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Re: [Slovak-World] Questions on ch.5

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  • jenna-m
    Were the Slovaks mainly farmers? Spiesz suggests that Germans lost their leading role in craft production at a time when guilds expanded into at least 150
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 2, 2007
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      Were the Slovaks mainly farmers? Spiesz suggests that Germans lost their leading role in craft production at a time when guilds expanded into at least 150 slovak towns, and had social classes above that of peasants (69) including a time of hapsburg rule when many people and groups were elevated to a level of "the fourth estate"??

      I had some similar questions about ethnicity at "dynastic" levels as well as between commoners. For instance, in reading this chapter, I was reminded how much intermarriage there was "at the top" in securing land and property rights ... I think I might have known at one time but long since forgot that Ferdinand Hapsburg's brother was Charles V (of Spain..Netherlands, Sicily, and colonies of Latin America) [63].

      I wondered too how much intermarriage might have taken place between not just Slovaks and Germans but others as well. I also read about the spread of guilds from predominantly German craftsmen to where they lost their leading role in the expansion of guilds in in Slovak towns.While German craftpeople were invited in, it was "obvious that "others" were kept out and fought against. And while Germans, Magyars and Slovaks "found equal representation" on town councils...many other ethnic groups did not [Rusyns, Romanies and South Slavs]. Would it be fair to see this as "western" oriented Christians [Lutherans, Calvinists eventually Catholics...vs "eastern" oriented groups? Who was considered "non-catholic or non-chriatsian at the time? Eastern orthodox? Muslims? Others?

      Someone in a previous email discussed the "emergence" of Slovakian consciousness in the 1900s, but Spiesz asserts it as early as the 1600s [68-69]...at a time when there was a preponderance of educational efforts from monastic centers, universities, lyceum, schools, etc [which seems to coincide with the expansion of so many guilds in Slovak towns].

      To go back to the questions of intermarriage...raises also other questions about ideas about ethnicity ...being shaped more by language and religion and class, perhaps, than blood? Which I also wonder how this would contrast with the "two village" theorem ...i.e. who would have had more opportunities to intermarry? and who married men and women from one or two villages over?

      Jenna



      Helen Fedor <hfed@...> wrote:
      Ther Germans and Slovaks seemed to be two groups living side by side in Slovakia. Was there much contact/mixing/intermarriage was there between the two? Did they consider themselves separate social classes, seeing that the Germans were concentrated in the cities and mining operations while the Slovaks were mainly farmers?

      Spiesz mentions the Catholic institutions of higher learning, as well as the Protestant lyceum in Pres~ov. Given that the Lutherans placed great importance on people reading the Bible for themselves, were lower-level Lutheran schools established at this time? Were girls also included among the pupils? Were the other lower-level schools at that time run mainly by the Catholic Church or the state?

      H






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    • Martin Votruba
      ... There must have been. The way ethnicity worked in traditional farming communities, which had enormous inertia, was that whoever married and moved into an
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 2, 2007
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        > Germans and Slovaks seemed to be two groups living side by side
        > in Slovakia. Was there much contact/mixing/intermarriage

        There must have been. The way ethnicity worked in traditional farming
        communities, which had enormous inertia, was that whoever married and
        moved into an ethnicity's majority area switched their ethnicity to
        the local majority ethnicity, or their children did. It still works
        like that today. About a third of the married Hungarians in Slovakia
        have Slovak spouses and yet, the percentage of the Hungarians in
        Slovakia is hardly dropping. The children of the mixed couples mostly
        adopt the ethnicity that is in the majority in their village and area.

        > Did they consider themselves separate social classes, seeing
        > that the Germans were concentrated in the cities

        Based on their place of residence and jobs rather than merely on
        ethnicity. The majority of the Germans in Slovakia were farmers just
        like the Slovaks. And there were many Slovak burghers, their numbers
        growing as time went by, plus Slovak noblemen, of course. A burgher
        was a burgher, a villager a villager, a nobleman a nobleman regardless
        of their ethnicity. But except for the occasional restrictions the
        German burghers tried to place on the Slovaks' and Hungarians'
        eligibility to town offices, there are no obvious records from about
        250+ years ago that would tell us whether the higher nobility bothered
        to think of themselves as belonging to any particular ethnicity rather
        than to the privileged class in the kingdom.

        > were lower-level Lutheran schools established at this time?
        > Were girls also included among the pupils? Were the other
        > lower-level schools at that time run mainly by the Catholic
        > Church or the state?

        If we're talking about the 16th century, certainly no state grade
        schools. Yes, the Lutheran reformation was the first period when
        literacy and education began to spread in the Kingdom. And hardly any
        Catholic grade schools, either. Slovakia was 90% Lutheran by the
        early 17th century.

        > Were the Slovaks mainly farmers?

        Yes, but that made them no different from the other ethnicities in the
        Kingdom, and Europe for that matter.

        > while Germans, Magyars and Slovaks "found equal representation"
        > on town councils...many other ethnic groups did not [Rusyns,
        > Romanies and South Slavs].

        The book is about the Slovak majority areas, so it says little about
        those who weren't represented in substantial numbers there. There's
        no doubt that the Roma were not represented partly because their
        society operated outside the Slovak-German-Hungarian society. We'd
        have to read books on Croatia, Sub-Carpathia to learn about the other
        groups.

        > Slovakian consciousness in the 1900s, but Spiesz asserts it as
        > early as the 1600s

        There's no doubt about that. A translation of Luther's Catechism
        published in the Slovak counties of the Kingdom in 1585 says
        explicitly that it is a Latin-Slovak publication and "Slovak," of
        course, meant the language of the people in that part of the Kingdom,
        the publisher surely didn't mean anything as ridiculous as "a
        translation to a universal Slavic language to be used from Moscow to
        Ljubljana" or something.

        Unlike most other Slavs, the Slovaks and Slovenes did not adopt a
        territorial name. They developed their modern names from the old word
        for "Slavs." It gives some people trouble to understand that when
        someone in, say, Svaty Mikulas (now Slovakia), or Maribor (now
        Slovenia) said he was a "Slav" and spoke "Slavic" in the 16th century,
        he didn't mean he spoke a universal Slavic language, as opposed to the
        nieghboring Poles or Croatians.

        The meaning was very specific. In Svaty Mikulas the word meant only
        the ancestors of modern Slovaks, and in Maribor it meant only he
        ancestors of modern Slovenes.

        Another illustrative evidence is, e.g., an account by a German visitor
        to Spis County in the 17th century who clearly differentiated between
        the Slovaks and their language, the Rusyns and their language, and the
        Poles and their language. If "Slovak" really meant "Slavic" as some
        imagine, there would be no such three names, because the Slovaks, the
        Rusyns, and the Poles were all Slavs. The German visitor could not
        possibly have written then, as he did, that he was able to speak
        Polish and Slovak, and had learned to speak some Rusyn if the claims
        about _Slovak_ meaning "Slav" and there being no recognition of Slovak
        identity separate from that of the neighboring Slavs were true.


        Martin
      • konekta@nm.psg.sk
        Dear Martin, My experience shows, there was not much of intermarriage between Germans and Slovaks. ( how much is much?) Germans were living in rather closed
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 3, 2007
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          Dear Martin,
          My experience shows, there was not much of intermarriage between Germans and
          Slovaks. ( how much is much?)
          Germans were living in rather closed communities, also called "language
          islands". Sure, there were also Germans, who were living more dispersed, but
          this was little, compared to the others.
          I have two separate databases, one slovak and one german and there are very
          little connections.Mostly slovak women took Germans, it this happened.

          I can not agree with the statement, that many Slovaks were Burghers. In most
          of the larger towns, Slovaks were clear minority.
          100 years ago, in Bratislava, if I am not mistaking, there were only about
          19 % Slovaks, many of them servants/maids.
          Look at the cemetery names of Kosice. Hardly a slovak name there.
          I read in one book about how the Slovaks were making plans to "slovakize"
          Ruzomberok.
          In 19th century, Nove Mesto n.V, was predominantly Jewish. Very similar
          situation was in Vrbove and many other places.
          Not to speak of "german towns". You can see that in 1869 census.

          I also can not agree, that Slovaks as being farmers were no different than
          other ethnicities; Jews were not farmers, Roma were not farmers. I would say
          a third of the Germans were farmers, while the rest were miners and wine
          growers, roughly.

          Slovakian consciousness in 1600 is a joke.
          I have a 100 years old book called The development of the slovak
          consciousness; the author complains, that however he counts, he can not find
          more than 50 distinguished and active patriots.
          He presents a very long list of all known slovak persons in Slovakia and
          abroad, who were declared patriots, though.This list is indexed by towns,
          and was compiled by a Notary public with the help of very many people.
          Regards,
          Vladimir



          _____

          From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of Martin Votruba
          Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 4:09 AM
          To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Questions on ch.5



          > Germans and Slovaks seemed to be two groups living side by side
          > in Slovakia. Was there much contact/mixing/intermarriage

          There must have been. The way ethnicity worked in traditional farming
          communities, which had enormous inertia, was that whoever married and
          moved into an ethnicity's majority area switched their ethnicity to
          the local majority ethnicity, or their children did. It still works
          like that today. About a third of the married Hungarians in Slovakia
          have Slovak spouses and yet, the percentage of the Hungarians in
          Slovakia is hardly dropping. The children of the mixed couples mostly
          adopt the ethnicity that is in the majority in their village and area.

          > Did they consider themselves separate social classes, seeing
          > that the Germans were concentrated in the cities

          Based on their place of residence and jobs rather than merely on
          ethnicity. The majority of the Germans in Slovakia were farmers just
          like the Slovaks. And there were many Slovak burghers, their numbers
          growing as time went by, plus Slovak noblemen, of course. A burgher
          was a burgher, a villager a villager, a nobleman a nobleman regardless
          of their ethnicity. But except for the occasional restrictions the
          German burghers tried to place on the Slovaks' and Hungarians'
          eligibility to town offices, there are no obvious records from about
          250+ years ago that would tell us whether the higher nobility bothered
          to think of themselves as belonging to any particular ethnicity rather
          than to the privileged class in the kingdom.

          > were lower-level Lutheran schools established at this time?
          > Were girls also included among the pupils? Were the other
          > lower-level schools at that time run mainly by the Catholic
          > Church or the state?

          If we're talking about the 16th century, certainly no state grade
          schools. Yes, the Lutheran reformation was the first period when
          literacy and education began to spread in the Kingdom. And hardly any
          Catholic grade schools, either. Slovakia was 90% Lutheran by the
          early 17th century.

          > Were the Slovaks mainly farmers?

          Yes, but that made them no different from the other ethnicities in the
          Kingdom, and Europe for that matter.

          > while Germans, Magyars and Slovaks "found equal representation"
          > on town councils...many other ethnic groups did not [Rusyns,
          > Romanies and South Slavs].

          The book is about the Slovak majority areas, so it says little about
          those who weren't represented in substantial numbers there. There's
          no doubt that the Roma were not represented partly because their
          society operated outside the Slovak-German-Hungarian society. We'd
          have to read books on Croatia, Sub-Carpathia to learn about the other
          groups.

          > Slovakian consciousness in the 1900s, but Spiesz asserts it as
          > early as the 1600s

          There's no doubt about that. A translation of Luther's Catechism
          published in the Slovak counties of the Kingdom in 1585 says
          explicitly that it is a Latin-Slovak publication and "Slovak," of
          course, meant the language of the people in that part of the Kingdom,
          the publisher surely didn't mean anything as ridiculous as "a
          translation to a universal Slavic language to be used from Moscow to
          Ljubljana" or something.

          Unlike most other Slavs, the Slovaks and Slovenes did not adopt a
          territorial name. They developed their modern names from the old word
          for "Slavs." It gives some people trouble to understand that when
          someone in, say, Svaty Mikulas (now Slovakia), or Maribor (now
          Slovenia) said he was a "Slav" and spoke "Slavic" in the 16th century,
          he didn't mean he spoke a universal Slavic language, as opposed to the
          nieghboring Poles or Croatians.

          The meaning was very specific. In Svaty Mikulas the word meant only
          the ancestors of modern Slovaks, and in Maribor it meant only he
          ancestors of modern Slovenes.

          Another illustrative evidence is, e.g., an account by a German visitor
          to Spis County in the 17th century who clearly differentiated between
          the Slovaks and their language, the Rusyns and their language, and the
          Poles and their language. If "Slovak" really meant "Slavic" as some
          imagine, there would be no such three names, because the Slovaks, the
          Rusyns, and the Poles were all Slavs. The German visitor could not
          possibly have written then, as he did, that he was able to speak
          Polish and Slovak, and had learned to speak some Rusyn if the claims
          about _Slovak_ meaning "Slav" and there being no recognition of Slovak
          identity separate from that of the neighboring Slavs were true.

          Martin






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Plichta
          There is a more recent list of distinguished Slovaks: Slovak Biographical Dictionary , written by PhDr Augustin Mat ovcik et al. The text contains
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 3, 2007
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            There is a more recent list of distinguished Slovaks:

            "Slovak Biographical Dictionary", written by PhDr Augustin Mat'ovcik et al.

            The text contains biographical data on 800 Slovaks (from all time periods)
            and was published by Biographical Institute of Matica Slovenska's Natural
            Culture Memorial, Martin.

            The First English Edition was published in 2002.



            Frank R. Plichta

            Galax, Virginia



            _____

            From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of konekta@...
            Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 3:40 AM
            To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [SPAM]RE: [Slovak-World] Re: Questions on ch.5


            I have a 100 years old book called The development of the slovak
            consciousness; the author complains, that however he counts, he can not find
            more than 50 distinguished and active patriots.
            He presents a very long list of all known slovak persons in Slovakia and
            abroad, who were declared patriots, though. Regards,
            Vladimir






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Martin Votruba
            ... A well phrased argument. ... Check the chapter we re reading and discussing, please. The number of Jews was negligible in the sum total of the Slovak
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 3, 2007
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              > Slovakian consciousness in 1600 is a joke.

              A well phrased argument.


              > I also can not agree, that Slovaks as being farmers were no
              > different than other ethnicities;Jews were not farmers, Roma
              > were not farmers.

              Check the chapter we're reading and discussing, please. The number of
              Jews was negligible in the sum total of the Slovak majority areas and
              I explicitly excluded the Gypsies, Croats, Rusyns. I was talking
              about the Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians.


              > however he counts, he can not find
              > more than 50 distinguished and active patriots.

              That is the root of the problem. Ethnic pride, patriotism based on
              ethnicity are modern things in Central Europe that began to emerge
              200-250 years ago. No one was an active _ethnic_ patriot earlier.
              There were country patriots, for the Kingdom of Hungary in this
              instance, of many ethnicities including the Slovaks. When some people
              imagine that there was no Slovak consciousness 250+ years ago, they
              mean there were no Slovaks who demanded self-government, wrote poems
              about their ethnic past, etc. That's perfectly true for the Slovaks,
              Hungarians, Moravians, Poles, etc. It does not make any of the groups
              different from the others.

              But the "Slavic speakers" in Trencin County were called Slovaks just
              like the the "Slavic speakers" in Spis County were, and the "Hungarian
              speakers" from Novohrad County were called Hungarians just like the
              "Hungarian speakers" from Baranya Country although their respective
              dialects differed quite a bit. On the other hand the "Slavic
              speakers" of Saris Country were clearly differentiated into Slovaks
              and Rusyns although they both spoke "Slavic" and therefore, according
              to those who say there was no Slovak awareness, only Slavic, these
              Slavs and their languages should not be differentiated. Contrary to
              claims that there was none, that people thought of themselves as
              "Slavs," there was a well-documented differentiation and awareness of
              belonging to the sets of inhabitants called "Slovaks," or "Rusyns," or
              "Poles," or "Hungarians," etc.


              > Bratislava, if I am not mistaking, there were only about
              > 19 % Slovaks, many of them servants/maids.
              > Look at the cemetery names of Kosice.

              This may partly be a misunderstanding caused by the words I used.
              When I said "burghers," I meant the people who lived in towns in
              whatever capacity and for whatever reason, the councilors and servants
              alike. And 19% is plenty by comparison to the claims that there were
              none. But mainly, I meant the towns in the Slovak majority areas
              (both Bratislava and Kosice were in the Slovak/non-Slovak borderlands,
              additionally, the names in the Kosice cemetery partly reflect the
              results of 100 years of Hungarianization in the 19th century). Those
              towns were "towns" by the local standards in the the chapter we're
              reading now, no matter how much or little resemblance they bore to
              towns like Kosice and Bratislava.

              So let me clarify -- during the period discussed in the chapter we're
              reading now, there were plenty (15%-95%) Slovak inhabitants in towns
              in the Slovak majority areas -- plenty by contrasts to claims that
              there were none or barely any -- and there was so much intermarriage
              between the Slovaks and Germans that large farming areas that used to
              be almost exclusively German had significant Slovak minorities, or
              Slovak majorities by the 19th century. The same applied to the
              inhabitants of towns.

              This is as much as I'll have to say on this. I'm reluctant to mix
              "jokes" with factual discussion.


              Martin
            • Ron Matviyak
              For a view of the current attitudes and German-American interpretation of the history of Germans in Slovakia, it may be good to start with several pages and
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 3, 2007
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                For a view of the current attitudes and German-American interpretation
                of the history of Germans in Slovakia, it may be good to start with
                several pages and some writings by one of S-W contributors, Thomas
                Reimer.
                http://www.geocities.com/ycrtmr/
                and perhaps two variations on the same web page,
                http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/ESE/slovak-e.html
                http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/ESE/slovak.html

                I say German-American much the same as I would say Slovak-American.
                Our American view is not necessarily the same as the home-grown Slovak
                view. There is a lot on politics and not so much on life style and
                culture over the centuries. The writing harks back to the old style
                before the more modern histories and writings started to appear in the
                1990's. Much like the Hungarian writing of the old era the history is
                presented as that of Germans to the point of neglecting other ethnic
                groups (and the Hungarians!) and presenting most all location names in
                German only, making it difficult to follow with modern maps and names.
                Including modern place names in parentheses would be a great help and
                service a broader audience. Recent Hungarian histories seem to have
                overcome these boundaries.

                Ron


                --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                >
                > Ther Germans and Slovaks seemed to be two groups living side by side
                in Slovakia. Was there much contact/mixing/intermarriage was there
                between the two? Did they consider themselves separate social
                classes, seeing that the Germans were concentrated in the cities and
                mining operations while the Slovaks were mainly farmers?
                >
                > Spiesz mentions the Catholic institutions of higher learning, as
                well as the Protestant lyceum in Pres~ov. Given that the Lutherans
                placed great importance on people reading the Bible for themselves,
                were lower-level Lutheran schools established at this time? Were
                girls also included among the pupils? Were the other lower-level
                schools at that time run mainly by the Catholic Church or the state?
                >
                > H
                >
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