Noel Cameron-Baehnisch in a rush of enthusiasm has translated the Dąbrówka Wielkopolska (fmly Groß Dammer) article in Polish Wikipedia. This may mainly be of interest to specialists and enthusiasts but the persistent will be rewarded. I’ve added here some images from the article, first the famous folkloric church:
Next to the church stands a belfry:
Here’s the famous chateau, apparently as it appeared in 1858:
This is a more modern version, in a winter mood:
This is a park scene in the chateau complex:
In the centre of the village we find an attractive pond:
Related articles may be found under the tag Bahnisch family history.
My rough translation of the Polish WIKIPEDIA article: found 7/7/2014; translated word-by-word using the Internet on the 9 July 2014. Dabrowka (pronounced “dom-BROOF-kah”) is the village where my Polish ancestors, the Ruciaks (“ROO-chark”), came from; they were Prussian subjects but ethnically very Polish. I assume the information in this WIKIPEDIA article is accurate, though I know it consists of contributions from one person or several people, none of whom can be classified as professional historians. WIKIPEDIA is free; professional history is not.
Dąbrówka Wielkopolska (niem. Groß Dammer ) – wieś w Polsce położona w województwie lubuskim, w powiecie świebodzińskim, w gminie Zbąszynek.
Translation notes: Polish is a heavily inflected language; words typically consist of a stem followed by all sorts of complex “inflections” or case endings, like in Greek, Latin, Russian and German).
niem. (abbreviation) = German. wies = village (“-wice” in placenames; wsi = in the village). “w” is a preposition which means in, towards, to, etc.
Village on Polish territory, in the Lubuska Province, District of Swiebodzin, sub-district of Zbaszynek (the modern industrial and railway town just south of Dabrowka).
Państwo Polska [Nation of Poland]
Województwo lubuskie [Province of Lubuska]
Powiat świebodziński [District of Swiebodzin]
Gmina Zbąszynek [Sub-district of Zbaszynek]
Liczba ludności (2010) 1172  [population in 2010]
Strefa numeracyjna (+48) 68 [telephone area code]
Tablice rejestracyjne FSW [car number-plate begins with “FSW”]
Spis treści [List of Contents]
1 Historia [history]
2 Zabytki [monuments]
4 Przypisy [references]
[Brian – The above images appeared from nowhere. The aren’t in the Word file Noel sent me, or in the back-end copy that generates the post, so I can’t remove them!]
Miejscowość wzmiankowana była już w 1406 jako wieś szlachecka Dambrowca w dobrach zbąszyńskich. W XV w. osada była w posiadaniu rodziny Zbąskich. Niestety we wsi nie zachowała się stara kronika z XIV w. napisana po łacinie i po polsku przechowywana w miejscowym kościele św. Jakuba Apostoła, ponieważ wypożyczona została przez Uniwersytet Humboldta w Berlinie i nigdy już do Dąbrówki nie powróciła .
Zbaszyn = German Bentschen, an important town just SE of Dabrowka; many families left the Bentschen district for South Australia. Neubentschen (New Bentschen) = Zbanszynek.
This place was mentioned as early as 1406 as the wies szlachecka (noble village = village owned by an aristocrat) of DAMBROWCA in the Zbaszyn Town records. W XV. wieku (in the 15th century) this settlement (osada) was the possession of a Zbaszyn family. Unfortunately the village no longer has its stara kronika z XIV w. (14th-century Old Chronicle), written in Latin (po lacinie) and Polish (po polsku) and stored in the Church of Saint James the Apostle (Jakuba Apostola) – because it was borrowed (wypozyczona) by the Humboldt University in Berlin (the oldest and most prestigious university in Berlin) and nie powrocila (never returned)!!
Osada zbudowana na planie tzw. owalnicy z charakterystycznym placem wewnętrznym, zwanym nawsiem.
z = the preposition means with, from, about, out of, because of, in, etc.
Settlement built on a so-called oval (owalnicy) plan with characteristic … … [too difficult for me to translate the rest].
Mimo bezpośredniego sąsiedztwa z niemieckim obszarem etnicznym i procesów germanizacyjnych, polska ludność autochtoniczna stanowiła zawsze większość mieszkańców zachowując polską mowę i obyczaje. W 1905 we wsi mieszkało 1.038 osób, w tym 90,1% Polaków oraz 9,7% Niemców .
niemieckim = the stem niem plus a complex inflection and case ending = German.
Despite (mimo) the closeness of ethnically German territory and the process of Germanification (procesow germanizacyjnnych), the native population always (zawsze) preserved (zachowujac) its polska mowe i obyczaje (Polish language and customs). In 1905, we wsi (in the village) were 1038 people, of whom 90.1% were ethnically Polakow (Polish) and 9.7% ethnically Niemcow (German).
W 1910 jako dominium Gross Dammer miejscowość należała do Bernharda von Britzke. Mimo protestów polskiej ludności w 1919 pozostała w granicach Rzeszy na mocy decyzji komisji międzyalianckiej. W latach 1815-1945 Dąbrówka Wielkopolska należała do powiatu międzyrzeckiego (Kreis Meseritz).
In 1910, the “dominium” of Gross Dammer was owned by the aristocrat, Bernhard von Britzke (von is the aristocratic adjective and Britzke looks like a Slavic name; Bernharda is in the genitive case): in other words, the village was owned by Von Britzke, who obviously lived in the big palac (chateau). Despite (mimo) the protests of the Polish population in 1919, it remained inside the border of the Rzesz (Polish form of Reich), because of a decision by an international commission. In the years 1815-1945, Dabrowka belonged to Kreis Meseritz (the Prussian District of Meseritz Town).
W latach 1929–1939 we wsi działała polska szkoła, w której nauczało 3 nauczycieli, a uczyło się 140 dzieci . Szkoła po raz pierwszy wzmiankowana była w 1640. W miejscowości istniało także przedszkole polskie założone w 1935 roku, z 70 dziećmi.
In the years 1929-1939, the village operated its own Polish school (polska szkola), in which 3 teachers (nauczycieli) taught about 140 dzieci (children). The school was pierwszy wzmiankowana (first mentioned) in the year 1640. There was also (takze) a Polish kindergarten (przed-szkole polskie), founded in 1935, with 70 youngsters (dziecmi).
W 1939 na 1.287 mieszkańców wsi Polaków było 986. We wsi w 1923 powstaje Polskie Towarzystwo Gimnastyczne Sokół założone przez Stanisława Mizernego, które posiadało męską i żeńską sekcję sportową. W miejscowości istniał także oddział regionalny Związku Polaków w Niemczech, Przysposobienie Rolnicze, Chór Polski oraz Kółko Rolnicze.
In 1939, of the 1287 village residents, 986 considered themselves to be Polakow (Poles). In the village, in 1923, was founded a branch of the POLSKIE TOWARZYSTWO GIMNASTYCZNE “SOKOL” by Stanislaw Mizern, which had male and female sporting sections. (This “Falcon” Polish Gymnastics Society was part of the Pan-Slavic Movement.) The village also (takze) had a regional branch (oddzial) of the non-political Zwiazku Polakow w Niemczech [Union of Poles in Germany], a Przysposobienie Rolnicze [agricultural college], a Chor Polski [Polish choir] and a Kolko Rolnicze [agricultural “circle” or club].
W 1934 roku, utworzono stały obóz Arbeitdienstu. W 1935 miasto Lipsk rozpoczęło tuż przy Dąbrówce budowę osady niemieckiej pod nazwą Limbach, dla uczczenia SA-manna Limbacha, zabitego w walce nazistów z komunistami. Wg oceny niemieckiej gazety “Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung” osada ta powstała w celu wzmocnienia żywiołu niemieckiego “muszącego ciężko walczyć na Pograniczu z mniejszością polską”. W lipcu 1938 roku, nastąpiło uroczyste poświęcenie 20 gospodarstw, wielkości 20 ha każde przeznaczonych dla niemieckich kolonistów-członków SA i SS .
[In 1933 Hitler ruthlessly grabbed power and strangled German Democracy.] In 1934, an Arbeit-dienst camp was set up. In 1935 the City of Leipzig (Lipsk) began to construct osady niemieckiej (German settlements), called Limbach after an SA soldier of that name, killed in Nazi action against German communists. (SA = Nazi Brownshirts.) According to the German newspaper (gazety) “Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung”, the settlement was founded to strengthen the German presence in those border districts z mniejszoscia polska (with Polish minorities). In lipcu (July) 1938, there was a ceremony to dedicate 20 gospodstw (farms), each of 20 hectares, mainly for niemieckich kolonistow (German colonists) who were czlonkow (members) of the SA and SS. [You can be sure these colonists left quickly in 1944, of their own volition! Limbach is now called Samsonki, about 3 km east of Dabrowka.]
Podczas wojny, polskojęzyczna ludność Dąbrówki była przez Niemców wysiedlana i zsyłana do obozów koncentracyjnych, dotyczyło to szczególnie polskich działaczy społecznych i narodowych, np. Jana Budycha współorganizatora Banku Ludowego i jednego z organizatorów polskiej szkoły w Dąbrówce Wielkopolskiej. Łącznie zginęło 12 osób .
During the War (“wojn” is the stem for “war”), polskojezyczna (Polish-speaking) residents of Dabrowka were arrested by the Germans and sent to obozow koncentracyjnych (concentration camps), especially Polish social and nationalist activists (dzialaczy), such as Jan [John] Budych, managing-director of the local People’s Bank and one of the organizers of the local Polish schools (polskiej szkoly) in Dabrowka. Lacznie (in total) zginelo (were murdered) 12 osob (people), by the Nazis, including Jan.
(The surname Budych is significant because Carl Albert Budich [sic: “BOO-dik”] (1839-1911) married Franziska Naida (1845-1891) in 1863 in South Australia: Franziska was the niece and namesake of Franziska Baehnisch nee Ruciak (Ruciack); Fran Naida’s mother was Severina Ruciak, Fran Baehnisch’s sister. The Budich (Budick) surname is still found in South Australia. So are the surnames Naida (Nayda) and Ruciack. All these families left Dabrowka district and so missed out on the trauma and horrors of two idiotic ultra-nationalistic World Wars. Instead, they had the privilege of helping to destroy an out-of-control ultra-militaristic Germany, then watching from afar the formation of two new and peaceful Germanys, one free, one not free, next to a proud and independent, if not free, Poland.)
W 1945 wieś została przyłączona do Polski. W uznaniu zasług w zachowaniu polskości wieś, w 1973 została odznaczona Krzyżem Grunwaldu II klasy. W latach 1945-1954 siedziba gminy Dąbrówka Wielkopolska. W latach 1975-1998 miejscowość administracyjnie należała do województwa zielonogórskiego.
In 1945, the village (wies) was attached to Poland. In recognition of its meritorious behaviour as a polskosci wies (Polish village), in 1973 it was awarded the Grunwald Cross (Second Class). (In the battle of Grunwald, in 1410, the Poles crushed the Teutonic Knights.) From 1945-1954, it was in the sub-district (gminy) of Dabrowka. From 1975-1998, it was administered by the Province of Zielona Gora. [1998 marks the end of Communist Poland.]
Siedziba Parafii Niepokalanego Poczęcia Najświętszej Maryi Panny i św. Jakuba Apostoła.
Seat of the Parish of the Niepokalanego Poczecia (Immaculate Conception) Najswietszej Maryi Panny (of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and of Saint Jakub Apostol (James the Apostle).
Według rejestru Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa na listę zabytków wpisane są :
According to the National Heritage Institute’s list of registered monuments:
kościół parafialny rzymsko-katolicki pod wezwaniem Niepokalanego Poczęcia NMP, z połowy XVII-XVIII wieku
zespół pałacowy: pałac, neorenesansowy z lat. 1856-1859; park, z połowy XIX wieku.
kosciol (pronounced “KOSS-ya-choo-wa”) = church. parafialny = parish (adj.). rzymsko-katolicki = Roman Catholic. pod wezwaniem = called. z polowy XVII-XXIII wieku = [built in] mid-17th century to 18th century.
Chateau complex: the palac [“PAH-wah-ts”] or chateau, Neo-Renaissance, [built] in 1856-1859. And the chateau’s park, mid-19th century.
1. Kościół par. pw. Niep. Poczęcia NMP [parish church called the IC of the BVM]
2. Pałac [palace or chateau]
3. Park w zespole pałacowym [park in chateau complex]
4. Staw w centrum wsi [pond in centre of village; staw is pronounced “STAH-ff”.]
5. Neorenesansowy pałac [Neo-Renaissance chateau]
6. Pałac na ilustracji z 1858 r. [chateau illustrated in 1858 year]
7. Dzwonnica przy kościele parafialnym [belfry beside the parish church]
[Brian – again the images appeared from nowhere. Curious because what we have here is not co-extensive with what appears in the linked article.
Reference  is the most interesting one:
Na podstawie danych ze spisu powszechnego z 1905 r., wg deklarowanego języka ojczystego i religii; część ludności zadeklarowała inny język ojczysty. Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen. Heft V. Provinz Posen, Berlin 1908.
Based on data collected by the Census (spisu) of 1905, based on stated (deklarowanego = declared) jezyka ojczystego (native language = mother tongue) and religii (religions); segment of population declaring “other” (“inny”) native language. Parish Lexikon for the Prussian Kingdom. Volume 5. Province of Posen (Poznań in Polish). Berlin, 1908.
And finally, I must tackle the text of one of the 3 plaques I photographed in 2004 on the outside of the parish church. Our Polish guide Bolek told me the 12 listed people had died in WWII. I had always guessed that they were young men compulsorily drafted into Hitler’s armies and then killed in action. But I know better now. And I must apologize to the families of the 12 martyrs, who are my very distant cousins, for the misunderstanding. This is what happens when a family forgets how to speak Polish. Please pardon any bad transcription errors because it is very hard to read the beautifully carved text on the marble plaque. When I read about Jan Budych’s fate in the WIKIPEDIA article, I began to understand the following:
Boże zbaw Polskę. God bless Poland.
Bohaterom Dąbrówieckim. To the Martyrs of Dabrowka. (bohater = martyr.)
Milość. Wierność. Cześć. Love, Fidelity. Honour.
Jan Budych, Tomasz Budych, Marcin Bimek, Walenty Berent, Wojciech Berowicz, Jan Flejsierowicz, Wojciech Golek, Jan Golek, Antony Kwaśny, Stanisław Kędziera. Piotr Malysiak, Wojciech Młodystach.
Some of the surnames are Germanic or partly so (Flejsier = Fleischer?). Młodystach is very prominent in the South Australian Phone Book today: now spelt Modistach but unmistakably Polish; in modern Polish, the l-with-stroke ( ł ) is pronounced like the English ‘w’ sound – “m-WOR-dee-stah-k”.
Za Waszą Wiare i Wolność. For Your Faith and Freedom.
Życie Swe Oddali. They Gave Their Lives. (word-for-word, Lives Their They-Gave.)
This is an echo of Poland’s unofficial National Motto, which dates back to the disastrous 1830 Polish Insurrection: Za Naszą i Waszą Wolność (For Our and Your Freedom). The 12 Martyrs of Dabrowka not only fought for their own Freedom but for the Freedom of Everyone, then and now, for you and me.
Męczarniach Więzień i Obozów. Tortured to death in Prisons and Camps.
Miłosier Bądż ——-. Mercy Be ——–. Probably “upon their souls” or “upon all”.
And I can’t read the last line on the plaque.
Finally, Reference  makes reference to the “Rodło”. I GOOGLEd this and read a fascinating story of adaption and survival. Kaczmarek died in exile in Washington DC in 1977; Kłopocka died in Communist Warsaw in 1982. Prussia had long before banned the use of the White Eagle as a Polish symbol inside Prussia. Hitler seized power in early 1933, so it seems the symbol was adopted before he rose to dictatorial power, despite what the English WIKIPEDIA article implies. I have edited the text slightly. In Polish, the Vistula is called the Wisła (”VEE-s-wah”). Rodło = “ROR-dwor”.
The Rodło is a Polish emblem used since 1932 by the Union of Poles in Germany. It is a stylized representation of the Vistula River and Kraków as the wellsprings of Polish culture.
After Adolf Hitler had seized power in Germany, Nazi emblems were soon compulsory nationwide. The swastika became the national emblem of the Third Reich and Poles from the Union of Poles in Germany could not use their national symbols anymore, because they were prohibited. Dr. Jan Kaczmarek approached the supreme council with the following proposal:
“Our acceptance of the swastika and the German Greeting [the Nazi Salute] could only signify agreement to total Germanisation. Therefore we must find a way, without risking the accusation of anti-state activity, of not accepting Heil Hitler and the swastika (…) we should at last have our own national symbol, which would enable us publicly to set ourselves free from the Nazi swastika.”
The Rodło graphic was conceived by graphic designer Janina Kłopocka who sketched the course of the Vistula River, cradle of the Polish people, and Royal Kraków, cradle of Polish culture. The white emblem was placed on a red background – the Polish national colors. It was adopted in August 1932 by the leadership of the Union of Poles in Germany.
This clever modern image combines the Rodło on the right with an explanatory graphic on the left.
The Polish WIKIPEDIA article says in part:
… i zewnętrznie wyglądające jak pół zmodyfikowanej swastyki, a jednocześnie nią nie będące. W ten sprytny sposób, Polacy w Niemczech uniknęli przyjęcia symboliki nazistowskiej.
… and outwardly looked like half a modified swastika, whilst not actually being that. In this clever way, Poles in Germany avoided the adoption of Nazi symbols.
We all have so much to learn about our Polish ancestors!
Please correct any Polish typos, Polish Clerical Errors, etc.
By Noel David Cameron-Baehnisch, 7 Park Road, Angaston 5353 SA; email@example.com.
Brian: I can’t find the above image in the current article. It seems to have been replaced by this one:
14 thoughts on “Noel’s translation of Dąbrówka Wielkopolska (fmly Groß Dammer) article in Polish Wikipedia”
Monday evening. Thanks for posting that, Cousin. I don’t recognize the image including a white swan. The text is intact, except for what I put inside what I call French arrowheads. A specialist would be able to guess what was inside the French arrowheads; or maybe you could replace the missing words inside normal inverted commas, Brian.The Polish text with its accents is excellent. I like the way you highlighted it with a pale-blue background.
The only major correction I need to make is the name of the Province: it is Lubusz or Lubuskie (not “Lubuska”, although this form does appear after certain nouns); this new province appeared in 1999 as part of Local Government reform. The way to pronounce the Polish word for “church” is “KORSH-ya-choo-wa” (not “KOSS-ya-choowa”).
The mysterious images may have something to do with the way I prepared for the rough translation: I simply copy-and-pasted the entire Polish WIKIPEDIA article and then I deleted what I didn’t need; I left behind a hidden confusion of formatting (Normal, Header, Body Text 2 & 3, etc) and goodness knows what else. I’ve edited my report and everything is now in Normal format, with a few persistent difficulties.
But the images you added, Brian, are most welcome: they help to humanize the dull text.
I notice that my niece Katrina Spendelove (Bev’s daughter) has copied this translation report from my ANCESTRY.COM.AU page. So this blog is another avenue for making available the latest Ba(e)hnisch research. If anyone wants the edited version of this research report, my e-address is included.
From Cousin Noel in Angaston.
Just checked and the Coat of Arms featuring half a swan is the shield (“herb” in Polish) of the Gmina (sub-district) of Zbaszynek, to which Dabrowka belongs. I had deleted it but clearly it remained hidden somehow in the background. So Aussie tourists and visitors and pilgrims will see this symbol when they visit the Zbaszynek district. This new town of Zbaszynek grew up around the huge railway yards which were established in 1922.
Noel, the pale blue background is just the way the blog designer has set up the blockquote function, but it does give a pleasant effect.
I’ve replaced the French arrows << with " as you suggest. I didn't pick that problem up in proofing. If I've missed any, perhaps you could indicate, "In the paragraph beginning with '...' ". Cheers!
Looks good, Brian. A thousand thanks.
Suggest “Council” for Gmina – and “Hero” as well as the meaning of martyr (me,czennik – from a word meaning torment and suffering) for Bohater.
Yes, The League of Nations had a hell of lot to answer for in the arbitrary and damaging way in which the borders of the new Poland, the new Czechoslovakia and the new German Republic were laid out; it seems the bureaucrats in Geneva ignored a lot of the well-informed advice they received from those acting on its behalf in the field. The blunders of the pompous mob in Geneva were a blessing to Hitler and the Nazis as well as causing preventable trouble in Poland and Czechoslovakia..
Just on a personal note: a distant relative was a government employee when the old Russian Empire and the old German Empire were abolished. An ethnic German, he found himself inside the (re-)new(-ed) nation of Poland and just kept on working; don’t think he even missed a day’s pay with the change. and, from what I’ve heard, was well-regarded.
Few words from native polish speaker:
1. Ruciaks (“ROO-chark”)
This is not a good pronouciation. It’s hard for me to find one in english.
It’s like ROO-ci-AX
AX like in MAX.
While “ci” like in http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ci%C4%85%C4%87
However, this does not seem like a proper polish surname. Probably proper would be Ruciak (ROO-ci-ACK).
“ACK” like in “POLACK”.
2. “z charakterystycznym placem wewnętrznym, zwanym nawsiem.”
-> with typical/characteristic inner square, called “nawsie” (village green).
3. Dominium – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demesne
4. Międzyalianckiej – Allied commission (commission of Ententa)
5. Kółko Rolnicze – Agricultural Club (or association)
6. “Carl Albert Budich [sic: “BOO-dik”] ”
Should Be [Boo-dich]
“ch” like in german “maCHen” or first letter in “Herman”
7. “W uznaniu zasług w zachowaniu polskości wieś”
-> In recognition of its meritorious behaviour in keeping it’s polish roots, village was awarded”
Not ideal, but close-enough-translation.
Literal would be “in keeping it’s polishness, village…”
8. Kosciol (pronounced “KOSS-ya-choo-wa”)
OMG in no way 🙂
Please consult: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ko%C5%9Bci%C3%B3%C5%82
9. segment of population declaring “other” (“inny”) native language.
Should be: “segment of population declared other native language.”
The rest is correctly translated 🙂 Good job 🙂
Feel free to contact me if I can help.
Very interesting – even more interesting that my mothers family name is mentioned – Nayda – I have done some extensive genealogical research and it seems from the evidence that I have found that they were ethnic Germans – the name being pronounced in German as Neider.
I came across this article purely by chance, while planning to visit the town that they immigrated from in the 1850s .The surname is quite rare, but quite a few branches here in Australia.
Thank you so much for posting!
Thanks for the Comments, everyone. I mentioned that it was a “ROUGH” translation, with the stress on “ROUGH”. I am completely self-taught.
As far as I know, Graham, the Polish “gmina” is the same as the German Gemeinde” (parish, community, etc). Graham’s remark about how border changes didn’t really affect the lives of most people is very noteworthy.
Thanks, Maciek, for your remarks. “Ruciaks” is in fact the English plural of Ruciak (spelt Ruciack and even Rutschack in Australia). When I help readers pronounce Polish words, I use close approximations, not phonetical exactness. The German and Polish and Greek “ch” sound is not found in Modern English and so I approximate it with the ordinary English “k”. The Polish word for church, kosciol, is an incredibly difficult word to pronounce in English because there is an acute over the ‘s’, an acute over the second ‘o’, and a stroke through the ‘l’: it breaks all the rules of English pronunciation. It reminds me that most Australians pronounce Mt Koscius(z)ko “KOZZ-ee-OSS-koh”; 99% of Australians don’t know there is an acute over the first ‘s’ and the old spelling has officially been replaced by ‘sz’ which most Australians do not know is approximately like the English ‘sh’ sound.
For Peter, Thomas Ruciack (1799-1879) married Anna Michalek (1799-1854), migrated to South Australia and had several children: Severina Ruciack married Joseph Nayda (1818-1898) and his surname is spelt as Neuda, Naida, Nayda, Neida, etc in Australian records; Severina’s sister, Franziska, married Ernst Wilhelm “Willi” Baehnisch sr and is the ancestor of Brian Bahnisch and me. These people came from Dabrowka Wielkopolska in Posen Province, Prussia. Severina and Joseph’s children were Franziska Naida (Mrs Budich), Johanne Louise Naida (Mrs Feist) and Johann Wilhelm Naida (married a Gay).
I am presently reading Anitta Maksymowicz’s “Emigration from the Brandenburg-Silesian-Posen borderland to South Australia in the 19th Century” (2010): Anitta is a curator-historian at the Muzeum Ziemi Lubuskiej (Lubuskie Province Museum) in the city of Zielona Gora (formerly Gruenberg); she visited The Barossa here in April 2012 and donated two copies of her book to the Local Library here; published in Polish, it was translated into English and then the English text was perfected by Bronwyn Klimach. She says that in 2007, her museum put on an exhibition called “Between Fear and Hope”: it was aimed at the local Polish community but, during the 3 months it was on, a dozen or more Australian families attended; the exhibition then moved across the border to Fuerstenwalde; it was all about the people who left Prussia and Saxony and settled in Australia; Dabrowka is often mentioned. I recommend the book.
She says that a few families in Pastor Kavel’s group were probably ethnically Polish: the exodus to Australia began in 1838 with this group; on board the “Catharina” were the families of Jan Gallasch, Ferdynand Boerke and Karol Antoni Wuttke, all from the Bentschen (Polish Zbaszyn) District (which of course includes Dabrowka). Anitta has used the Polish forms of their given names and it is noteworthy that in South Australia “Ferdinand” and “Anthony” would never appear in the Lutheran “German” community (they are Polish or Roman-Catholic names); Jan (John in English) and Karol (Charles in English) would appear [my grandfather was Johann Carl Bahnisch]. Some Poles were (and still are) Lutheran or “Evangelical”.
Finally my Aunty Merilyn Bahnisch has just told me that
“Zweck Tours” is still advertising in “The Lutheran” (monthly church magazine): so if you want to visit Poland as part of a guided tour, book now:
Homelands Tour, Sept 2015 for 32 days (Zweck Tours). That’s how I visited Poland ten years ago in September 2004.
thanks for the reference of the book, I will have to check it out and add it to my collection. My mothers family history has been very intriguing to me, starting with the obscure surname. A book was published and sold from the Lutheran Archives in South Australia titled ‘newly found’ (a polite rendering of the suggested Polish origin of the name being:foundling) the book is a documentation of the Nayda family – I noted all the surnames mentioned in the posts above within this book, all seem to be intertwined. I have received conflicting information about the ethnicity of the Nayda ancestry, It is family legend that they were Polish, but you may know that two world wars were not kind on German families settled in Australia, the German named towns in South Australia were renamed to English ones during the wars and many families were interned. you didn’t want to be known as of German ancestry during this time. I found during my research that most of those immigrating to Australia with the Nayda surname had German first names – Adolf, Heinrich Otto etc. Although there are potentially counter arguments about that. The original immigrant that we are descended from was Michael Nayda, he was Lutheran as most seemed to be, however he seems to have had some of his children baptized Catholic (possibly due to remarriage). Of course we know Poland to be a predominantly Catholic country, although there are Lutherans of pretty much all nationalities, it suggests German influence. I haven’t found much in the way of records in Europe to trace the family further although the name pops up in records further east as far back as the 1700’s I note that where ever it does pop up it is within the Prussian empire. Is anything much known of pastor Kavel? I know nothing of what prompted them to mass emigrate, it seems the family did not come completely in one go. I have always attributed the misspellings of the surname to English speaking civil servants miss understanding the pronunciation of the surname. Thanks for the tour details I was trying to figure out how I would get there, I will be in Berlin which is around 160km west of the town and traveling to Warsaw, I don’t think the town is on any major public transport hubs.
Peter, what is the German/Polish name of your ancestral place? 160 km west of Berlin suggests it’s in the same district as Dabrowka (formerly Gross-Dammer). Most people in that part of Prussia were of mixed ethnicity; forget about the concept of simplistically “pure” ethnicity.
I am familiar with the Nayda Book you mentioned: it’s in the local library here in The Barossa, along with hundreds of others.
Your ancestor Michael Nayda probably lived in a pluralistic multicultural society, in which people picked and chose whatever they felt at ease with (as we do). Michael sounds “Polish” to me: in South Australia, the so-called “German” community did not use that given-name in the 1800’s. And if his wife or mother was Polish or part-Polish or non-Polish, then their ethnic influence is hidden, if you know what I mean. If we have no specific documentation about Michael Nayda’s origins, then we can only speculate and generalize.
As for Pastor Kavel, just GOOGLE his name and there are a lot of websites devoted to him, starting with a WIKIPEDIA biography.
Aunty Merilyn Bahnisch has kindly sent me a photocopy of the ZWECK TOURS ad and you can write to PO Box 494, Glenside SA 5065, ring Mobile 0429 447 821, ring A/H 08 8431 5468, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or make an Aust-wide Freecall 1800 814 559 A/H. David Zweck escorts the tour and he is now 66. The next HOMELANDS Tour, around September 2015, is flexible: David will add or subtract places to visit, “on request”. This is how I went to Poland 10 years ago.
Noel @ 10, on mixed ethnicity, this is an extract from a piece I did on our European originns:
Presumably when the Slavs appeared in 0-500 AD there were people already there. Further south it was the Celts.
It strikes me that over the last few millennia there was a lot of mixing and melding in Europe.
Thanks for the further information. Yes the village of origin was grossdammer. I have to say when I last devoted time to research the internet didn’t have much to offer. In any case in terms of genealogy it’s official records that matter.
Certainly these areas were contested for many centuries. When I refer to ethnicity iam speaking about how they identified or related to themselves in terms of nationality or along ethnic lines. This is hard to establish without some primary material from the time. All I have to go from is Christian names. And Michael does suggest a more polish influence but for all I know they could have identified as silesian.I guess it’s similar to Australians It is a question iam often asked in Sydney – what nationality are you? and as Australian of 5 & 6 generations there is lots of choice.
Gross-Dammer!! Well, it’s a small world, Peter. Then all you have to do is get a professional researcher to look for your ancestor, Michael Nayda, in the local church register. In Polish, Archiwum parafii katolickiej w Dabrowce Wielkopolskiej (Catholic Parish Archive). In Maksymowicz’s book, for instance, there are photos of the Catholic Church Register: in Latin, it says Simon Mlodystach married Franciska Pawelska on the 10 Jan 1842 and 3 months later their daughter was born and baptized on the 10 Apr 1842. Simon and family migrated to South Australia and appears in Lutheran church registers as “Modistach”.
Gross-Dammer was near the Far West border of Posen Province (just a few kilometres from the Silesian “exclave” of Schwiebus, an “island” of Province Silesia surrounded by other provinces). The other day I was doing some research into a place (Wirsitz) at the far NE corner of Posen Province and learnt a new word, “optant“. Here is the WIKIPEDIA text [slightly edited by me for clarity/confusion].
The members of the German parliament (German: Reichstag) forming [belonging to] the National Democratic Party (Polish: Stronnictwo Narodowo-Demokratyczne), led by Władysław Taczanowski (1825–1893), protested on April 1, 1871 in the parliament of the newly founded United Germany against Prussia’s joining with all her provinces.
On December 27, 1918 the Uprising of Greater Poland [Wielkopolska] started and involved most of the Prussian Province of Posen, where Germans [German citizens], identifying themselves as being Polish [ethnic Poles and ethnic Germans, both politically “Polish/Poles”], formed the majority and fought against the German rule in that province, forming the historical landscape named Greater Poland. While the Uprising, terminated by a German-Polish ceasefire agreed on February 16, 1919, led to an end of German rule in most of the territory of the Province of Posen, its northern [NE] outskirts including the Kreis Wirsitz remained calm and under German control. This may be because some 64-53% of the population (figures of 1890 and 1910) in the Kreis Wirsitz consisted of Germans [German citizens], identifying themselves as being German [ethnically German] as opposed to 36% of Germans, identifying themselves as being Polish [ethnically Polish and German] (figures from German census of 1890).
By the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 Germany ceded the Kreis Wirsitz to the newly reestablished Poland. On November 25, 1919 both countries agreed upon how to hand over the territories ceded to Poland, but still held by Germany. This agreement was ratified on January 10, 1920. So official representatives of Germany (soldiers, government officials and the like) left the Kreis Wirsitz between January 17 and February 4, 1920 which was then factually [de facto] taken over by Poland.
The Kreis Wirsitz became the powiat Wyrzyski (Polish for county of Wyrzysk). The population of ceded territories was entitled to choose to become [choose between becoming] Poles [Polish citizens] or remain Germans [German citizens]. Many emigrated to Germany (so-called optants, who opted not to become Poles [Polish citizens]), especially those who did identify themselves as being German [ethnically German]. This emigration and intra-Polish migration resulted into figures as measured in the Polish census of 1931. Then 20,5% of the county’s population were Poles [Polish citizens], identifying themselves as being German [ethnically German].
So, it was (and is) possible to consider yourself to be a Pole or Polish, even though you also thought of yourself as being ethnically “German”. In other words it depends on definition: is the defining word based on nationality, citizenship, “identity”, mother-tongue, province/county, religion, “race” (whatever that is) and/or other political/nonpolitical factors????? Gross-Dammer became part of Germany in 1922: always had been part of Posen (Poznan) Province, briefly in the Grenzmark (Border March). It was all excruciatingly complex!!
Comments are closed.