From the Empire to the Republic

The First World War put an end to a long-lasting period of prosperity and changed Silesia’s situation substantially. New national states emerged beyond the borders of the country. Austrian Silesia was turned into Czechoslovakia; the eastern part of Upper Silesia had to be assigned to the Polish Republic in response to a referendum. This arbitrary division of the industrial region set the country back in terms of economy and caused a continuous source of conflict between Germany and Poland.

It was only in 1924 that the political situation started to consolidate. An economic upswing gripped the whole of Silesia, including the Polish Eastern Upper Lusatian part. Breslau/Wroclaw experienced a process of rapid modernisation, which was determining the social and cultural life of the metropolises at that time. However, the world economic crises of 1929/30 lead to an abrupt end of the “Golden Twenties” in Silesia, too.

Photo: René Pech, © SMG