19th-century Masurian Newspaper "Gazeta Lecka" Published in Giżycko

Marcin Gersz1875-1892

Ossoliński National Institute

Ossoliński National Institute
Wrocław, Poland

"Gazeta Lecka : prawdziwy przyjaciel ludu. Tygodnik" (eng. Lec Newspaper : True Friend of the People. Weekly) is a general political magazine written in the Prussian-German loyalist spirit, printed in Gothic script in the Masurian dialect. The issues had a fixed structure with an editorial on a selected issue followed by a “review of events in Europe and foreign countries” and current news presented as brief notes, arranged topographically using Polish equivalents of city names (also German), which reported various curiosities and random events such as natural disasters or sea catastrophes. A small journalistic section was filled with local historical or religious articles and riddles, while local life was reflected in economic and social announcements. The magazine is a rarity in the library collection. It was founded by Marcin Giersz, a teacher and a Masurian activist who came from a Polish peasant family. During his lifetime he evolved from considering learning German as a way to social and economic progress – which in Polish circles was often treated as support for Germanisation – to the role of a researcher and an ardent defender of Masurians’ linguistic and national identity. Guided by these convictions and his desire to preserve the local language he founded and edited “Gazeta Lecka” intended for the Masurian people. In addition to regional folk art and elements of Polish culture the newspaper included also accents of loyalty to the German state, which found its expression in occasional articles and biographies of prominent statesmen and military men. In retrospect, the periodical can be regarded as one of the most durable publishing initiatives in this region and simultaneously the only Polish press title (until 1939) published in Giżycko.
Text in Polish.


  • Title: 19th-century Masurian Newspaper "Gazeta Lecka" Published in Giżycko
  • Creator: Marcin Gersz
  • Date Created: 1875-1892
  • Location Created: Lec [Giżycko], Poland
  • Provenance: Former collection of the Ossolineum in Lviv
  • Type: Magazine
  • Medium: Press-printing

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