The Slovenian or Slovene language was an extinct dialect of the Pomeranian language , spoken between Lakes Gardno and Lebsko, in Pomerania . Slovincian died because the everyday language of the community was replaced by Low German in the early 20th century . Anyway, isolated words and expressions survived until World War II . At that time there were still elders who were able to maintain a simple dialogue in their dialect.
Slovincian was so close to the Cassubian that it could be considered a dialect of the latter. Among the current Slovincians, the use of this name, given by the Russian scientist Aleksander Hilferding , is discussed . Some scholars believe that Slovincians regard themselves only as Lutheran Cassubians , and their language as Cassubian. However, the term “Slovene” prevails in the literature and is also used officially ( Slowinski Park Narodowy – Slovenian National Park, Pomerania).
The ancestors of the Slovincians probably arrived in the region around 1,500 years ago, but they may have inhabited that area well before that, when they were part of the great Slavic Pomeranian tribe . Following their forced Christianization (Northern Crusade), the dominant classes of the western Pomeranians gradually became more and more Germanized. The adoption of Lutheranism in 1525 and 1538 broke many ties with the Poles and Cassubians. In addition, it was decided that German would be used in the Church of Pomerania, in place of the local native language. But the relative isolation of Slovenian settlements in large cities delayed this process until the end of the 19th century .
In the 16th and 17th centuries , Michal Mostnik (also known as Pontanus or Michael Brüggeman) and Szimon Krofej tried to introduce Slovene into the Lutheran Church . They translated and published various religious works for Slovinciano. However, his efforts did not stop the process of Germanization of the Slavic population of Pomerania. After the unification of Germany and 1871 , the former Prussian province of Pomerania became part of German territory, and any language, except German , was strictly prohibited in churches, schools and government offices. Slavic Pomeranian language declined and was gradually replaced by Low German. The same process, although slower, occurred among Cassubian Catholics in the province of West Prussia .
However, the Cassubians still survived when the Treaty of Versailles placed them under the Polish government, while the Slovene area was left within German borders.
The regions inhabited by Slovincians became part of Poland after World War II , in 1945 . The new Polish settlers who arrived from East Poland treated Slovincians as Germans. The possession rights of German citizens were withdrawn by the state, unless they proved the right to naturalization . Slovaks were not given the chance to adopt Polish citizenship. Some Polish intellectuals wrote letters of protest against the treatment given to the native populations of Pomerania by the communist authorities, without much effect. Slovaks began to seek the right to emigrate to Germany, and virtually all families did so in the 1980s