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THE WENDS IN AUSTRALIA

by Jozica Gerden╣, Stane Marn▓

╣1 Charles court, Mildura Vic.3500, Australia
▓Bogatajeva 17, SI-1215 Medvode, Slovenia

In my study "Wends in Australia" I describe the immigration and settlement of a group of Australian immigrants of Wendish background from 150 years ago, from the Upper and Lower Lusatia in today's SE Germany, which is the natural homeland of their ancestors. In greater detail I described two large families, Mirtschins and Peukers, who have entered in their family history books over 5000 names of their descendants in Australia. Recognised by the so-called "Urnfield culture", they are called Lusatian Sorbs, or Wends, as they are named all Polabian Slavs. Their ancestral homeland, unofficially recognised in the19th Century, spreads over Brandenburg, Silesia and Saxony: approx. 50 miles from Berlin at the SE border along the river Spree; on the East stretching up to the rivers Neisse and Oder, which separate today's Germany and Poland; on South borders the Czech Republic and the Lusatian Mountains. The Northern border reaches up to Frankfurt and on West to the rivers S.Elster and Dahme.

In the middle of the 19th Century Sorbs had experienced political and cultural turmoils under the Germans, besides many wars and economic difficulties. Therefore around 30000 Lusatian Wends had emigrated to Australia and Texas USA. Both welcomed new immigrants. They settled wide country areas from SW to Eastern Victoria up to hilly areas of the Barossa Valley and around Adelaide in SA. Today many are still well aware of their ancestors' background and are very proud of it.

In my over 30 years in Australia I have often met such people, who like to tell me that they are descendants of Veneti, Vends or Windischars from Silesia, Saxony or Prussia, Austria, Italy... For many Australians of so-called "German" background, this historical fact is in their consciousness. With these "new Australians" I subconsciously find an instant rapport due to our common historical background. I could not understand this phenomenon until I learnt about the newly discovered facts of our Venetic history. In this theory I found a missing link in the historical chain of my Slovenian heritage.


Page Created:  October 20, 2001
Page Updated:  October 20, 2001
ęCopyright 2001, 2002, 2003 Gary L. Gorsha