East Prussia


East Prussia
East Prussian.
a former province in NE Germany: an enclave separated from Germany by the Polish Corridor; now divided between Poland and the Russian Federation. 14,283 sq. mi. (36,993 sq. km). Cap.: Königsberg. German, Ostpreussen.

* * *

Historical region and former Prussian province, east of Pomerania.

From 1815 it was known as East Prussia, part of the kingdom of Prussia, and in the 19th century it was a stronghold of Prussian Junkers, a military aristocracy. It was the scene of successful resistance against the Russians in World War I. Following the war, it was separated from the rest of Germany by the Polish Corridor (1919); it was reunited with the Reich by the German conquest of Poland in 1939. Between World War I and World War II, it was bounded to the north by the Baltic Sea, east by Lithuania, and south and west by Poland and the free city of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Pol.). Overrun by Soviet armies at the end of World War II, in 1945 it was divided between the Soviet Union and Poland.

* * *

▪ former province, Germany
 former German province bounded, between World Wars I and II, north by the Baltic Sea, east by Lithuania, and south and west by Poland and the free city of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). After World War II its territory was divided between the Soviet Union and Poland.

      The name Prussia is linguistically of Baltic origin; its ancient inhabitants, exterminated by the Knights of the Teutonic Order, called themselves Prusi. When the Knights conquered the Polish province of Pomorze (Pomerania) in 1308, the name Prussia was extended westward to the whole territory administered by the Teutonic Order. In 1466 Poland recovered Pomorze; and, between that date and 1701 (when the elector of Brandenburg became king in Prussia), the country held directly by the crown of Poland was called Royal Prussia, to distinguish it from the land retained by the Knights as Poland's vassals. The latter became a secular duchy (Ducal Prussia) in 1525 and was freed from Polish suzerainty by the Treaty of Wehlau (1657). From 1815 the name East Prussia was given to the easternmost province of the kingdom of Prussia. The boundaries of this province remained unchanged until World War I. Its area was then 14,284 square miles (36,995 square km), and its population in 1910 was 2,064,175 and largely Lutheran. It had long since become a stronghold of Prussian Junkers, a military aristocracy who had vast estates there.

      As a result of the Treaty of Versailles (Versailles, Treaty of) (1919), the Memel (Klaipėda) territory was taken from Germany (in 1924 it was incorporated into Lithuania); the district of Soldau (Dzialdowo) was given to Poland, while the regency of Marienwerder (Kwidzyn), which was formerly part of the province of West Prussia, joined East Prussia, now territorially separated from the rest of Germany by the Polish Corridor and Danzig.

      After World War II, East Prussia was partitioned between Poland (the southern part) and the Soviet Union (the northern part), the frontier running north of Goldap, Bartenstein (Bartoszyce), and Braunsberg (Braniewo). With the exception of the Klaipėda territory, which was reincorporated into Lithuania, the northern part was incorporated into the Russian federation and colonized by Russians. Königsberg became Kaliningrad, Insterburg became Chernyakhovsk, and Tilsit became Sovetsk. In the southern part about 400,000 indigenous Poles remained, and immigrants from pre-1939 Poland replaced the Germans, who either had fled in 1944 or were expelled after the war ended.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • East Prussia — is sometimes used to refer to the Duchy of Prussia (1525–1618) The Province of East Prussia (red), within the Kingdom of Prussia, within the German Empire, as of 1871 …   Wikipedia

  • East Prussia — former province of Prussia, in NE Germany, on the Baltic Sea, separated from the rest of Germany (1919 39) by the Polish Corridor: in 1945, it was divided between Poland and the U.S.S.R …   English World dictionary

  • East Prussia — East′ Prus′sia n. geg a former province in NE Germany: separated from Germany by the Polish Corridor; now divided between Poland and the Russian Federation Cap.: Königsberg East′ Prus′sian, adj. n …   From formal English to slang

  • East Prussia — East Prussian. a former province in NE Germany: an enclave separated from Germany by the Polish Corridor; now divided between Poland and the Russian Federation. 14,283 sq. mi. (36,993 sq. km). Cap.: Königsberg. German, Ostpreussen …   Useful english dictionary

  • East Prussia — geographical name region N Europe bordering on the Baltic E of Pomerania; formerly a province of Prussia; for a time (1919 39) separated from rest of Prussia by Polish Corridor; divided 1945 between Poland & Union of Soviet Socialist Republics… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • East Prussia — former prov. of Prussia, NE Germany …   Webster's Gazetteer

  • East Prussia — old name for western Poland along the Baltic …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • East Prussia — /ist ˈprʌʃə/ (say eest prushuh) noun a former province in north eastern Germany; until 1939 an exclave separated from Germany by the Polish Corridor; after World War II divided between Poland and the Soviet Union; Soviet section now forms the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Evacuation of East Prussia — Part of World War II …   Wikipedia

  • Province of East Prussia — Infobox Former Subdivision native name = Provinz Ostpreußen conventional long name = Province of East Prussia common name = Province of East Prussia subdivision = Province nation = Prussia year start = 1773 event start = Established date start =… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.