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Kashubia

Kashubians ( Polish: Kaszubi ) , also called  Kassubians  or Cassubians,  are a West Slavic ethnic group of north-central  Poland.

The Kashubian unofficial  capital is Kartuzy. However,  the biggest  city of Cassubia  region  is Gdańsk      ( Gduńsk, German: Danzig),the  capital  of  the Pomeranian  Voivodeship. 

The traditional occupations of the Kashubians  were  agriculture  and  fishing;  today these are  joined  by the  service  and  hospitality  industry,  and  agrotourism. 

 

The main organization that  maintains  the  Kashubian identity is  the  Kashubian-Pomeranian Association.Read more: www.kaszubi.pl

Pomeranians who  took their  name from  the  land in  which settled, Pomerania  (from Polish Pomorze, "the land along the sea"). It is believed that the ancestors of Kashubians came into the  region between the Odra and Vistula Rivers during the Migration Period.

The oldest known mention of the name dates from the 13th century ( a seal of Duke Barnim I of Pomerania),  when they ruled  areas around Szczecin (Kashubian: Szczeceno). 

Another early mention of the Kashubians  from the 13th century saw the Dukes of Pomerania including "Duke of Kashubia" in their titles . From the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, after  the Thirty Years` War , parts of West Pomerania fell under  Swedish rule,  and the Swedish kings titled themselves "Dukes of Kashubia" from 1648 to the 1720s. 

The  Landtag  parlament of the Kingdom of Prussia in Konigsberg  changed  the official  church language  from Polish to German in 1843,  but  this  decision was  soon repealed. In 1858 Kashubians emigrated to  Upper  Canada and created the settlement  of Wilno,  in Renfrew County, Ontario,  which still exists today. Kaszub  immigrants  founded St.Josaphat parish in Chicago`s  Lincoln Park community in  the  late 19th century. In the 1870s a fishing village was  established in Jones Island in Milwaukee,  Wisconsin, by Kashubian and German  immigrants. The two groups did not hold deeds to the land,  however,  and the  goverment  of Milwaukee  evicted  them  as  squatters  in  the  1940s,  with the  area  soon  after  turned  into  industrial park. 

Many Pomeranians in the former Duchy of Pomerania, most of them Lutheran Protestants ( including the Slovincians),  were Germanised  between the 14th and 19th centuries  in  the  wake  of the Prussian  political  program of  Germanisation. Some communities  in Pomeralia ( Eastern Pomerania) have survived  and  today  regard themselves  as  Kashubians  in  modern Poland, although  others were expelled  by  Poland`s Communist  goverment as "Germans" after World War II.Most  Kashubians in Eastern Pomerania,  unlike Slovincians and Pomeranian Slavic Wends, remain Roman Catholic. During the Treaty of Versailles, Kaszub  activist  Antoni Abraham in agitating  for  Cassubia`s  integration  into  Poland  issued  his  famous  quote Nie ma Kaszub bez Polonii a bez Kaszub Polski  which  translates into English -There is no Cassubia  without Poland, and no Poland without Cassubia.

During Second World War thousands  of  Kashubians  were mass  murdered  by  German forces,  particurarly  those  of  higher  education. The  main place  of  excecutions  was Piaśnica. 

About  50 000 Kashubians speak Kashubian, a West Slavic language   belonging to the Lechitic group  of languages  in  northern Poland.

The earliest surviving example of written  Kashubian  is Martin Luther`s 1643  Protestant catechism ( with new  edistions  in 1752 and 1828).

The first activist of the Kashubian/East Pomeranian national movement was Florian Ceynowa. Among his  accomplishments, he  documented  the  Kashubian  alphabet  and  grammar  by  1879 and  published a collection  of  ethnographic-historic stories  of the  life  of  the  Kashubians (Skórb kaszebsko-slovjnckje move, 1866-1868).

Today, in some towns and villages in  northern  Poland Kashubian is the second language spoken after Polish,  and  it is taught  in regional  schools.Kashubian presently enjoys legal protection in Poland as an official  minority language.