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Lusatia
Lusatia
(German: Lausitz, Upper Sorbian: Łužica, Lower Sorbian: Łužyca, Polish: Łużyce, Czech: Lužice) is a region in Central Europe. The region is the home of the ethnic group of Lusatian Sorbs, a small Western Slavic
Western Slavic
nation. It stretches from the Bóbr
Bóbr
and Kwisa rivers in the east to the Pulsnitz and Black Elster
Black Elster
in the west, today located within the German states of Saxony
Saxony
and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
as well as in the Lower Silesian and Lubusz voivodeships of western Poland. Historically, Lusatia
Lusatia
belonged to several different countries. Being part of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown
Lands of the Bohemian Crown
(the so-called Czech Lands) for three hundred years, alongside them it passed to the Habsburg Monarchy and from it to the Electorate of Saxony. The greater part passed to the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
in 1815 and the whole region merged into Germany
Germany
in 1871. After the occupation of Eastern Germany
Germany
by the Red Army
Red Army
and the partition in 1945, the eastern part of Lusatia
Lusatia
along the Lusatian Neisse
Lusatian Neisse
river was given to Poland
Poland
where the boundary is called the Oder–Neisse line. In the Polish part today, Polish is spoken, and in the German part German, Upper- and Lower Sorbian. The biggest Lusatian town is Cottbus (Lower Sorbian: Chóśebuz).

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Geography

2.1 Upper Lusatia 2.2 Lower Lusatia 2.3 Lusatian Lake District 2.4 Upper Lusatian Heath and Pond Landscape

3 Lusatian capitals 4 History

4.1 Early history 4.2 Bohemian rule 4.3 Saxon rule 4.4 Prussian and German rule 4.5 Since 1945

5 Demographics

5.1 Sorbs 5.2 Demographics in 1900

6 Literature 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Etymology[edit] The name derives from the Sorbian word łužicy meaning "swamps" or "water-hole", Germanised as Lausitz. Lusatia
Lusatia
is the Latinised form which spread in the English and Romance languages
Romance languages
area. Geography[edit]

A view of the Lusatian Highlands

Map of the Lusatias with Sorbian and German names

Lusatia
Lusatia
comprises two both scenically and historically different parts: a hilly southern "upper" section and a "lower" region, which belongs to the North European Plain. The border between Upper and Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
is roughly marked by the course of the Black Elster river at Senftenberg
Senftenberg
and its eastern continuation toward the Silesian town of Przewóz on the Lusatian Neisse. Neighbouring regions were Silesia
Silesia
in the east, Bohemia
Bohemia
in the south, the Margraviate of Meissen and the Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg
Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg
in the west as well as the Margraviate of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
(Mittelmark) in the north. Upper Lusatia[edit] Main article: Upper Lusatia Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
(Oberlausitz or Hornja Łužica) is today part of the German state of Saxony, except for a small part east of the Neisse River around Lubań, which now belongs to the Polish Lower Silesian voivodeship. It consists of hilly countryside rising in the South to the Lusatian Highlands
Lusatian Highlands
near the Czech border, and then even higher to form the Zittau
Zittau
Hills, the small northern part of the Lusatian Mountains (Lužické hory/Lausitzer Gebirge) in the Czech Republic. Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
is characterised by fertile soil and undulating hills as well as by historic towns and cities such as Bautzen, Görlitz, Zittau, Löbau, Kamenz, Lubań, Bischofswerda, Herrnhut, Hoyerswerda, and Bad Muskau. Many villages in the very south of Upper Lusatia contain a typical attraction of the region, the so-called Umgebindehäuser, half-timbered-houses representing a combination of Franconian and Slavic style. Among those villages are Niedercunnersdorf, Obercunnersdorf, Wehrsdorf, Jonsdorf, Sohland an der Spree with Taubenheim, Oppach, Varnsdorf
Varnsdorf
or Ebersbach. Lower Lusatia[edit] Main article: Lower Lusatia

Map of the Lusatian Lake District
Lusatian Lake District
(Lausitzer Seenland, Łužyska jazorina, Łužiska jězorina)

Most of the area belonging to the German state of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
today is called Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
(Niederlausitz or Dolna Łužyca) and is characterised by forests and meadows. In the course of much of the 19th and the entire 20th century, it was shaped by the lignite industry and extensive open-pit mining. Important towns include Cottbus, Eisenhüttenstadt, Lübben, Lübbenau, Spremberg, Finsterwalde, Senftenberg
Senftenberg
(Zły Komorow), and Żary, which is now considered the capital of Polish Lusatia.[1] Between Upper and Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
is a region called the Grenzwall, literally meaning "border dyke", although it is in fact a morainic ridge. In the Middle Ages this area had dense forests, so it represented a major obstacle to civilian and military traffic. Some of the region's villages were damaged or destroyed by the open-pit lignite mining industry during the DDR era. Some, now exhausted, former open-pit mines are now being converted into artificial lakes, with the hope of attracting holiday-makers, and the area is now being referred to as the Lusatian Lake District
Lusatian Lake District
(Lausitzer Seenland). Lusatian Lake District[edit] Main article: Lusatian Lake District

Lake Senftenberg

The Lusatian Lake District
Lusatian Lake District
(German: Lausitzer Seenland, Lower Sorbian: Łužyska jazorina, Upper Sorbian: Łužiska jězorina) will become Europe's largest artificial lake district. Some of the biggest lakes are Lake Senftenberg
Senftenberg
(Senftenberger See / Złokomorowski jazor) and Bluno Southern Lake (Blunoer Südsee / Južny Blunjanski jězor). Upper Lusatian Heath and Pond Landscape[edit]

Logo of the Upper Lusatian Heath and Pond Landscape Biosphere Reserve

The Upper Lusatian Heath and Pond Landscape (German: Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft, Upper Sorbian: Hornjołužiska hola a hatowa krajina) is the region richest in ponds in Germany, and together with the Lower Lusatian Pond Landscape forms the biggest pond landscape in Central Europe. Lusatian capitals[edit]

The town of Bautzen/Budyšin at night

As Lusatia
Lusatia
is not, and never has been, a single administrative unit, Upper and Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
have different, but in some respects similar, histories. The city of Cottbus
Cottbus
is the largest in the region, and though it is recognized as the cultural capital of Lower Lusatia, it was a Brandenburg
Brandenburg
exclave since 1445. Historically, the administrative centres of Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
were at Luckau
Luckau
and Lübben, while the historical capital of Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
is Bautzen. Since 1945, when a small part of Lusatia
Lusatia
east of the Oder-Neisse Line
Oder-Neisse Line
was incorporated into Poland, Żary, has been touted as the capital of Polish Lusatia.[2] History[edit] Early history[edit] According to the earliest records, the area was settled by culturally Celtic tribes. Later, around 100 BC, the Germanic tribe of the Semnones
Semnones
settled into that area. The name of the region may be derived from that of the Ligians. From around 600 onwards, West Slavic tribes known as the Milceni
Milceni
and Lusici settled permanently in the region. In the 10th century, the region came under the influence of the Kingdom of Germany, starting with the 928 eastern campaigns of King Henry the Fowler. Until 963 the Lusatian tribes were subdued by the Saxon margrave Gero
Gero
and upon his death two years later, the March of Lusatia
Lusatia
was established on the territory of today's Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
and remained with the Holy Roman Empire, while the adjacent Northern March again got lost in the Slavic uprising of 983. The later Upper Lusatian region of the Milceni
Milceni
lands up to the Silesian border at the Kwisa river at first was part of the Margraviate of Meissen
Margraviate of Meissen
under Margrave Eckard I. At the same time the Kingdom of Poland
Poland
raised claims to the Lusatian lands and upon the death of Emperor Otto III in 1002, Margrave Gero
Gero
II lost Lusatia
Lusatia
to the Polish Duke Boleslaw I the Brave, who took the region in his conquests, acknowledged by Henry II first in the same year in Merseburg and later in the 1018 Peace of Bautzen, Lusatia became part of his territory;, however, Germans and Poles continued struggling for administration of the region. It was regained in a 1031 campaign by Emperor Conrad II in favour of the Saxon German rulers of the Meissen House of Wettin
House of Wettin
and the Ascanian margraves of Brandenburg, who purchased the March of (Lower) Lusatia
Lusatia
in 1303. In 1367 the Brandenburg
Brandenburg
elector Otto V of Wittelsbach finally sold Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
to King Karel of Bohemia
Bohemia
and it was incorporated into Bohemia. Bohemian rule[edit] As Margrave Egbert II of Meissen supported anti-king Rudolf of Rheinfelden during the Investiture Controversy, King Henry IV of Germany
Germany
in 1076 awarded the Milceni
Milceni
lands of Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
as a fief to the Bohemian duke Vratislav II. After Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had elevated Duke Vladislaus II to the rank of a King of Bohemia
Bohemia
in 1158, the Upper Lusatian lands around Bautzen
Bautzen
evolved into a Bohemian crown land. Around 1200, large numbers of German settlers came to Lusatia
Lusatia
in the course of the Ostsiedlung, settling in the forested areas yet not inhabited by the Slavs. The Bohemian rule in Upper Lusatia
Lusatia
was secured with the extinction of the rival Brandenburg
Brandenburg
House of Ascania in 1320 and the rise of the Luxembourg dynasty, Kings of Bohemia
Bohemia
starting in 1310. In 1346 six Upper Lusatian cities formed the Lusatian League
Lusatian League
to resist the constant attacks conducted by robber barons. The association supported King Sigismund in the Hussite Wars
Hussite Wars
leading to armed attacks and devastation. The cities were represented in the (Upper) Lusatian Landtag
Landtag
assembly, where they met with the fierce opposition of the noble state countries. Following the Lutheran
Lutheran
Reformation, the greater part of Lusatia
Lusatia
became Protestant
Protestant
except for the area between Bautzen, Kamenz
Kamenz
and Hoyerswerda. The Lusatias remained under Bohemian rule – from 1526 onwards under the rule of the House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg
– until the Thirty Years' War. Saxon rule[edit]

Map of the Lusatias by J.B. Homann, about 1715.

According to the 1635 Peace of Prague, most of Lusatia
Lusatia
became a province of the Electorate of Saxony, except for the region around Cottbus
Cottbus
possessed by Brandenburg. After the Saxon elector Augustus the Strong was elected king of Poland
Poland
in 1697, Lusatia
Lusatia
became strategically important as the elector-kings sought to create a land connection between their Saxon homelands and the Polish territories. Herrnhut, between Löbau
Löbau
and Zittau, founded in 1722 by religious refugees from Moravia
Moravia
on the estate of Count Nicolaus Zinzendorf became the starting point of the organised Protestant
Protestant
missionary movement in 1732 and missionaries went out from the Moravian Church
Moravian Church
in Herrnhut
Herrnhut
to all corners of the world to share the Gospel. The newly established Kingdom of Saxony, however, sided with Napoleon; therefore, at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, Lusatia
Lusatia
was divided, with Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
and the northeastern part of Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
around Hoyerswerda, Rothenburg, Görlitz
Görlitz
and Lauban awarded to Prussia. Only the southwestern part of Upper Lusatia, which included Löbau, Kamenz, Bautzen
Bautzen
and Zittau, remained part of Saxony. Prussian and German rule[edit] The Lusatians in Prussia demanded that their land become a distinct administrative unit, but Lower Lusatia
Lower Lusatia
was incorporated into the Province of Brandenburg, while the Upper Lusatian territories were attached to the Province of Silesia
Silesia
instead. The 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed an era of cultural revival for Slavic Lusatians. The modern languages of Upper and Lower Lusatian (or Sorbian) emerged, national literature flourished, and many national organisations such as Maćica Serbska and Domowina
Domowina
were founded. This era came to an end during the Nazi regime in Germany, when all Sorbian organisations were abolished and forbidden, newspapers and magazines closed, and any use of the Sorbian languages
Sorbian languages
was prohibited. During World War II, some Sorbian activists were arrested, executed, exiled or sent as political prisoners to concentration camps. From 1942 to 1944 the underground Lusatian National Committee was formed and was active in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Since 1945[edit]

The flag of the Lusatian National movement

After World War II according to the Potsdam Agreement, Lusatia
Lusatia
was divided between Allied-occupied Germany
Germany
(Soviet occupation zone) and the Republic of Poland
Poland
along the Oder–Neisse line. Poland's communist government expelled all remaining Germans and Sorbs
Sorbs
from the area east of the Neisse river during 1945 and 1946. The Lusatian National Committee in Prague claimed the right to self-government and separation from Germany
Germany
and the creation of a Lusatian Free State or attachment to Czechoslovakia. The majority of the Sorbian intelligentsia was organised in the Domowina, though, and did not wish to split from Germany. Claims asserted by the Lusatian National movement were postulates of joining Lusatia
Lusatia
to Poland
Poland
or Czechoslovakia. Between 1945–1947 they produced about ten memorials[3] to the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, Poland
Poland
and Czechoslovakia; however, this did not bring any results. On 30 April 1946, the Lusatian National Committee also submitted a petition to the Polish Government, signed by Paweł Cyż – the minister and an official Sorbian delegate in Poland. There was also a project to proclaim a Lusatian Free State, whose Prime Minister was intended to be the Polish archaeologist of Lusatian origin, Wojciech Kóčka. In 1945, the northeastern part of Upper Lusatia
Upper Lusatia
west of the Neisse rejoined Saxony
Saxony
and in 1952, when the state was divided into three administrative areas (Bezirke), the Upper Lusatian region became part of the Dresden administrative region. After the East German Revolution of 1989, the state of Saxony
Saxony
was reestablished in 1990. Lower Lusatia remained with Brandenburg, from 1952 until 1990 in the Bezirk of Cottbus. In 1950, the Sorbs
Sorbs
obtained language and cultural autonomy within the then–East German state of Saxony. Lusatian schools and magazines were launched and the Domowina
Domowina
association was revived, although under increasing political control of the ruling Communist Socialist Unity Party of Germany
Germany
(SED). At the same time, the large German-speaking majority of the Upper Lusatian population kept up a considerable degree of local, 'Upper Lusatian' patriotism of its own. An attempt to establish a Lusatian Land within the Federal Republic of Germany failed after German reunification
German reunification
in 1990. The constitutions of Saxony and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
guarantee cultural rights, but not autonomy, to the Sorbs. Demographics[edit] Sorbs[edit]

The bilingual part of Lusatia, where the Sorbs
Sorbs
make more than 10% of the population

Bilingual
Bilingual
station of Forst (Lausitz)

More than 60,000[citation needed] of the Sorbian Slavic minority continue to live in the region. Historically, their ancestors are West-Slavic-speaking tribes such as the Milceni, who settled in the region between the Elbe and the Saale. Many still speak their language (though numbers are dwindling and especially Lower Sorbian is considered endangered), and road signs are usually bilingual. However, the number of all the inhabitants of this part of eastern Saxony
Saxony
is declining rapidly - by 20% in the last 10 to 15 years.[when?] Sorbs make efforts to protect their traditional culture manifested in the traditional folk costumes and the style of village houses. The coal industry in the region (like the Schwarze Pumpe power station
Schwarze Pumpe power station
needing vast areas of land) destroyed dozens of Lusatian villages in the past and threatens some of them even now. The Sorbian language is taught at many primary and some secondary schools and at two universities (Leipzig and Prague). Project "Witaj" ("welcome!") is a project of eight preschools where Sorbian is currently the main language for a few hundred Lusatian children. There is a daily newspaper in the Sorbian language (Serbske Nowiny); a Sorbian radio station (Serbski Rozhłós) uses local frequencies of two otherwise German-speaking radio stations for several hours a day. There are very limited programmes on television (once a month) in Sorbian on two regional television stations (RBB and MDR TV). Demographics in 1900[edit] Percentage of Sorbs:

Cottbus
Cottbus
(Province of Brandenburg) 55.8% Hoyerswerda
Hoyerswerda
(Province of Silesia) 37.8% Bautzen
Bautzen
(Kingdom of Saxony) 17.7% Rothenburg (Province of Silesia) 17.2% Kamenz
Kamenz
(Kingdom of Saxony) 7.1%

Total number: 93,032[4] The number of Sorbs
Sorbs
in Lusatia
Lusatia
has decreased since the 1900 census due to intermarriage, cultural assimilation related to industrialisation and urbanisation, Nazi suppression and discrimination, and the settlement of expelled Germans after World War II, mainly from Lower Silesia
Silesia
and Northern Bohemia. Literature[edit]

Micklitza, Kerstin and André: Lausitz – Unterwegs zwischen Spreewald und Zittauer Gebirge. 5. aktualisierte und erweiterte Aufl. Trescher Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-89794-330-8. Brie, André: Lausitz – Landschaft mit neuem Gesicht. Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersberg 2011, ISBN 3-865-68538-2. Micklitza, Kerstin and André: HB-Bildatlas Spreewald-Lausitz. 4. aktualisierte Aufl. HB Verlag, Ostfildern 2008, ISBN 978-3-616-06115-3. Jacob, Ulf: Zwischen Autobahn und Heide. Das Lausitzbild im Dritten Reich. Eine Studie zur Entstehung, Ideologie und Funktion symbolischer Sinnwelten. Hrsg. von der Internationalen Bauausstellung Fürst-Pückler-Land, Großräschen (Zeitmaschine Lausitz), Verlag der Kunst, Dresden in der Verlagsgruppe Husum, Husum 2004, ISBN 3-86530-002-2. Freiherr von Vietinghoff-Riesch, Arnold: Der Oberlausitzer Wald – seine Geschichte und seine Struktur bis 1945. [Reprint.] Oberlausitzer Verlag, Spitzkunnersdorf 2004, ISBN 3-933827-46-9.

See also[edit]

Herrnhut
Herrnhut
Moravian Church
Moravian Church
and Nicolaus Zinzendorf Lusatian League Milceni Wends Obotrites

References[edit]

^ http://www.zary.pl/PL/87/Stolica_Polskich_Luzyc/ ^ http://www.zary.pl/PL/87/Stolica_Polskich_Luzyc/ ^ on site Prolusatia foundation "Działalność Wojciecha (Wojcecha) Kócki w serbołużyckim ruchu narodowym w latach 1945 - 1950" ^ All figures from the 1900 census.

External links[edit]

Media related to Lusatia
Lusatia
at Wikimedia Commons  "Lusatia". Encyclopædia Britannica. 17 (11th ed.). 1911. 

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 241421

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