The German minority in Silesia (southern Poland) faces tough times ahead, following the Polish government’s decision to increase the city boundaries of Opole, incorporating 12 villages from four of the municipalities into the town itself. Up to 99 percent of residents in the municipalities, Poles and Germans alike, have expressed their opposition to the enlargement of the town.
Although the vast majority of the population expressed their opposition, the Polish government hangs on to the decision to expand the city boundaries of the town of Opole. The German minority in Silesia is bound to lose representation on local councils, and German as an auxiliary language will vanish from many administrative offices.
The enlargement of Opole will reduce the proportion of ethnic Germans. While they made up about 15 percent of the population in the individual communities, integration with the city of Opole will reduce the percentage to just 2. As a consequence, people of German origin living there will no longer be granted representation on the municipal council, bilingual town signs will disappear, and German will lose its status as an auxiliary language in many administrative offices.
Representatives of local communities have travelled to the Polish capital Warsaw, to express their opposition to the plans, however, their protest remained unheard.