Chuck Weinstein <cmw521@...>
First of all, Poland did not exist as a country >from 1795 to 1918. It was
partitioned between Germany (Prussia), Austria, and the Russian Empire. What is now
western Poland was part of what became Germany by 1871. The language was German
and records were generally kept in German by the authorities. Poland was created
after World War I by carving out much of Galicia >from the Austro-Hungarian Empire,
part of Pomerania and much of East Prussia >from the German Empire, and a large
portion of western USSR and Lithuania (including parts of Belarus and Ukraine).
Poland then fought wars with the Soviet Union and Lithuania to establish its
borders. Poland was again dismembered in September, 1939, and towards the end of
World War II, Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt redrew the map of Europe,
essentially moving Poland two hundred miles westward, giving large pieces of the
country to Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine, and shaving off about two hundred miles
of German East Prussia, Silesia, and most of the rest of Pomerania to keep Poland
almost the same size in area. Between the wars, records for the Polish state were
most likely kept in Polish. After World War II, Poland ethnically cleansed the
former German areas of Germans, and resettled parts of it with ethnic Poles who
fled >from the areas claimed by the Soviet Union.
I hope this helps.
Prussia occupied western Poland for more than a hundred years. Did the
Prussians make a set of vital records for themselves, in German? Or did they
just deal with the records in Polish? Or are there vital records of
residents of Poland in some archive in Germany.