural organizations, it is involved in book publishing in local languages. According to figures Domowina listen all leading politicians Brandeburga and Saxony.
Sorbs are a wonderful example of the Slavic spirit which they retained even alien culturally and ethnically German lands. They exist here fifteen hundred years, preserving their unique characteristics. Sorbs withstood the pressure of powerful invaders and defend their right to live on their land. And this is a sample of the actual unity of the people, which need to be for all of us.