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The foundation Haus Oberschlesien, a foundation under private law,was founded on the Feast of St Barbara in 1970 (4 December). The donors are the Landsmannschaft der Oberschlesier and the state of North Rhine-Westphallia, represented by the state chancellery. The foundation is the operator of the State Museum of Upper Silesia, which is financed by the state of North Rhine-Westphallia. Furthermore, since 2017, the Cultural Office for Upper Silesia has found a home at the State Museum for Upper Silesia, financed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
The foundation and the museum protect the cultural heritage of a region which today belong politically to Poland and the Czech Republic. Many Upper Silesians came to wester Germany in the 19th and 20th centuries for mining, but also due to flight, expulsion and later emigration as a result of the two World Wars. Many residents of North Rhine-Westphalia have familial connections, e.g. to Gleiwitz (Gliwice), Hindenburg (Zabrze) or Oppeln (Opole).
The industrial and cultural landscape of Upper Silesia finds itself in the midst of a long transformation process. The competency of the foundation, its bodies and cooperating institutions lies in historical and contemporary awareness. The work of the foundation is influenced by the spirit of understanding between peoples and a good cross-boarder relationship between neighbours.