Upper Silesia Conflict


The Silesian Autonomy Movement (Polish: Ruch Autonomii Śląska, German: Bewegung für die Autonomie Schlesiens,[1] Silesian: Ruch Autůnůmije Ślůnska, abbreviated as RAŚ) is a movement officially declaring its support for the autonomy of Silesia as part of a unified Europe. The association was founded in January 1990 by Rudolf Kołodziejczyk and is based in the Polish part of Upper Silesia. RAŚ sees the Silesians as a “separate nation” rather than primarily as Poles, Germans or Czechs. On 17 October 2009, the Silesian Autonomy Movement signed a cooperation agreement with its German sister organisation, Initiative der Autonomie Schlesiens (IAS), based in Würzburg, and the UK-based Silesian Autonomy Movement. Some members leave RAŚ for more radical organizations, such as Silesian Separatist Movement (Śląski Ruch Separatystyczny) or Silesian National Movement (Śląski Ruch Narodowy) which are seeking a full independence of Silesia. Other organizations, for example People of the Silesian Nationality (Związek Ludności Narodowości Śląskiej) call for the immediate recognition of the so-called “Silesian nation” in Poland and Czech Republic. In 2002, RAŚ became a member of the European Free Alliance. In 2007, RAŚ activists reestablished football club 1. FC Katowice. Also, since 2007 RAŚ organize in Poland every year “Autonomy Marches