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Kashubian refers to an ancient Baltic tribe which populated Pomerelia - the lands immediately south and west of Danzig, the latter city being built upon the remains of an old Kashubian fishing settlement. The famous German writer and Nobel Prize winner (2000), Günter Grass (d.2015), who was born in Danzig, claimed Kashubian ancestry. The German officer who took the surrender of the World War II Warsaw Uprising in 1944, Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski (1899-1972), was also a Kashubian.

The Kashubians are said by some authorities to be only half-Slav and speak a language of their own which is of Slavonic origin, but which cannot be considered a Polish dialect. When this area was part of modern Germany the officials distinguished between the Poles, the Germans, and the Kashubians.[1][2] However, Donald calls the Kashubians "the key people of the region, the remains of a very ancient Slav tribe.....who have escaped assimilation and in 1929 numbered over 100,000. They have more natural claims to the territory which they occupy than any other race as it has been their home from remote ages." He adds that "at one time their ancestors occupied the whole of Pomerania to the Oder and south to the Netz and Warthe rivers." The 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica estimated their numbers at 200,000. Professor E. H. Mimms, lecturer on Palaeography at Cambridge University, states that the Kashubian language resembles Polab (which the Wends also spoke) rather than Polish, which is also the view held by Dr. Lorentz, the historian of the Kashubians. The Kashubians are essentially agriculturalists and fishermen.[3]


  1. The Eastern Frontiers of Germany by René Martel, London, 1930, p124.
  2. Danger Spots of Europe by Bernard Newman, London, 1938, p.106.
  3. The Polish Corridor and its Consequences by Sir Robert Donald, G.C.B., LL.D., London, 1929, chapter V "The Kashubians" p.30-8.