A prosperous area in central Europe, which from 1763 until 1918 was divided between Prussia, which controlled over 80 per cent of the territory, and Austria. After World War I, following a series of plebiscites, Upper Silesia (the coal and steel-producing area) went to Poland and most of Austrian Silesia to Czechoslovakia. Germany retained Lower Silesia. As part of the Munich Agreement, the Czech areas of Teschen were occupied by Poland in 1938. In 1945, almost all of Silesia was put under Polish administration. This led to the expulsion of over 1.5 million German Silesians 1945–6, and a further half million in the following years. West Germany formally recognized the area as Polish in 1990, as a prelude to German unification.German Question
Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).