[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Changes in 19th century Europe; was Re: Going Brain Dead Already

Jerry Frank jkfrank at shaw.ca
Thu Jun 20 08:19:30 PDT 2002

Even though you don't want to read a book, I highly recommend that you go 
to your library in the hope of finding "Historical Atlas of East Central 
Europe" by Paul Magocsi.  A picture is worth a thousand words that only 
take a few pages, not an entire book.  The maps are in colour showing 
changes in various time periods.  Brief descriptions are included.  You 
don't have to memorize detailed dates or events or read detail nor remember 
the precise location of borders but I think the visualization of the maps 
will help you to understand.

Briefly:  For most of the 120 years from the latter part of the 1700s 
through to WW I, east central Europe was controlled by 3 nations - Prussia 
(later became Germany) to the north and west, Russia to the east, and the 
Austro-Hungarian Empire to the south.  Poland ceased to exist as an 
independent nation though parts of it controlled by Russia and Austria did 
operate with some semi-autonomy.

If you have exit documents from these countries, you will probably find 
them referred to as described above - Prussia (or Germany), Russia, or 
Austria.  However, references about these places in other locations might 
take a different form.

That part of Poland controlled by Russia is often referred to as the 
Kingdom of Poland, Congress Poland, or the Vistula Territory.

That part of Poland controlled by Prussia may be referred to as Poland 
though not often.

That part of Poland controlled by Austria is referred to as Galicia.

Then in all of this mess, keep in mind the distinction between ethnic and 
political boundaries.  Someone with Polish ethnicity living in Galicia 
might report later that he was born in Poland.

Also keep in mind the timing of the document.  Suppose someone is born in 
Russia before WW I.  After WW I, that village is in Poland.  The emigrant 
becomes naturalized in Canada after WW I.  Should he report his village as 
being in Russia or in Poland?  You could find either.

At 02:23 AM 20/06/2002 -0400, DonnamarieBoyer at aol.com wrote:
>I hated history when young and now somehow its
>haunting me. What I missed learning out there. My question is........since
>all these places have changed...Austria, Poland, Hungary ect.


>Please dont tell me
>to read a book of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire or that stuff cause my mind
>cant suck it in. Its all too complicated for me. If someone can explain nice
>and easy.......I hope that I can understand. Im greatful in advance for any
>help from this request. God Bless, Donnamarie

Jerry Frank - Calgary, Alberta
jkfrank at shaw.ca

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