A brief note on place names

The place names mentioned throughout this website can seem a little complex at first. The first problem is probably one of language. When Werner and his family lived here, the place names were in German; now, they are in Polish.

Schwieben, where Hermine was born, was in the administrative district (Kreis) Tost-Gleiwitz. This district was in the Opole region, in the province of Silesia (my father always designated their home area as part of ‘Upper Silesia’), which was in Prussia.

In Polish, the town is now Świbie, the administrative district is Gmina Wielowieś, in the province of Województwo śląskie (Upper Silesia in English, or Oberschlesien in German; Górny Śląsk in Polish), in southern Poland. It’s actually even more complicated than this suggests, but I think this just about gets us orientated from the 1900s to the present day.

Hopefully, this short explanation has clarified sufficiently the reason for the different names, throughout, although I have tended to use the old German form primarily, because this is what is given in all our letters and documents. Where I need to locate places on a map, however, or where I feel readers may wish to do so, I have also provided the current Polish use.