Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

BRIEF HISTORY OF POLAND AND SURROUNDING COUNTRIES


This page belongs to greg krenzelok.


HISTORY

I am excited to find the History of Silesia where Paul Krenzelok was from. And the History of Moravia where Elizabeth Kellner Krenzelok was from. The best part is that these Histories are from a 1911 encyclopedia from around the time when they both came to America.

I know I put a lot of long text on this website and it's because I feel the information is very valuable and I highly recommend using the Speaking software that is in the "Related Links" page to make this enjoyable. Download it from that link and get the Pro version.

SILESIA

SILESIA, the name of a district in the east of Europe, the greater part of which is included in the German empire and is known as German Silesia. A smaller part, called Austrian Silesia, is included in the empire of Austria-Hungary.

erman Silesia is bounded by Brandenburg, Posen, Russian Poland, Galicia, Austrian Silesia, Moravia, Bohemia and the kingdom and province of Saxony. Besides the bulk of the old duchy of Silesia, it comprises the countship of Glatz, a fragment of the Neumark, and part of Upper Lusatia, taken from the kingdom of Saxony in 1815. The province, which has an area of 15,576 sq. m. and is the largest in Prussia, is divided into three governmental districts, those of Liegnitz and Breslau comprising lower Silesia, and of Oppeln taking in the greater part of mmintainous Silesia.

AUSTRIAN SILESIA

Austrian Silesia (Ger. Osterreichisch-Schlesien) is a duchy and crownland of Austria, bounded E. by Galicia, S. by Hungary and Moravia, W. and N. by Prussian Silesia. It has an area of 1987 sq. m. and is the smallest province of Austria. Silesia is divided by a projecting limb of Moravia into two small parts of territory, of which the western part is flanked by the Sudetic mountains, namely the Altvater Gebirge; while the eastern part is flanked by the Carpathians, namely the Jablunka Gebirge with their highest peak the Lissa Hora (4346 ft.). A great proportion of the surface of Silesia is occupied by the offshoots of these ranges. The province is traversed by the Vistula, which rises in the Carpathians within eastern. Silesia, and by the Oder, with its affluents the Oppa and the Olsa. Owing to its mountainous character, and its slopes towards the N. and N.E., Silesia has a somewhat severe climate for its latitude, the mean annual temperature being 50? F., while the annual rainfall varies from 20 to 30 in.

Of the total area 49~4% is arable land, 34.2 % is covered by forests, 6-2 % by pasturages, while meadows occupy 5.8% and gardens 1,3 %. The soil cannot, as a rule, be termed rich, although some parts are fertile and produce cereals~,~~egetables, beetroot and fruit. In the mountainous region dairy-farming is carried on after the Alpine fashion and the breeding of sheep is improving. Large herds of geese and pigeons are reared, while hunting and fishing constitute also important resources. The mineral wealth of Silesia is great and consists in coal, iron-ore, marble and slate. It possesses several mineral springs, of which the best known are the alkaline springs at Karlsbrunn. Like its adjoining provinces, Silesia boasts of a great and varied industrial activity, chiefly represented by the metallurgic and textile industries in all their branches. The cloth and woollen industries are concentrated at Bielitz, Jagerndorf and Engelsberg; linen is manufactured at Freiwaldau Freudenthal and Bennisch; cotton goods at Friedek.

The iron industry is concentrated at Trzinietz, near Teschen, and various industrial and agricultural machines are manufactured at Troppau, Jagerndorf, Ustron and Bielitz. The organs manufactured at Jagerndorf enjoy a good reputation. Other important branches of industry are chemicals at Hruschau and Petrowitz; sugar refineries, milling, brewing and' liqueurs.

In 1900 the population numbered 680,422, which corresponds to 342 inhabitants per sq. m. The Germans formed 44.69% of the population, 33.21% were Poles and 22.05% Czechs and Slays. According to religion, 84~ 73 were Roman Catholics, 14% Protestants and the remainder were Jews. The local diet is composed of 31 members, and Silesia sends 12 deputies to the Reichsrat at Vienna. For administrative purposes Silesia is divided into 9 districts and 3 towns with autonomous municipalities: Troppau, the capital, Bielitz and Friedek. Other principal towns are: Teschen, Polnisch-Ostrau, J䧥rndorf, Karwin, Freudenthal, Freiwaldau and Bennisch.

The actual duchy is only a very small part, which was left to Austria after the Seven Years' War, from its former province of the same name. It formed, with Moravia, a single province until 1849, when it was created a separate duchy.

See F. Slhma, Osterreichisch-Schlesien (Prague, 1887); and A. Peter, Des Herzogtum Schiesien (Vienna, 1884).

SILESIAN WARS, the name given to the contests between Austria and Prussia for the possession of Silesia. The first (1740- 1742) and second (1744-1745) wars formed a part of the great European struggle called the War of the Austrian Succession (qv.), and the third war (1756-1762) similarly a part of the Seven Years' War (q.v.).

MORAVIA - Please note the refence to Witkowitz below

MORAVIA (Ger., Mdhren; Czech, Morava), a margraviate and crowniand of Austria, bounded E. by Hungary, S. by Lower Austria, W. by Bohemia and N. by Prussian and Austrian Silesia. Area, 8583 sq. m. Physically Moravia may be described as a mountainous plateau sloping from north to south, just in the opposite direction of the adjoining Bohemia plateau, which, descends from south to north, and bordered on three sides by mountain ranges. On the north are the Sudetes, namely the Altvater Gebirge, with the highest peaks the Grosser Schneeberg (4664 ft.) and the Altvater (4887 ft.), which sink gradually towards the west, where the valley of the Oder forms a break between the German mountains and the Carpathians. The latter separate Moravia from Hungary. Parallel to the Carpathians are the Marsgebirge (1915 ft.) and its continuation, the Steinjtzer Walclj (1450 ft.). On the west are the so-called Bohemian~Mrravian Mountains, forming the elevated east margin of Bohemia. The' principal passes are those at Iglau and Zwittau to Bohemia and the Wiara Pass to Hungary. Almost the whole of Moravia belongs to the basin of the March or Morava, from which it derives its name and which rises within its territory in the Sudetes. It traverses the whole country in a course of 14om., and enters the Danube near Pressburg. Its principal tributaries are the Thaya, the Hanna, the Iglawa with the Zwittawa and the Schwarzawa, &c. The Oder also rises among the mountains in the north-east of Moravia, but soon turns to the north and quits the country. With the exception of a stretch of the March, none of the rivers are navigable. Amongst the mineral springs worth mentioning are the sulphur springs at Ullersdorf, the saline ones at Luhatschowitz and the alkaline springs at Toplitz.

Owing' to the configuration of the soil, `the climate of Moravia varies more than might be expected in so small an area, so that, while the vine and maize are cultivated successfully in the southern plains, the weather in the mountainous districts is somewhat rigorous. The mean annual temperature at Br? 48? F. Of the total area 54'8 % is occupied by arable land, 7% by meadows, 5'7% by pasturages, 1.2% by gardens, 0.5% by vineyards, while 27.4% are forests. The principal products are corn, oats, barley, potatoes, rye, beetroot, hemp, flax, hay and other fodder. Forestry is greatly developed; the breed of sheep in the Carpathians is of an improved quality, and the horses bred in the plain of the Hanna are highly esteemed. The mineral wealth of Moravia, consisting chiefly of coal and iron, is very considerable. Coals are extracted at Neudorf, Leiitz, Ratilkowitz and C詾 lignite at Rossitz, Oslavan and M䨲isch-Ostrau. Iron-ore is found at Zoptau, Blansko, Adamsthal, Witkowitz, Rossitz and Stefarfau. Other minerals found here are graphite, alum, potter's clay and roofing-slate, and, besides, famous silvermines were worked at Iglau during the middle ages. From an industrial point of view Moravia belongs to the foremost provinces of the Austrian Empire. The principal manufactures are woollen, linen, cotton, cast-iron goods, beet-sugar, leather and brandy. The cloth industry was introduced in the I4th century atIglau, where it soon obtained a great reputation; it developed afterwards at Olm?nd since the middle of the 18th century it has its principal centre at Br?he linen industry is concentrated at Schonberg, Mistek, Wiesenberg and Heidenpiltsch; while the cotton industry has its principal seat at Sternberg. The chief iron-foundries are to be found at Witkowitz, Stefanau~ Zoptau and Rossitz; while industrial machines are manufactured at Brunn, Blansko and Adamsthal. Large works of earthenware are established at Znaim and Frain.

Moravia had in 1900 a population of 2,435,081 inhabitants, which is equivalent to 284 inhabitants per sq. m. It belongs to the group of old Slavonic states which have preserved their ,nationality while losing their political independence. Of the total population 71.36% were Slays, who were scarcely distinguishable from their Bohemian neighbours. The name of Czech, however, is usually reserved for the Bohemians, while the Slays of Moravia and West Hungary are called Moravians and Slovacs.

The Germans form 27.9% of the population,and are found mostly in the towns and in the border districts. Fully 95% of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics, under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the archbishop of Olm?d the bishop of Brunn; 2.7% Protestants and 2% Jews. In educational matters Moravia compares favourably with most of the Austrian provinces. It is well provided with schools of every description, and the number of illiterates is steadily decreasing. The local diet is composed of ioo members, of which the archbishop of OlmUtz and the bishop of BrUnn are members en ofi~cio. To the Rejchsrat at Vienna Moravia sends 36 members. For administrative purposes Moravia is divided into 34 districts and 6 towns, with autonomous muncipalities: Brunn (pop., 108,944), the capital, Iglau (24,387), Olm?1,933), Znaim (16,26,), Kremsier (13,99,) and Ungarisch-Hradisch (5137). Other principal towns ate Konigsfeld (11,022), Goding (10,231), MahrischOstrau (30,125), Witkowitz (19,128), Mahrisch-Schonberg (11,636), Zwittau (9063), Neutitschein (11,891), Prerau (16,738), Prossnitz (24,054), Sternberg (15,195) and Trebitsch (10,597).

History.-At the earliest period of which we have any record Moravia was occupied by the Boii, the Celtic race which has perpetuated its name in Bohemia. Afterwards it was inhabited by the Germanic Quadi, who accompanied the Vandals in their westward migration; and they were replaced in the 5th century by the Rugii and Heruli. The latter tribes were succeeded about the year 550 A.D. by the Lombards; and these in their turn were soon forced to retire before an overwhelming invasion of Slays, who on their settlement there took the name of Moravians (German, Mehranen or Mdhrcn) from the river Morava. These new colonists became the permanent inhabitants of this district, and in spite of the hostility of the Avars on the east founded the kingdom of Great Moravia, which was considerably more extensive than the province now bearing the name. Towards the end of the 8th century they aided Charlemagne in putting an end to the Avar kingdom, and were rewarded by receiving part of it, corresponding to North Hungary, as a fief of the German emperor, whose supremacy they also acknowledged more or less for their other possessions. After the death of Charlemagne the Moravian princes took advantage of the dissensions of his successors to enlarge their territories and assert their independence, and Rastislaus (c. 850) even formed an alliance with the Bulgarians and the Byzantine emperor. The chief result of the alliance with the latter was the conversion of the Moravians to Christianity by two Greek monks, Cyril and Methodius, despatched from Constantinople (863). Rastislaus finally fell into the hands of Louis the German, who blinded him, and forced him to end his days as a monk; but his cuccessor, Svatopluk (d. 894), was equally vigorous, and extended the kingdom of Great Moravia to the Oder on the west and the Gran on the east. At this period there seemed a strong probability of the junction of the north-western and southeastern Slays, and the formation of a great Slavonic power to east of the German empire. This prospect, however, was dissipated by the invasions of the Magyar hordes in the `0th century, the brunt of which was borne by Moravia. The invaders were encouraged by the German monarchs and aided by the dissensions and mismanagement of the successors of Svatopluk, and in a short time completely subdued the eastern part of Great Moravia. The name of Moravia was henceforth confined to the district to which it now applies. For about a century the possession of this marchland was disputed by Hungary, Poland and Bohemia, but in 1029 it was finally incorporated with Bohemia, and so became an integral part of the German empire. Towards the close of the 12th century Moravia was raised to the dignity of a margraviate, but with the proviso that it should be held as a fief of the crown of Bohemia. It henceforth shared the fortunes of this country, and was usually assigned as an apanage to younger members of the Bohemian royal house. In 1410 Jobst, margrave of Moravia, was made emperor of Germany, but died a few months after his election. In 1526, on the death of Louis Il. of Hungary Moravia came with the rest moratory laws. Their international validity was discussed at length,and upheld in Rouquette v. Overman, 1875, L. R. 10 Q. B


CLICK ON THE BELOW LINKS

Krenzelok website Homepage

Contact US - Related Links - Ladysmith - Our Relatives in Poland - Paul and Elizabeth - Frances - Anne - Paul - Joseph - Joseph Military - Bette - Robert - Robert Military - Edward - Dolores - Lillian - Kronprinzessin Cecilie - Kronprinzessin Cecilie 2 - Ellis Island - The Post - The Bakery - Our Wyoming Krenzelok - History - The Steerage Experience - Family Pictures - Family Pictures 2 - Family Pictures 3 - Family Pictures 4