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Author: Subject: Pałys, Piotr: The Sorbs’ Attitude towards the Referendum of 30 June 1946
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[*] posted on 7-7-2019 at 08:49 PM
Pałys, Piotr: The Sorbs’ Attitude towards the Referendum of 30 June 1946


Lětopis Abstract 2019 1: Pałys, Piotr: The Sorbs’ Attitude towards the Referendum of 30 June 1946

At the beginning of the year of 1946 the leadership of the Communist Party of Germany decided to conduct a referendum in Saxony. The subject put to the vote was the expropriation of industrial plants owned by war and Nazi criminals. The plants in question were to become state property. At the time, in accordance with the Soviet Occupation Forces’ suggestion, the Domowina started to seek compromises with the Communists. In view of such cooperation, the issue of the character and the degree of involvement of the Sorbs in a voting campaign in Upper Lusatia was discussed. The rules of cooperation with the SED (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands – Socialist Unity Party of Germany) during the campaign were established on 10 June. Back then the Domowina was fighting for recognition as a fully-fledged organization in the East German socio-political system and it was the first time it acted as an ally to the SED. The Soviet Occupation Forces and the Communists saw this act as a visible sign that the Sorbian issue had become Germany’s internal affair. On the other hand, never before had such an abundance of leaflets and posters written in the Upper Sorbian language been visible in a public space than at that time. It is worth noticing that representatives of the Lusatian National Committee were also active participants in the campaign. It was one of the last joint initiatives of both wings of the Lusatian national movement. As a result of the cooperation with the Domowina, the referendum turnout in bilingual Upper Lusatia was 93.7 per cent, of whom 77.6 per cent voted “yes”.


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