GERMANY: The Wends

Europe's 175,000 Wends (also known as Lusatian Serbs) are an ancient Slavic people who settled in Germany more than 1,000 years ago. Many of them now live on islands in the Spree River and its web of channels; they are chiefly eel fishermen and cucumber growers (a common Spree-wald salutation is: "Have a cucumber?").

Less than half the Wends still speak their archaic language.

Last week the Wends pondered the Wendish words of a voice speaking over the Prague radio: "Wends, listen! Victorious Marshal Stalin, liberator of all Slavs, has also freed the Lusatian Wends.

. . . Wends, you are free!"...

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