German minority in Poland: Less money from Warsaw

Status: 17.12.2021 3:58 p.m.

The national-conservative Polish government wants to cut funding for mother-tongue tuition for the German minority. Obviously, the point is to increase the pressure on Germany.

By Jan Pallokat, ARD Studio Warsaw

Theoretically, all minority languages ​​are affected, but the move is expressly aimed at the German minority, who are mainly resident in Silesia: The Polish parliament has cut funds for mother tongue lessons by almost a fifth; it’s about 40 million zlotys, almost ten million euros less.

Jan Pallokat
ARD studio Warsaw

“Germany should respect human rights”

The move, against which the parliamentary representative of the German minority protested, is supposed to put pressure on Berlin to do more for Polish lessons in Germany. Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek said in the Sejm that Warsaw could not pay 236 million zloty for the German minority and the German language, but the government in Germany, where 2.2 million Poles lived, did not spend a euro on the Polish minority. “Enough! We demand that the Federal Republic of Germany complies with its international obligations and human rights; then we will release the money again.”

Poland wants more Polish lessons in Germany

In Germany, the countries responsible for education actually finance Polish lessons, which of course lead a pansy existence: a good 14,000 pupils would be taught in their mother tongue, according to the German ambassador in an Internet entry in which he criticized the funding cuts in Poland. The focus of Polish lessons is North Rhine-Westphalia, where, according to Polonia representative Thorsten Klute, 5,100 students learn Polish, and there are also offers near the German-Polish border.

Given that there are more than eight million students in Germany, this only corresponds to a fraction of less than 0.2 percent of students, and the trend in recent years has been rising from an even lower level. And this despite the fact that Poles form the second largest group of immigrants in Germany after Turks. On top of that, in the German-Polish neighborhood agreement signed 30 years ago, the Federal Republic of Germany undertook to enable mother tongue teaching.

Poland cuts funding for German lessons

Jan Pallokat, ARD Warsaw, 17.12.2021 · 15:42

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