Minority Secretariat

Who we represent

The Lusatian Sorbs

An estimated 60,000 people form the Sorbian people today. They only live in Germany, in the region of Upper Lusatia (Free State of Saxony) as Upper Sorbs and in Lower Lusatia (Brandenburg) as Lower Sorbs/Wends. 

The Sorbian people, consisting of Slavic tribes originally coming from the Carpathian Mountains, moved around 1,500 years ago into the area between the Baltic Sea and the Erzgebirge Mountains. In Lusatia they were able to maintain and develop their cultural traditions over the centuries – despite interruptions e.g. by the policies of the Nazis. There are two Sorbian languages: Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian/Wendish that are still being used in many families and in day-to-day life. Especially Lower Sorbian/Wendish is critically endangered. 

Additional to the word Sorbs, especially in Brandenburg, also the older name “Wends” is officially being used. This word goes back to Roman historians, who called the unknown tribes of the East “Veneti”, which in later German became the word “Wenden”, or Wends. 

Domowina – the Federation of Lusatian Sorbs, based in Bautzen, was founded in 1912 and has since been the political independent umbrella organisation of the Sorbian associations. 

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