The Kashubian (also: Kassuben, Polish Kaszubi, Kashubian Kaszëbi ) are a western Slavic people, consisting of the Pomeranians (of Slavic: Pomor'e = area by the sea ) emerged and in Poland in Pomeranian Voivodeship ( WojewĂłdztwo Pomeranian ) in the land Kaschubien, also called Kashubian, lives. In addition, many ethnic belonging, this feeling men in the United States, emigrated to Canada and to Germany or Poland are located in the other.

Name and language

Controversial is the origin of the name, a common explanation is that it extends from the Kassub, a cloak that bore the Kashubian, is derived. But this is not backed up. The Kashubian language, a West Slavic language of the Lechitic branch, which is now actively spoken by approximately 50,000 people, including both German (approx. 5%), as well as old-Prussian loanwords.

The Kashubian belonged to the now defunct National Branch of Slovincians, who settled west of today's Kashubian. Famous is the Kashubian costume, which is carried to the major holidays.


In the 13th century, the modern Pomerania (West Pomerania ) was in documents with Cassubie initially referred to, as opposed to Pomerania ( East Pomerania ).

Christianity came first about Polish missionaries to the Kashubian. The historical time of Pomerania began around the year 1000, when the resident in Gdansk Ostpommernfürst was baptized. After the conquest of Pomerania by the Christian Polish Duke Bolesław III. Wrymouth in the year 1121 this was complete from 1124 by the German bishop Otto of Bamberg, the Christianization of the whole population of Pomerania.

Bogufał II already knows the tribe of the " Caszubitae ", ie the Kashubian. Until the 14th century, but the Kashubian were still often called pomorani. Villa Leon ( Kashubian ) was called the land for Belgard at the Persante, an area in the later Province of Pomerania. The name came about in the 16th century, and later exclusively on the land ( Pomerelia, Pomerania ) and the people of today Kashubian.

With the German eastern settlement that began at the end of the 12th century in Pomerania, when the monastery Kolbatz was founded, began slowly running from west to east, a process of absorption of the Kashubian, which became a minority in the immigrant German population, in turn, place and field names, and even customs and other traditions of the Kashubian took over. In the Pomeranian duchies that belonged since the 13th century to the German Empire, was this development in the new German tribe of Pomerania was completed about the 16th century. In the eastern part of the Kashubian settlement area he came, however, at the same time to a standstill. This weaker captured by the colonization of the east part of Poland belonged since 1466, which passed for the further development of the Kashubian better conditions. After the territory was in 1772 came to Prussia, no comparable Germanization found there - and mixing process takes longer. The remained Catholic Kashubian in the former Prussian royal share not mingled with the majority of evangelical down German-speaking population of its region - in contrast to the evangelical slowinzischsprachigen Lebakaschuben in Pomerania. While in the first half of the 19th century in the province of Pomerania still 4,080 Kashubian (1827 ) were counted, there were only 310 in 1900 in the province of West Prussia, however, was their number in the same period from 85,100 risen to around 200,000. Under both German and Polish dominance were among the Kashubian minority as rural. An approach to the world with its advancement opportunities opened up for Kashubian only by mastering the respective languages.

The Kashubian who live in the state of Poland today, although maintain their own language and tradition, but often feel historically and ethnically connected with Poland. Since the 19th century there today and there are various currents within the Kashubian, which either emphasize the special closeness of the Kashubian to Poland and to Polish and themselves rather denote an ethnic group, and ( much lower ) currents, in contrast, the independent Kashubian nationality in focus, which is sometimes considered part of some of Poland as a separatist tendency. As an example of these two currents, two important Kashubian personalities of the 19th century can be called that have both rendered outstanding services to the Kashubian language and its development: During the Kashubian writer Hieronim Derdowski ( 1852-1902 ) wrote " Nie ma Kaszëb bez Polonii, a bez Kaszëb Polśczi " ( " There is no Kaschubien without Polonia, and no Poland without Kaschubien " ), turned Ceynowa Florian ( 1817-1881 ), both against the Germanization and Polonization against a Kashubian and criticized the Polish clergy and Polish nobility. Kashubian is now taught at various locations Kashubia in schools, an independent literature is promoted and protected by the Polish government.

Today's localization

The Kashubian inhabit the areas around Puck ( Puck kasch.; German Puck ), Wejherowo ( kasch. Wejrowò; German Neustadt i Westpr. ) Kościerzyna ( kasch. Kòscérzëna; German Berent ), Chojnice ( kasch. Chònice; dt. Konitz ), Bytów ( kasch. Bëtowò; German Buetow ), Kartuzy ( kasch. Kartuzë; German Karthaus ) and Gdańsk ( kasch. Gduńsk; German Danzig). The latter, Gduńsk, consider the Kashubian as their capital, even among the larger cities percentage most Kashubian in Gdynia ( kasch. Gdiniô; German Gdynia ) reside.


Among the most famous Kashubian the modern era include:

  • Florian Ceynowa (1817-1881), physician, writer, civil rights activist
  • Gerard Labuda (1916-2010), historian, medievalist
  • Józef Jankowski (1910-1941), Pallotine priests and blessed martyrs spoken in the Second World War.
  • Aleksander Majkowski (1876-1938), doctor, Kashubian and Polish-speaking writers
  • Marian Mokwa (1889-1987), painter of Kashubian landscape and the Baltic Sea
  • Danuta Stenka ( b. 1961 ), actress
  • Edmund Wnuk - Lipiński ( b. 1944 ), Polish- science-fiction author and sociologist
  • Dorota Masłowska ( b. 1983 ), Polish -language writer
  • Donald Tusk ( born 1957 ), Polish Prime Minister

Partial Kashubian ancestors:

  • Ludwig Yorck von Wartenberg (1759-1830), Prussian general field marshal
  • Paul Nipkow (1860-1940), German engineer and inventor
  • Erich von Lewinski Gen. von Manstein (1887-1973), German Field Marshal
  • Günter Grass ( * 1927), German writer
  • Walter Hoeft (1906-1939), priest, victims of violence ( massacres of Piaśnica )
  • Erich von dem Bach - Zalewski (1899-1972), SS -Obergruppenführer