Germany and the Sorbs
Group names: Janina, Lilian, Lotte, Adéla, Yan
Overview
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Historical Background
Situation Today
Constitution Proposal
Historical Background
Origin
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Slavic migration in the 6th century
Pottery from Prague found in 660
Genetic similarity to Poles and Czechs
Historical Background
History
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Political autonomy until 806
Charlemagne’s wars (772 – 804)
Sorbian Mark
The German Drang Nach Osten (from
928)
Christianisation in the 9th century
Reformation lead to written language
Wendish Seminary in Prague (1706)
The railway in mid 1800
Historical Background
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Strict germanisation after connection to Prussia
National movement - rebirth of national
consciousness, national feeling and national pride
1848 – Petition of Sorbian People
1912 – Domowina
Historical Backgrounds
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German Constitution of 1919 - free and proper
development to non – German speaking people
Nazis – German tribe speaking Slavic language
Prohibition of institutions and language
After war – included in GDR
Article 11 of the German Constitution minority rights
1948 - Law for the Protection of the Rights of the
Sorbian population
Historical Backgrounds
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Activities officially limited to the cultural sector
Strict control of government
Numerous institutions founded
Villages taken down because of brown coal industry
After unification autonomy efforts
Situation Today
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Still represented in Germany by a number of around
60.000 Sorbs.
Live in the South-East of Brandenburg and the
North-East of Saxony, the region is called Lusatia
Their Language is divided into an Upper- and a
Lower Sorbian based on Polish and Czech The
Sorbian language and German language have
influenced each other
Religion: Upper Lusatia is more Catholic while
Lower Lusatia is more Protestant
Map of the Sorbs
On special occasions, young girls wear their traditional dress
Situation Today
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Sorbs express their culture by publishing books,
newspapers and having radio and TV emissions
They also wear their traditional clothes and have
traditional dances and celebrate traditional festivities
Have their own kindergartens, schools, political
party
Have an institution “Domowina” which has been
founded in 1912 to defend the Sorbs’ political
interests and to safeguard the Sorbian culture and
language
Stanislav Tillich
Situation Today
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Stanislav Tillich, who is a Sorb, holds the headposition in the federal State of Saxony at the moment.
But he is not representing the Sorbian party; instead:
Member of the Conservative party
Have German citizenship and all the rights you get
with it
Their rights are protected by the Two European
Treaties, the Constitution of Germany and the federal
Constitutions of Brandenburg and Saxony; These
guarantee protection and encouragement of the
Sorbian culture, language, tradition and give them
special political rights and rights in educational matters.
Constitution
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Article 1 : Right for self-determination
“Sorbs have the right for self-determination”
Article 2 : Protection of the language
“Sorbian language must be protected and
promoted. No restrictions of the Sorbian
language shall be applied”
Constitution
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Article 3 : Protection of the culture and
right to develop it. “Sorbs have the right to
practice and revitalize their cultural traditions
and customs”
Article 4 : Prohibition of force removal
“Sorbs shall not be forcibly removed from
their lands or territories”
Constitution
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Article 5 : Non-discrimination and equality
“No discrimination based on national identity of
Sorbs can be implemented”
Article 6 : Right to education
“Sorbs have the right to establish and control their
educational systems and institutions providing
education in their own languages”
Constitution
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Article 7 : Right to have a political representation (in the
Parliament) “Sorbs have the right to participate in decisionmaking. At least one seat in the Parliament has to be
guaranteed for their political representative”
Article 8 : Right to autonomy or self-government in
matters relating to their internal and local affairs
“Sorbs people have the right to be consulted or to have take
part to the decision-making process especially in matters that
concern their internal affairs”
Constitution
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Article 9 : Right to maintain and
strengthen their distinct political, legal,
economic, social and cultural institutions
Article 10 :Right for information
“Sorbs have the right to establish media in
their own languages”
Article 11 : State’s responsibility
“State shall take effective measures to
guarantee these rights”
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Historical Background