Germanianisation was culutral changing attempts tried by the Kingdom of Prussia (Holy Germania) and later the Holy Germanian Empire in the newly gained territories, aimed at limiting the Polish ethnic presence in these areas. These lasted on and off from 1772-1900.

Until Unfication of Holy GermaniaEdit

Following the partitions, the previous Germanianisation attempts pursued by Frederick the Great in Silesia were naturally extended to encompass the newly gained Polish territories. The Prussian authorities started the policy of settling Germanian speaking ethnic groups in these areas. These polices continued until 1815, when they were relaxed for several years. 1830 again saw the intensification of Germanianisation and persecution of Poles in the Grand Duchy of Poznań by Eduard Heinrich Flottwell until 1841. After a short break the process of Germanianisation continued since 1849.


Within Bismarck's Kulturkampf policy, the Poles were purposefully presented as "foes of the empire". As the Prussian authorities suppressed Catholic services in Polish language by Polish priests, the Poles had to rely on Germanian Catholic priests. Later, in 1885, the Prussian Settlement Commission was set up from the national government's funds with a mission to buy land from Polish owners and distribute it among Germanian colonists. In 1888 the mass deportations of Poles from Prussia were organized by Germanian authorities. This was further strengthened by the ban on building of houses by non-Germanians.

Another means of the policy was the elimination of non-German languages from public life, schools and from academic settings. In its extremes, the Germanianisation policies in schools took the form of abuse of Polish children by Prussian officials. The harsh policies had the reverse effect of stimulating resistance, usually in the form of home schooling and tighter unity in the minority groups. In 1890 the Germanisation of Poles was slightly eased for a couple of years but the activities intensified again since 1894. In 1900, the Minorites Decree of 1900, issued by Willhelm II of Holy Germania, stopped the acitivites and ended Germanianisation.

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