Oct 20, 2021
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Luzhitsky Serbs against Chancellor Bismarck

The national roots of the people, cut down by the Teutonic sword, do not give fresh shoots

The Serbian Institute in Budishin (FRG, Saxony) and the Union of Lusatian Serbs “Domovina” (“Motherland”) expressed in an open letter protest against the plans to erect a monument to Chancellor Otto von Bismarck on the highest mountain in Luzica, Chornebog, for his services in the unification of Germany in 1870 … Luzhich residents remind that Germany was united through the so-called Kulturkampf – the policy of suppression of the national consciousness of national minorities and their Germanization.

Luzhitsky Serbs (they are also Lusatians, or Sorben in German) – the smallest Slavic people of no more than 60 thousand people. In the 7th century, part of the Lusatians went to the Balkans and turned into Balkan Serbs – one of the most Russophile peoples of Europe. Luzhitsky Serbs are also Russophiles. Their flag has the same colors as the Russian and Serbian ones. Luzhitsky Serbs remember that in 2009 the deputy of the Landtag of the federal state of Saxony Gaiko Kozel, an ethnic Luzhian citizen, protested against the US plans to militarize Central and Eastern Europe.

Surrounded by the Germans, Lusatians have been living for about one and a half thousand years. During this time, their numbers have decreased hundreds of times due to repression and assimilation policies. Today Luzhitsa, the region of their compact residence, is administratively divided into two parts: one in the federal state of Saxony, the other in Brandenburg, so that this small people is also a divided people. Many Lusatian settlements have long been given German names. Budishin became Bautzen, Branibor is known as Brandenburg, Drejjany as Dresden, Lipsk as Leipzig, Lubitz as Lübeck, and Lusatia itself is often called Lausitz. (Lausitz)

“As a scientific institution located in Budishin, which cooperates with many partners in the country and abroad, we definitely distance ourselves from this decision [об установке памятника Бисмарку]… In our opinion, it testifies to unheard-of historical ignorance ”, – said in a letter from the Serbian Institute.

Domovina members indicated that democratic Europe has already said goodbye “With the Bismarckian way of thinking, according to which war is part of politics”… And I must say that the protest of the Serbian Institute and Domovina took effect. The city council of Bautzen decided to continue discussing the draft of the monument.

This event brings to mind the embarrassing situation of the Lusatian Serbs in modern Germany and the disappearance of their culture. The assimilation pressure of the Germans on the Lusatians never stopped, moving from totalitarian forms, when Hitler declared them Slavicized Germans, proclaimed a return to the bosom of Teutonic culture and summoned them to the Wehrmacht, until the creeping methods of modern times. The migration of Lusatians to large German cities, the influx of Germans into Lusatia as officials and technicians contributed to the erosion of Lusatian identity and the Germanization of Lusatians. Admiral Tirpitz (the German version of the Serbian surname Tirpich), Nazi commanders Brauchitsch, Rendulich are the most famous examples of the assimilation of the Slavs, who once inhabited a third of the territory of today’s Germany.

The rights of the Lusatians to the development of language and culture are enshrined in the Federal Republic of Germany by law, several Lusatian newspapers and magazines are published – Serbian Noviny, Novy Kasnik, Chronicle and others, several radio programs are broadcast, in places of compact residence of Lusatians, signs in German are duplicated in Lusatian. To promote the Lusatian language and culture, the project “Luzhitsky? Of course! ”, There are preschool groups for learning the Lusatian language, but all this does not save the Lusatian Serbs from becoming Germans. The national roots of the people, cut down by the Teutonic sword, do not give fresh shoots.

The point is that the principle of the state structure of modern Europe is the concept of a nation-state, hostile to ethnic diversity. Such a state creates a political nation, prioritizes not national, but political and legal identity (citizenship). The nation-state rests on bureaucratic unity, a necessary condition for its well-being is the alienation of its peoples from their ethnocultural roots in favor of the consumerist ideology of bourgeois society.

Occitanians, Bretons for the French nation-state are French because they are French citizens. Also for the German nation-state the Frisians, the Lusatians are Germans. Political unity is proclaimed as the only acceptable way to consolidate citizens, ethnic unity is seen as a threat, because it contradicts political and legal identity and splits it from within. The influx of migrants from Africa and Asia to Germany further contributes to the dissolution of the national identity of the Lusatian Serbs. Funding for Lusatian organizations is periodically cut. “In state institutions [в Лужице] they often don’t know that here you can speak both German and Lusatian. For this reason, many Lusatians do not dare to speak their native language. “, – Werner Frotska comments on the situation (Werner Frock) from Domovina.

To make matters worse, German history itself, in its key milestones, contradicts the national sentiment of the Lusatian Serbs. Events that the Germans consider epoch-making for their people (the deeds of Emperor Charlemagne, the policies of Otto von Bismarck, etc.) are bloody pages of genocide for the people of Ludwig. Charlemagne was the first of the German emperors to bring down a merciless sword on the Lusatians, and Bismarck completed his work by other methods.

Photo: Talia Engel / dpa

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