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The question wasn't about aristocracy in existence. :eek:hno:

Batavier wanted to know(...)
I didn't know that you were promoted to Batavier's spokesman. Maybe I'll wait till he explains himself.

Apparently not, particularly since reparations for former owners is not a priority agenda item in Poland.
The situation in East Prussia is as follows: all the owners of properties who were granted Polish citizenship in or after 1945 do possess their properties, even during Communist times. Of course, most of them were relatively poor peasants, so we're talking about ordinary houses of villagers or small detached houses in cities. Definitely not the great mansions, most of their owners were of German nationality.

If the owners of properties who were granted Polish citizenship after 1945 and were disposessed afterwards (up to 5 December 1990) are eligible to claim their former real estate (as all the other previous owners, on normal basis). Or 100% compensations. Which they do. Of course, it doesn't matter where they live today. If they are now German citizens, they still can claim and they get property. Everybody interested in real estate issues in East Prussia heard of Agnes Trawny case.

Now, all the owners of properties who were not granted Polish citizenship after 1945 (in case of mansions this is the majority) were expelled after the Potsdam conference (technically speaking, in East Prussia most of them did not wait until the Potsdam conference, they fled before advancing Red Army). As German citizens theoretically they can claim compensations from German government. IIRC German government give some compensations in 1950s, as some form of Osthilfe - new accomodation in West Germany, social help, etc.

Polish government suggested many times to gov't of Germany that it would be good idea if German federal authorities bear the brunt of compensations all these claims and close the issue - for the sake of people who were expelled. Polish government gave example of itself - all the Polish citizens who were expelled after 1939 from our Eastern Territories (and were not given compensations in the Regained Territories) were given compensation from the Polish State Treasury. Mostly for humanitarian reasons. I don't know why German federal gov't will not do the same:dunno:

Obviously nobody is going to give up any properties in so called Recovered Territories (among others, Polish part of East Prussia) to descendants of former German owners. Why would they? From the POV of international law, the case is closed since Aug 2, 1945. It is up to German authorities, if they want to settle the claims issue. If this issue exists in the first place.
 

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Polish government suggested many times to gov't of Germany that it would be good idea if German federal authorities bear the brunt of compensations all these claims and close the issue - for the sake of people who were expelled. Polish government gave example of itself - all the Polish citizens who were expelled after 1939 from our Eastern Territories (and were not given compensations in the Regained Territories) were given compensation from the Polish State Treasury. Mostly for humanitarian reasons. I don't know why German federal gov't will not do the same:dunno:
Because we are talking about all in all 12-14 million people (and presumably even more descendants of them) who fled or were expelled from former eastern german territories and states in central and eastern europe after the war. Plus thousands of people who were expropriated after 1946 due to the land reform in the soviet occupied zone (every property larger than 100ha). This reform was expressely left untouched by the unification treaty in 1990 to provide new conflicts between former owners and their descendants (now mostly living in west germany) and todays owners of this land.
 

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Because we are talking about all in all 12-14 million people (and presumably even more descendants of them) who fled or were expelled from former eastern german territories and states in central and eastern europe after the war. Plus thousands of people who were expropriated after 1946 due to the land reform in the soviet occupied zone (every property larger than 100ha). This reform was expressely left untouched by the unification treaty in 1990 to provide new conflicts between former owners and their descendants (now mostly living in west germany) and todays owners of this land.
Actually, I wouldn't mind if the properties of all former inhabitants of East Prussia, Silesia, etc. who emigrated to Germany after 1956, were returned under just one condition, claimants have to stay in Poland for some time (for example 24 months). Definitely, that process would've been positive for cultural development and Masurian Protestant diocese would acquire more adherents. Since Polish October of 1956 until 1959, between 231,000 and 260,000 people left Poland and settled in Germany, later another few hundreds of thousands of people left the country. All those people were verified as "autochtons", so they proved Polish ancestry, ties with Poland and they knew Polish language.

And when it comes to other properties, you have to take into consideration families of about 2,208,000 expelled Poles from Soviet Union (today's Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus), who also lost their homes, and between 5,600,000 and 5,800,000 million Polish citizens, who lost their lives during WW2 (which begun in 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Germany).

XXIII football match between Warmiaks who emigrated to Germany in the 1970s-1980s and players from Gietrzwałd Commune (Naterki, Warmia)










 

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Because we are talking about all in all 12-14 million people (and presumably even more descendants of them) who fled or were expelled from former eastern german territories and states in central and eastern europe after the war. Plus thousands of people who were expropriated after 1946 due to the land reform in the soviet occupied zone (every property larger than 100ha). This reform was expressely left untouched by the unification treaty in 1990 to provide new conflicts between former owners and their descendants (now mostly living in west germany) and todays owners of this land.
There is a point in what you're saying. But if German federal authorities explicitly state they don't want pay compensations for their own citizens, harmed during or after the war, it's very unlikely and naive to expect that gov't of Poland will be giving any compensation for foreign citizens expelled mostly before Polish statehood was even established in this area.

Actually, I wouldn't mind if the properties of all former inhabitants of East Prussia, who fled from Poland to Germany after 1956, were returned under just one condition, claimants have to stay in Poland for some time (for example 24 months).
First remark: why 1956, not 1955 or 1957? What happened particular at that time? 1945 is definitely more useful borderline, with August 2nd being definitely the most important.

Second remark: after 1956 nobody fled Poland (maybe except Jews in 1968). What people did, was emmigration. They emmigrated. There is slight difference, look below.

Third and the most important remark: all the citizens of Poland, who were expropriated in 1956 (or 1955, or 1957), basically any time before December 5, 1990, are eligible to claim either their property in kind or compensation.

It is irrelevant if they're living now in Poland, Germany, Sweden, Israel or Zimbabwe. It doesn't matter what nationality they claim: Canadian, Jewish or Korean. They don't even have to come back to Poland even for 24 hours (let alone 24 months), they can fix everything by mail and by legal representatives. This is not any kind of favour - this is logic and law. If someone owned property in Poland, when it was Poland, and was disposessed by Polish authorities, it is obligation of Polish authorities to fix this harm. We are state of law, more or less;), after all.
 

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I didn't know that you were promoted to Batavier's spokesman. Maybe I'll wait till he explains himself.


The situation in East Prussia is as follows: all the owners of properties who were granted Polish citizenship in or after 1945 do possess their properties, even during Communist times. ...... It is up to German authorities, if they want to settle the claims issue. If this issue exists in the first place.


Thank you for your explanation. I was especially interested in this because all the manors and mansions you showed had Polish family names. It might have been possible that even in German times Polish aristocracy was living there.

Indeed I wasn't planning to open the discussion about repatriation, expelled peoples and compensation. My question wasn't about that, I really don't like how some people on this forum are trying to start the discussion again and again. As if the Poles had any say in that their country has been partitioned many times, or even in that the whole country was moved to a new location after the Second World War.



Back on topic. What is interesting about former East Prussia, especially the contemporary Polish part, was that it had a very mixed population. There must have lived Poles, germanized Poles and various other Slavic and Baltic peoples, next to Germans. Which could have given the names to the manors and mansions.

Most of the other recovered territories, like West Pommerania and Lower Silesia, where completely repopulated, because most people who lived there where Germans. The lands had a historical connection to Poland but that was not recent but from the 14th and 15th century.

It keeps amazing me, how Poland arises from its ashes. How historical cities are reconstructed and renovated. It is really wonderful.
 

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Thank you for your explanation. I was especially interested in this because all the manors and mansions you showed had Polish family names. It might have been possible that even in German times Polish aristocracy was living there.
It is possible (as in Donimirski family). RS_UK-PL showed lately lots of examples from so called Powiśle (basically, right bank of lower Vistula river), some of which belonged to Commonwealth before 1772 - hence the Polish names of gentry, which were definitely more common here than in the rest of Ducal Prussia, northern Warmia, not to mention Sambia, where Polish settlement was virtually non-existent.

Please also note, that some objects shown by RS_UK-PL are churches in Warmia (with the Polish-like names of founders). This is due to the fact, that the Warmia was 1466-1772 Duchy of Warmians Bishops. Since late 15th century they were mostly Poles, but the ethnic composition of Warmia was rather German (according to estimates Germans accounted for 60-75% of inhabitants, Poles: 25-40%), and Germans were living predominantly in richer, northern part of Warmia. But, there is plenty of objects connected somehow with Polish bishops and plenty of members of their administrative staff, who of course also wished to have their own manors:troll:

For example half of the buildings in Lidzbark Warmiński (Heilsberg), former capital of Warmia are named after Grabowski, Krasicki and so on, despite the fact that this particular city was inhabited mostly for Germans from the very beginning (1308) till 1945.

And the last explanation: some of the manor's owners with suspiciously Slavic names might simply have been Germans with Slavic roots (there are plenty of them). Actually, typical names ending with -cki, -ski are quite popular in today's Germany. Just the same way as in Poland (even more often: in Czech Republic) lots of people have names of German origins. It's all mixed.
 

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If it's not a problem, could you translate the map?

  • Dark green - Lithuanian absolute majority
  • Light green - Lithuanians a half, Prussians and Germans a minority
  • Yellow - Germans a half, Lithuanians and Prussians a minority
  • Pink - German majority and a tiny Lithuanian and Prussian minorities
  • Violet - Prussians a half, Germans and Lithuanians a minority
  • Brown - Curonian majority, Lithuanians (north of Nida) and Prussians (south of Nida) a minority
  • Orange - Mazurian (Polish) majority, Germans and Lithuanians a minority
  • Light green with orange dots - mix of Lithuanians and Mazurians with a tiny german minority
  • Pink with orange dots - a small German majority over Mazurians with an insignificant Lithuanian minority.
 

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Roman Catholic Church in Tychnowy/Tiefenau (one of a few places that voted in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite, but remained part of East Prussia after 1920)


Decorations (coat of arms of Polish nobility) before renovation; the interior was renovated between 2008 and 2012


Roman Catholic Church in Straszewo/Dietrichsdorf (one of a few places that voted in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite, but remained part of East Prussia after 1920)


Roman Catholic Church in Postolin/Pestlin (one of a few places that voted in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite, but remained part of East Prussia after 1920)


Roman Catholic Church in Nowy Targ/Neumark (46.4% votes in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite)


Manor in Wilczewo (Jan and Maciej from Mazovia moved here in 1507, they changed their name to Wilczewski; one of a few places that voted in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite, but remained part of East Prussia after 1920)




Roman Catholic Church in Stary Targ/Altmark (one of a few places that voted in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite, but remained part of East Prussia after 1920)




Tombstones of Anzelm Rabe (Kos coat of arms) and Justyna Reitein from 1581


Pre-war photo


The reconstruction of Baroque palace in Lipowina/Lindenau (built by Albrecht Zygmunt von Zeigut-Stanisławski, Sulima coat of arms, in 1740)




Manor in Mołdyty/Molditten (built by Albrecht Zygmunt von Zeigut-Stanisławski after 1741), waiting for renovation




Manor in Bruk/Bruch (founded by the Łoś family in the 18th century, rebuilt in the second half of the 19th century)


Palace in Bęsia/Bansen (first manor built by Krzysztof Wandkowski between 1589 and 1599, rebuilt in Baroque style between 1720 and 1730; waiting for renovation), Warmia


 

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Roman Catholic Church in Tychnowy/Tiefenau (one of a few places that voted in favour of Poland during East Prussian plebiscite, but remained part of East Prussia after 1920)
Actually these cities were part of West Prussia. The plebiscite area was called "Abstimmungsgebiet Marienwerder". The other one in southern East Prussia "Abstimmungsgebiet Allenstein".
Most of West Prussia came to poland after 1919 without plebiscite (polish corridor). The remaining parts in the west formed together with remaining parts of Posen the new province Posen-West Prussia in 1922. The remaining parts of West Prussia in the east came to East Prussia after 1920.
 
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Actually these cities were part of West Prussia. The plebiscite area was called "Abstimmungsgebiet Marienwerder". The other one in southern East Prussia "Abstimmungsgebiet Allenstein".
Very interesting remark, as it shows, how the same historical events are described (or even named differently) in different historical schools. In Polish historiography it is called "Plebiscyt na Warmii, Mazurach i Powiślu" (which translated directly into German would make something like "Abstimmungsgebiet Ermland, Masuren und Weichselmark"*, whereas "Weichselmark" is area East of Vistula river, forming part of the so-called Oberland (or former Pomezanian bishopry)...

...but usually (in common speak) the name is shortened into "Plebiscyt na Warmii i Mazurach", which leaves the Westpreussen component out of sight:D

The other thing is what is known in Germany as Westpreussen in Poland is known as Eastern Pomerania. Actually I don't even think typical Pole would know, where the hell Western Prussia is. Probably somewhere near Berlin:D

* Weichselmark is Polish-German neologism created by me, i.e. Mruczek. All rights reserved;)
Weichselland would be better term, but unfortunately it is reserved for Congress Poland, which has nothing to do with Preussen:D
 

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Holy Spirit Church and monastery (founded by Jan Ignacy Bąkowski in 1678) in Dzierzgoń/Christburg


Chapel of the Zawadzki family (Rogala coat of arms) founded by Konstancja Chełstowska in 1738




D. O. M.
LEGITE POSTERI ET LUGETE
ILLUSTISSIMA ZAWADZCIORUM DOMUS
PRIMA FUNDATRICIS AC BENEFACTRICIS INTEGERRIME CONVENTUS CHRISTB.
FF. MIN REFORMATORUM
AB ILEMO CASIMIRO ZAWADZKI CASTELL CULM CAPIT LIPIN
JANN ZAWADZKI VEXIET MARLES: EORUMOWE SUCCESSORIBUS
PUPILLAM VESTRI TANGUNT MAGNI CINERES
LUGETE
IN AVITO DOMUS EUIUS ROGALA FATALI SCODULOSIC ATTRITO
FORTUNAM PAUPERUM ASYLUM EGESTATIS
VNAQUE DISCITE
EHAM DEFECTUM IGNARA DECORA SIC POSSE DEFICERE
MARMOR HOC POSTERITATE INSCRIPSIT
QUOD SIBLET SUCCESORIBUS ZAWADZCIANIS POSVIT
PERIETUSTRIS MNICA DOMINA CONSTANTIA DE
ZAWADZKIE CHEŁSTOWSKA SUCCAMERARIA CULMEN
ANNO 1738​
Franciszek Neitzlichowski's tombstone - LINK

2 paintings from the early 18th century (recently renovated)


 

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In Polish historiography it is called "Plebiscyt na Warmii, Mazurach i Powiślu" (which translated directly into German would make something like "Abstimmungsgebiet Ermland, Masuren und Weichselmark"*, whereas "Weichselmark" is area East of Vistula river, forming part of the so-called Oberland (or former Pomezanian bishopry)...

...but usually (in common speak) the name is shortened into "Plebiscyt na Warmii i Mazurach", which leaves the Westpreussen component out of sight:D
So you do not distinguish between the two plesbicite areas in Poland? Ermland, Masuren and "Weichselmark" have all been East Prussian areas before 1920.

The other thing is what is known in Germany as Westpreussen in Poland is known as Eastern Pomerania. Actually I don't even think typical Pole would know, where the hell Western Prussia is. Probably somewhere near Berlin:D
According to Wikipedia it was known under "Prussia Occidentalis" by historians and cartografs before the german version Westpreußen was officially used in the 18th century. Previously and also afterwars until today it is known under "Pommerellen" (Pomerelia) too.
 

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So you do not distinguish between the two plesbicite areas in Poland? Ermland, Masuren and "Weichselmark" have all been East Prussian areas before 1920.
"Weichselmark" was actually West Prussian (during the Plebiscite)


"Abstimmungsgebiet Marienwerder" is exactly the same as "Plebiscyt na Powiślu". Since the plebiscite took place in all the areas discussed at one time (July 11, 1920) it is treated here as one. Of course, when one starts digging, the details come out.

Btw, what a mess:


Southern part of Powiśle never belonged to Commonwealth, it was in Duchy of Prussia, but ethnically there was significant Polish minority.

Kreis Marienwerder (powiat Kwidzyn), previously Herzoglische Preussen.
According to German census of 1905: Germans 62,70%, Poles 36,04%

Northern part of Powiśle belonged to Commonwealth, voivodship Malbork, ethnically it was exactly the same...

Kreis Stuhm (powiat Sztum), German census of 1905:
Germans 61,68%, Poles 36,85%

...but just a little bit further to the north (also the Commonwealth):

Kreis Marienburg (powiat Malbork)
Germans 96,73%, Poles 2,70%
:D

According to Wikipedia it was known under "Prussia Occidentalis" by historians and cartografs before the german version Westpreußen was officially used in the 18th century. Previously and also afterwars until today it is known under "Pommerellen" (Pomerelia) too.
I think the name "Western Prussia" might have been invented even earlier than in the 18th century, maybe as early as in Middle Ages. Where Teutonic Order conquered the area which we called Gdansk Pomerania (or East Pomerania) it had to be renamed somehow for the sake of... how to put it... public relations:D

The term "New Prussia" was also frequently used (as in famous book of Hartknoch "Alte und Neues Preussen, 1684).

It is something one just can't avoid when discussing the Prussian topics, the history comes out in the least expected moment.

One example. My wife is from Iława (Dt. Eylau). It is obvious for her, that this is East Prussia, voivodship Olsztyn (Allenstein), or warmińsko-mazurskie (Ermland-Masuren). And sometimes, jokingly, she refers to herself as Ostpreussener. The closest metropolis (both geographically and mentally) is Olsztyn, nothing else. Always has been. And before the war Dt. Eylau was in East Prussia, this is also more-or-less known among the today's citizens There is widespread recognition, for example, than one of Siedlungs (osiedle), called "Gajerek" (slang word for "suit":D) was built for so-called "optants" - Germans from Westpreussen who chose, i.e. "opted" for German citizenship after 1920 and therefore had to re-settle, usually to the closest city behind the new state border.

Not long time ago the railway station in Iława has been refurbished. See below:


...and the interiors too...


...and there are crests of the cities painted on the walls inside. Which cities? What a surprise. Cities far away and completely alien: Toruń (Thorn), Chojnice (Konitz) and Wałcz (Dt. Krone). Because the station is from late 19th century, and at that time Eylau was in West Prussia, which is now nearly completely forgotten:D
 

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"Weichselmark" was actually West Prussian (during the Plebiscite)
Of course, you are right. I imagined the Vistula to be further to the east than it actually is.

I think the name "Western Prussia" might have been invented even earlier than in the 18th century, maybe as early as in Middle Ages. Where Teutonic Order conquered the area which we called Gdansk Pomerania (or East Pomerania) it had to be renamed somehow for the sake of... how to put it... public relations:D

The term "New Prussia" was also frequently used (as in famous book of Hartknoch "Alte und Neues Preussen, 1684).

It is something one just can't avoid when discussing the Prussian topics, the history comes out in the least expected moment.
In this case I think we have to distinguish between (Brandenburg)-Prussian andministration terms and geogrephical or polish administration terms. I try it with german wikipedia again. The english one is not as detailed and I don't know what the polish one says :D.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westpreußen#Innere_Verwaltung
Der König hatte 1772 angeordnet, dass das Ermland unter die Verwaltung der Königsberger Kriegs- und Domänenkammer kommen sollte. Für die neuen Gebiete Elbing, Marienburg, Kulmerland und Pomerellen sollte eine neue Kriegs- und Domänenkammer in Marienwerder eingerichtet und ihr auch die preußischen Ämter Marienwerder und Riesenburg und die Erbämter Schöneburg und Deutsch-Eylau zugeschlagen werden. Der Netzedistrikt sollte zunächst eine selbständige Verwaltung unter dem Geheimen Finanzrat von Brenkenhoff erhalten.
Schon im Juni 1772 hatte Friedrich bei einer persönlichen Zusammenkunft in Marienwerder den Präsidenten der Gumbinner Kriegs- und Domänenkammer, Johann Friedrich Domhardt, zum Oberpräsidenten aller drei preußischer Kammern, der Königsberger, der Gumbinner und der für die zu erwerbenden Gebiete neu zu schaffenden Marienwerderschen Kammer ernannt. Dabei wurde die Marienwerder Kammer zunächst nicht dem Generaldirektorium in Berlin unterstellt, sondern blieb unmittelbar vom König abhängig. In einer Kabinettsorder v. 31. Januar 1773 an Domhardt gab Friedrich der neuen Provinz den Namen „Westpreußen“, während die alte Provinz Preußen nunmehr „Ostpreußen“ heißen sollte. Beide Provinzen zusammen bildeten nun das souveräne „Königreich Preußen“. Friedrich nannte sich nun „König von Preußen“, statt bisher „König in Preußen“.
It basically says, that after the first partition of Poland in 1772 Friedrich II. wanted to create a new provincial authority which should consists of the new gained former royal polonian prussian parts (Except for Ermland (Warmia)) and parts of former duchy of prussia, since 1701 Kingdom of Prussia including Marienwerder (Kwidzyn), Riesenburg (Prabuty), Schön(e)berg (Szymbark) ("Schöneburg" in the article but its a mistake IMO) and Deutsch Eylau (Iława).
At 31th January 1773 Friedrich II. gave the order to call the new province Westpreußen (West Prussia) and "older one" Ostpreußen (East Prussia).

So if you want to say so some parts of what became later eastern West Prussia were part of East Prussia already in times before 1920. Although it was not officially named that way until they become part of new formed West Prussia. But its already quite confusing to me and I doubt many germans would know all that the way not that even if they lived there before the war. Its also, if at all, just East prussia to them.
 

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So if you want to say so some parts of what became later eastern West Prussia were part of East Prussia already in times before 1920. Although it was not officially named that way until they become part of new formed West Prussia. But its already quite confusing to me and I doubt many germans would know all that the way not that even if they lived there before the war. Its also, if at all, just East prussia to them.
Nothing to be ashamed of. Most of people in Poland don't recognise the difference between the Warmia and Mazury:D To recognise the pre-1939 or pre-1914 border one has to be a freak, like me or my friends:D
 
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