East Prussia

East Prussia (German: Ostpreußen; Polish: Prusy Wschodnie; Russian: Восточная Пруссия - Vostochnaya Prussiya) was a province of Kingdom of Prussia, situated on the territory of former Ducal Prussia. In 1772, after the First Partition of Poland, Warmia (a part of former province of Royal Prussia) was included into East Prussia. On January 31, 1773 King Friedrich II announced that the newly annexed lands were to be known as "Westpreußen" (West Prussia) and the old Duchy of Prussia were to be known as "Ostpreußen" (East Prussia).

Along with the rest of Prussia, East Prussia, became part of the German Empire at its creation in 1871. After World War I until World War II, East Prussia became an exclave of Germany, created as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, when parts of the province of West Prussia (former Royal Prussia) were ceded to Poland creating the Pomeranian Voivodship or so called Polish Corridor.

East Prussia was located along the south-east corner of the Baltic Sea. Its capital was Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). The northern part of East Prussia corresponds today to Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast, the southern parts form Poland's Warminsko-Mazurskie Voivodship.

In 1875 the ethnic make up of East Prussia was 73.48% German, 18.39% Polish, and 8.11% Lithuanian (according to "Slownik geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego"). The population of the province in 1900 was 1,996,626 people, with a religious make up of 1,698,465 Protestants, 269,196 Roman Catholics, and 13,877 Jews.

During the World War II, the province was extended (see Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany). In 1939, East Prussia had 2.49 million inhabitants. Many were killed in the war. The German population of East Prussia – like the Germans of Gdansk, Pomerania and Silesia -- either fled or were expropriated and expelled in 1944-49 by the occupying Soviets. In the process, hundreds of thousands lost their lives. To replace the removed population, Russians, Belorussians and Ukrainians were settled in the northern part and Sambia and Polish refugees from former eastern parts of Poland were settled in Warmia i Mazury.

Table of contents
1 Further reading

Further reading

Publications in German

Publications in Polish

  • K. Piwarski, Dzieje Prus Wschodnich w czasach nowożytnych, Gdańsk 1946
  • Gerard Labuda (ed.), Historia Pomorza, vol. I-IV, Poznań 1969-2003 (also covers East Prussia)
  • collective work, Szkice z dziejów Pomorza, vol. 1-3, Warszawa 1958-61

External links


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