The Warmiak are a Polish
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 ethnic group from Warmia
Warmia or Ermland is a region between Pomerelia and Masuria in northeastern Poland. Together with Masuria, it forms the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship....

 who are mostly Roman Catholics and who speak their own dialect of Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, called gwara warminska (see: Dialects of the Polish language
Dialects of the Polish language
In Polish linguistic tradition there are seven general dialectal groups of the Polish language, each primarily associated with a certain geographical region...


Between the 14th and 17th centuries, settlers from northern Mazovia
Mazovia or Masovia is a geographical, historical and cultural region in east-central Poland. It is also a voivodeship in Poland.Its historic capital is Płock, which was the medieval residence of first Dukes of Masovia...

 moved to former territories of Old Prussians, following conquests by the Teutonic Order, and the erection of the Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights
Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights
The State of the Teutonic Order, , also Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights or Ordensstaat , was formed in 1224 during the Northern Crusades, the Teutonic Knights' conquest of the pagan West-Baltic Old Prussians in the 13th century....


The bishopric of Warmia became in 1466 an autonomous part of Royal Prussia
Royal Prussia
Royal Prussia was a Region of the Kingdom of Poland and of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . Polish Prussia included Pomerelia, Chełmno Land , Malbork Voivodeship , Gdańsk , Toruń , and Elbląg . It is distinguished from Ducal Prussia...

, and remained part of Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1772 (see: Partitions of Poland
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

). While Mazurs in the neighboring Ducal Prussia
Ducal Prussia
The Duchy of Prussia or Ducal Prussia was a duchy in the eastern part of Prussia from 1525–1701. It was the first Protestant duchy with a dominant German-speaking population, as well as Polish and Lithuanian minorities...

 became Protestants when that Duchy adopted Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 in the 16th century, most Warmiaks, populating the areas around, Olsztyn
Olsztyn is a city in northeastern Poland, on the Łyna River. Olsztyn has been the capital of the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship since 1999. It was previously in the Olsztyn Voivodeship...

 remained Catholics.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 , the Warmiaks were persecuted by the Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 government, which wanted to erase all aspects of Polish culture and Polish language in Warmia
Warmia or Ermland is a region between Pomerelia and Masuria in northeastern Poland. Together with Masuria, it forms the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship....

. After the war, due to their Polish roots, they were not victims of Expulsion of Germans after World War II
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

, but in the course of the time, large numbers of Warmiaks decided to leave their native land and settle in more prosperous West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....


See also

  • List of Medieval Slavic tribes
  • Andrzej Sakson
    Andrzej Sakson
    Andrzej Sakson is a Polish sociologist and historian. Since 2004 he has been the director of the Western Institute in Poznań....

    - Polish sociologist specializing in research on Warmiaks
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