The Regierungsbezirk Stralsund ("government district of Stralsund") belonged to the Prussian Province of Pomerania and existed from 1818 to 1932.
The Regierungsbezirk of Stralsund was formed in 1818 as one of three Pomeranian government districts. It covered Swedish Pomerania (New Western Pomerania and Rügen) which had fallen to Prussia in 1815. The special legal position of this territory was the reason for the creation of what was then the smallest Regierungsbezirk in the whole of Prussia. Unlike the rest of the Province of Pomerania, neither General Prussian State Law nor the laws and ordinances of the so-called Stein-Hardenberg reforms (such as the Local Government Act of 1808), as they were called at the time, applied here. An alignment of the legal position was only gradually achieved in the second half of the 19th century, and was largely completed on the introduction of the Civil Code (BGB) in January 1900. But in some areas, special legal forms continued to exist, a situation that was unlike anywhere else in Prussia and Germany and which even went back to the time of Swedish rule, for example, the so-called Tertialrecht. As a result, the Tribunal, which moved from Wismar via Stralsund to Greifswald in 1802/03, still operated under the name of the Greifswald Supreme Court of Appeal and continued as the final arbiter of proper jurisdiction for the district until 1848.
The first regional government was inaugurated on the 5 January 1818 by the Governor of the Province of Pomerania, Johann August Sack, in his office. This followed several years of discussion about the status of the state. That produced three options:
- Form a separate province of New Western Pomerania and Rügen
- Form a separate Regierungsbezirk within the Province of Pomerania
- Immediately integrate it into the existing Regierungsbezirk of Stettin
An appeal by the counties and towns to the king against the formation of the district was dismissed. However, the Prussian system of taxation was only introduced in New Western Pomerania following a royal cabinet order of 19 November 1821.
Because of its small size the Regierungsbezirk of Stralsund was one of those Prussian administrative areas which was up for re-negotiation from the outset. Only a few years after its formation there were further discussions about its future. In the end it was its aforementioned special legal status that prevented its dissolution time and again. Not until 1 October 1932 was it united with the government district of Stettin.
Administrative divisions in the mid-19th century
The Stralsund government district is divided into four counties, three of which take their name from the towns in which the county councils are located. The fourth, however, takes its name after the island of Rügen, of which it is composed alone. Neu-Vorpommern has three counties: Franzburg, Grimmen, Greifswald. Rügen forms the county of Rügen.
In ecclesiastical terms the government district is divided into eleven superintendentures, of which three cover the Franzburg county, two the Grimmen county, three the Greifswald county and three the island of Rügen.All parishes are Protestant. Only in Stralsund is there a Catholic church, to which all Catholics in the government district belong.—Provincial Calendar for Neu-Vorpommern and the Principality of Rügen in the year 1851, p. 240
Population growth in the 19th century
- 1805: 118,112
- 1825: 142,312
- 1840: 169,114
- 1849: 185,426
- 1861: 208,429
- 1871: 208,276
- 1880: 216,130
Counties in 1900
In 1900 the Regierungsbezirk of Stralsund comprised one urban (Stadtkreis) and four rural counties (Landkreise). It covered an area of 4,010.88 km², on which there were 873 towns and villages and in which 216,340 inhabitants lived.
- Stralsund (from 1873): 31,076 inhabitants
Counties in 1925
In 1925 the population of the Regierungsbezirk of Stralsund was 246,941.
In 1925 the seat of the council for the county of Franzburg was moved to Barth. From 1 February 1928 the county was officially renamed "Franzburg-Barth".
- 1818–1825: Heinrich von Pachelbel zu Gehag
- 1825–1833: Leopold von Rohr
- 1833–1834: Adolf Heinrich von Arnim-Boitzenburg
- 1834–1848: Friedrich Ferdinand Leopold von Seydewitz
- 1848–1851: Busso Heinrich Christoph von Wedell-Piesdorf
- 1852–1869: Carl Reinhold von Krassow
- 1869–1883: Ulrich von Behr-Negendank
- 1884–1888: Albert Reinhold von Pommer-Esche
- 1888–1899: Carl Friedrich Heinrich von Arnim
- 1899–1908: Georg Scheller
- 1908–1917: Paul Wilhelm Adolf Blomeyer
- 1917–1919: Johann Stephan von Gröning
- 1919–1932: Hermann Haußmann (DDP)
In 1946, Stralsund became the seat of the county (Kreis) of Stralsund which emerged virtually unchanged from the county of Franzburg-Barth, from whose eastern part in 1952, the county of Stralsund in the district (Bezirk) of Rostock of the GDR was formed. The western part went to the newly formed county of Ribnitz-Damgarten. The old county of Grimmen lost its southern part around Loitz in 1952, which went to the county of Demmin in the province (Bezirk) of Neubrandenburg, as did the southern part of the old county of Greifswald which went to the new county of Anklam and thus also to the province of Neubrandenburg. In 1952 the eastern part of the old county of Greifswald around Wolgast formed the new county of Wolgast along with that part of the island of Usedom that remained within East Germany post-1945. The county of Rügen was divided in 1952 into the counties of Bergen and Putbus, but they were merged again after only a few years. While Stralsund kept its independence through these changes, Greifswald was meanwhile integrated into the county of Greifswald until the 1970s.
In 1994, the counties of Grimmen, Ribnitz-Damgarten and Stralsund, now in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, were merged into the new county of Nordvorpommern, whilst the counties of Anklam, Greifswald and Wolgast joined Ostvorpommern. Rügen remained unchanged, Greifswald and Stralsund also retained their independence.
As part of the planned local government reform, from 2011 the counties of Rügen and Nordvorpommern, and the town of Stralsund formed a reshaped county of Nordvorpommern, and the counties of Uecker-Randow, together with the town of Greifswald and parts of the county of Demmin, became Südvorpommern.
- Martin Wehrmann: Geschichte von Pommern. Bd. 2, Weltbild Verlag 1992, Reprint der Ausgaben von 1919 und 1921, ISBN 3-89350-112-6, p. 286
- Handbuch für Neu-Vorpommern und das Fürstenthum Rügen auf das Jahr 1888, p. 166
- Joachim Wächter: Die Bildung des Regierungsbezirkes Stralsund. In: Greifswald-Stralsunder Jahrbuch. Bd. 10 (1972/73), S. 127–137.
- Landeszentrale für politische Bildung des Landes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Hrsg): Historisch und geographischer Atlas von Mecklenburg und Pommern. Bd. 2: Mecklenburg und Pommern: Das Land im Rückblick. Karte 18, o. O. u. J. [Schwerin, 1996], S. 80–81.
- Johannes Hinz: Pommern. Lexikon, Würzburg 2001.
Statistical reference books (State handbooks)
- Staats-Kalender für Pommern und Rügen, Stralsund 1808–1816.
- Staatskalender für Neu-Vorpommern und Rügen, Stralsund 1817–1820.
- Provinzial-Kalender für Neu-Vorpommern und das Fürstenthum Rügen, Stralsund 1821–1873.
- Provinzial-Handbuch für Neu-Vorpommern und das Fürstenthum Rügen, Stralsund 1874–1879.
- Handbuch für Neu-Vorpommern und das Fürstenthum Rügen, Stralsund 1883–1907.