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The Province of Silesia (german: Provinz Schlesien; pl, Prowincja Śląska; szl, Prowincyjŏ Ślōnskŏ) was a
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...
of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...
from 1815 to 1919. The
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and East ...

Silesia
region was part of the Prussian realm since 1740 and established as an official province in 1815, then became part of the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
in 1871. In 1919, as part of the
Free State of Prussia The Free State of Prussia (german: Freistaat Preußen) was a of from 1918 to 1947. It was established in 1918 following the , abolishing the and founding the in the aftermath of the . The was a direct successor to the , but featured a , ...
within
Weimar Germany The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
, Silesia was divided into the provinces of
Upper Silesia Upper Silesia ( pl, Górny Śląsk; szl, Gōrny Ślōnsk; cs, Horní Slezsko; german: Oberschlesien; Silesian German: ; la, Silesia Superior) is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia, located mostly in Poland, ...
and
Lower Silesia Lower Silesia ( pl, Dolny Śląsk; cz, Dolní Slezsko; german: Niederschlesien; hsb, Delnja Šleska; dsb, Dolna Šlazyńska; la, Silesia Inferior; Silesian German: ''Niederschläsing''; szl, Dolny Ślůnsk) is the northwestern part of the hi ...
. Silesia was reunified briefly from 1 April 1938 to 27 January 1941 as a province of
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
before being divided back into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.
Breslau
Breslau
(present-day Wrocław,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in . It is divided into 16 , covering an area of , and has a largely climate. Poland has a population of nearly 38.5 million people, and is the fifth-most populous . ...

Poland
) was the provincial capital.


Geography

The territory on both sides of the
Oder The Oder ( , ; Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is ...

Oder
river formed the southeastern part of the Prussian kingdom. It comprised the bulk of the former Bohemian crown land of Upper and
Lower Silesia Lower Silesia ( pl, Dolny Śląsk; cz, Dolní Slezsko; german: Niederschlesien; hsb, Delnja Šleska; dsb, Dolna Šlazyńska; la, Silesia Inferior; Silesian German: ''Niederschläsing''; szl, Dolny Ślůnsk) is the northwestern part of the hi ...
as well as the adjacent
County of Kladsko The County of Kladsko ( cs, Kladské hrabství, german: Grafschaft Glatz, pl, Hrabstwo kłodzkie) was a historical administrative unit within Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest histor ...
, which the Prussian King
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia King ''in'' Prussia ( German: ''König in Preußen'') was a title used by the Prussian kings (also in personal union Electors of Brandenburg) from 1701 t ...

Frederick the Great
had all conquered from the Austrian
Habsburg Monarchy Habsburg Monarchy (german: Habsburgermonarchie), or Danubian Monarchy (german: Donaumonarchie), or Habsburg Empire (german: Habsburgerreich) is a modern umbrella term In linguistics, hyponymy (from Greek language, Greek ὑπό, ''hupó'', "u ...

Habsburg Monarchy
under Empress
Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dominions from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position. She was the ...
in the 18th century
Silesian Wars The Silesian Wars (german: Schlesische Kriege, links=no) were three wars fought in the mid-18th century between Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated i ...
. It furthermore included the northeastern part of
Upper Lusatia Upper Lusatia (german: Oberlausitz ; hsb, Hornja Łužica ; dsb, Górna Łužyca; szl, Gōrnŏ Łużyca; pl, Łużyce Górne or ''Milsko''; cz, Horní Lužice) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic ...
around
Görlitz Görlitz (; Upper Lusatian dialect: ''Gerlz'', ''Gerltz'', and ''Gerltsch'', pl, Zgorzelec, szl, Gorlice, hsb, Zhorjelc, dsb, Zgórjelc, cz, Zhořelec) is a town in the Germany, German state of Saxony. Located in the region of Lusatia on ...

Görlitz
and Lauban, ceded to Prussia by the
Kingdom of Saxony The Kingdom of Saxony (german: Königreich Sachsen), lasting from 1806 to 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in French period, Napoleonic through German Confederation, post-Napoleonic Germany. The kingdom was ...
according to the resolutions of the
Vienna Congress The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) w ...

Vienna Congress
in 1815. The province bordered on the Prussian heartland of
Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
(including the newly acquired lands of
Lower Lusatia Lower Lusatia (; ; ; szl, Dolnŏ Łużyca; ; ) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic group, ethnic, linguistics, linguis ...
) in the northwest, and on the
Grand Duchy of Posen The Grand Duchy of Posen (german: link=no, Großherzogtum Posen; pl, Wielkie Księstwo Poznańskie) was part of the Kingdom of Prussia, created from territories annexed by Prussia after the Partitions of Poland, and formally established followin ...
(
Province of Posen The Province of Posen (german: Provinz Posen, pl, Prowincja Poznańska) was a province of Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duchy of Pr ...
from 1848) in the north, i.e. the Greater Polish lands that before the 18th century
Partitions of Poland The Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Pola ...

Partitions of Poland
had belonged to the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland, was a country and bi-federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
. In the northeast, Upper Silesia bordered on remaining
Congress Poland Congress Poland or Russian Poland, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland, was a polity created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna as a semi-autonomous Poland, Polish State (polity), state and successor to Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw. It was est ...
, the
Russian partition The Russian Partition (sometimes called Russian Poland) constituted the former territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that were annexed by the Russian Empire in the course of late-18th-century Partitions of Poland. The Russian acqui ...
that was incorporated as
Vistula Land Vistula Land or Vistula Country (russian: Привислинский край, ''Privislinsky krai''; pl, Kraj Nadwiślański) was the name applied to the lands of Congress Poland from 1867, following the defeats of the November Uprising (1830 ...
by 1867. In the east lay the Austrian share, the Lesser Polish
kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria The Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, also known as Austrian Galicia or Austrian Poland, was established in 1772 as a crown land, crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy. It encompassed regions that were acquired by the First Partition of Poland. ...
with the
Free City of Kraków The Free, Independent, and Strictly Neutral City of Cracow with its Territory, more commonly known as the Free City of Cracow, and the Republic of Cracow, was a city republic created by the Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) o ...
(until 1846), and in the south the remaining Bohemian crown lands of
Austrian Silesia Austrian Silesia (german: Österreichisch-Schlesien (historically also ''Oesterreichisch-Schlesien, Oesterreichisch Schlesien, österreichisch Schlesien''); cs, Rakouské Slezsko; pl, Śląsk Austriacki), officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower ...
,
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a cult ...

Moravia
and
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, ...

Bohemia
proper. The incorporated Upper Lusatian strip of land in the west touched the remaining territory of the Saxon kingdom.


History


Prussian Silesia, 1740–1815

The coronation of
Maria Theresa Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (german: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dominions from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position. She was the ...
as
queen regnant A queen regnant (plural: queens regnant) is a female monarch, equivalent in rank and title to a king (title), king, who reigns in her own right over a realm known as a "kingdom"; as opposed to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king ...
of the
Kingdom of Bohemia The Kingdom of Bohemia ( cs, České království; german: link=no, Königreich Böhmen; la, link=no, Regnum Bohemiae), sometimes later in English literature referred to as the Czech Kingdom, was a medieval In the history of Europe ...
immediately triggered an invasion of the region of
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and East ...

Silesia
by King
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia King ''in'' Prussia ( German: ''König in Preußen'') was a title used by the Prussian kings (also in personal union Electors of Brandenburg) from 1701 t ...

Frederick the Great
of
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...
, thereby starting the
War of the Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was the last Great Power conflict with the House of Bourbon, Bourbon-Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1740 to 1748 and marked the rise of Kingdom of Prussia, Prus ...
(1740–1748). By the end of the
First Silesian War The First Silesian War (german: Erster Schlesischer Krieg, links=no) was a war between Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia and Archduchy of Austria, Austria that lasted from 1740 to 1742 and resulted in Prussia's seizing most of the region of Silesia (no ...
in 1742, the Prussian forces had conquered almost all of the Habsburg crown land in Silesia, while according to the peace treaties of Breslau and
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...
, only some smaller parts in the extreme southeast, like the
Duchy of Teschen The Duchy of Teschen (german: Herzogtum Teschen), also Duchy of Cieszyn ( pl, Księstwo Cieszyńskie) or Duchy of Těšín ( cs, Těšínské knížectví, was one of the Duchies of Silesia centered on Cieszyn (''Teschen'') in Upper Silesia Upper ...

Duchy of Teschen
as well as the southern parts of the duchies of
Troppau Opava (; german: Troppau, sli, Tropp, pl, Opawa, la, Oppavia, szl, Ôpawa) is a city in the eastern Czech Republic on the river Opava (river), Opava, located to the north-west of Ostrava. Opava is one of the historical centres of Silesia. It ...
and
Nysa Nysa may refer to: Greek Mythology * Nysa (mythology) or Nyseion, the mountainous region or mount (various traditional locations), where nymphs raised the young god Dionysus * Nysiads, nymphs of Mount Nysa who cared for and taught the infant Di ...
, remained possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy as
Austrian Silesia Austrian Silesia (german: Österreichisch-Schlesien (historically also ''Oesterreichisch-Schlesien, Oesterreichisch Schlesien, österreichisch Schlesien''); cs, Rakouské Slezsko; pl, Śląsk Austriacki), officially the Duchy of Upper and Lower ...
. Attempts by Maria Theresa to regain the crown land in the Second Silesian War (1744–1745) failed and she ultimately had to relinquish her claims over Silesia by the
Treaty of Dresden The Treaty of Dresden was signed on 25 December 1745 at the Saxon capital of Dresden Dresden (, ; wen, label=Sorbian languages, Upper and Lower Sorbian, Drježdźany) is the capital city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxon ...
. The
Third Silesian War The Third Silesian War () was a war between Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duchy of Prussia, a duchy centered on the Prussia (regio ...
(1756–1763), a theatre of the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, once again confirmed Prussian control over most of Silesia, and due to its predominantly
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
population especially in Lower Silesia, it became one of the most loyal territories of the
House of Hohenzollern The House of Hohenzollern (, also , , german: Haus Hohenzollern, ro, Casa de Hohenzollern) is a German royal dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford ...
. When the Prussian territories were reorganized upon the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was an international diplomatic conference to reconstitute the European political order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon I Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) w ...

Congress of Vienna
, the Province of Silesia was created out of the territories acquired by Prussia in the Silesian Wars, as well as those
Upper Lusatia Upper Lusatia (german: Oberlausitz ; hsb, Hornja Łužica ; dsb, Górna Łužyca; szl, Gōrnŏ Łużyca; pl, Łużyce Górne or ''Milsko''; cz, Horní Lužice) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographic ...
n territories which King
Frederick Augustus I of Saxony pl, Fryderyk August Józef Maria Antoni Jan Nepomucen Alojzy Ksawery , image = Frederick Augustus I of Saxony by Marcello Bacciarelli (ca 1808-1809).png , caption = Portrait by Marcello Bacciarelli Marcello Bacciarelli (; 16 February 1731 – ...
had to relinquish due to his indecisive attitude in the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. As the lands had been part of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
until 1806, Silesia was among the western Prussian provinces that lay within the borders of the
German Confederation The German Confederation (german: Deutscher Bund) was an association of 39 predominantly German-speaking sovereign states in Central Europe, created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as a replacement of the former Holy Roman Empire, which had ...

German Confederation
.


Province of Silesia


Kingdom of Prussia and German Empire

In 1815, after the Napoleonic wars, Prussian Silesia was formally reorganized into the Province of Silesia. The character of the province's eastern third, Upper Silesia, had been much lesser shaped by the medieval German ''
Ostsiedlung (, literally "East settling") is the term for the High Medieval The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that lasted from around AD 1000 to 1250. The High Middle Ages In the history of Eur ...

Ostsiedlung
''. According to the census of 1905, about three-quarters of the Silesian inhabitants were
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
–speaking, while a majority of the population to the east of the Oder river spoke
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
(including Silesian and
Lach dialects The Lachian dialects (Lach dialects, cs, lašská nářečí, lašstina, pl, gwary laskie, not to be confused with the Lechitic language group) are a group of West Slavic dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , ...
). Because of the extended
iron ore Iron ores are rocks In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...
and
black coal Image:Coal bituminous.jpg, 275px, Bituminous coal Bituminous coal or black coal is a relatively soft coal containing a tarlike substance called bitumen or asphalt. It is of higher quality than lignite and Sub-bituminous coal, Sub-bituminous coal, b ...

black coal
deposits of the
Upper Silesian Coal Basin The Upper Silesian Coal Basin ( pl, Górnośląskie Zagłębie Węglowe, GZW, cs, Hornoslezská uhelná pánev) is a coal Coal is a black or brownish-black , formed as called . Coal is mostly with variable amounts of other , chiefly , ...
, there was considerable
industrialization Industrialisation ( alternatively spelled industrialization) is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society An agrarian society, or agricultural society, is any community whose economy is b ...
and
urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from rural File:Rural landscape in Finland.jpg, A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000. In general, a rural area or a countryside is a geographi ...
in Upper Silesia and many people from neighbouring Posen and
Congress Poland Congress Poland or Russian Poland, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland, was a polity created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna as a semi-autonomous Poland, Polish State (polity), state and successor to Napoleon's Duchy of Warsaw. It was est ...
immigrated at that time. In 1871, Silesia became part of the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
as a province of Prussia following the
unification of Germany The unification of Germany into the German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Benningto ...
. The
Upper Silesian Industrial Region 300px, Central part of the Upper Silesian Industrial Region - Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia, Upper Silesian Metropolis. The Upper Silesian Industrial Region ( pl, Górnośląski Okręg Przemysłowy, , Polish abbreviation: ''GOP'' ; ge ...
was the second largest industrial
agglomeration Agglomeration may refer to: * Urban agglomeration, in standard English * Megalopolis, in Chinese English, as defined in China's ''Standard for basic terminology of urban planning'' (GB/T 50280—98). Also known as "city cluster". * Economies of aggl ...
of the German Empire after the
Ruhr The Ruhr ( ; german: Ruhrgebiet ), also referred to as Ruhr area, Ruhr district, Ruhr region, or Ruhr valley, is a polycentric Polycentric is an English adjective, meaning "having more than one center," derived from the Greek words ''polús'' ( ...

Ruhr
area. Over decades the mainly
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
Upper Silesian citizens in majority voted for the German Centre Party, while the Lower Silesian constituencies were dominated by the Free-minded Party and the
Social Democrats Social democracy is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that supports Democracy, political and economic democracy. As a policy regime, it is described by academics as advocatin ...
. Ethnic tensions rose on the eve of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, with politicians like
Wojciech Korfanty Wojciech Korfanty (; born Adalbert Korfanty; 20 April 1873 – 17 August 1939) was a Polish activism, activist, journalist and politician, who served as a member of the German Empire, German parliaments, the Reichstag (German Empire), Reichstag an ...

Wojciech Korfanty
separating from the Centre Party and giving utterance to distinct Polish interests.


Weimar Republic

In 1919, a year after the war ended, the parts of Silesia remaining in
Weimar Germany The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
were re-organized into the two provinces of
Lower Silesia Lower Silesia ( pl, Dolny Śląsk; cz, Dolní Slezsko; german: Niederschlesien; hsb, Delnja Šleska; dsb, Dolna Šlazyńska; la, Silesia Inferior; Silesian German: ''Niederschläsing''; szl, Dolny Ślůnsk) is the northwestern part of the hi ...
(''Niederschlesien'') and
Upper Silesia Upper Silesia ( pl, Górny Śląsk; szl, Gōrny Ślōnsk; cs, Horní Slezsko; german: Oberschlesien; Silesian German: ; la, Silesia Superior) is the southeastern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia, located mostly in Poland, ...
(''Oberschlesien'', the former ''
Regierungsbezirk A ' () means "governmental district" and is a type of administrative division in Germany. Four of sixteen ' (states of Germany) are split into '. Beneath these are rural and urban districts. Saxony has ' (directorate districts) with more resp ...
Oppeln''). After three
Silesian Uprisings The Silesian Uprisings (german: Aufstände in Oberschlesien, links=no; pl, Powstania śląskie, links=no) were a series of three uprisings from August 1919 to July 1921 in Upper Silesia, which was part of the Weimar Republic The Weimar ...
and the 1921 Upper Silesia plebiscite, the
East Upper SilesiaEast Upper Silesia (german: Ostoberschlesien) is the easternmost extremity of Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories ...
n part of the province around the industrial town of
Kattowitz Katowice ( , , ; german: Kattowitz) is the capital city of the Silesian Voivodeship in south-west Poland, and the central city of the Upper Silesian metropolitan area. It is the 11th-most populous city in Poland, while its urban area is the Me ...

Kattowitz
was transferred to the
Second Polish Republic The Second Polish Republic, at the time officially known as the Republic of Poland, was a country in Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Centr ...
and incorporated into the
Silesian Voivodeship Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province ( pl, województwo śląskie ) is a voivodeship A voivodeship is the area administered by a voivode (Governor) in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since medi ...
in 1922. Further, in 1920 the
Hlučín Region Hlučín Region ( cs, Hlučínsko, german: Hultschiner Ländchen, pl, Ziemia hulczyńska) is a historically significant part of Czech Silesia Czech Silesia (, also , ; cs, České Slezsko; szl, Czeski Ślōnsk; sli, Tschechisch-Schläsing; ge ...
was ceded to
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
according to the
Treaty of Versailles The Treaty of Versailles (french: Traité de Versailles; german: Versailler Vertrag, ) was the most important of the peace treaties A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or government ...
.


=Division after WWI

=


Nazi Germany

On 1 April 1938 the Province of Silesia was re-established by
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
by uniting the existing Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia provinces, then following the conquest of Poland, the border was extended eastwards when parts of Polish Silesia were merged into the province. On 27 January 1941, during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the province of Silesia was divided again by reverting into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. Upon the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line according to the 1945
Potsdam Agreement The Potsdam Agreement (german: Potsdamer Abkommen) was the 1 August 1945 agreement between three of the Allies of World War II : Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill meeting at the Cairo Conference ...
, most of the Prussian Silesia Province became part of Poland, incorporated into the
Lubusz Lebus ( pl, Lubusz) is a historic town in the Märkisch-Oderland District of Brandenburg, Germany. It is the administrative seat of ''Amt (country subdivision), Amt'' ("collective municipality") Amt Lebus, Lebus. The town, located on the west bank ...
, Lower Silesian,
Opole Opole (; german: Oppeln ; szl, Ôpole; see #Names and etymology, below) is a city located in southern Poland on the Oder River and the historical capital of Upper Silesia. With a population of approximately 128,035 (December 2019), it is the capi ...
and
Silesian Voivodeship Silesian Voivodeship, or Silesia Province ( pl, województwo śląskie ) is a voivodeship A voivodeship is the area administered by a voivode (Governor) in several countries of central and eastern Europe. Voivodeships have existed since medi ...
s. The German-speaking population left or was expelled following World War II, though a minority remains. A smaller western part of the former Silesia Province lies within modern
German states The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...

German states
of
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
and
Brandenburg Brandenburg (, also , ; nds, Brannenborg; dsb, Bramborska) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...

Brandenburg
.


Demographics

According to the Prussian census of 1890, the province of Silesia had a population of 4,224,458, of which 3,105,843 (73.52%) spoke
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
, 973,596 (23.05%) spoke
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
, 68,781 (1.63%) spoke
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
, 26,257 (0.62%) spoke Sorbian and 48,045 (1.14%) identified as bilingual. Regierungsbezirk Liegnitz - 1,047,405 (96.41% German, 2.51% Sorbian, 0.53% Polish, 0.11% Czech, 0.38% bilingual). Regierungsbezirk Breslau - 1,599,322 (95.63% German, 3.08% Polish, 0.59% Czech, 0.64% bilingual). Regierungsbezirk Oppeln - 1,577,731 (58.23% Polish, 35.91% German, 3.69% Czech, 2.14% bilingual).


Administration


References


Notes


External links


Coats of arms
of Upper Silesian towns while part of the Province of Silesia

{{Authority control
1939 establishments in Germany {{Commons category, 1939 establishments in Germany Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German ...
1941 disestablishments in Germany History of Silesia Silesia, Province of 1815 establishments in Prussia Former eastern territories of Germany