Silesia has always been a challenge for scientists as well as politicians, most importantly however – its people. Not many analysts and practitioners succeeded in coping with this challenge. Strategic character of this land made its inhabitants hostages to geopolitical interests of states representing diff erent cultures, languages and religions. Remaining at the front line of (what Samuel Huntington would call) civilizations, Silesia was expossed to this long-lasting process which resulted in specifi c type of identity, which the author dares call hybrid identity. It also resulted in a number of paradoxes, like for example unique model of modernization based on industrial infrastructure development accompanied by adequate work culture and civilizational patterns from one side, and from the other side closing Silesian communities in tribalism and traditionalism.