Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship

Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship

Infobox Former Subdivision
native_name = Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship
conventional_long_name =
common_name = Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship
continent = Europe
country = Poland
government_type = Autonomy
subdivision = Autonomous province
nation = Poland
life_span = July 15, 1920 - May 6, 1945
year_start = 1921
year_end = de facto in 1939, de iure in 1945

capital = Katowice
latd=50 |latm=15 |latNS=N |longd=19 |longm=00 |longEW=E
common_languages = Polish, German
leader1 = Voivode Józef Rymer (first)
leader2 = Marshal of the Sejm Konstanty Wolny (first)
stat_year1 = 1929
stat_area1 = 5100
stat_pop1 = 1533500

The Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship ( _pl. Autonomiczne Województwo Śląskie, _de. Autonome Woiwodschaft Schlesien) was an autonomous region of the Poland created as the result of the popular plebiscite in 1921, the treaty in Geneva, three Silesian Uprisings, and the partition of Upper Silesia between Poland, Germany and then-Czechoslovakia. The special status of the voivodeship dated to a July 15 1920 act of Sejm. The act was forcibly renounced in May 6 1945 by the ruling communists.

General description

Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship was the richest and best developed of all provinces of interbellum Poland. It owed its wealth to rich deposits of coal, which resulted in construction of numerous coal mines and steelworks. For this reason, this Voivodeship was crucial to Polish armament production. However, its location - right on the border with Germany, made it vulnerable. So, in mid-1930s, Polish government decided to move some sectors of heavy industry to the nation’s heartland, creating Centralny Okreg Przemyslowy. With highly effective agriculture, Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship also was a major producer of food, despite its small size.

According to the 1931 census, 92.3% of population stated Polish as their mother tongue, which made it the most “Polish” of all Voivodeships. However, it should be noted that Silesians were not recognised as a separate nation by the Polish government and the Silesian language was considered to be a dialect of Polish. Germans made 7% and Jews - only 0.5%, which was the lowest percentage in the whole nation. Poles lived mainly in the villages (95.6% of population there), while Germans preferred cities (12.9% of Polish Upper Silesian cities’ population was German).

Population density (299 persons per 1 km²) was the highest in the country (by comparison - in Polesie Voivodeship the density was only 31 persons per 1 km²). On January 1, 1937, forested was 27.9% of area (with the national average of 22.2%). Rail density was the highest in the country (18.5 km. per 100 km², by comparison - in Polesie Voivideship it was only 3.1 km. per 100 km²) In 1931, illiterate was only 1.5% of population (with the national average of 23.1%, in Polesie Voivodeship - 48.4%).


*First Silesian Uprising: 16 August-26 August 1919
*Second Silesian Uprising: 19 August-25 August 1920
*Third Silesian Uprising: 2 May-5 July 1921
*Upper Silesia plebiscite


This region possessed wide autonomy, including having its own Silesian Parliament as well as its own national treasury - the Silesian Treasury ( _pl. Skarb Śląski), all of which were connected to autonomic Silesia (excluding foreign policy and military laws to competence of the Silesian Lower House of Parliament. There was a separate Silesian Parliament with 48 MPs elected in democratic elections. Sejm elections designated a Silesian Voivod as the head of administration.

Administrative divisions

Counties (powiaty)

In mid-1939 the population of the Voivodeship was 1,533,500 (together with Zaolzie, annexed in October 1938) and its area was 5 122 sq. km. The Voivodeship was divided into these counties:


Biggest cities of the Voivodeship within its 1939 boundaries were (population based on 1931 census):
*¹ – in 1934 the cities of Królewska Huta, Maciejkowice and Chorzów municipality joined with Chorzów


*Józef Rymer 16 June 1922 – 5 December 1922
*Zygmunt Żurawski 15 December 1922 – 1 February 1923 (acting)
*Antoni Schultis 1 February 1923 – 3 March 1924
*Tadeusz Koncki 15 October 1923 – 2 May 1924 (acting till 3 March 1924)
*Mieczysław Bilski 6 May 1924 – 3 September 1926
*Michał Grażyński 6 September 1926 – 5 September 1939

ee also

*Poland’s current Silesian Voivodeship


*"Mały rocznik statystyczny" nakładem Głównego Urzędu Statystycznego - 1939, (Concise Statistical Year-Book of Poland, Warsaw 1939).

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Silesian Voivodeship — Infobox Settlement name = Silesian Voivodeship native name=Województwo śląskie settlement type= image shield = Śląskie herb.svg map caption = Location within Poland map caption1 = Division into counties subdivision type=Country subdivision… …   Wikipedia

  • Silesian (disambiguation) — Silesian as an adjective can mean anything from or related to Silesia. As a noun, it refers to an article, item, or person of or from Silesia. Silesian may also refer to:;People *Silesians, inhabitants of Silesia, either a West Slavic (for… …   Wikipedia

  • Silesian Parliament — or Silesian Sejm ( pl. Sejm Śląski) was the governing body of the Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship, an autonomous voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic between 1920 and 1939. It was elected in democratic elections and had certain influence… …   Wikipedia

  • Voivodeship — This article concerns both historical and contemporary voivodeships in various countries. For more on the divisions of modern and historical Poland, see Voivodeships of Poland. A voivodeship, also spelled voivodship, voivodina or vojvodina… …   Wikipedia

  • Silesian Treasury — (pl: Skarb Śląski) name of the treasury of the Silesian Voivodeship. Contents 1 General information 2 Vault 3 See also 4 External links …   Wikipedia

  • Kielce Voivodeship (1919-1939) — Kielce Voivodeship ( pl. województwo kieleckie) a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in years 1921 1939. Back then, it covered a large chunk of central part of the country, including such cities as Radom, Częstochowa… …   Wikipedia

  • Kraków Voivodeship (1919-1939) — Kraków Voivodeship ( pl. województwo krakowskie) a unit of administrative division and local government in Poland in years 1919 1939. Back then, it covered a big chunk of southern part of the country, including such cities as Kraków, Jaworzno and …   Wikipedia

  • History of Silesia — can be traced for many millenias, although only the last one and a half are relatively known. Silesia has been inhabited from time immemorial by people of multiple ethnic groups. Germanic tribes were first recorded within Silesia in the 1st… …   Wikipedia

  • Austrian Silesia — See also Duchy of Silesia. Duchy of Upper and Lower Silesia Herzogtum Ober und Niederschlesien Kronland of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Austrian Empire, from 1867 Cisleithanian Kronland of Austria–Hungary …   Wikipedia

  • Upper Silesia Province — Oberschlesien Upper Silesia Province of Prussia …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.