Polish minority in the Czech Republic

Polish Minority In The Czech Republic

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Polish minority in the Czech Republic

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The Polish minority in the Czech Republic (, ) is a Polish national minority living mainly in the Zaolzie region of western Cieszyn Silesia. The Polish community is the only national (or ethnic) minority in the Czech Republic that is linked to a specific geographical area. Zaolzie is located in the north-eastern part of the country. It comprises Karviná District and the eastern part of Frýdek-Místek District. Many Poles living in other regions of the Czech Republic have roots in Zaolzie as well.

Poles formed the largest ethnic group in Cieszyn Silesia in the 19th century, but at the beginning of the 20th century the Czech population grew. The Czechs and Poles collaborated on resisting Germanization movements, but this collaboration ceased after World War I. In 1920 the region of Zaolzie was incorporated into Czechoslovakia after the Polish–Czechoslovak War. Since then the Polish population demographically decreased. In 1938 it was annexed by Poland in the context of the Munich Agreement and in 1939 by Nazi Germany. The region was then given back to Czechoslovakia after World War II. Polish organizations were re-created, but were banned by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. After the Velvet Revolution Polish organizations were re-created again and Zaolzie had adopted bilingual signs.


Historically, the largest ethnic group inhabiting the Zaolzie area was the Poles. During the 19th...
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