Free City of Gdańsk.

Gdańsk Poland, old town, travel blog and mindful living Malvina Dunder

“I am not Polish, I am from Gdańsk”

As a child, I lived in the historic district of Gdańsk called Wrzeszcz and had a very interesting neighbour. Old Lady Trudzia was telling me many stories whenever I was bringing her groceries. I heard many times that she does not like her current passport, because as she said, “I am neither Polish nor German, I am of Gdańsk origin.”

In the interwar period (from 1920 to 1939) Gdańsk was a Free City, i.e. an autonomous city-state.

Gdańsk is over 1000 years of history, so as we can guess the stories are endless, and there are many places to visit.

It is famous for amber, colorful houses, decorative Gdańsk furniture, reminiscent of the architecture of cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, once a flourishing port city that maintained business relations with the rest of the world.

Once I was asked in a bit mischievous way whether I feel in Gdansk like in Germany… I was born at the end of the 20th century, so I do not. Old, restored inscriptions on a wall do not matter much to me. When I delved into the history of Gdańsk, I found information that if you want to follow this tangled path, you may found even more Dutch influences in Gdańsk. 

However this is very old history and it is possible that in the past people looked at it differently, because the concept of borders and nationalities strengthened significantly after the world wars. During this negative time, people divided very much, built high walls and got obsessed with their origin. Maybe well-known and regular people living in Gdańsk felt simply as citizens of Gdańsk, not Poles or Germans or Dutch. And now, nations try to appropriate big, famous names from the history and hijack their accomplishments, which is all very fake, because on what grounds is it determined? 

I think the answer can be obtained only by asking “what nationality do you feel”? How to do it in any other way? You need to have one or two parents of a given nationality? Need to speak this language? If so, at what level? Do you have to live permanently in this area? Or just for a while? It doesn’t make sense. I met people who were born outside of Poland, they can’t speak Polish, maybe they were in Poland once or they only heard about it, but they have a Polish mother and they say proudly that they are Polish. And that’s right if they feel that way. It cannot be disputed, because life has more threads than a passport.

I was born in Poland, but I travel a lot and feel like a citizen of the world. However, if I have to choose, I also feel of Gdańsk origin.

Some time ago, friends told me that strange news appear more often about citizens of Gdańsk want to break away from Poland. I was amused by this news because Gdańsk just has a strong community, vision and drive, which is very positive!

It’s a really amazing city. No wonder that for the centuries (!) it has been drawing others to this place and many landmark events in European history took place here.

Malvina Dunder with love to planet Earth. Travel adventures & conscoius living. Blog podróżniczy, świadome życie, z miłości do planety Ziemi
Books e-books, Malvina Dunder, książki, ebook

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