I received this reply from Robert T on the Germany > General Board:
Author: Robert T. Date: 26 Oct 2003 4:10 AM GMT
Judy, first, I just wanted to mention that SILESIA (in German: SCHLESIEN) was never a county. A county is a territory ruled by a Count (or in England, an Earl; in German: Graf) and Silesia as a whole was never a county. There was one county (in German: Grafschaft) within Silesia, however, and that was the County (Grafschaft) of GLATZ.
You have also misspelled the name of the town Wilhelm Friedrich Richter was from. The correct spelling is MILITSCH.
I will tell you a bit about Silesia:
SILESIA (in German: SCHLESIEN) was until 1945 a province of PRUSSIA (in German: PREUSSEN). (Prussia was a Kingdom until 1918. Following the abolition of the German monarchies after World War I, Prussia remained a state until 1947, when the Allies declared the state of Prussia officially abolished.) Silesia's capital was the city of BRESLAU. Silesia consisted of two areas: Most of Silesia, including the city of Breslau, was known as LOWER SILESIA (in German: NIEDERSCHLESIEN). The southernmost portion of Silesia, centering around cities such as OPPELN and KATTOWITZ, was known as UPPER SILESIA (in German: OBERSCHLESIEN). (There was another small town called Militsch near Cosel in Upper Silesia.)
Following World War II, almost all of Germany lying east of the Oder and Neisse Rivers was given to Poland (with the exception of the northern half of the Prussian province of East Prussia, which was taken by the Soviet Union). The 12 million inhabitants of eastern Germany were thereupon expelled from their homes under horrific conditions. The Polish authorities then repopulated these territories with Poles. (Only one tiny piece of Silesia is still part of Germany today, and that is the city of GÃ–RLITZ and environs.)
Following the expulsion of the original German inhabitants and the resettling of these territories with Poles, all the cities, towns and villages were of course given new Polish names:
Silesia's capital, Breslau, now has the Polish name WROCLAW (note correct Polish spelling). Militsch, about 30 miles from Breslau, now has the Polish name MILICZ.
I'lI refer you to three maps:
Map 1 shows Germany as it was from its unification under Bismarck in 1871 until 1918. The map includes of course the Kingdom of Prussia (in German: Preussen) with its provinces. If you look to the east, you will see the province of Silesia. You will further see how vast Prussia itself was. It stretched all the way from East Prussia in the northeast to and including the Rhineland in the west. That's a distance of some 800 miles! Berlin was the capital of both Germany and of Prussia. Map 2 shows Germany's territorial losses following World War I. Map 3 shows Germany and its states today. Very sad.
Map 1: www.rootsweb.com/~wggerman/map/germanempire.htm
Map 2: www.rootsweb.com/~wggerman/map/germany1920.htm
Map 3: www.rootsweb.com/~wggerman/state.htm
You might find the following website useful:www.genealogienetz.de/reg/SCI/sil-e.htm
I hope this information is of some help to you