About the
Sorbs (Wends)

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I collected some informations about the Sorbs and arranged them here.

Additionally some more interesting links to internet pages about the Sorbs:

The history of the Sorbs:

In the 6./7. century slavonic tribes settled in the area between Elbe/Saale and Oder/Queiss in the course of the people migration. In the following centuries they came under fixed German state rule, among them also the tribes of the Milzener (today upper sorbs) and Lusitzer (today lower sorbs/Wends). Starting from the 12. century, due to the increasing colonizing of the Lausitz of German settlers, also began the gradual christianisation of the "Wends", as the at that time living Slavonics were also called by the Germans. In the year 1815, after the Viennese congress, it came to a territorial re-allocation of the Lausitz. The Lower Lausitz fell to the Prussian province Brandenburg and the southwest of the Upper Lausitz remained in Saxonia. The reason that today in the Lower Lausitz the sorbian language strongly decreased is to search in the rigorously led policy from Prussia against the Sorbs at that time, in contrast to Saxonia. In addition it comes that with the industrialization after 1871 and in consequence of the general increase of the German influence more and more village municipalities changed to the language of the majority. Only the catholic area in the Upper Lausitz remained unaffected of it to a large extent. With the establishment of the DOMOWINA as umbrella organisation of sorbian associations in the year 1912 the fight for preservation and promotion of the sorbian language and culture strengthened crucially. It were banned in 1938, sorbian clergymen and teachers were posted into German areas. Since the establishment of the GDR the Sorbs were promoted stronger, however at the same time the DOMOWINA was pushed into the political dependency of the SED. After the political turn in 1989 also the restructuring of the DOMOWINA took place, so that today it again functions as umbrella organisation of sorbian associations.
--> History Articles or tabular

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The political situation:

The Sorbs are politically represented by the DOMOWINA, which is the umbrella organisation of sorbian associations. In the state of Brandenburg a Sorbian Council was established in 1994, which advises the federal state parliament and the government in all matters concerning the Sorbs. There are no sorbian party, neither in the Free State of Saxonia nor in the state of Brandenburg. Occasionally it succeeds to integrate sorbian representatives in the majority parties on state and federal level. On the district level sorbian voter unions were formed for the first time in 1994. Due to the municipality and district reform sorbian representatives are almost exclusively in the minority.
--> Constitution (Excerpts)

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The cultural life:

There is sorbian culture on more professional level as well as on the people-artistic level. For the first the sorbian national ensemble, the DOMOWINA publishing house GmbH Bautzen, the Sorbian Institut e.V and the German Deutsch-Sorbian folk theatre is to call. On the people-artistic level there are culture associations, choirs, amateur dramatic societies, music groups, dance groups, church choirs etc. particularly in the villages.
--> Culture (regional)

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Education system:

There are 16 sorbian and bilingual day-care centre for children. Of these 8 are in private sponsorship, the remaining in the sponsorship of the municipalities. In the Free State Saxonia there are 7 sorbian primary schools, 6 sorbian middle schools and a sorbian High School and further 26 primary schools and 6 middle schools with lessons in sorbian language. In the state of Brandenburg at 16 schools lessons are given in sorbian/wendish language. Unfortunately, there are not any longer sorbian native language classes here. The interests of the sorbian public education are represented and cared for by the 1991 established Sorbian school Association e.V..

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The Sorbian institutions and associations are promoted by the donation for the sorbian people institutionally or by projects, beside private promoters and sponsors.

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The bilingual area is located in the economic peripheral part of Germany and also the European union. Accordingly the incomes also are quite low and the unemployment rate is high, which particularly causes a relatively high movement rate of the youth. After the political turn in 1989 particularly small sorbian handicrafts enterprises developed. In the section of the agriculture primarily corporations developed. The sorbian institutions and administrative mechanisms are mainly situated in the cities Bautzen and Cottbus.

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There is a monthly halfhour television broadcast on the regional television of the ORB (lower sorbian) and a daily three-hour upper sorbian radio broadcast in the MDR respectively a daily one-hour lower sorbian/wendish radio broadcast in the ORB. The DOMOWINA publishing house Bautzen is publisher of the upper sorbian daily newspaper "Serbske Nowiny". In addition the following periodicals appear: weekly the lower sorbian newspaper "Nowy Casnik" and the confessional newspapers "Katolski posol" and "Pomhaj Boh", monthly the child and pupil magazine "Plomjo" respectively "Plomje" (upper respectively lower sorbian/wendish), the teacher magazine "Serbska sula" and the culture magazine "Rozhlad". Starting from January 1996 the publication of an independent appearing youth magazine is planned by the sorbian youth association Pawk e.V..

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Particularly in the Upper Lausitz there are a number of sorbian and bilingual sport associations. These united themselves in the sports club "Sokol" (the falcon) revived in 1992. Particularly team sports such as soccer and volleyball are practiced. Known are the sorbian soccer association Sokol Ralbitz/Horka and Budissa Bautzen, which play both in the local leagues.

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In case of questions or suggestions just write an Email to me.

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