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Drzymala car
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Drzymala car

Drzymala car refers to the symbol of Polish resistance to Germanisation as oficiall policy of Imperial Germany. This symbol is Michal Drzymala, one of the folk heroes of Prussian Poland from the time of the Partitions. In 1886, Bismarck created the Prussian Colonization Commission to encourage German settlers. In government eyes, this was a defensive measuredesigned to counteract the drastic ‘Flight from the East’ Ostflucht. In Polish eyes, it was anaggressive measure designed to drive the Poles from their land. The Commission was empowered to purchase vacant estates and then to sell them to approved candidates.The campaign against Polish landownership produced a strong opposition with a hero, Drzymala. In 1904, he had succeeded in obtaining a plot of land in the districtof Wollstein (Wolsztyn), but found that the rules of the colonization commission forbade him as a Pole to build a permanent dwelling-house on his land. In order to beat the rule, therefore, he set himself up in a gypsy caravan and for more than a decade tenaciously defied all attempts in the courts to remove him. The case attracted publicity all over Germany. It was highly typical of the national conflict in Prussia,where the Polish movement was dominated by peasants and where the state authorities confined themselves to legal methods of harassment. Kulturkampf and the colonization commission succeeded in stimulating the very feelings which they were designed to suppress.