Poles in Romania

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Poles in Romania (2002 census)
Suceava County in Southern Bukovina with the major Polish settlements marked
The Polish House in Suceava (Dom Polski w Suczawie), built between 1903-1907.

According to the 2002 census, 3,671 Poles live in Romania, mainly in the villages of Suceava County (Polish: Suczawa). There are three exclusively Polish villages: Nowy Sołoniec (Solonețu Nou), Plesza (Pleșa) and Pojana Mikuli (Poiana Micului), as well a significant Polish presence in Kaczyca (Cacica) and Paltynosa (Păltinoasa). Poles in Romania form an officially recognised national minority, having one seat in the Chamber of Deputies of Romania (currently held by Ghervazen Longher) and access to Polish elementary schools and cultural centres (known as "Polish Houses").

History[edit]

The first Poles settled in Bukovina in the times of Casimir III. Most of the Poles immigrating after 1774 were looking for work. Polish miners from Bochnia and Wieliczka were brought to salt mines in Cacica. Another wave of Polish immigration arrived in Bukovina in the early 19th century, when the region was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as was a significant portion of Poland. Around 1803 Polish highlanders from Čadca (Polish: Czaca, Czadca) settled in Treblecz (Tereblecea) by Siret, in Stara Huta Krasna and in Kaliczanka and again in 1814-1819, this time settling in Hliboka (Adâncata) and Tereszna. Nowy Sołoniec was settled in 1834, Plesza in 1835 and Pojana Mikuli in 1842.

Southern Bukovina was a very attractive place to live in because of Austria's policy not to conscript recruits into its army from there (service in the Austrian army at that time was for a 14-year term). Moreover, Bukovina was free from serfdom, attracting immigrants of German, Jewish, Czech, Slovak, Russian, Italian, and Polish nationality.

There were probably other waves of migration from Poland after the November and Kraków Uprisings, but most Poles were from peasant families relocated there by the Empire's authorities after they participated in the Jakub Szela insurrection. There were about 80,000 Poles living in Romania in 1939, but only about 11,000 remained in 1949 after Romania lost Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina (the most important Polish community lived in Czerniowce, now in Ukraine).

Notable Polish-Romanians[edit]

External links[edit]