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W numerze listopadowym "Pomeranii" opublikowane zostały fragmenty poniższego listu autorstwa Davida Martina Shulista, zgodnie z życzeniem autora, przełożone na jezyk kaszubski. Poniżej prezentujemy list w całości i w oryginale:



My first impression after reading the story of “Life and Adventures of Remus by Aleksander Majkowsczi is expressed in one word “WOW”

What a Kashubian treasure. The most powerful and important book ever written about the Kashubian people and the Fatherland of Kashubia, the land of the Kashubians in Europe.

For me personally, this story touched my heart and my soul very deeply. It lifted my spirits and gave me hope that the Kashubian nation is not lost yet. That Kashubia and the Kashubian nation will rise to greatest once again.

As I was reading, I felt Majkowsczi was speaking directly to me and that he was writing this book for me.

Aleksander Majkowsczi saw something that most Kashub have not witnessed, especially in North America and maybe in Kashubia.

What got my attention the most of his writing’s, was his focus was on all Kashubian matters. He focussed on his people and his homeland that was ruled by foreigners.  

What is important for me was that the story is set when Kashubia was under Prussian German rule in the 1800’s. Although it was written well after my ancestors were already in Canada, it would still shows what my ancestors would have gone through if they would have stayed in Kashubia. My ancestors came to Canada between 1858 and 1872. Majkowsczi was born in a small Kashubian village of Kòscerzna in 1876 when Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck ruled Prussia. Bismrack was in charge of Prussia between 1870 to 1914.Bismarck imposed “Kulturkampf” where he implemented policies of discrimination against the Kashubians in order to Germanize the Kashubs. Majkowsczi started to write his story of Remus in 1904 when he was 28 years old. He wrote through his life experience living in Kashubia at the time.

Majkowsczi tries to awaken the Kashubs through Remus and tries to make them aware of their rich Kashubian heritage of the past, and to make a plea to resurrect the Kashubian culture so it would not be lost only to appear in the pages of history books. He also makes a plea to abandon the growing trend towards Germanization.

What also caught my attention was his strong focus on Kashubia, and all things Kashubian.

In his story he mentioned the word “Kashubia” 24 times and refers to Kashubia as the Fatherland, and the land of the Kashubians.  He mentions the word “Kashubian” around 102 times where he refers to the Kashubian language as the native language to Kashubia. He also refers to the Kashubian soil, Kashubian ways, Kashubian land, Kashubian forest, Kashubian country, Kashubian Princes, Kashubian history, Kashubian Lords, Kings, Nobles, Kashubian heart, Kashubian world, Kashubian churches and parishes, Kashubian villages, towns and cities, Kashubian Clans, Kashubian giants and most of all Kashubian identity.

He wrote the word ”Kashub”  48 times referring to the Kashub people. He mentioned the words “Kashubian Nation and Kashubian Country a dozen times throughout his story.

This was gold to me and gave me credibility on my own work that I have done promoting all things Kashubian since my discovery of my own Kashubian identity in 1998.

I also noticed that he wrote a lot of negative about the Prussians, mostly the treatment of the Prussians against the Kashubs. Majkowscizi wrote through his own experience. Although my ancestors were under Prussian rule when they immigrated to Canada between 1858 and 1872, they did not experience Bismarck’s rule like Majkowsczi time. My ancestors immigrated because of free land being offered by the newly formed country of Canada. My ancestors were landless and saw an opportunity to be land owners in a land far away from the Kashubian fatherland. None of my ancestors talked negative about Prussia or the Prussians. They were free to practise their own Roman Catholic Faith and lived their lives without too much trouble while living in Kashubia. Other than poverty, they were fine.

Majkowsczi also stressed that the Kashubs were very faithful to their Roman Catholic Faith. This is very true about my Kashubian ancestors. The church was everything to them. Before they built their own church, they would worship in the Irish Catholic Church in Brudenell. In 1875, they built their own church and they continued to practice their strong Kashubian Catholic faith.

What was also very important about his book, was that it was all written in his native Kashubian language. It was written by a Kashubian author, in the Kashubian language on Kashubian native soil. To me, this is gold and a Kashubian masterpiece written by a true Kashubian giant.

He used the character Remus, as the vehicle to raise the Kashubian nation to its former glory. Majkowsczi realized that the Fatherland of Kashubia was in big trouble and could be lost forever if someone would not step up to save it. Remus was the chosen one in his story, a simple man with a great passion for his homeland. He was asked to carry a Queen over a river and place her on the golden throne and raise the castle. In this case the castle was the Kashubian culture and Kashubia.

Majkowsczi famous quotes from the Queen when she spoke to Remus.

“Look how magnificent the castle is. When I place my golden slippers on the stairway again, the silent forest will disappear and there will be sounds of happy people who, like their young Queen, had been awaiting salvation. A nation will rise to till its soil and sail its ships, a nation about which history ceased to be written long ago. Then the world will recall the nation which has flourished in earlier times and all will be astonished by its rebirth.”

Mr. Josef speaks to Remus about the Fatherland where he shows Remus a map of Kashubia.

“Kashubia is guarded by two great rivers, the Wisla to the east and the Odra to the west. The Wisla river enters the sea at Gduńsk. The Odra enters Szczecin. Long ago, Kashubia stretched through the fields under the Baltic Sea almost to where the German capital of Berlin now stands, and to the city of Roztoka not far from the sea. On the north you see the sea. To the south of our land is the Polish land”

“Our nation was once that large, and many people and lords lived within its boundaries. Our own princes were governing us. The Kashubs were rich in their land holdings and also rich owners of ships on the sea.”

The King of the Lake speaks to Remus about the history of the Kashubs.

“Years ago a wise man told me in the history of the Kashubs. The Germans took our land, our freedom and our power. They are suffocating us like wolves and everything is turned for their gain, as if the Lord God had abandoned us completely. Just look Remus. From your first encounter with the Germans, you landed in prison and I will die in the prison today. But are we not the rightful children of this land which we inherited from our forefathers!”

“If those stolems (giants) who sleep here under the  mounds of rocks could get up, what would they say when they saw their descendants hiding at night by their graves so they would not fall into the  hands  of the  foreigners who have  made  themselves rulers of the Kashubs. “

Majkowsczi quotes:

“Every Kashub, at least once in their life should make a pilgrimage to Oliwa to pray at the graves of the Pomeranian princes. It is because of their sword, bravery and intellect, and against all others who have ruled us, that we can still enjoy the faith, customs and language of our fathers.”

“Kashubs are like ancient creatures, becoming extinct in front of our very eyes. Death is written for you but as long as you are still breathing it would not be proper to put an end to you.”

Majkowsczi has questions for the Kashubs.

“Why could our Kashubian language not rise up like the young Queen? Why could our Kashubian people not rise up from the ground like the sunken castle.”

Yes, this book was written for me or at least I felt it. It is a book that all Kashubs should read, because it is all about them and their history. A history that has been stolen from them by foreigners.  This book means the world to me and I hope that after every Kashub reads this, they will take up the task of saving Kashubia from its deathbed.

Majkowsczi wrote this when Kashubia was under Prussian German Rule and it would be very interesting, if someone wrote a book about Kashubia when it is under Polish rule. On Feburary 10 1920, Kashubia went under Polish rule and it would be interesting to see how Kashubia has fared out under their rule. One hundred years have passed under another foreign ruler. I can see a sequel to Majkowsczi story called “The Spirit of Remus walks Kashubia”. A story about Remus, coming back to earth in spirit and telling us about the state of the Kashubian culture and identity today under Polish rule.  I think we will all be very surprised to find out that the Kashubian culture and language are much weaker today in 2020 than it was in the 1800’s when my ancestors came to Canada. In the 1800’s every Kashubs spoke their Kashubian native tongue and Kashubian Canadians are proof. We still speak the language after 162  years in Canada. That is my first language and I still proudly speak it. In today’s Kashubia, only ten percent speak the native tongue.

What is interesting about Majkowsczi writing’s, is that he tells us to fear Germanization, yet it is Polonization that is the largest stress on our Kashubian language and culture today. The question is, can the sunken castle be raised from the dead under Polish rule.

According to Majkowsczi, back in Prussian times, the village of Lëpùsz, was a Kashubian village. The city of Gduńsk was a Kashubian city. All the churches in Kashubia were Kashubian churches, built by Kashubians. The south shores of the Baltic Sea was called the Kashubian shores. The Kashubian language was the native language of the Kashubian people. Kashubia was the fatherland of the Kashubians. Any literature that was written by a Kashubs about Kashubian matters went under Kashubian Literature.

Now, in Polish times between 1920 and 2020 everything is Polish and Kashubs are reduced to a regional ethnic group in Poland. The Kashubian language is now called a regional language in Poland and Kashubia is a region in northern Poland. The south shores of the Baltic is now called the Polish shores. Lëpùsz is a Polish village in Poland.  Gduńsk is a Polish city in Poland. When Kashubs write anything about Kashubian matters, he or she is labelled as Polish writers and it follows under Polish Literature. Any Kashubian research falls under Polish Studies. Today, if you google Aleksander Majkowsczi – he is  labelled a  as Pole, born in Poland, in a the  Polish village  of Koscierzna and as a Polish writer who falls under Polish Literature. Absolutely nothing Kashubian, it is as if his Kashubian identity has been stolen. This is what puzzles me the most about today’s Kashubia. Since my first journey to Kashubia in 1999 and my twelve other visits, I am amazed to see the homeland buried under Polish identity.  The main purpose of all my visits, are to my Kashubian ancestral homeland which is  Kashubia, yet when I am greeted by Kashubians, they greet me by saying “Welcome to Poland”. Should they not be saying “Welcome to Kashubia”. This is the most confusing thing to me, how Kashubs have lost their homeland and identity to the colonist. Ninety percent of the folks who I talk to do not speak their native tongue but speak the language of the colonist and government. If anyone thinks this is raising the sunken castle, please stand up and please educate me.  I may live very far from Kashubia, but what I am seeing happening to my Kashubian ancestral homeland is not raising the castle. This is not the vision of Majkowsczi and it is not the message he is trying to convey to us. He is telling us to wake up or die.

I also found in my research that Majkowsczi before he wrote the story of Remus, he was quoted saying “What is Kashubian is Polish”. This does not make any sense at all. This was said at the time that another Kashub, Hieronim Derdowsczi was writing about Kashubs and his thinking was on that line, that Kashubs are Polish.  This saying by Majkowsczi had Derdowsczi written all over it. Derdowsczi’s whole goal was to make all Kashubs into Poles. You could see it in Derdowsczi’s work when he moved to Winona Minnesota USA where he polonized all the Kashubs  living there and told them that they are  Poles to a  point that some never  knew they were  Kashubian. He wrote for a Polish newspaper, teaching them pure Polish as he called it. Basically he stole the Kashubian identity. I do not know if it was intentional or his lack of knowledge of the Kashubian history. Today, because of Derdowsczi fine work, the community of Winona whose population is mostly Kashubian are telling their Kashubian history at their “Polish Cultural Institute & Museum which is run by the Polish Heritage Society. It is not the fault of the folks from this wonderful Kashubian town, but the fault of one individual who probably did not see Kashubia for what it really was. A land of a people and a nation according to Majkowsczi.

I wonder what Majkowsczi would say today about the status of Kashubia and the Kashubian culture. Would he see the castle is exalted or sunken so deep that it will never rise to its former glory. We all know that Majkowsczi was fighting Germanization and defending the Kashubian National identity, but I wonder if he knew the impact of Polonization would be on our culture and identity after he left this earth in 1938.

We all know that Kashubians prefer to be ruled by the Polish state over the German state, but their love for the Polish state might be the down fall of their existences.

Question: Why did Antoni Abraham and Tomasz Rogala invite the Polish army to the Kashubian shores at Puck, Kashubia on February 10 1920?  Why did the Kashubians not create their own state at that time?  It was their chance to be free of Germaniztion and Polonization and they would be free from both. The Dukes of Kashubia at Oliwa would have been very proud and Kashubia would have been saved. The Kashubian native language would be the language spoken by everyone and not be a second language like it is today. When Abraham and Rogala invited the neighbors from the south to the Kashubian shores, it was like inviting a fox into the hen house. You know that it would not turn out so wonderful for the chickens. Death would have been inevitable. This maybe the final story of the Kashubians if they do not take control of their own destiny.

In the story of Remus, Majkowsczi mentions three phantoms.  Trud (pain and toil) Strach (fear) and Niewôrto (not worthwhile) These three phantoms is what Remus fought and lost the battle. He failed to exalt the Queen and raise the castle, not for the sake of trying, but the heavy weight of the task he was given. Today, in 2020, there are many Kashubs who are still fighting these phantoms. For myself, I have conquered all three. The pain and toil (trud) that Germanization and Polonization of the Kashubians is inthe past and recorded. We all know that the Germans and the Polish did not treat us fairly. They punished us for speaking our native Kashubian language on our native Kashubian land. Kashubs were ridiculed for speaking their native language in the schools they built. The Germans wanted to make all Kashubs into Germans and the Polish wanted to make all Kashubs  into Poles.  The pain and toil at the hands of the two governments are now behind us now. We are now at the point of reconciliation. Our fears (starch) are still present today, and need to be conquered. The greatest fear the Kashubs have today, is  being  accused of  been separatists by the folks in Warsaw when we express ourselves as Kashubians, as a Nation, with its  own native land, native Kashubian language, culture, literature, history and  most  of all, separate from any other  nation when it  comes to cultural and national identity. On June 4, 1989 Kashubs finally got their freedom, their voice to express themselves without political pressures from the colonist. Kashubians finally have their own voice and they are speaking  out  to anyone  hwo wants to listen. The final phantom, Niewôrto is the key to saving the Kashubian nation where Kashubs are asking themselves this very important question,” Is Kashubia worthwhile saving?  For myself, saving Kashubia is everything. I have fought all three phantoms and I am ready to carry the Queen to her rightful place on the Kashubian Golden Throne, and raise the castle back to its former glory. I live by the words of Pope John Paul II “Be not afraid” and “Dear Kashubian brothers and sisters! Cherish the values and the heritage that define your Kashubian identity”.

This is my take on Aleksander Majkowsczi and his story on Remus. It is from a point of view from very far away from the Kashubian homeland and from a person who has no ties to the colonist, Prussia, Germany or Poland when it comes to his own Kashubian identity. Yes, my ancestors before coming to Canada were under Prussian rule, but that did not make them Prussian. They were Kashubians.

I would like to hear from others on their view. I would like to hear from the 16,000 Kashubs who declared Kashubian as their nationality in the 2011 census. I would love to get them in one place and have a great discussion on the matter. I think the perfect location would be on the Kashubian shores at Puck, Kashubia Europe where they lost their independence and identity 100 years ago. These 16,000 Kashubians might be our only chance to save Kashubia. Majkowsczi said that every 100 years, we have a chance to raise the castle and the time is NOW Kashubia. Long live the Kashubian nation and long live the Kashubians.

David Martin Shulist