THE SORBIAN LANGUAGE

The Sorbs, also known as Lusatian Sorbs or Wends, are descendants of the Western Slavic tribes which took possession of the territory known as Lusatia
by the end of the 5th. century A.D., now in the south-eastern part of Germany.
Although soon separated from other Slavic speakers, the Poles and Czechs, by
successive waves of Germanic conquerors during the Middle Ages, the Sorbs
managed to resist assimilation and retain their cultural identity. They have clung
tenaciously to their language and culture over the centuries in spite of long
periods of oppression, not least during the Third Reich. Since 1948, the Sorbs
have enjoyed official status as a national minority in Germany and can use their
language freely in all walks of life where numbers warrant.

Copyright © Robert Elsie 1990


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