The Sorbian people today consists of around 60,000 people. All live in Germany: in Upper Lusatia (Free State of Saxony), where they are known as Upper Sorbs, and in Lower Lusatia (State of Brandenburg), where they are known as Lower Sorbs/Wends.
The Sorbs, who were originally Slavic tribes living northeast of the Carpathian Mountains, migrated into the region between the Baltic Sea and the Erzgebirge about 1,500 years ago. They were able to preserve and develop their cultural identity to some extent in Lusatia over the centuries – interrupted by, among other things, the policies of the National Socialists. There are two Sorbian languages: Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian/Wendish, both of which are still spoken today in many families and everyday situations. However, Lower Sorbian/Wendish in particular is threatened with extinction.
Besides the name “Sorbs”, the older term “Wends” is also in official use, particularly in Brandenburg. This name dates back to the works of Roman historians, who referred to unknown tribes in the east as “Veneti”, a word that then evolved into the German “Wenden”.
Domowina – Federation of Lusation Sorbs, based in Bautzen, was founded in 1912 and has since been the politically independent umbrella organisation of the Sorbian associations. (13 associations and 5 regional federations).
> Overview of the Lusatian Sorbs
> Domowina – Zwjazk Łužiskich Serbow / Zwězk Łužyskich Serbow / Federation of Lusatian Sorbs
> Załožba za serbski lud / Stiftung für das sorbische Volk / Foundation for the Sorbian People
> Serbski institut / Sorbisches Institut / Sorbian Institute
> Rěčny centrum WITAJ / Rěcny centrum WITAJ / WITAJ-Sprachzentrum / WITAJ Language Centre
> Ludowe nakładnistwo Domowina / Domowina-Verlag Bautzen / Domowina publishing house
> Serbski ludowy ansambl / Sorbisches National-Ensemble
> Němsko-Serbske ludowe dźiwadło / Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater / German-Sorbian Folk Theatre
> Serbski muzej Budyšin / Sorbisches Museum Bautzen / Sorbian Museum Bautzen
> Serbski muzej Chóśebuz / Wendisches Museum Cottbus / Wendish Museum Cottbus
> Sakski serbski zakoń / Sächsisches Sorbengesetz online / Saxon Sorbs law online
> Law on the Rights of the Sorbs/Wends in the State of Brandenburg (SWG; “Sorbs/Wends Act” of the state of Brandenburg)
> Federal Ministry of the Interior on the Lusatian Sorbs