- Dear Dan, I take the point that... Beyond the 242,810, very likely there were some secularized Jews (I think of university professors) for whom Polish was theMessage 1 of 17 , Feb 6, 2012View Source
I take the point that...
Beyond the 242,810, very likely there were some secularized Jews (I think of university professors) for whom Polish was the mother tongue and who did not practice their religion, so would be shown in neither of those categories (Yiddish/Hebrew speakers, practicing Jews).
But if they were not in the Jewish (linguistic or faith) group, were they in the Polish group? There is nowhere else to put them. There is no nationality/ethnicity category; mother tongue or faith is all you get. Even though they probably had "Jew" stamped in their passports, when it comes to the statistics of population they were Poles... which is why there is the controversy over the census. This is a small example; the whole Orthodox/Grecocatholic numbers only magnify the questions. Across the 8 Kresy provinces and two Urban districts there were 477,835 Grecocatholics who put Polish as their mother language and 349,636 Orthodox who put Polish. This gives 827,474 whose actual ethnicity is in doubt.
For the record there were, according to the 1931 census: 4,853,310 Roman/Armenian [they are counted together about 5,000 members] Catholics in the same area. Given the usually calculated 8.5% population rise in Poland in the 1930s, this would give about 5,271,000 Polish speaking (mother tongue) Roman/Armenian Catholics in the Kresy. However, as I said previously... the fact that they spoke Polish did not make them "ethnic" Poles. To get to the 5.5 Million figure we have to assume that ALL of the above were ethnic Poles and then add some. In the Province of Wilno for example there were only 65,217 Lithuanian speaking Catholics. Were all 559,268 Polish speaking Catholics ethnically Polish? In the city of Wilno there were 1,557 Lithuanian speaking Catholics and 123,571 Polish speaking. Again, same question... were they all ethnic Poles? I don't have an answer to these questions by the way. I have no idea, but these population figures are just another one of those numbers that are liberally bandied about without too many questions being asked.
Best regards, Mark Ostrowski