Written by Martin S. Nowak Thursday, 16 December 2010 18:14
In 1892 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), based in Salt Lake City and commonly known as the Mormons, proselytized in the eastern German Empire. They established congregations in Breslau and the town of Selbongen in East Prussia. Following World War II, border shifts brought Breslau and Selbongen within the new Poland. Germans were expelled westward to make way for Poles to populate the areas. But some Germans managed to stay behind. The Breslau congregations were depopulated and dissolved, but several Selbongen Mormons remained and continued to operate their branch in their little chapel.
The town, now in northeast Poland, was renamed Zelwągi, and in 1947 the communist authorities stopped the congregation's meetings, saying such gatherings had to use the Polish language. Undeterred, the members learned Polish and resumed services three years later. A 1958 Polish magazine article about the Zelwągi Mormons brought in a few new members, but by 1978 all of the congregants had reportedly immigrated to West Germany and the branch ceased to exist.