THE POLES' SOCIAL AND CULTURAL LIFE IN OSTRAVA AT THE TURN OF THE 19TH CENTURY
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The Poles living in the vicinity of Ostrava and in the city of Ostrava itself came mostly from Galicia and developed a rich organizational life at the turn of the 19th century. The socio-cultural and youth organizations had, among others, a distinct role in preserving the Polish heritage. They were Polish reading rooms, the Association of the People's School, the circle of the Mother School for the Cieszyn Duchy, the sections of Educating and Supporting Association 'Jednosc' (Unity), departments of the Polish Working Class Men and Women Association 'Sila' (Force), the nests of the Union of the Polish Gymnastics Associations 'Sokol' (Falcon) and the Polish House in Moravska Ostrava. Those organizations were full of cultural and educational activity, and the youth organizations took care of physical education. They were also meant to be places where Polish culture and language were was cultivated to avoid the assimilation.
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