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Title:Language background and use among the German minority in Poland
Author(s):Grotovsky, Zachary
Advisor(s):Yildiz, Yasemin
Department / Program:Germanic Languages & Lit
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):German language
German minority
Abstract:The German minority in Poland has a special history that includes many changes, many difficulties, but also many victories. To further understand this group of people, their background, and their use of the German language, this study first examines the multiple population shifts among the German minority population in Poland. After reviewing the available scholarship, this study seeks to add more detailed information about German language use among the German minority population after 2005, including current efforts to preserve its German cultural heritage. A survey was distributed to 46 different German minority clubs and organizations in the Opole Voivodeship and the Silesian Voivodeship, the two areas in Poland most heavily populated by members of the German minority. With 34 respondents, the survey revealed what contact the population has with the German language, their attitudes towards it, and the presence of the German language in Polish schools. The general trend is that German is first seen as a way to further career possibilities, then as an identity marker. The attitude towards the German language is slowly improving, and its presence is slowly increasing in Polish schools. Analysis of these findings reveals that the population is likely to continue emphasizing the learning of German as a way to better their lives, and the younger generations seem to be more interested and willing to participate in German minority events. The study also highlights where future investigation of Poland’s German minority is needed, such as individual case studies, closer examination of specific towns, or a comparative analysis of Poland’s German minority and minority populations in other locations.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Zachary Grotovsky
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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