[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Poland's "Dutch" Villages

Otto otto at schienke.com
Wed Jul 4 06:30:25 PDT 2012

To follow up on Helen's comments:

Lack of an insight to past history creates a morning fog situation. Poland has been host to many ethnic immigrants, for that is what our forefathers were.

I've condensed the following as much as needed yet kept it informative if you do the suggested supportive readings. May you be left with an expanded view of colonist settlers and their motives upon completion even though we are always left with questions generated.

National boundaries are constantly changing so it is preferable to analyze our villages using ethnicity/genetics as a base.

Who qualify as "Germanic" people? 
Peoples of the Germanic tribes. 
Most Dutch, Frisian, Saxon, English, Danes, Norwegian, Icelandics, Swedes, Finns, Swiss, French, many Americans, Canadians, Afrikaners  and even many people in present day Germany and some in Poland and surrounding countries.  Add your own to the list.

Why do people immigrate? 
Because we can, to promote our self-interests.
The immigrants lived in harmony with their local geographical features and area's laws.
The colonization of Poland's glacial river valleys occurred during the middle ages by people living under the 'jus theutonicum', the German right.  Around 1500 c.e. only marshy pradoliny (polish for valley) and  sand soil free of silt (Icelandic geological name 'sandr') remains.
Hanseatic League (trade) These all come into play.
Danzig was a 'free city'. East Prussia became the first Lutheran state in the world 1525.

Our discussion is one of geography.
Poland's reasons for wanting certain immigrants to settle: To make fertile river valley muck areas, glacial sandr areas and also flood control.

Needed were immigrants capable of turning swamps and marshes into fields and meadows.
Who? The "Dutch", specifically the Frisians, with a couple thousand years or so of living on the waterfronts. This type of work was performed in not only what is present day Holland but the Atlantic coast of France, in the English Fens and on many areas of the German coast and in Poland.
There existed reasons for persons to migrate:
Economic, social and religious which encompassed waterfront plague, political strife and war, religious strife and war and to maintain the Frisian freedom oft referred to as 'Dutch' town law.

Time of migrations:
1300's ce
1400's ce
1500's ce
1600's ce

Areas that were migrated to over the years from west to east (north sea to baltic sea):
Polish/Royal Prussia 
Ducal Prussia (became 1st Lutheran state in the world 1525 ce)

From 1530 ce onward:
Many were Frisian Mennonites, followers of Menno Simons, an ex-roman catholic priest.
1496 ce- 1561ce.
Anabaptist religious leader.
Contemporaries: Zwingli, Amman, Grebel, Clavin and Luther

Not all Mennonites were Frisian, not all Frisians were Mennonites.

The settlers were NOT going to drain swamps and create fertile sand banks with much sweat and toil under German town law to revert back to nobles.
It would happen under Frisian town law or as referred to, "Dutch law".

Three main migrations to Poland to live under the so-called "Dutch" town law:
2,000 "Dutch" villages in Poland, some remain.
Three main immigrations:
1 Frisian (dutch)
2 Pomeranian
3 Silesian

Some notes:
1564 "Dutch" settlers in the area of Graudenz
1629 negotiating with the city of Warsaw about the colonization of the islands in the Vistula
1650 on the mouth of river Wieprz
Jan Zamoyski governor of Marienburg
2nd immigration
1660 Pomeranians in the 'Dutch manner.'
3rd focus of immigration
1700's Silesians came to Poland -to the south of the provinces of Poznań and Kalisz
(many Poles now bearing the name "Nowak" - Newman.
Only "Free men" would take the time to develop the poor soil.
Times changed - about 1880 peasants of more than 20 "Dutch" villages of the region of Gostynin left for Wolhynia.  Others went to Siberia.

I've based some of this on a six page article written by Dr. Walter Maas - 1901 - 1976 (1951 papers (6) on "Dutch Villages" in Poland. copyrighted.
If you have access to a university library you can obtain it from JSTR.

. . .   Otto
         " The Zen moment..." wk. of January 01, 2012-
                "The World Is . . . what we make of it."

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