Peter Jan Joachim Kroh, The "Sorbian questions" and Jan Skala's answers

The "Sorbian question" is: How should Germans (as a majority) and Sorbs (as a minority) live to-gether in one country? For Skala, this question had two sides. The one: What do the Sorbs, their leading personalities, organizations and institutions have to do, so that Sorbs can live with equal rights and equal respect in the German State? The other: What does the German State have to im-plement on a political and juridical basis, so that its Sorbian citizens can own the same rights as German citizens? Skala demanded from the German State a juridical guarantee of equal rights for the minority, their language and culture as well as politically ensured governmental support for their ethnical characteristics. He called upon the Sorbs to take their affairs into their own hands. For that, according to Skala, the Sorbs needed a Sorbian-Slavic self-confidence based on their knowledge about their own history. Because: Especially this knowledge increases the collective power of the many individuals. And: Only if everybody supports the mission with his/her own heart, can the commitment for the rights of the own people be stable.

Skala's concept for the settlement of the "Sorbian Question" looked as follows: if something needs to be said, do not remain silent; act yourself and not only ask others to act on your behalf; work together with like-minded people; accept interim solutions; never give up.

He followed Rousseau's idea, that in the relation between strong and weak, the "law" liberates and "freedom" oppresses. If strong people are not limited by set boundaries, they oppress the weak and create a system of dependence.

For this way to settle the "Sorbian Question", Skala worked his whole life with word and deed: Jan Skala

Even though, Skala has not reached many of his goals, his never ending dedication to the settlement of the "Sorbian Question" was not in vain. Completely dead is a person only if nobody re-members his actions and his leading ideals. But Skala lives on with us and in us as this conference proves.