Die „Ruhrpolen“ - Hörspiel von "COSMO Radio po polsku" auf Deutsch
The Ruhr Poles
Increasing willingness to integrate and economic success
Nevertheless, many Ruhr Poles withdrew from the Polish club network over the years, and increasingly joined local German clubs. After the turn of the century, in addition to Prussian war clubs (in which former soldiers kept alive the memory of their military service regardless of their regional origin), and the rosary clubs in the local communities, the numerous new shooting clubs enjoyed growing popularity among immigrants from the East of Prussia, much to the annoyance of Polish national circles: “Recently the celebrations of the German shooting club [or rather the mixed shooting club because many Poles took part in these festivities], took place here, I feel uneasy here when I am compelled to write that the sons of such compatriots, who want to be regarded here as hard-working Poles, also took part in this manoeuvre. Likewise, compatriots with grey hair also took part. The situation seems all the more sad when the participants, or rather active members, are Poles who have been members of Polish associations for 20 years, some of whom are even board members." Shooting clubs were particularly attractive to young men. There were no decidedly Polish shooting clubs. Consequently, there was not even a potential alternative to existing local shooting clubs. Polish Catholic clubs, on the other hand, were more and more regarded as places where native practices and language were fostered. Many different, changeable patterns of consciousness had clearly emerged, each responding to change and consolidating over time.
Many Ruhr Poles were indifferent to the national cause. For them, social advancement, economic improvement and the hope of a little material prosperity were the driving forces behind their activities. For example, if a person was given the chance to increase his/her earnings by changing jobs in addition to the aforementioned boarding system, he or she was happy to seize the opportunity. Paweł Grzonka came to Bottrop in 1906. Between 1904 (when he was hired as a 16 year old at the Emmagrube in Radlin, Upper Silesia), and 1912, when he moved from the "Arenberg Fortsetzung" colliery to the "Prosper III" colliery in Bottrop as a faceworker, he improved his salary from 1.50 Marks to 7.80 Marks per shift. Despite general wage increases and the rate of inflation at the time, this was a remarkable increase in wages. Just as it only took a relatively short period of time for Grzonka to be able to buy his home furnishings and other inventory from the money he earned, other Ruhr Poles in the Rhineland-Westphalian industrial region were also proud to be able to rent their own dwelling and acquire home furnishings without having to take out loans.
 StA Hattingen, SHC01-398, translations…, No. 25, 1913, 20. June 1913, Aus Hörde wird uns geschrieben, in: Wiarus Polski, No. 220, 21. September 1913.
 Żywirska, Maria (Hg.): Życiorysy górników, mit einem Vorwort von Gustaw Morcinek, Katowice 1949, pp. 276–277.
 Ibid, p. 277.
 Księga rodziny Klonów / Bernard Klon o sobie, o.O., undated, p. 5 [unpublished copy owned by the author].