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Poles in Germany: Roads to visibility

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bambini, 1998. Ausstellungsansicht in der St. Elisabeth-Kirche, Berlin, Gallery Weekend 2015, Galerie ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin

Mediathek Sorted

Media library
  • Portrait in the Chapel of St John in Cologne Cathedral - At the tomb of Queen Richeza
  • The coats-of-arms of Hedwig Jagiellonica and Georg the Rich - The coats-of-arms of Hedwig Jagiellonica and Georg the Rich of Bavaria-Landshut in the castle at Burghausen.
  • A stained glass painting in the Landshut town hall. - A stained glass painting in the Landshut town hall. The window is in the main staircase. The picture shows Georg the Rich and Hedwig of Poland.
  • Johannes a Lasco, 1567 - Born into the family of a Polish magnate in 1499, Jan Łaski, whose Latin name is Johannes a Lasco, is predestined for a prominent political and theological career.
  • Count Athanasius Raczyński - Painting of Carl Wilhelm Wach
  • The Raczynski Palace  - At Königsplatz in Berlin, ca. 1875
  • Empfang der Polen in Leipzig 1830 - Guillaume Thierry, Lithographie nach einer Zeichnung von Charles Malankiewicz, 39,8 x 48,7 cm, 1830/31
  • Transit routes - Transit routes taken by Polish fighters in the November uprising and the German organisations providing help to Poland 1831 – 1833 (overview). H. Asmus, 1981
  • The Most Memorable Days in the Year 1830, a memorial tablet in 12 tableaux - Verlag Johann Andreas Endter, Nürnberg, 1830, engraving, coloured, 30.3 x 43.5 cm
  • Anniversary stamp "175 years of the Hambach Festival" - Deutsche Post special-issue stamp
  • Ludwik Mierosławski - Ludwik Mierosławski (1814-1878), photo ab. 1850
  • Portrait of Kraszewski around the year 1879 -
  • Photo of the building -
  • „Chopin spielt im Salon des Fürsten Anton Radziwill in Berlin“ - Ein Gemälde von Henryk Siemiradzki (1843-1902), um 1880, Sankt Petersburg, Staatliches Russisches Museum
  • Wiarus Polski, Bochum - Ausgabe vom 3. Juli 1907
  • Sachsengänger - Sachsengänger bei der Ankunft in Berlin, 1909
  • Cover page of the first edition of “Narodowiec” - Herne, 2 October 1909, from: “Polak w Niemczech”, Bochum 1972, p. 44
  • Atelier von Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski in München, 1889 - Carl Teufel: Künstleratelier Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski, München 1889. Schwarzweiß-Fotografie vom Glasnegativ, 18 x 24 cm 
  • In the workshop of Kossak - Kaiser Wilhelm II and Adolf v. Menzel in the workshop of the painter Adalbert von Kossak.
  • Speaking at the International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart - Rosa Luxemburg, August 1907.
  • Helena und Stanisław Sierakowski, Hochzeitsfoto, 1910  - Stanisław Sierakowski - der erste Vorsitzender des Bundes der Polen in Deutschland "Rodło"
  • Wedding telegram, 1913 - Wedding telegram with two men in national costume and the cartouche with a white eagle, colour print, 1913.
  • Study record Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg - With contributions by Edmund Husserl, 1916
  • "Pola Negri - unsterblich", Dokumentation von 2017 - Eine Filmdokumentation über Leben und Schaffen eines der größten Stummfilmstars in Deutschland polnischer Herkunft.

    "Pola Negri - unsterblich", Dokumentation von 2017

    Eine Filmdokumentation über Leben und Schaffen eines der größten Stummfilmstars in Deutschland polnischer Herkunft.
  • Drei Tage im November. Józef Piłsudski und die polnische Unabhängigkeit 1918" - Von Magdeburg in die Unabhängigkeit Polens - ein Film über einen polnischen Mythos.

    Drei Tage im November. Józef Piłsudski und die polnische Unabhängigkeit 1918"

    Von Magdeburg in die Unabhängigkeit Polens - ein Film über einen polnischen Mythos.
  • The House in the Magdeburg Fortress - The house in the Magdeburg Fortress where Józef Piłsudski was interned.
  • View of the “Red Salon” and the winter garden of the building - “Radziwill Palais”
  • The religious ceremony in Herne, 1930 - The religious ceremony of "Days of Faith of Our Fathers" in Herne, 1930
  • Werbeplakat für den Film "Ich liebe alle Frauen" (1935) mit Jan Kiepura  - Werbeplakat für den Film "Ich liebe alle Frauen" (1935) mit Jan Kiepura in der Hauptrolle
  • Dziennik Berliński - Ausgabe vom 10. November 1937 mit der Titelgeschichte über die Eröffnung des Polnischen Gymnasiums im ostpreußischen Marienwerder (polnisch Kwidzyń).
  • The Jankowski Family – Ruhr Poles in Herne 1936 - The Jankowski, parents with children, 1936 in Herne
  • Polnischer Zwangsarbeiter beim Milchfahren, ca. 1943 - Polnischer Zwangsarbeiter vom Hof Schweers (Kr. Borken) beim Milchfahren, ca. 1943, Sammlung Ignaz Böckenhoff: Das Dorf Raesfeld in den 1930er bis 1960er Jahren
  • Polish fashion magazine “Moda” in Niederlangen (Emsland), 1945 - The cover page of the magazine, which was created in the former prisoner of war camp for those involved in the Warsaw Uprising, announced a new fashion collection for summer 1945 (some of which were made from uniforms), shortly after their liberation by t
  • Wilhelmshaven, 1945 - Soldat der polnischen 1. Panzerdivision des Generals Stanissław Maczek auf dem Hof der Kaserne in Wilhelmshaven, Mai 1945.
  • Józef Szajna in Maczków - Józef Szajna in Maczków (Haren) on the Ems, 1946.
  • Friedhofskapelle im DP-Lager Flossenbürg, 1947 - Ein Kirchenfenster aus der durch polnische Displaced Persons 1946-47 erbauten Friedhofskapelle auf dem Gelände des ehemaligen KZ Flossenbürg (Detail) nach dem Entwurf von Władysław Płoskoń, 1947.
  • The film producer Artur "Atze" Brauner. - The film producer Artur "Atze" Brauner. The photo was taken on 25th January 2002 in Leipzig when he was there for the mdr talkshow "Riverboat".
  • Artur Brauner - Ein Jahrhundertleben zwischen Polen und Deutschland - Eine Filmdokumentation über die legendäre Persönlichkeit des deutschen und internationalen Films.

    Artur Brauner - Ein Jahrhundertleben zwischen Polen und Deutschland

    Eine Filmdokumentation über die legendäre Persönlichkeit des deutschen und internationalen Films.
  • Tadeusz Nowakowski, ca. 1950 - Tadeusz Nowakowski, ca. 1950
  • Teresa Nowakowski (101) im Gespräch mit Sohn Krzysztof, London 2019. - Teresa Nowakowski (101) im Gespräch mit Sohn Krzysztof, London 2019 (auf Polnisch).

    Teresa Nowakowski (101) im Gespräch mit Sohn Krzysztof, London 2019.

    Teresa Nowakowski (101) im Gespräch mit Sohn Krzysztof, London 2019 (auf Polnisch).
  • Fronleichnam in der Siedlung für polnische Displaced Persons in Dortmund Eving, 1951 - Ein durch die polnische DP-Familie Sokołowski angefertigter Alter für die Fronleichnamsprozession, Dortmund Eving, 1951.
  • Stefan Arczyński (right) with a friend in Moscow, 1956 - Stefan Arczyński (right) with a friend in Moscow. Photographer unknown, 1956.
  • Mieczysław Wejman, „Der Schlaf ist Bruder des Todes“, Wildflecken, 1971 - Ein Fresco des Professors der krakauer Kunstakademie (Fragment) zum Gedenken an 428 polnische Kinder und 116 Erwachsene, die im DP-Lager Wildflecken 1945-48 verstorben sind, Friedhofskapelle Wildflecken, 1971.
  • Marcel Reich-Ranicki in the ZDF studio - Programme title: Due to the occasion - Marcel Reich-Ranicki talks to Thomas Gottschalk
  • Karol Broniatowski - Memorial to the Jews deported from Berlin, 1991

    Karol Broniatowski

    Memorial to the Jews deported from Berlin, 1991
  • Historical association flags of the Union of Poles in Germany - Photo from St Anne's Church of the Polish Catholic Mission in Dortmund. The flags are part of the Porta Polonica collection
  • Film "The Madman and the Nun" - St. Ignacy Witkiewicz, Filmstudio Transform, Director: Janina Szarek - Film "The Madman and the Nun" - St. Ignacy Witkiewicz, Filmstudio Transform, Director: Janina Szarek

    Film "The Madman and the Nun" - St. Ignacy Witkiewicz, Filmstudio Transform, Director: Janina Szarek

    Film "The Madman and the Nun" - St. Ignacy Witkiewicz, Filmstudio Transform, Director: Janina Szarek
  • WORMHOLE, 2008 - A video installation in a public space. Steel construction, glass, video, monitor, DVD player. Ø = 100 cm, H = 110 cm. Copyright: Karina Smigla-Bobinski.

    WORMHOLE, 2008

    A video installation in a public space. Steel construction, glass, video, monitor, DVD player. Ø = 100 cm, H = 110 cm. Copyright: Karina Smigla-Bobinski.
  • Andrzej Wirth in his apartment in Berlin - Andrzej Wirth in his apartment in Berlin.
  • Interview with Leszek Zadlo - German only

    Interview with Leszek Zadlo

    German only
  • Köln, Hohenzollernbrücke - From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Cologne, Hohenzollern bridge”, Inkjet photo print, 85 x 240 cm.
  • ZEITFLUG - Hamburg - © all films: Stefan Szczygieł. Courtesy: Claus Friede*Contemporary Art, Hamburg.

    ZEITFLUG - Hamburg

    © all films: Stefan Szczygieł. Courtesy: Claus Friede*Contemporary Art, Hamburg.
  • Lech Wieleba - On the double bass.
  • ill. 17b: Empty Images, 2000/2006 - Bild (Berlin), 12th January 2006.
  • Monika Czosnowska, Johanna - Monika Czosnowska, Johanna , 2004, C-Print, 78 x 66 cm, Sammlung Marta Herford, Zugangsjahr: 2005
  • Polonia Dortmund 2012 - Robert Lewandowski, Łukasz Piszczek and Jakub Błaszczykowski from Borussia Dortmund – Champion of Bundesliga 2012
  • Małgosia Jankowska - In Blau, 2015, Aquarell, Filzstift auf Papier, 100 x 150 cm.
  • Katarzyna Myćka -
  • Der Planet von Susanna Fels - Ein Kunstfilm von Susanna Fels mit den Fotos von u.a. Annette Hudemann, 2019.

    Der Planet von Susanna Fels

    Ein Kunstfilm von Susanna Fels mit den Fotos von u.a. Annette Hudemann, 2019.
  • Agata Madejska, RISE, 2018 - Agata Madejska, RISE, 2018. Installation view, ∼ =, Impuls Bauhaus, Zeche Zollverein, Essen, 2019.
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bambini, 1998
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Bambini, 1998. Ausstellungsansicht in der St. Elisabeth-Kirche, Berlin, Gallery Weekend 2015, Galerie ŻAK | BRANICKA, Berlin

Migratory people

Over the centuries, people have migrated from Polish to German territories. Generally speaking, though, this was not mass migration, as opposed to the migration movements from west to east which, since the High Middle Ages, had seen large populations of German-speaking people streaming into eastern Central Europe in the course of territorial expansion (“Ostsiedlung”). Representatives from the elite in particular made to move to the West. These included a number of Polish princesses, predominantly from the Jagiellonian dynasty. The most well known of these must surely have been Jadwiga (Hedwig), a daughter of King Kasimir IV, whose wedding to Duke Georg the Rich of Bavaria-Landshut in 1475 was celebrated with a lavish celebration.

But there were also other reasons to migrate to the West: Merchants from Polish lands, often Jews, sought out the large trading towns and fairs in Breslau or Leipzig; some from Danzig, often Germans, carried out their business throughout half of Europe. Moreover, the Jewish communities in the Old Empire maintained close contact with the much livelier Jewish centres in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Many centres of European learning were also to be found in German lands, which is why large numbers of Polish students found their way to Cologne, Heidelberg, Leipzig or Königsberg. Many academics from Poland stayed in the Empire, for instance Matthäus from Kraków, who was Bishop of Worms from 1405 to 1410, or Johannes a Lasco, who established the Protestant church in East Frisia in the 1540s. A highpoint of the migration of the Polish elite was when August II and August III from the Saxon Wettin dynasty were on the Polish throne between 1697 and 1763 and Dresden attracted the nobility, officers, statesmen and artists from Poland. Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, who grew up in Hoyerswerda, became famous as one of Napoleon’s generals.

Worth mentioning are two settlement areas of Polish-speaking populations in regions that later belonged to the German Empire or to Prussia: The Masurians in southern Prussia, who had migrated to there from Mazovia since the 14th century, and the Polish population in Silesia, who were predominantly able to establish themselves in a large part of Upper Silesia.