Poles in Moldova

Poles in Moldova
Biserica catolică din vîrful ruinelor sinagogii.jpg
Total population
4,174 (2004)
Regions with significant populations
Bălţi, Chişinău, Rîbnița District, Camenca District, Tiraspol
Related ethnic groups
Polish diaspora
Juriewicz Palace in Rașcov (demolished)

The history of Poles in Moldova may be traced to the 14-16th centuries, when the Principality of Moldova was connected to Poland by a trade route and later it was several times briefly a vassal of the Kingdom of Poland.[1][2] At these times there was no larger Polish communities in Moldavia.[1] Only since 18th century there were several waves of political and economic emigration of Poles to Bessarabia, the land which constitutes the majority of modern Moldova. These include fugitive serfs, march to Bender of the part of the forces of the dethroned Stanisław Leszczyński, defeated insurgents of the Kościuszko Uprising. Partitions of Poland also contributed to this process.[1]

According to the 1989 Soviet Census, there were 4,739 Poles in the Moldavian SSR.[3] The Moldovan Census of 2004 reported 2,383 Poles.[4] The latter census did not include data collected in Transnistria, and the 2004 Census in Transnistria reported 2% of the population (about 1,100) to be Poles.[5]

Some publications of Polonia activists and Polish diplomats mention numbers of up to 20,000 of Poles in Moldova, — numbers significantly exceeding that of self-identified Poles in the census. Some authors include in their estimates people of Polish descent, while others assume people of Catholic faith (in a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country) are most probably of Polish descent; and this may include, e.g. Ukrainians with ties to Poland in their ancestry.[1]

As a consequence of the Russian and Soviet policies towards Polish culture, only a small percentage of Poles in Moldova today speak Polish.[3]

After a brief period of liberal attitude towards Poles in the Soviet Union, the nationality had undergone repressions, dispersal, and assimilation, and its history remained largely a blank spot for a long time. Only since 1990s Polish researchers obtained a possibility to conduct research in this area.[1]

On May 16–17, 1995 an international symposium was held about Poles in Moldova. Just before the conference a book Polacy w Mołdowie mówią o sobie[6] was published, which is a collection of memoirs of people who lived through the Soviet times in Moldavian SSR or still live in Moldova.[7] The materials of the conference were published under the title Polacy w Mołdawii[8]

Polish organizations in Moldova

The Polish House in Bălți

In the period of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1990 professor Tadeusz Malinowski established the Polish Cultural Association (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Kulturalne) in Kishinev. Unfortunately due to various difficulties it was not successful. However, on its base other Polish organizations were created: the Union of Poles in Moldova and the Society of Poles "Revival" (Towarzystwo Polaków "Odrodzenie"). Later many other Polish organizations were founded, in the opinion of J. Derlicki, too many for the small Polish population.[1] As of 2013, the following organizations are active:

  • Stowarzyszenie Polska Wiosna w Mołdawii[9]
  • Polskie Towarzystwo Medyczne w Mołdawii - Polish Medical Association in Moldova [9]
  • Związek Polaków w Mołdawii - Union of Poles in Moldova [9]
  • Stowarzyszenie Polaków Gagauzji - Association of Poles in Gagauzia; over 200 members as of 2013 [9]
  • Stowarzyszenie Kultury Polskiej "Jasna Góra" - "Jasna Góra" Association of Polish Culture, Tiraspol, Transnistria [10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Narodziny czy odrodzenie? Polska tożsamość w Mołdawii", Jarosław Derlicki, Instytut Archeologii i Etnografii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, vol XLVII, 2003, no.1-2, pp. 171-184
  2. ^ Marcin Kosienkowski, "Polska a Mołdawia i Naddniestrze"
  3. ^ a b "Moldova: Arena of International Influences", 2012, ISBN 0739173928, "Support of Polish Disapora"
  4. ^ (in Romanian), (in Russian), (in English) 2004 Moldovan Census results (list of all available census documents in .xls and .doc format)
  5. ^ 2004 Transnistria Census info
  6. ^ Polacy w Mołdowie mówią o sobie, ed. Edward Walewander, Volume 6 of "Biblioteka Polonii: Materiały i Dokumenty", 1995, ISBN 83-86441-09-7
  7. ^ About "Ośrodek Badań nad Polonią i Duszpasterstwem Polonijnym" of the Catholic University of Lublin
  8. ^ Polacy w Mołdawii,ed. Edward Walewander, Biblioteka Polonii, Seria A,, Studia, vol. 9., 1995, ISBN 8386441135
  9. ^ a b c d Jutrzenka, vol. 5, 2013
  10. ^ Stowarzyszenie Kultury Polskiej "Jasna Góra" Archived 2013-07-03 at Archive.today

External links

  • Jutrzenka, a newsletter of Poles in Moldova (published since 1996; online since 2004)

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