In the text 'Germany' should be understood as the German statehood from the Holy Roman Empire of the German State, through the German Confederation, the North German Confederation, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and united Germany. Prussia as one of the German states, occupies a separate place. Silesia, in part inhabited by Poles, found itself within its borders in the mid- eighteenth century. As a result of the three partitions it was followed by former Royal Prussia and Wielkopolska. After the rebirth of Poland in 1918 compact groups of the Polish population, especially in the Rhineland and Westphalia (labour emigration of the nineteenth century), in Upper Silesia, Warmia, Mazury, the Powisle, and at the border zone between Poland and Germany remained in Germany. During the war, over 2 million Poles found themselves on German territory. The Polish priesthood, considerably stretched before the outbreak of the war, was completely destroyed. After the war, the Polish priesthood was organized on German territory. Firstly on the occupied territory, followed by both German states - in the Federal Republic of Germany as the Polish Catholic Mission, and in the German Democratic Republic, in the form of the periodic commuting of Polish priests. Polish Catholic missions gradually came within German episcopate jurisdiction, which, like the Polish priests cooperating with German parishes, was followed by Polish pastoral centres supplied by the so-called spaetaussiedleren who often existed within German parishes and Polish churches. This resulted in the penetration of German customs into Polish pastoral care. In principle, however, its essence was to nurture Polish customs, even locally in individual regions of Poland. This has affected the high degree of 'churchiness' of Poles living in Germany, with living customs stemming from religious practices and ties to the religious traditions of their country of origin.
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