Polish Emigrants in Germany. A Phenomenon of the 19th-century Europe. An Attempt at Synthesis

Lech Trzeciakowski
Original title: Emigracja polska w Niemczech : fenomen XIX-wiecznej Europy : próba generalizacji
Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka 2004
Translated by: Katarzyna Hussar

Some years ago in the Die Zeit weekly one could read an anecdote on the supposed origins of the inhabitants of the Ruhr district. The story was set in a football club in one of the towns of the German industrial region. The secretary was preparing the list of the newly recruited team members, which read as follows: ‘Skrzypczak, Pszeniczny, Kaczmarek, Skrzek…’ When one of the boys introduced himself as Muller, the secretary said to him, astonished: ‘Your name sounds so awkward… Go on and spell it for me’. The intention behind this simple story was to educate the reader on the complexity of the industrial society development process and the role played in this process by the immigrants from Prussian Poland…

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