More than 1400 years ago, Slavic tribes left their original settling areas in the east of Europe to move westwards during the time of the Great Peoples Move. Among these have also been 20 Sorbian tribes, who settled in a region bordering in the west to the Saale, in the north to Berlin, in the south to the Erzgebirge in the east to the rivers Bober, Oder and Queiß. They have been firstly mentioned written in 631 by the Frankish chronicler Fredegar. After losing the political independence in the 10th century, the settling area has been reduced more and more through assimilation and germanization. Only the ascendants of the upper-lusatian Milzener and the lower-lusatian Lusizer managed to preserve their Sorbian language and independent culture until today. Their number now approximates 60000. About 40000 in the upper and around 20000 in the lower lusatia. They call themselves “Serbja” and “Serby”. Simultaneously to the name “Sorben” there is also the name “Wenden” common, in Germany. This goes back to Roman historians, who summarized all the unknown Slavic tribes under the name “Veneti”, from what the Germans made the word “Wenden” or “Winden”. With the evolution of the bourgeois the national self-confidence of the Sorbians grew. Several associations have been founded, which took care for the sorbian culture and language. With that they also built up the Sorbian feeling of affiliation. On the 13th of October in 1912 representatives of several associations met in Hoyerswerda and founded the Domowina, the league of Sorbian associations. After the first World War on the 24th of July in 1921 the first 3 of the 5 regional associations, active today, have been founded.
created: 28.04.2001
last update: 12.05.2001