Silesia (Schlesien) Historical Geography

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Here is a link to the historical geography of Silesia. The article is in German. To get a translation, hitlite the URL, go to Google translations tools, choose translate a website, enter the URL, choose German to English and read a very interesting account of Silesia's geographic history. Historical Geography of Silesia

Here is a link giving the "Kreise" in Oberschlesien.

Another link for historical events can be found here Historical Events

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Silesia is a historical region in Central Europe. Historical territories of Silesia include:


  • The Prussian Province of Silesia (German: Provinz Schlesien) was a province of Prussia from 1815 to 1919.


  • The Silesia region was part of the Prussian realm since 1740 and established as an official province in 1815. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. This is the region featured in this article.


  • In 1919, as part of the Free State of Prussia within the Weimar Republic, Silesia was divided into the provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. Silesia was reunified briefly from 1938 to 1941 as a province before being divided back into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.


  • Upon the implementation of the Oder-Neisse line according to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement, most of the Prussian Silesia Province became part of Poland, incorporated into the Lubusz, Lower Silesian, Opole and Silesian Voivodeships.


  • A smaller western part of the former Silesia Province lies within modern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg.
  • The German-speaking population left or was expelled following World War II, though a minority remains. Wikipedia

Historical Maps[edit | edit source]

Prussian Silesia (Schlesien)
within the German Empire

German Empire - Prussia - Silesia (1871).svg.png

There were many regions
with Silesia in their names.

See links to articles for each region under Historical Background.


Austrian Silesia.png

Silesia (Schlesien) in Modern Poland

Posen partition.png

  • In the map on the right, the Oppeln region comprised Oberschlesien or Upper Silesia. It was pre-dominantly protestant (Lutheran) and most church records were written in German.
  • The Breslau and Liegnitz regions made up Niederschlesien or Lower Silesia. It was pre-dominantly Catholic and most records were written in Polish.
County (Kreis) Map of Silesia

Administrative regions:
Oppeln (Violet), Breslau (Gold), Liegnitz (Green)

Schlesien Verwaltungsgliederung 1905.svg.png

For a larger map, click here.