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Old August 23rd, 2012, 03:31 PM   #21
RS_UK-PL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer and Football View Post
I have read that prior to such Poles, Germans and others residing in what we now regard as East Prussia saw themselves as Prussians first and Poles, Germans or whatever second.
That's true. I think that we can continue with more photos, because we've explained more less Prussians ethnicity and history of these lands
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 03:54 PM   #22
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Interesting enough, the majority of them voted to remain attached to East Prussia in a post WWI plebiscite however. Probably for religious reasons.
Just a comment on that plebiscite. As per available sources, there was no fair play from German side, as:
(1) German activists and armed gangs were harassing and terrorising pro-Polish Masurians;
(2) voting cards had the name 'East Prussia' instead of 'Germany', so the voters were choosing between 'Poland' and familiar 'East Prussia';
(3) the voting falsification and manipulation took place (the lists with eligible voters were falsified, pro-German voters were transported to numerous location for multiple vote, etc.);
(4) Poland was at war with the Soviets and situation on the front seemed to be unfavourable for PL at the time, which was used by German propaganda to claim that Poland would be just a 'seasonal state';
(5) German authorities brought in 100k people, mainly from Ruhr Region, who were born in East Prussia before 1905 and had more than 20 years.

More on the topic here (Eng) and here (Pol).

Last edited by ja.centy; August 23rd, 2012 at 04:04 PM.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 04:47 PM   #23
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Interesting read. The details here being quite similar to those of the Upper Silesian plebiscite.

Given the extremely lopsided final tally in this instance however, the outcome would IMO have been the same (albeit much closer) even had the plebiscite been held a year later and under less intimidating circumstances.

The fact that the the vast majority of Masurian Poles were - like the Prussian Lithuanians to the North - German speaking Lutherans was no small factor here.

.

Last edited by Beer and Football; August 23rd, 2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:05 PM   #24
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Masurians were, historically, first and foremost staunch Protestant Prussians, very loyal to the Prussian-led empire, and with a mixed Slavic-German identity. This became quite clear after WW2, when almost no one decided to stay in Poland.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:20 PM   #25
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This is a very interesting thread that I'll visit on a regularly basis for sure. But some Poles are really annoying ...
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:27 PM   #26
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Masurians were, historically, first and foremost staunch Protestant Prussians, very loyal to the Prussian-led empire, and with a mixed Slavic-German identity. This became quite clear after WW2, when almost no one decided to stay in Poland.
Hmmm... I wasn't aware that most of them left. I do know that - unlike the Lithuanian Prussians - they weren't expelled in mass after the war. Although I've read that quite a few of them fell afoul of the postwar Communist authorities for continuing to speak German.
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:51 PM   #27
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Hmmm... I wasn't aware that most of them left. I do know that - unlike the Lithuanian Prussians - they weren't expelled in mass after the war. Although I've read that quite a few of them fell afoul of the postwar Communist authorities for continuing to speak German.
From the ~300.000 Masurians ~160.000 decided to stay after WW2, but most of them left the country later, and today ~5.000 still live in the region.

PS: isn't it interesting that we constantly talk about a minority of less than 10% here? That's silly!
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 06:19 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karasek View Post
From the ~300.000 Masurians ~160.000 decided to stay after WW2, but most of them left the country later, and today ~5.000 still live in the region.

PS: isn't it interesting that we constantly talk about a minority of less than 10% here? That's silly!
Some of the reasons behind emigration of many Masurians (and Warmiaks):
- bad relations between locals and newcomers
- poor material conditions of life in postwar Poland
- German "revisionists" persuading Masurians to refuse verifications as Poles
- language barrier (Imperial German officials in 1870s restricted the usage of languages other than German in Prussia's eastern provinces, so younger population didn't know Polish language)
- aggressiveness of Poland's Catholic Church
- Red Army raped, tortured and murdered unnecessarily many of the innocent inhabitants of East Prussia (often families of Masurians...who would have stayed in a place like this).

At the beginning of the 20th century, the southern part of East Prussia was marked as an ethnically Polish area with a number of Poles estimated at 300,000. Number of Poles/Masurians in whole East Prussia was close to 20% of total population (18.39% in 1875).

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Old August 24th, 2012, 05:22 PM   #29
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Old August 24th, 2012, 05:22 PM   #30
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Masurians in front of the plebiscite monument (11.7.1920 - this land stays German) in Johannisburg, today Pisz/Poland




Terrace of confectionery Schwermer in Königsberg, today Kaliningrad/Russia.



Before WW2 marzipan from Königsberg was a famous as the one from Lübeck, and Schwermer was one of the best known manufacturers. The company was reopened in Bavaria after WW2: http://www.schwermer.de/
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Old August 24th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karasek View Post
From the ~300.000 Masurians ~160.000 decided to stay after WW2, but most of them left the country later, and today ~5.000 still live in the region.

PS: isn't it interesting that we constantly talk about a minority of less than 10% here? That's silly!
20% is closer to the actual number, but this is after hundreds of thousands of Germans were sent to colonize the area. Still, it was easier for them to leave, enforced cultural Germanization pre-war along with desperate conditions in post-war communist Poland, made going to the west so much better and easier in the end, but still so many remained is interesting. If I was in their shoes I would go too. Many of these Masurians are beginning to rediscover their ethnic and cultural roots prior to assimilation and this could prove interesting for this region as they are eligible for Polish citizenship (and Polish law recognizes dual citizenship).

For the same reason hundreds of thousands of Poles keep leaving for the west now, because it's better economically and the scars of the last war and the communist occupation still make life more difficult.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 07:56 PM   #32
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From what I understand, this was not part of Germany but Prussia, well maybe Nazi Germany, so is this thread celebrating Nazi Germany as well.
And I think that you know and understand a very little of the history of this part of Europe!

The following map shows the area of the German language before WWI and Germany in its borders from 1871 to 1918


Source: pl.wikipedia.org

little hint: East-Prussia is the territory on the upper right side of this map!


German Confederation / Związek Niemieck (1815 - 1866)


Source: en.wikipedia

The territories in light blue became part of the German Confederation from 1848 to 1851

Germany after WWI (The Weimar Republic)



Source: wikipedia
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #33
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but this is after hundreds of thousands of Germans were sent to colonize the area. Still, it was easier for them to leave, enforced cultural Germanization
Not just Germans also, Dutch, Austrians, lots of French protestants and even some Scots have been sent to East Prussia and they all became loyal Prussian citizens.

How do you think the Sorabes could get over several hundreds of years of enforced cultural Germanization?
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:15 PM   #34
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http://canitz.org/images/kb-kneiphof-1937.png

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For centuries, Königsberg was the metropolis of eastern Germany. The city played an important role in Europe’s international relations and became a meeting point of diverse historical and cultural traditions, as well as the home for people of various nationalities and religious beliefs. Thus, the Huguenot settlers (French Protestants) set up many enterprises and whole industries there. Poles, Lithuanians, English and Dutch; merchants from every European country; artisans and learned men of every nationality not only coexisted peacefully: they also respected each other and together they built up their city. They helped form the world’s first Protestant state (1525) – the Duchy of Prussia with Königsberg as its capital.
http://canitz.org/.../history-of-konigsberg
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #35
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yes, this is pretty tricky, could you imagine if the idea for this thread were to spread world-wide and even include Palestine and Israel, we're talking lotta hot heads. Interesting pics, but name is provocative. So maybe this thread should be renamed. From what I understand, this was not part of Germany but Prussia, well maybe Nazi Germany, so is this thread celebrating Nazi Germany as well. Not a good idea in any case. By the same token Polish Wilno and Polish Lwow threads should be reopened, assuming everyone behaves. These cities were predominantly Polish for centuries.
I guess a lot of this depends on where you get your history.

Over here in the USA I was taught that from the 1300's through 1945/46 the predominate language in East Prussia was German.

Moreover, from 1870 until the Kaiser's abdication in 1918 East Prussia was a part of the German Empire. Old maps from that period usually refer to the same as simply "Germany".

From 1919 until January of 1933 it was part of the Wiemar Republic, also referenced on period maps as "Germany".

And then finally from 1933 until 1945 it was administered by the subsequent Hitler government which, on USA maps at least, continued to be referred to as "Germany".

Nearly all of the old buildings pictured in this thread were constructed during East Prussia's German period and the commonality of architectural style now spanning across three international borders is not the result of mere happenstance.

This thread is supposed to be about regional architecture in what was at the time of it's origin one single predominately German speaking region.

As such I see no problem with it's title.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #36
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Prussians were not entirely Germans, many ethnic group resided in what is referred to as East Prussia here prior to Germanization and the influx of other peoples. Don't forget Germany is a very young state, since 1871 I believe. but also while we are on the subject of German, just exactly who are the Germans, are they an ethnic, cultural or linguistic group. According to Swiss geneological research group Igenea 30% of Germans have slavic roots and only 9% of Germans are purely Germanic. So are the East Prussians German-speaking Slavs or what?
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by JValjean View Post
The following map shows the area of the German language before WWI and Germany in its borders from 1871 to 1918

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._area_1910.png

(...)
And these maps show the area of Polish language in German Empire as at 1900 (according to German sources) and the Polish ethnic range as at 1918 (as per Polish sources).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sp...0_polnisch.png


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sp...Reich_1900.png


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Be...pa_um_1918.jpg

---

So what are we trying to prove here?
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #38
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20% is closer to the actual number, but this is after hundreds of thousands of Germans were sent to colonize the area.
You know what? Masurians were settlers too, like the Germans, the Dutch, the Scots, and many others. And they all became *Prussians*, a concept some of you simply don't understand, sorry. And that's why you can't logically explain their actions.

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Still, it was easier for them to leave, enforced cultural Germanization pre-war along with desperate conditions in post-war communist Poland, made going to the west so much better and easier in the end, but still so many remained is interesting. If I was in their shoes I would go too. Many of these Masurians are beginning to rediscover their ethnic and cultural roots prior to assimilation and this could prove interesting for this region as they are eligible for Polish citizenship (and Polish law recognizes dual citizenship).
Sorry, but in light of the facts it's simply illogical to claim that these poor Masurians were victims of Germanization. Masurians always voted mostly for conservative, often royalist parties (which allegedly wanted to Germanize them). The Polish party usually received just ~2%. In censuses they registered as Masurian, and not Polish, which was also an option. In the plebiscite they voted against Poland, and with almost 100% the result was unambiguous. And when this part of the world became Polish, and they had the chance to live with their fellow Slavs, 98,5% left their home forever and moved to their former "oppressors".
Explaining all this with forced Germanization, pressure and the hardships of Communism doesn't make any sense at all.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #39
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Old August 24th, 2012, 09:04 PM   #40
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