The Vistula Lagoon is a brackish water lagoon on the Baltic Sea 56 miles long, 6 to 15 miles wide, up to 17 feet deep, separated from Gdańsk Bay by the Vistula Spit. It is now known as the Vistula Vistula Gulf; the modern German name, Frisches Haff, is derived from Friesisches Haff. The lagoon is a mouth of a few branches of the Vistula River, notably the Nogat, the Pregolya River, it is connected to Gdańsk Bay by the Strait of Baltiysk. The Poland–Russia border runs across the lagoon. Localities on the lagoon include Kaliningrad and Primorsk in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Elbląg, Frombork, Krynica Morska in Poland; the Polish port of Elbląg used to see a substantial amount of trading traffic on the lagoon, but that has declined owing to the current border situation. Kaliningrad and Baltiysk are major seaports on the lagoon; the earliest version of the name of Vistula Lagoon has been recorded in historical sources by Wulfstan, an Anglo-Saxon sailor and merchant at the end of the 9th Century as Estmere.
It is an Anglo-Saxon translation of Old Prussian name for the lagoon - *Aīstinmari derived from Aistei - "Ests","Aestii" etc. and *mari - "lagoon, fresh water bay". The Ests were Baltic people who since 9th Century became called in some historical sources Bruzi, Pruteni etc. - Old Prussians. So the oldest known meaning of the name of Vistula Lagoon was "The lagoon or sea of the Ests". Over three hundred years in the first half of the 13th Century, the name of Vistula Lagoon occurs in deeds issued by Teutonic Order in Latin version as Mare Recens in contrast to the contemporary name for the Baltic Sea - Mare Salsum. In 1251 we find record about Mare Recens et Neriam and in 1288 Recenti Mari Hab which as one can see corresponds with German "Frisches Haff" = "Fresh Lagoon". Digging a canal to connect the lagoon with the Baltic Sea is in consideration as a major EU-supported project; the canal, would re-activate the Elbląg river port. It would free its dependence on Russia, which time and again revokes the right of passage for Polish ships through the Strait of Baltiysk as a form of pressure on Polish authorities.
In October 2016 details of the project were confirmed by Jarosław Kaczyński. The 1.3 kilometres long, 80 metres wide and 5 metres deep canal shall be completed by 2020 at an estimated cost of PLN 880 million. However, major ecological considerations stand in the way. For example, mammal migration along the lagoon could be disrupted; the inflow of brackish waters from the Baltic sea could result in serious unbalancing of the lagoon's freshwater ecosystem. From 1772 until 1918, the lagoon was part of the Kingdom of Prussia, which had become part of the German Empire in 1871. Between 1920 and 1946 it was split between the Free City of Danzig. At present state since 1945 its eastern part belongs to Russia, Poland has 43.8% of its area at lagoon's western side. The bordering administrative regions is Polish Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship and modern Russian Kaliningrad Oblast, which had name Königsberg Oblast during half of 1946. While today the Kursenieki known as Kuršininkai are a nearly extinct Baltic ethnic group living along the Curonian Spit, in 1649 Kuršininkai settlement spanned from Memel to Danzig, including the area around the Vistula Lagoon.
The Kuršininkai were assimilated by the Germans, except along the Curonian Spit where some still live. The Kuršininkai were considered Latvians until after World War I when Latvia gained independence from the Russian Empire, a consideration based on linguistic arguments; this was the rationale for Latvian claims over the Curonian Spit and other territories of East Prussia which would be dropped. From January until March 1945 throughout the Evacuation of East Prussia, refugees from East Prussia crossed the frozen lagoon on their way to the west after the Red Army had reached the coast of the lagoon near Elbing on January 26. Attacked by Soviet fighter aircraft thousands of them were killed or broke through the ice. Curonian Lagoon www.en.zalew-wislany.pl – Monitoring the Vistula Lagoon water quality on the basis of satellite remote sensing Battle of Vistula Lagoon
Bishopric of Pomesania
The Bishopric of Pomesania was a Catholic diocese in the Prussian regions of Pomesania and Pogesania, in northern modern Poland until the 16th century shortly a Lutheran diocese, became a Latin titular see. It was founded as one of four Roman Catholic dioceses in Prussia in 1243 by the papal legate William of Modena; the bishops, whose seat was Riesenburg, ruled one third of diocesan territory as his temporality. The diocesan cathedral chapter met in the fortified cathedral of Marienwerder. In the 1280s the Teutonic Order succeeded to impose the simultaneous membership of all capitular canons in the Order thus winning influence in the diocese and in the capitular elections of the bishops. So the temporality of Pomesania's bishop did not develop the status of a prince-bishopric and was ruled as part of Teutonic Prussia. Beginning in 1523 during the Protestant Reformation, the diocese was administered by Lutheran bishops until 1587, when the diocese was secularized by the regent of Ducal Prussia, George Frederick.
However the Catholic diocese was only formally suppressed in 1763, having remained vacant since 1524 except for'temporary' Apostolic administrators since 1601. The diocesan area outside of Ducal Prussia remained Catholic and on 1601.04.19 joined the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chełmno. Ernst, Dominican Order Albert Friars Minor Heinrich Heinrich von Pomesanien Christian Ludeko von Pomesanien = Lutho von Baldersheim Rudolf Bertold von Riesenburg Arnold Nikolaus von Radam Johannes Mönch Johannes Rymann Gerhard Stolpmann Johannes von Mewe = Johann von Heilsberg Kaspar Linke? Nikolaus? Vincent Kielbasa Johannes Christiani von Lessen = Johann Christian von Lessen Hiob von Dobeneck, Teutonic order? George of Polentz Apostolic Administrator Achille Grassi, also/previously Bishop of Città di Castello, created Cardinal-Priest of S. Sisto, Bishop of Bologna, Camerlengo of Sacred College of Cardinals, transferred Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere Apostolic Administrator of above diocese Bologna Erhard von Queis Nicolò Ridolfi, while Cardinal-Deacon of Ss.
Vito e Modesto in Macello Martyrum and Apostolic Administrator of Diocese of Orvieto.
The Curonian Lagoon is separated from the Baltic Sea by the Curonian Spit. Its surface area is 1,619 square kilometers; the Neman River supplies about 90% of its inflows. In the 13th century, the area around the lagoon was part of the ancestral lands of the Curonians and Old Prussians, it bordered the historical region of Lithuania Minor. At the northern end of the Spit, there is a passage to the Baltic Sea, the place was chosen by the Teutonic Knights in 1252 to found Memelburg castle and the city of Memel — called Klaipėda in 1923-39, when the Memel Territory was separated from Germany, again after 1945, when it became part of the Lithuanian SSR; as the new interwar border, the river that flows into the Curonian Lagoon near Rusnė was chosen. The river's lower 120 km in Germany were called die Memel by Germans, while the upper part located in Lithuania was known as Nemunas River; the border separated the peninsula near the small holiday resort of Nida, Lithuania. This border is now the border between Lithuania and Russia, as after World War II, the southern end of the Spit and the German area south of the river — the part of East Prussia with the city Königsberg in Sambia — became part an exclave of Russia called Kaliningrad Oblast.
While today the Kursenieki known as Kuršininkai, are a nearly extinct Baltic ethnic group living along the Curonian Spit, in 1649 Kuršininkai settlement spanned from Memel to Danzig. The Kuršininkai were assimilated by the Germans, except along the Curonian Spit where some still live; the Kuršininkai were considered Latvians until after World War I, when Latvia gained independence from the Russian Empire, a consideration based on linguistic arguments. This was the rationale for Latvian claims over the Curonian Spit and other territories of East Prussia which would be dropped; the Lagoon, formed about 7,000 years BCE, is a freshwater lagoon. Water depths average 3.8 meters. It is biodiverse, although troubled by water pollution; the presence of algal blooms was confirmed in the 2000s. Nemunas Delta Vistula Lagoon Kurische Nehrung
Latvians are a Baltic ethnic group and nation native to Latvia and the immediate geographical region, the Baltics. They are also referred to as Letts, although this term is becoming obsolete. Latvians share a common Latvian language and history. A Finnic-speaking tribe known as the Livs settled among the Latvians and modulated the name to "Latvis", meaning "forest-clearers", how medieval German, Teutonic settlers referred to these peoples; the Germanic settlers referred to the natives as "Letts" and the nation to "Lettland", naming their colony Livonia or Livland. The Latin form, Livonia referred to the whole territory of the modern-day Latvia as well as southern Estonia, which had fallen under a minimal Germanic influence. Latvians and Lithuanians are the only surviving members of the Baltic branch of the Indo-European family. Paternal haplogroups N1c-Tat and R1a are the two most frequent, reaching 39.9% each among ethnic Latvians. N1c-Tat mutation originated in South Siberia eight to nine thousand years ago and had spread through the Urals into the Europe where it is most common among Finno-Ugric and Baltic people.
Balts, differ from Finno-Ugrics by the predominance of the N1c-L550 branch of N1c-Tat. Haplogroup R1a is associated with the spread of Indo-European languages. Latvians share a common language and have a unique culture with traditions, holidays and arts; the culture and religious traditions have been somewhat influenced by Germanic and Russian traditions. Latvians have an ancient culture, archaeologically dated back to 3000 BC. Latvians maintained a considerable trade with their neighbors; the first indications of human inhabitants on the lands of modern Latvia date archaeologically to c. 9000 BC, suggesting that the first settlers were hunters that stayed immediately following the end of the last Ice Age. Colonizers from the south arrived driving many of the hunters northward as polar ice caps melted further, or east, into modern-day Russia and Ukraine; the Roman author Tacitus remarked upon the "Aestii" peoples, thought to be inhabitants of the modern Baltic lands, suggesting that they were abound with formidable, yet peaceful and hospitable people.
The Latvian peoples remained undisturbed until Papal intervention via the Germanic, Teutonic Order colonized Kurzeme, beginning in the first half of the 13th century. Papal decrees ordered the Teutonic Order to spread the "Word of the Lord" and the Gospel of Christianity throughout "uncivilized", "Pagan lands". Though these attempts to Christianize the population failed, the Teutonic Order redeployed southward, to the region of what was once known as East Prussia. South-Eastern Latvia, due to having a large ethnic Russian population, has maintained a large Russian influence. Most of the religious Latvians belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but in Eastern Latvia the Roman Catholic Church is predominant, a small minority of Latvians belong to the Latvian Orthodox Church and other religious congregations. In the late 18th century, a small but vibrant Herrnhutist movement played a significant part in the development of Latvian literary culture before it was absorbed into the mainstream Lutheran denomination.
The national language of the Latvian people is Latvian. Latvian is part of a unique linguistic branch of Indo-European languages: the Baltic languages. Latvia. Lettish Life in Legendary & Modern Times by Florence Farmborough. In: Peoples of All Nations: Their Life Today and Story of Their Past. Vol 5 – pp. 3267-3296 List of Latvians Demographics of Latvia Latvian American Latvian Australian Latvian Brazilian Latvian Canadian Baltic people in the United Kingdom
The Pregolya or Pregola is a river in the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast exclave. It starts as a confluence of the Instruch and the Angrapa and drains into the Baltic Sea through the Vistula Lagoon, its length under the name of Pregolya is 292 km including the Angrapa. The basin has an area of 15,500 km²; the average flow is 90 m³/s. Euler's Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem was based on the river's bridges in Königsberg, now Kaliningrad. A possible ancient name by Ptolemy of the Pregolya River is Chronos, although other theories identify Chronos as a much larger river, the Nemunas. Chernyakhovsk Znamensk Gvardeysk Kaliningrad Pissa Lava/Łyna Angrapa Instruch List of rivers of Russia
East Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878. Its capital city was Königsberg. East Prussia was the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast; the bulk of the ancestral lands of the Baltic Old Prussians were enclosed within East Prussia. During the 13th century, the native Prussians were conquered by the crusading Teutonic Knights. After the conquest the indigenous Balts were converted to Christianity; because of Germanization and colonisation over the following centuries, Germans became the dominant ethnic group, while Masurians and Lithuanians formed minorities. From the 13th century, East Prussia was part of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. After the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466 it became a fief of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1525, with the Prussian Homage, the province became the Duchy of Prussia; the Old Prussian language had become extinct by early 18th century. Because the duchy was outside of the core Holy Roman Empire, the prince-electors of Brandenburg were able to proclaim themselves King beginning in 1701.
After the annexation of most of western Royal Prussia in the First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, eastern Prussia was connected by land with the rest of the Prussian state and was reorganized as a province the following year. Between 1829 and 1878, the Province of East Prussia was joined with West Prussia to form the Province of Prussia; the Kingdom of Prussia became the leading state of the German Empire after its creation in 1871. However, the Treaty of Versailles following World War I granted West Prussia to Poland and made East Prussia an exclave of Weimar Germany, while the Memel Territory was detached and annexed by Lithuania in 1923. Following Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, war-torn East Prussia was divided at Joseph Stalin's insistence between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of Poland; the capital city Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946. The German population of the province was evacuated during the war or expelled shortly afterwards in the expulsion of Germans after World War II.
An estimated 300,000 died either in war time bombing raids, in the battles to defend the province, or through mistreatment by the Red Army. At the instigation of Duke Konrad I of Masovia, the Teutonic Knights took possession of Prussia in the 13th century and created a monastic state to administer the conquered Old Prussians. Local Old-Prussian and Polish toponyms were Germanised; the Knights' expansionist policies, including occupation of Polish Pomerania with Gdańsk/Danzig and western Lithuania, brought them into conflict with the Kingdom of Poland and embroiled them in several wars, culminating in the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War, whereby the united armies of Poland and Lithuania, defeated the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. Its defeat was formalised in the Second Treaty of Thorn in 1466 ending the Thirteen Years' War, leaving the former Polish region Pomerania/Pomerelia under Polish control. Together with Warmia it formed the province of Royal Prussia. Eastern Prussia as a fief of Poland.
1466 and 1525 arrangements by kings of Poland were not verified by the Holy Roman Empire as well as the previous gains of the Teutonic Knights were not verified. The Teutonic Order lost eastern Prussia when Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach converted to Lutheranism and secularized the Prussian branch of the Teutonic Order in 1525. Albert established himself as the first duke of the Duchy of Prussia and a vassal of the Polish crown by the Prussian Homage. Walter von Cronberg, the next Grand Master, was enfeoffed with the title to Prussia after the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, but the Order never regained possession of the territory. In 1569 the Hohenzollern prince-electors of the Margraviate of Brandenburg became co-regents with Albert's son, the feeble-minded Albert Frederick; the Administrator of Prussia, the grandmaster of the Teutonic Order Maximilian III, son of emperor Maximilian II died in 1618. When Maximilian died, Albert's line died out, the Duchy of Prussia passed to the Electors of Brandenburg, forming Brandenburg-Prussia.
Taking advantage of the Swedish invasion of Poland in 1655, instead of fulfilling his vassal's duties towards the Polish Kingdom, by joining forces with the Swedes and subsequent treaties of Wehlau and Oliva, Elector and Duke Frederick William succeeded in revoking the king of Poland's sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia in 1660. The absolutist elector subdued the noble estates of Prussia. Although Brandenburg was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, the Prussian lands were not within the Holy Roman Empire and were with the administration by the Teutonic Order grandmasters under jurisdiction of the Emperor. In return for supporting Emperor Leopold I in the War of the Spanish Succession, Elector Frederick III was allowed to crown himself "King in Prussia" in 1701; the new kingdom ruled by the Hohenzollern dynasty became known as the Kingdom of Prussia. The designation "Kingdom of Prussia" was applied to the
Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950)
During the stages of World War II and the post-war period, German citizens and people of German ancestry fled or were expelled from various Eastern and Central European countries and sent to the remaining territory of Germany and Austria. The post-war expulsion of the Germans formed a major part of the geopolitical and ethnic reconfiguration of Eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War II, that attempted to create ethnically homogeneous nations within redefined borders. Between 1944 and 1948 about 31 million people, including ethnic Germans as well as German citizens, were permanently or temporarily moved from Central and Eastern Europe. By 1950, a total of 12 million Germans had fled or were expelled from east-central Europe into Allied-occupied Germany and Austria; the West German government put the total at 14.6 million, including 1 million ethnic Germans settled in territories conquered by Nazi Germany during World War II, ethnic German migrants to Germany after 1950 and the children born to expelled parents.
The largest numbers came from preexisting German territories ceded to Poland, the Soviet Union and from Czechoslovakia. The areas affected included the former eastern territories of Germany, which were annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union after the war, as well as Germans who were living within the prewar borders of Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Baltic States; the Nazis had made plans—only completed before the Nazi defeat—to remove many Slavic and Jewish people from Eastern Europe and settle the area with Germans. The death toll attributable to the flight and expulsions is disputed, with estimates ranging from 500,000-600,000 and up to 2 to 2.5 million. The removals occurred in three overlapping phases, the first of, the organized evacuation of ethnic Germans by the Nazi government in the face of the advancing Red Army, from mid-1944 to early 1945; the second phase was the disorganised fleeing of ethnic Germans following the Wehrmacht's defeat. The third phase was a more organised expulsion following the Allied leaders' Potsdam Agreement, which redefined the Central European borders and approved expulsions of ethnic Germans from Poland and Hungary.
Many German civilians were sent to internment and labour camps where they were used as forced labour as part of German reparations to countries in eastern Europe. The major expulsions were complete in 1950. Estimates for the total number of people of German ancestry still living in Central and Eastern Europe in 1950 range from 700,000 to 2.7 million. Before World War II, East-Central Europe lacked shaped ethnic settlement areas. There were some ethnic-majority areas, but there were vast mixed areas and abundant smaller pockets settled by various ethnicities. Within these areas of diversity, including the major cities of Central and Eastern Europe, regular interaction among various ethnic groups had taken place on a daily basis for centuries, while not always harmoniously, on every civic and economic level. With the rise of nationalism in the 19th century, the ethnicity of citizens became an issue in territorial claims, the self-perception/identity of states, claims of ethnic superiority; the German Empire introduced the idea of ethnicity-based settlement in an attempt to ensure its territorial integrity.
It was the first modern European state to propose population transfers as a means of solving "nationality conflicts", intending the removal of Poles and Jews from the projected post–World War I "Polish Border Strip" and its resettlement with Christian ethnic Germans. Following the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the Russian Empire, the German empire at the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles pronounced the formation of several independent states in Central and Eastern Europe, in territories controlled by these imperial powers. None of the new states were ethnically homogeneous. After 1919, many ethnic Germans emigrated from the former imperial lands back to Germany and Austria after losing their privileged status in those foreign lands, where they had maintained majority communities. In 1919 ethnic Germans became national minorities in Poland, Hungary and Romania. In the following years, the Nazi ideology encouraged them to demand local autonomy. In Germany during the 1930s, Nazi propaganda claimed that Germans elsewhere were subject to persecution.
Nazi supporters throughout eastern Europe formed local Nazi political parties sponsored financially by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, e.g. by Hauptamt Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. However, by 1939 more than half of Polish Germans lived outside of the German territories of Poland due to improving economic opportunities. Ethnic German population: 1958 West German estimates vs pre war national census figures Notes: According to the national census figures the percentage of ethnic Germans in the total population was: Poland 2.3%. The West German figures are the base used to estimate losses in the expulsions; the West German figure for Poland is broken out as 939,000 monolingual German and 432,000 bi-lingual Polish/German. The West German figure for Poland includes 60,000 in Zaolzie, annexed by Poland in 1938. In the 1930 census this region was included in the Czechoslovak population. A West German analysis of the wartime Deutsche Volksliste by Alfred Bohmann put the number of Polish nationals in the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany who identified themselves as German at 709,500 plus 1,846,000 Pol