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An extremally rough translation of an article from the tvn24 site.
We shall stay here. This is my land – crying says Władysława Głowacka of Narty in the Mazury Lake district. The highest court has decided, that the woman has to give back to it’s former German owner herhouse where she has lived with her husband for the last 30 years.
The tragedy of the Głowacki family is not exceptional. A number of valid sentences have been taken lately, obliging Polish families to leave their houses given back to their previous owners – German citizens, the so called “late displaced persons”. In the area of Warmia and Mazury the same situation concerns 5 Polish families, 22 people in total.
And this is just a beginning of the problem. There are another 200 claims to be processed.
- 6 weeks ago Mrs. Agnes Trawny appeared here with her son Alfred. They behaved brazenly – Głowacka says – I asked how many years Alfred Trawny lived in Poland. Six years, his mother answered. I live here for 57 years, there is a difference – she adds.
Mrs. Władysława addressed German inheritor of the Mazurian property in front of TV cameras: - Youre place is on the other bank of Odra river, you’re not Polish. I live here for so many years and this is my land, and no one was hasing you away. When I asked you whe had you left you said that it was a poor country under communist rule, but we have survived that because we are Polish.
Where were those people for the 30 years when taxes have been paid? Asks Krystyna Moskalik, Głowackis’ neighbour. Her family has also been obliged to give back their property to Agnes Trawny. – We paid taxes year by year they paid nothing.
- The sentences taken by Polish courts are a disgrace – says the speaker of parliament Janusz Dobrosz (...) Polish courts take decisions that are against Polish raison d’etat and the good of Polish citizens - Dobrosz says. Polish state should absolutly help those people. Polish authorities are responsible for the tragedy of Głowacki family - consecutive governments, Constitutional Court – he ennumerated. He also said thet LPR expects that the situation will become controlled by bilateral contracts or that Polish state will take the burden of German claims on.
LPR accuses German law and the permissive attitude of German government – It was mot Mrs. Steinbach, it was German state organisation that prevailed upon Mrs. Trawny to make a claim against Mr. and Mrs. Głowacki (...)
Prime minister Jarosław Kaczyński admitted on Tuesday that Polish land registers are in disorder which causes problems in cases of German claims concerning the return of properties made at Polish courts.
- The land registers of the parts of the country that used to belong to Germany before the World War II are to be brought to order – the Prime Minister said – It’s a difficult matter but we want to tidy up the mess – he added.
No one knows how many properties in Poland is endangered by German claims due to invalid registrations to land registers.
According to the decision of the Supreme Court the house in Narty village, where Władysława and Władysław Głowacki lived for 26 years, belongs now to German citizen Agnes Trawny.
Trawny is an ex-inhabitant of Narty, Rogala was her surname back then. Rogala’s father died in 1954, a property was inherited by his wife and children - Agnes, Horst, Siegrieta and Ekhard. They all worked on the farm. In 1977 the family left to Germany where they were given the compensation for the properties left in Poland - several thousends DM. Their property has been taken over by Polish treasury. The forest inspectorate granted the house to be settled by a lumberjack - Moskalik and young forester Głowacki. Both families wanted to buy their parts of the house from the state for years. They could not obtain a permission.
I the meantime Agnes Trawny gave back her compensation to the govment of DFR and regained her property at Polish court. She has sent a letter to Polish inhabitants that she plans to demolish the house. – This is my family land. I want to build a house for me and my children here –said Agnes Trawny to the “Rzeczpospolita” daily.
Twelve inhabitants of the house has to move away until the end of 2008.
There are five families i Warmia and Mazury who are obliged to give their properties back to Germans.
Mind you this here is not against Germans! Greedy people are everyhhere. What is a real problem is this mess in Polish documentation: land and propertyship registers. In communist time noone imagined that they could come back but why was it left like that during the last 17 years.
In 1977 the family left for Germany.
Perhaps this is simply an unusual case.
Lilka, a question. Ones making the claims against current land holders are German or Polish? Or are they volksdeutches?
What is the basis for the legal claim? 'we were there first'?
This is an interesting case. Is there a link to any court documents available?
Poles who moved to Germany for economic reasons. Thousands did so in the 1970s and 1980s. One just had to claim some sort of German ancestry. A grandfather who lived in a former German area.
I'm sure those people were etnically German - I mean no one would name his children like that being Polish - Those names shout: we're proud to be German. And that's O.K. There were Germans who stayed after the war and Poles who pretended German to escape from our "merriest barack in Soviet camp". (Who in Germany would dare to say Miroslaw Klose is not German though - Polish name, German surname, emmigrated in seventies or eighties with his parents I think)
Some of the people who emigrated to Germany are able to regain their property because in Mazury and Warmia, unlike in Ziemie Zachodnie (Western areas of todays Poland) the propertyship registers haven't been officially deleted.
In case Hans worries - I think there is no danger that your wife's family would be chasen away from their houses - they live in Lubuskie, I believe?
Unfortunately, I have no clue what are the chances to find original documentation concerning the case on Internet, Mike.
"Who in Germany would dare to say Miroslaw Klose is not German though - Polish name, German surname, emmigrated in seventies or eighties with his parents I think"
I would . The same goes for the other Pole in the German side.
" I think there is no danger that your wife's family would be chasen away from their houses - they live in Lubuskie, I believe?"
They all live in new houses or soviet-era apartments. I don't think any live in houses built by Germans.
"Poles who pretended TO BE German to escape from our "merriest barack in Soviet camp"
More these than real Germans. Economics.
As I've already mentioned there are many with mixed German ancestry certainly in my mum's part of Poland. The nazis went around checking records and put them under huge pressure to become Reich citizens. They were called "Poldeutsch" and were probably ones to emigrate post war as the ones who took citizenship were not too popular. There were many who were in this group but who resisted taking the citizenship, one being my mother's best friend's family.
I went for a drink tonight and my colleague's friend (an english guy) is getting married to his Polish girlfriend soon. I work with a Polish colleague who is married to an iranian and a friend of mine is also married to an english guy. The way things are going Polish genes are going to be indigenous to the UK as well as many other countries. So what will it mean to be Polish or any other ethnic national group in say 50 years time?
The Germans proper, were expelled in 1945 from Poland and German areas, which are now Poland.
It's difficult now to judge who was expelled and who fleed to Germany just to be amongst their own nation in their own country after boarders changed.
My father was born in Nowa Sól and a few years later they mowed to Sława Śląska. In both towns there were Germans who had devided to stay, either because they felt this town is dearer to them then the idea of Germany or Poland, or they were afraid to start all over again being old and disabled. There was a "Red haird Gardener" and his son called "the son of the red haired gardener" and Albert, known for collecting clutter for metal return. Children used to sing:
"Kiedy ranne wstają zorze,
Jedzie Albert na motorze,
zbiera graty na armaty
i odciski na pociski."
One of those guys when he grew really old used to go in his wheelchair to the western end of the town where he last saw walking away Germans. He was waiting for them to come back, one of his Polish neghbours had to go there each evening to help him come back home for night...
"The Germans proper, were expelled in 1945 from Poland and German areas, which are now Poland. "
The Potsdam agreement? Wasn't churchill involved?
I've heard by word of mouth from people alive at the time (and I have no idea if this is true)that ethnic germans either were forced to leave or to take on Polish nationality and culture and names if they stayed. They had to renounce being German. Dark times.... Anyone know more?
Perhaps Poland needs something like the czech german agreement of 97 which addresses the same issue in the Czech republic?
""Red haird Gardener" and his son called "the son of the red haired gardener" "
On an aside....I've rarely if ever seen red hair in Poland. However, some Poles must carry the gene because of the scottish settlers. When we were in Poland my mother was telling me the histroy of an interesting man we had met at my cousin's wedding. My 17 year old nephew had had a very long conversation with him about Polish culture in the UK and I was curious about this man who found my nephew so engaging. He had married one of the most beautiful women in Myslenice and nobody could understand why she had gone for him because apparently both he and his brother had had red hair and were considered very unattractive because of this ("taki Rudy" etc). As neither of their parents was red haired there must be a recessive gene.
Not a very popular colour in Poland but those men WERE German.
The franks were a red or fair haired tribe. I don't think there are many celts in germany - did they pass through? They seem to have completely avoided Poland.
"Anyone know more"
One of our number has a Ph.D in the subject . It's not me.
"that ethnic germans either were forced to leave or to take on Polish nationality and culture and names if they stayed. They had to renounce being German."
Unless considered invaluable to the Polish nation all had to prove they were sufficiently Polish, in order to stay. Most German inhabitants left in early 1945 to avoid murder and rape. Others were expelled using force.
Few in Germany would consider the Poles claiming German ancestry in the 1980s and 1990s to be truely German. They just wanted a better life, or more accurately, more money.
Yes I was asking my mother about this after my original post and she agrees with what you are saying Hans - they wanted to leave because they were extremely unpopular.
It is a pity that after all this time and after all the experiences the two nations have had together that Polish German relations are still so distant. You would think both nations would learn that this is not the way forward. Maybe this is the overview because in reality many individual Poles and Germans get on very well. I even had a german admirer at university and lived with three german guys in halls. We all got on very well and history was not relevant. For some reason when you move from the individual to the group mentality people turn into primitive beasts full of hatred.
"For some reason when you move from the individual to the group mentality people turn into primitive beasts full of hatred"
Red haired people in Germany and England could be the inheritors of Saxon genes.
As for Celts they were present where Poland is now and they had left some cultural influence before they went south-westwards: the invention of a whirling wheel for producing pottery and the "-ice" ending in the names of places in southern Poland (Wadowice) or "-ici" Czech Rep. and Slovakia (Pardubici).
Fascinating. I thought Poland was settled by the Sarmatians. Hence the common link with Iran.
A strong link with Sarmatians is a part of a legend created by Polish nobility on the turn of 16th and 17th c. hence the term Sarmatyzm for a group certain cultural phenomena typical for Polish baroque.
Everyone was migrating through today's Poland - there were Gotts from Gottland, Celts and others but Slavic tribes won here. The reddish gene could be the influence of Vikings (called Russ) who travelled down Dniepr River and helped creating Ruś (which is not ideally the same as Russia).
Basically it is taken for granted that most of Europeans were originally emerging from the great steppes of Asia and filling in Europe. The newcomers were pushing the weaker westwards. Them more mild was the climate, fertile soil the more precious was the land - so I think the tribes who settled Ukraine were the regarded as winners then.