Sorbs (Serbja, Serby, Sorben Lužičti Srbové, Serbołużyczanie; also known as Lusatians, Lusatian Serbs and Wends) are an indigenous West Slavic ethnic group predominantly inhabiting the parts of Lusatia located in the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg. Sorbs traditionally speak the Sorbian languages (also known as "Wendish" and "Lusatian"), which are closely related to Czech, Polish, Kashubian, Silesian, and Slovak. Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian are officially recognized minority languages in Germany.
Due to a gradual and increasing assimilation between the 17th and 20th centuries, virtually all Sorbs also spoke German by the early 20th century. In the newly created German nation state of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, policies were implemented in an effort to Germanize the Sorbs. These policies reached their climax under the Nazi regime, who denied the existence of the Sorbs as a distinct Slavic people by referring to them as "Sorbian-speaking Germans". The community