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Forum LockedGermany's Borders after Versailles

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mig el pig View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mig el pig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Germany's Borders after Versailles
    Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 10:48
Greetings everyone,
I'm looking for some assistance with a project I'm working on.

Anyone know how the borders were determined after Versailles In Eastren Europe esp.  Poland and  Germany.

A major help would be if anyone know which provinces or goverment districts they were based on.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 15:56
Moved to Questions and Answers 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jan-2009 at 23:30
Germany lost Elsaß-Lothringen to France, Prov. Posen, West-Prussia, Hultschiner Land to Poland, South Ratibor to CSR, the Memel area to Lithuania, Danzig became a so-called "Free city". In Eupen-Malmedy, North-Schleswig, in parts of East Prussia and in Upper Silesia the people were asked to decide for Germany or not.  In Eupen-Malmedy the Belgish government did not allow free elections. In North-Schleswig the Danish government was responsible for the voting areas. So they looked that the areas were mostly Danish dominated. In Zone 1 74% were for Danmark. Other regions voted with 60% for Germany. At least even areas with a vote for Germany came to Danmark. In Upper Silesia 60% voted for Germany. After that the Polish government forced the League of Nations to give the important economical area in the east to Poland. In this area there voted about 60% for Poland. Poland also wanted to get South East Prussia. Here 97,5% voted for Germany.The Saar region came under controll of the League of Nations, the coal mines became French. All colonies were lost, Tsingtao, the Marian Islands, Palau-I., Marshall-I., Caroline-I. and parts of Papua-New Guinea, Tansania, Cameroon, Togo and Namibia.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jan-2009 at 18:55
there were also battles between Freikorps and Polish soldiers over Silesia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Annaberg
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mig el pig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2009 at 11:46
Thanks,

Anyone has any extra information about the territories germany lost after WO II (in comparising with the current borders. And if these were based on previous borders of provinces and/or govermental districts?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote beorna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jan-2009 at 22:51
After WWII Germany lost East Prussia, Danzig, the most of Silesia, parts of Brandenburg and parts of Pommerania. Since that time the border was the Oder-Neiße-line. Only at the Oder estuary Germany lost land west of Oder with the economical important Stettin and the Oder Island Wollin and parts of Usedom Isle. So the annexions weren't based on previous borders allthough East Prussia totally and Silesia in the greatest part were annected.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2009 at 19:16
but it's pretty similar to the old medieval border between Poland and Germany before the east was Germanized.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ikki Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jan-2009 at 20:03
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Domen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 23:55
Originally posted by beorna


Poland also wanted to get South East Prussia. Here 97,5% voted for Germany.

Northern part of East Prussia (the part which belongs to Russia today) was never inhabited by any significant amounts of either Russians or Poles. But southern part of East Prussia (so called Mazury in Polish) was ethnically Polish since the Middle Ages.

The main reason why southern part of East Prussia voted for Germany in 1920 was the fact that at the time when the plebiscite was carried out, the state of Poland was in an extremely dangerous and critical political and military situation. Bolshevik armies were quickly approaching Warsaw and it was generally thought that Poland stood no chance for repulsing the Bolshevik invasion and remaining days of Poland were already counted, it would fell very soon. Another factor which had got significant influence on the result of this plebiscite (carried out on 11.07.1920) was terror and persecutions of ethnic Poles - especially influential Polish political activists - organized and carried out by German authorities in East Prussia.

The history of Polish colonization of Prussia goes back to the times of 13th century. Ethnic Poles started to settle in Prussia when armies of the state of the Teutonic Order supported by dukes of Poland and various crusaders and mercenaries from all around Europe conquered and captured territories of pagan Prussian tribes. This ethnic Polish colonization of Prussia became even more intensive during the following centuries - 14th and 15th - and lasted as long as until the end of 17th century.

Social and regional composition of Polish colonists who settled in former pagan Prussian territories then held by the state of the Teutonic Order was varied. Major part of these colonists were peasants and not very well-off knighthood and nobility - usually owners of only a part of a village up to one entire village. There were also some townsmen, mainly members of the plebs social class, artisans and also minor merchants. Seldom patricians. They were coming to Prussia in order to search for better live conditions, new uninhabited lands or in order to make a fortune and also induced by Teutonic authorities. That's why they were mainly coming from the historical region of Mazovia - which at that time (13th - 15th centuries) was the most underdeveloped part of Poland - completely different than developed and reach provinces of Silesia, western part of Lesser Poland (so called Land of Cracow), Greater Poland and Cuiavia.

Since late 13th century until middle 14th century Mazovia was often considered as a separated and independent from Poland - but ruled by Polish dukes from Piast dynasty - state, although the process of gaining independence from Poland by Mazovia was not immediate, but long and gradual and strictly connected with the progressing phenomenon of feudal fragmentation in Poland (power and position in the state of the senioral duke / princeps was slowly becoming smaller and smaller, and some dukes were not recognizing the rule and superiority of senioral dukes from Cracow any more). Mazovia even became a faithful ally of the Teutonic Order during its wars against the Kingdom of Poland fought in 14th century, and also was temporarily subordinated to the Bohemian king as his vassal during that century.

As was written above, ethnic Poles who settled in Prussia in the Middle Ages mainly came from Mazovia. That's why they were called "Mazurzy" = "the Mazurs" or "the Mazurians" (because inhabitants of Mazovia are called Mazowszanie or Mazurzy) and the Polish name for this region (which was used for the first time in early 19th century) is "Mazury".

Ethnic Poles mainly settled in the southern part of Prussia. The northern border of the compact Polish colonization in this province was - more or less - along the line Morag - southern Warmia (German: Ermland) - Ketrzyn - Wegorzewo - Gołdapia (Goldap). Teutonic (later German) administration was calling these lands "die polnischen Ämter":

Map from the excellent book "Państwo Zakonu krzyżackiego w Prusach. Władza i Społeczeństwo" ("The state of the Teutonic Order in Prussia. The authorities and the society"), PWN, Warsaw, 2008 - page 207:

"Map 11. Directions of colonization of the state of the Teutonic Order in 13th and 14th centuries."

Black arrows - German colonization
White arrows - Polish colonization
Dark areas - property of bishops (mainly in Warmia = Ermland)



The Mazurs - unlike native Prussians - did not undergo Germanization (vast majority of native Prussians were Germanized until the end of 17th century) and retained their Polish language and customs. But they did not retain Catholic religion - vast majority of all Mazurs were Lutherans in 19th century. Due to progressing German pressure and persecution of Poles in East Prussia in 19th century - especially during the times of Bismarck and his "Kulturkampf" - Mazurzy tried to defend and protect their distinguishing characteristic - at first as regional community, later also as part of the Polish nation. Since 1842 Polish newspapers were being published in East Prussia - like for example "Przyjaciel Ludu Łecki" or "Mazur". At the end of 19th century Polish political activists concentrated mainly around "Gazeta Ludowa" newspaper and Mazurska Partia Ludowa (MPL) political party. In 1910 Mazurski Bank Ludowy bank was founded. After the First World War Mazurski Komitet Plebiscytowy and Mazurski Związek Ludowy were managing the action of incorporating Mazury (so southern part of East Prussia) to the state of Poland.

In the interwar era many Polish organizations existed in Mazury. For example between 1923 and 1928 - Zjednoczenie Mazurskie (The Mazurian Federation) with head office in the town of Szczytno. Many Mazurian activists were members of the Związek Polaków w Prusach Wschodnich (Association of Poles in East Prussia) and together with members of this association joined the Związek Polaków w Niemczech (Association of Poles in Germany) in 1922.

Persecutions of Polish activists intensified in years 1928 - 1932 and after Hitler came to power. During the Second World War many Mazurians were imprisoned or murdered by the Nazis in prisons or concentration camps.

Mazury were captured by the Red Army in January and February of 1945 and incorporated by Joseph Stalin to the People's Republic of Poland. But new communist authorities were treating Mazurians almost as bad as Germans and Volksdeutche, and as the result of this policy many of them departed from Polish national identity and Polish customs, or decided to emigrate / escape to the United States of America.

After escape / expulsion of Germans and emigration of many Mazurians to the USA, Mazury and especially other parts of former East Prussia were mainly populated by Polish repatriates expulsed from pre-war Polish territories in Eastern Poland - especially from the Wileńszczyzna region with the city of Wilno (today part of Lithuania).


but it's pretty similar to the old medieval border between Poland and Germany before the east was Germanized.

Hard to say that these lands were Germanized.

German speaking population simply settled in some of the Polish lands (Pomerelia, Lower Silesia, western part of Greater Poland) during the so called Ostsiedlung in the Middle Ages. These German speaking people were coming to Poland from economical reasons - they hoped that in Poland they would have better lives than in overpopulated Medieval Germany. They were also induced to settle in Poland by Polish dukes from Piast dynasty - mainly by rulers of Silesia.

I am proud of interesting and diversed history of my country - Poland. And I am proud that the society of my country was formed by many different nations since the Middle Ages - not only by Poles but also by Jews, Germans, Ruthenians, etc. These nations lived together and mixed by numerous marriages.

My family also have got both Polish and German roots.

Of course there were also negative aspects of this ethnic diversity of Medieval and Renaissance Poland, which later had got major influence on the history of some Polish provinces and the whole Poland - especially in 17th and 18th centuries.

But on the other hand - the fact that Gdańsk (German: Danzig) had got significant German speaking population since 14th century, does not turn the city of Gdańsk into a German land / city.

The state of the Teutonic Order (to which Gdańsk belonged between early 14th and middle 15th centuries) - although ruled by Teutonic authorities majority of whom were German speakers - was also a multi-ethnical and multi-cultural - not just German - state. Ethnic Germans formed only around 40 - 50 % of population of this state around year 1410.

As long as German speakers in the city of Gdańsk were faithful to the Kingdom of Poland - their motherland (and I must say that they were very faithful to the Kingdom of Poland - no other city in Poland celebrated the king Jan III Sobieski's victory over the Ottoman Empire at Vienna in 1683 as much as Gdańsk with its considerable German speaking population did) ethnic Poles had nothing to do against ethnic Germans in Gdańsk, because they were considered as exactly the same citizens of the Kingdom of Poland as all other citizens of this state - including Polish speakers.

Very interesting video about Germans in Poland and the Republic of Both Nations since the Middle Ages - in English:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stLdXx4HqCI

Similar video about Jews living in Poland since the Middle Ages:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8C0l3mT0G0

In the past vast majority of all Jews from the whole world lived in Poland.

Many Jews who were persecuted in other European countries during the Middle Ages, escaped to Poland.

Most of Jewish culture was born in Poland and comes from Poland. So it should be called the Polish-Jewish culture.

A lot of Jews in Poland considered themselves as Polish believers of Judaism.

Often they were Polish speakers in everyday live.

And here another video - this time about Muslims living in Poland since late Middle Ages - in English of course:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQqPf6Dm1NI


Edited by Domen - 27-May-2009 at 00:16
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