Talk:Klaipėda Region

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Klaipeda Region[edit]

I'm sorry for this endless article moving. It was a result of disambiguating between district and region, region and county in translations from Lithuanian. Klaipeda district according our Lithuanian official translations is used for the present administrative “sub-county”. And region, which had been used for this purpose in Wikipedia, well suits for the Memelland, and, I think, does better, than a district (which in its turn is better and more used for a second level unit).
Linas 13:27, 2004 Aug 10 (UTC)

Memelland[edit]

I support a move of this article to Memelland for this region, as the German name fittingly describes it as the region on the northern bank of the Memel river up to the town of Memel, which is 50 km away from the river, thus equalling both "Klaipeda region" and "Nemunas region". As Lithuania acquired the Memelland forcefully from Germany in 1923, the use of Lithuanian terms (which seem to be a little confusing, see above) is not really NPOV.--Matthead 19:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose. "As Lithuania acquired the Memelland forcefully" under this argument half of Europe would have to be renamed to archaic names. --Philip Baird Shearer 09:07, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
The article clearly covers the region which was disputed between the wars, and not any Subdivisions of Lithuania as these were/are different in any time and covered in separate articles. For the interbellum time, the Versailles treaty and the Vote on Danzig/Gdansk applies, which means Memelland and nothing else is the proper name for this article. If the content here would be changed to something else, a separate article named "Memelland" would be necessary to tell the 1918/1923-1939/45 story. Besides, people from Memelland are still alive today, so much about "archaic"! --Matthead 18:11, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose (changed to neutral, see below). It wasn't aquired forcefully from Germany, but from French/international control. It hasn't been a part of Germany in 85+ years, so I don't think using the German name on here is appropriate (Do you want to rename the Klaipėda article to Memel, the Neman River to Memel river etc.?). The article should clearly delineate alternate names and history. heqs 14:39, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Lithuania violated the Treaty of Versailles, the French didn't bother do oppose this, neglecting their duty. Does that justify that the Lithuanian name is to be used rather than the one in the treaty - which happens to be equal to the German, for some reason, as there was no other as it belonged to Prussia for a very long time - well over 85 years? In historical contexts the historical names have to be used, not POV-pushing modern names. For the lower section of the river, within East Prussia, Memel is the correct term applying for several centuries, including 45% of the 20th. Same applies to the city, and most of all, to the Memelland between the wars.--Matthead 18:11, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I see your point about historical usage. I'm not pushing any POV. My only question is, did the region, with the same name and borders exist as a subnational division after the creation of the Lithuanian SSR? heqs 20:57, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
As I understand, they did not keep it as a unity, but have splitted it: After Klaipėda region was acquired, it was divided into 3 apskritys (Klaipėda Apskritis, Šilutė Apskritis and Pagėgiai Apskritis). Todays structure does not resemble to any of the non-natural Memelland borders, so a "Klaipėda Region" does not exit (and Klaipėda county [1] is very different). I assume that the century-old border intentionally was "erased from the map", or "the wound was healed", whatever POV one takes. Anyway, the name Memelland prefectly describes the area in question, marked by the Memel river in the south and Memel city in north-west corner - and that might be one of the reasons why other references to Memel are "under attack", as it is tried to limit its meaning to the city only, see Talk:Memel (disambiguation)and also Klaipėda Revolt. A possible other description for the area with other terms would be "Nemunas-Klaipeda-Region". --Matthead 16:18, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that the Danzig/Gdansk case applies here, because the seizure/occupation/annexation/whatever of Memelland/Klaipeda region was recognized by the "great powers",[2] whereas the Free City of Danzig persisted as constitued by ToV throughout the interwar period. For that reason, I think using the Lithuanian name for territory that has basically been a part of Lithuania from 1923-present is appropriate.[3] Memelland should only be used when dealing with the pre-1923 period. heqs 17:59, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
The question posed was what the article name should be. Not what it was or was not called at different points in the past. --Philip Baird Shearer 19:47, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
That's fine... we had an interesting and relevant discussion about historical usage... heqs 21:09, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per everyone else.--Molobo 21:07, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - don't see a good reason why. Renata 01:50, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Totally oppose M.K. 18:24, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - use contemporary official names. Also, use English Memel Territory name instead of German Memelland in the text. --Lysytalk 22:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Yet another aspect of it exists. Memelland if used is less neutral than Klaipeda region, because it implies German supremacy, being in the English language text. We should inform, explain or discuss all historical background of the region, but not to make coclusions in article name itself. Linas Lituanus 16:43, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Then Klaipeda region implies Lithuanian supremacy? Or do you just mean "under Lithuanian control"? When no conclusions should be made in the article name itself, why not using the term applied in the Versailles treaty that separated and baptised the region in the first place? --Matthead 17:48, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
Your idea would be very logical if there were a permanent conflict between Germany and Lithuania for the region between the two World Wars. But Germany recognized Klaipėda Region to be an autonomous part of Lithuania. Also other European states did (although it wouldn't be necessary for our case). All sides, at least officially, were content and satisfied then. Or, perhaps, you recognize Nazi occupation as legal? If not, what difference is with current situation then? Klaipėda is part of Lithuania as it was before WWII. So what difference do You see between today, to call the city Klaipėda, and that period, not to call? By the way, Your demographic arguments are not valid for this case. Even if 0 percents of Lithuanians lived in Klaipėda then , this fact doesn't imply, that it couldn't be a part of Lithuania. National purism is a very nice-looking idea but very unpleasant practice. By the way, memellanders did't mean mere Germans. Memellanders were German-educated people with different mother tongues, including both German and Lithuanian.--Linas Lituanus 14:36, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support- After thinking this one over, and reading and re-reading as many English scholarly and historical sources, that I could in the short time of a month or so, that the vote has been opened, it seems to be the right choice. References to the disputed area between 1918-1939, favor Memelland in English. This is the historical name, of a construct that lasted 20 years. It underwent changes several times during that period. Today Memel is Klaipeda, and the area or region around it is Lithuania. Dr. Dan 00:08, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Neutral. I've struck my "oppose" above. After reading everything here and thinking about it, I'm not sure what it should be. If it's chiefly going to be about the historical situation in 1920-1923, the article should probably be called Memel Territory. If it's going to be much more broad than that, I think Klaipeda region is appropriate. heqs 19:31, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Look guys, I am from Lithuania, my IP will show this. And I don't see something wrong with the name Memelland. First, because the territory we are talking about is historic region existed in 1923-1939, now this area don't have something particular in Republic of Lithuania, administrative borders even don't mach. There is nearly no left locals who lived before 1939 (only about 2000 persons have connections, something similar is in polish Masuria). Second, in 1923-1939 in Memelland two languages were oficial: lithuanian and german. So why should we give advantage to lithuanian? Third, and the most important thing: in interwar time this territory in Europe (in english language too) was known after Memelland name. Forth, educated people knows how was called town of Klaipėda before 1945. What will be next: does it means that in english Wikipedia capital of Russia should be called Moskva instead of Moscow? I am for Memelland name. Where is a problem? 82.135.217.112

Support. This is clearly an article about the area between 1920-1945. Before then it was part of East Prussia and after then it was part of Lithuania. In the historical period in which the region existed as a discrete or contested entity it was known overwhelmingly as Memelland in English. Therefore the English Wikipedia name should clearly be Memelland. The article should have links to East Prussia for pre 1920 info, and Lithuania for post-1945 info.--Stonemad GB 09:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC) Support. the Memel territory was known in both English and German as Memel territory. Look into any WW2 atlas, book, absalutly anything to do with Memel Territory (as long as it's in English) and it should use the name Memel rather than Klaipeda. The territory had a split German/Lithuanian population, so to be honest I don't belive it's unneutral and infact I believe that Klaipeda is the less neutral name because we are being bais in that Lithuania didn't even control the territory during world war 2. Bezuidenhout (talk) 10:04, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Memel Territory[edit]

Is Memelland a borrowed word in English word or should the area before 1945 be called "Memel Territory"? It was called Memel in the English version of the the Versailles Treaty

MEMEL.
ARTICLE 99.
Germany renounces in favour of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers all rights and title over the territories included between the Baltic, the north-eastern frontier of East Prussia as defined in Article 28 of Part II (Boundaries of Germany) of the present Treaty and the former frontier between Germany and Russia. Germany undertakes to accept the settlement made by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers in regard to these territories, particularly in so far as concerns the nationality of the inhabitants.

Unless there is a mention of it under another name in a latter official English language document "Memel Territory" seems like the English name to use for the period up to 1945 when the English speaking nations recognised the Soviet's (de-facto) administration of the region. That is of course unless there was/is another common name used in English language books and journals to describe the place between the two World Wars. This is exactly the same situation as with other places like Danzig (the next article (art 100) in the Versailles Treaty). It does not matter what the locals called it, in this encyclopaedia what matters is the common English name for the place in other reliable sources. --Philip Baird Shearer 19:48, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I started the convo on Talk:Battle of Memel because it was specifically about what to call it in the WWII period (ie. the article should possibly be renamed to Battle of Klaipeda, as the Nazi annexation of 1939 and all other Nazi annexations from 1937 on were officially illegal). What I've said on this page is, that Klaipeda should be used from 1923 on - because the Lithuanian annexation of 1923 was recognized by the great powers in the interbellum. The ToV was rendered null as it regarded Klaipeda in a series of conventions up until 1932 at the Hague ("settled" if you will as provided for in the Treaty). I am sure that its name in the official English documents by then was Klaipeda, I do not have any at my disposal right now. There are many English sources that refer strictly to a Klaipeda region, such as U.S. Dept. of State. It's not exactly the same as Danzig as you suggest - as I said above the Free City of Danzig remained as constituted in the ToV throughout the interbellum - there was no recognized annexation by either Germany or Poland. heqs 21:07, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

It is my understanding that "Klaipėda Region" / "Memelland" refers to an historical region, not a present-day administrative unit; are the aforementioned phrases used to refer to the territory outside of historical topics? The majority of English-language publications (such as Davies, Kitchen, Shirer, Magocsi) refer to this territory using variations of Memel: Memel Land, Memel Region, Memel Territory, Memelland. If this article were expanded to include information about the territory after 1945, then I can understand titling it "Klaipėda Region". In its current state, however, it is essentially a history of the territory from Versailles until 1945; the territory during that period is referred to primarily with variations of Memel in English. Olessi 21:32, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

A quick search of "klaipeda region" on your favorite search engine reveals that the term has wide contemporary use, whether it is referring specifically to the area contained within the pre-annexation borders of the region, or just the general area around the city, I'm not sure. See also "klaipeda area". heqs 21:51, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I presume that you assume my favorite search engine is Google based on my User page? Yahoo! is actually my default search engine. I mention Google on my User page because it seemingly is the search engine of choice for the majority of Wikipedians and I want to alert people that sometimes searches can be skewed by hits for Wiki-mirrors; hence my mention of the Google filter. While I do not find regular Google particularly valuable, I do find Google Books and Google Scholar useful.

You are correct in that "Klaipeda Region" and variants thereof are used on a large number of miscellaneous sites to refer to the present-day region. Perhaps some of that information can be incorporated into the article, as it is simply lacking in post-1945 information. However, in English publications, the territory is usually referred to with variations of Memel to refer to the only time period discussed in the article.

Google Books results:

Google Scholar results:

These search engines only cover a small number of publications in English and contain a measure of error in that occasionally non-English sources are included as hits. However, I find it indicative that "Memel" is used instead of "Klaipeda/Klaipėda" to refer to the Interwar/WWII era. I am fine with titling the article "Klaipėda Region" if present-day information about the article is actually added to it. However, the current article only addresses the region until 1945, and during that time period the region is predominantly called "Memel Territory" in English.

If this is a serious Move Request, shouldn't it be listed at WP:RM? Olessi 17:47, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Personally I think right now the article is the world upside down. ook at the way it starts: "The Klaipėda Region (German: Memelland or Memelgebiet), in English: Memel Territory". This is an english wikipedia page isn't it? Than it should be titled Memel Territory, not Klaipeda Region.--Maasman 11:38, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

The problem is such, that Lithuanian WP users directly translate Klaipėdos kraštas to English as Klaipėda Region, forgetting that during interbellum years (when this region existed) this historical region was named as Memel Territory or simply Memel like in Time (1935) --Tarakonas (talk) 11:00, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Elections and Census[edit]

I've added election results, and an alternative 1925 census result that distinguishes between Lithuanians and those who declared themselves as Memellandish. --Matthead 08:06, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Reverts[edit]

Two users have made total reverts [4] [5] [6] recently. Each time, sourced elections results and census data were deleted. This was either done unintentionally due to carelessness, or intentionally to deny facts which do not suit their POV. --Matthead 19:22, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Matthead, your German nationalistic POV-pushing is all too obvious and I'm not interested in engaging in a revert war with you only because you refuse to discuss your edits first. Calling me a vandal is abuse of the term and nothing less than a personal attack. You are also already in violation of 3RR. I'm not reporting you because I believe you had not noticed it and it's not my intention to have you blocked. I request that you revert to the undisputed version prior to your edits and explain your grievances here, before making any further controversial edits. --Lysytalk 22:12, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
I support Lysy position. M.K. 22:15, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Too much change for a contriversial edit. It would be much better if you (Matthead) were to make small incremental changes, giving people a chance to agree or disagree with the change, also if there is a particular statment on the page now which you think is contriversial and does not have a proper citation please use the template {{flag}}, and give people a chance to come up with a citation for the information, or move the sentence to the talk page for discussion --Philip Baird Shearer 08:43, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

current version:

The Klaipėda Region (German: Memelland or Memelgebiet) or Memel Territory was historically a part of Prussia and the German Empire. Following World War I and the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 it fell under the administration of the Council of Ambassadors and was occupied by French troops.

new version by Matthead:

The Memelland (also German:Memelgebiet, also referred to as Memel Territory or Klaipėda Region) was for over five centuries a part of Prussia and the German Empire.

It has been wildly agreed in articles to use the current name of a place unless, unless there is a traditional English name which is still used to describe the place, Eg Vienna. I would argue about whether the "ė" in "Klaipėda" should have an accent, but that is a separate issue. So placing Memelland first is no more acceptable than calling placing Danzig ahead of Gdansk on that page. Further AFAICT Memelland is not a common English word Post World War I the region tended to be called Memel Territory.

I also think that both version have too much history in the introduction. For example the Calais article does not mention in the introduction that for centuries it and the surrounding area was a English parliamentary constituency, Something which is commonly mentioned in English history lessons is that Mary I of England under who's watch it was lost, is reputed to have said "When I am dead and opened, you shall find 'Calais' lying in my heart" (Holinshed's Chronicles, IV, 1808). History is left to the history section. Now if a town and a region (originally know as the Pale) as in the expression "beyond the pale", that was for many centuries English is structured that way, then for an article on a region that is very obscure to most English readers there is no reason to push history to the forefront. --Philip Baird Shearer 09:22, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Very well put, Phillip. Dr. Dan 16:44, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Ditto. --Lysytalk 22:48, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I made some preliminary copy edits. I removed the "again" from the sentence concerning the Third Reich. As the area had not been part of the Third Reich before 1939, it could not become part of it again. Make sense? Dr. Dan 01:50, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

What's this article actually about??[edit]

An outsider's POV here! I think that working out what this article is about would be the best way of deciding on a title and focus (well, obviously, but it doesn't look like this has actually been addressed so far!). If it about the region around Klaipėda previously known as Memelland then I would expect the article to focus on not only the history but also the modern geography, culture, demographics, economy, sports etc (which are also covered under the articles for the appropriate administrative divisions of Lithuania). In fact, judging from the text, it seems to be about the historical region of Memelland. To all intents and purposes it seems from this article that Memelland or the Memel Territory no longer exists as a coherent region: certainly not as an administrative region, and while presumably there was in the past a distinctive Memelland culture (again, presumably German in nature) it doesn't sound from the article that it has maintained that distinctive cultural identity. I think a better comparison than Danzig might be Wessex, a former kingdom located in what is now South West England. The region is now administratively and culturally referred to as South West England, but there is no doubt that Wessex was a distinct historical region and while sometimes the terms South West England and Wessex are interchanged they are not, in fact, equivalent geographically. What is discussed in the Wessex article is not the geography, economy, culture, climate, etc of Wessex - that is covered in respective articles like Devon, Somerset, South West England etc - but the history of Wessex when it did exist as a distinct political/cultural entity, and then the more modern history of the idea of Wessex (where are its boundaries? Who uses the term? What are the cultural notions linked to the idea of "Wessex"?). I think that this might be the most sensible way of dealing with Memelland - either at a distinct Memelland article (no longer as a redirect to this article) or indeed in this article. In fact, if this article is to be primarily about the historical region of Memelland, it might be best to use "Memelland" or "Memel Territory" as the title unless it can be shown that Klaipėda Region is the term usually used in English to refer to the historical region. Just because the historical region has effectively ceased to exist isn't in itself a good reason to apply a name that could be given currently to the geographical area that it used to occupy. Does this make any sense? And to reiterate my question, what is this article actually about? TheGrappler 19:10, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, the title is "Klaipėda Region", or Klaipeda District which redirects here, so one would expect to find infos about the area around that city, or the political administration structure. It's kind of funny that hardly any contributions are made towards this lemma ... On the other hand, names like Memel Territory and Memelland also point here, so no separate article can be written to cover the historical context. Facts like elections results of the era were not welcome here, either. So one wonders what it's supposed to be, or rather not to be ... I think the German term "Befindlichkeit" charaterizes the situation best. --Matthead 21:46, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Matthead, I don't think your characterization of the situation is wrong. But as to Befindlichkeit, do you mean as in a simple person asking the rhetorical question, "Wie befinden Sie sich?" Or do you mean in a deeper, as in Heidegger's, interpretation of the term? Dr. Dan 02:02, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
I've picked this term as my preferred online translator translated it into "existential orientation [psych.]", so I thought there is a fair chance people can find a reasonable meaning (my most hated transmonger yields "Presentness"?!). I'm nowhere close to understanding Heidegger, but it seems he combined both meanings of "sich befinden" (where are you? how are you?) into something like "what is your point of view from/on this?". Basically, it was my attempt to hint that the issue causes ill feelings of various degrees in the ones that feel themselves involved even when it is presented according to their point of view, and it get much worse if "wrong" names are use or undeniable facts are mentioned that better should be concealed, maybe. See also current discussions whether the Red Army "liberated" large parts of Europe, or not. --Matthead 19:17, 25 June 2006 (UTC)
I would like to keep an outside perspective on this, but I think that Matthead has a very valid point here. Would a modern inhabitant of this region actually say "I am from Klaipėda Region", or "I am from Klaipeda District"? Are these actually terms with a particular meaning? This hypothetical native is almost certain not to say "I am from Memelland" of course, but if Memelland does have a cultural, political, and administrative meaning (albeit historically) and "Klaipėda Region" does not, then shouldn't Memelland be the focus of this article? The heart of this article as it appears now is "the area around Klaipėda used to be Memelland, but it is not Memelland any more; and due to changes in demographics and modern administrative boundaries it has lost its distinctive regional identity and become simply 'the area around Klaipėda' and not anywhere in particular at all". If it really is nowhere in particular at all, it shouldn't have an article. I am not denying it exists as a place, any more than I would claim that France and Switzerland and Italy do not exist, but nobody would make an article called "France-Switzerland-Italy Region" (which is indeed a contiguous geographical area of Europe) and fill it with the demographics and culture and physical geography of that area. France-Switzerland-Italy Region is simply nowhere in particular at all - not a natural region formed by physical geography and not a cultural or administrative or political or even historic region formed by human classification. If "Klaipėda Region" actually is somewhere in particular (more meaningful say, than "the area around Berlin" or "the region around Moscow") then it ought to have an article about its administration, geography, demographics, culture and, indeed, history, and that article should clearly be here. If all that exists is history, then it would appear that the region is not anywhere in particular at all. In the past, the area was known as Memelland, and clearly did have a distinct regional identity. One could write about the culture of the Memellanders (what was their dialect? What were their cultural and economic achievements) and the administrative status of Memelland within Prussia, and later Germany and finally under international oversight and its transfer to Lithuania. That could be done at a distinct article ("Memelland" or "Memel Territory" maybe) or indeed done here if there was not enough distinct information to justify breaking it apart. At present, the article largely consists of the history of Memelland, suggesting that the area lost cultural coherence and identity after it ceased to be Memelland, and is not any more meaningful as a geographic region than "France-Switzerland-Italy" is. It does not cover the culture and administration of Memelland as thoroughly as it should (since it is claiming, through the redirects, to be the Memelland article as well as the Klaipėda Region article). It does not cover the modern region at all. This is all very, very confusing. Is there a reason for the capital "R"? If this is not an administrative area but simply the region around Klaipėda, should it not be called "Klaipėda region"? And if this is the case and there is no modern culture/geography etc to cover, should it not simply be "Memelland"? One could put together any number of artificial non-administrative regions, it is not clear why they deserve articles. The main claim for "Klaipėda Region" deserving an article seems to be that it seems the region around Klaipėda used to have a distinctive cultural and political identity as Memelland, in which case surely the article should be "Memelland" and, as the current article is, about Memelland, but with more information about Memelland's culture and administration? And if "Klaipėda Region/region" is in fact a coherent region, should the article not say something about that region today? More confused than ever, TheGrappler 04:08, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I think we should agree with three, at least, facts:

  • Klaipėda region was created after WWI, it doesn't coincides with any of earlier adminstrative units. Consequently, the region is a part of new historical reality, not being defined as a region in the earlier history, when it was an undistinguished part of East Prussia and Prussian Lithuania.
  • If Lithuania annexed Klaipeda region legally or not, it doesn't change this fact in the history. We should add our notes, concerning legality of it here or in the article, but it doesn't change the fact itself and the fact, that the annexion was recognised by European nations including Germany.
  • The same time, historical references to earlier times are possible. Perhaps they are even necessary, because even this discussion shows, how greatly legacy of earlier times influenced reality of Klaipeda Region between WWI and WWII.

I say it, because I'm afraid, that many people thought, that Lithuanians claim to a region, that was previously German "Memelland". And I should repeat no Memelland in adminstrative or even ethnographic sense existed previous to WWI. And we would act consequently, if we took Lithuanian version of the name, because it was a part of Lithuania, except first four years, when a political situation hadn't been stabilized.

There's also a question, why present times are not mirrored in the article. Speaking about references of the present, they exist, I can affirm it, living in Lithuania. So, the region isn't a purely historical thing of the past, although obviously, its history concentrates on the period between the two World Wars, when it has an autonomy in Lithuania. The problem why there are no references to the present is technical only, and, by the way ,if too fervent discussions on such things as a title of the article not keep us from the way to solve this. Linas Lituanus 17:37, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

There's some really good points here. I completely agree that the legality of Lithuania's actions should not impact upon the article's name or scope of content. One thing that troubles me is "no Memelland in adminstrative or even ethnographic sense existed previous to WWI" - I presume you are claiming that Memelland had no distinct cultural or administrative regional identity prior to WWI, and was simply a geographic term. Did Memellanders not have, say, a distinct dialect, an awareness of "Memelland" identity, or have any cultural achievements? TheGrappler 00:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
This is a really simple situation absolutly identicaly with the name of the articel about the "Freecity of Danzig"... THE ONLY VALID ENGLISH NAME at the time of existence and beyond is "Memel Territory" for this special area from 1919-1939. its proved by english and french maps of the time and the contracts about the area. Till 1945 french and english used the german names for geographical features in the former german eastern territories because till this time German was for more than 100 years the only valid international regognized adminsitration language in that areas. its that simple... every variation in english with "Klaipėda" was created after 1945 by retraslate the actualname by unknowing people or nationalists trying to legitimate the actual state of the areas to lituania, poland, russia etc. by rewirting the historical names. comparable with using the today german. french or english citienames instead of the latin names for the cities then you talk about the time of the roman empire. the google search proof it, historical texts and maps proof it.... what do you need else to change the articel name to "Memel Territory" and note the german and lithunian names for it? the accepatnce of lithuanian nationalists ;)? User:Exec 11:31, 30 May 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.189.109.146 (talk)
The treaty of Versailles carved a part out of Prussia in 1920, and the term Memel territory was introduced for it. No such administrative subdivison existed before, as the counties of Ragnit and Tilsit covered both banks of the Memel. The culture with Lithuanian minority influences was present in the larger area of Preußisch-Litauen / Lithuania Minor. After the separation, the north-bank area was divided in the new counties of Kreis Heydekrug and Kreis Pogegen [7]. In 1925, the terms Memelländisch/Memelgebiet appeared in the German (version of the?) names of the political parties that won the election (and all until 1938) decisively [8]. In the census of 1925 [9] [10], over 40% declared themselves German, 26% Lithuanian, and about a quarter Memellandish (or Klaipedian as some say). The latter two were added up to claim a Lithuanian majority. The sources were repeatedly removed in early June. --Matthead 20:01, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
(to the question by User:TheGrappler) No, they didn't. The main identity of this traditionally had been Prussian citizenship. Eastern Prussia was a multinational state, especially at the moment of its establishing in the 16th century. Looking from this point, Klaipėda region had been a part of the so called Lithuania Minor, where traditionally Lithuanians lived. But the main identity was Prussian citizenship. German was the language of the Royal court and bureaucracy in Prussia and number of Germans gradually increased in the whole country, making local national identities even weaker. In the period of Klaipeda Region between the two World Wars, number of Germans had been reached about 40% in the region, being yet bigger in other parts of historical Lithuania Minor. Returning to Prussian period, local Lithuanians stood facing to choice after the end of this period, when Prussia became mere Germany. Part of them accepted the new status loyally, but others protested against new centralization, that endangered Lithuanian identity. This division is seen later in division between Lithuanians and Memellanders at the period of Klaipėda Region. Memellanders was a new identity, mostly of German-educated Lithuanian descendants, that had accepted loyally German nationality after Germany was established. They called themselves Memellanders in the Region, distinguishing themselves both from traditional Germans and from Lithuanians. But this identity was new after WWI. It hadn't been arisen from any previous “Memellish” identity, but just took the name of this new region to identify themselves already after 1919. --Linas Lituanus 15:41, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
I believe two articles with the appropriate links, rather than merging them, is a good solution that should keep all "interested parties" happy, and inform, "other parties" to the historical and contemporary facts. Memelland is a historical reality, just as the Klaipeda region is. Rather than squabble over them, keep them seperate. Although the time frame is much shorter, the ancient city of Rome has its information, and the modern city of Rome has its information. They are not always presented as one entity. Dr. Dan 02:55, 25 June 2006 (UTC) P.S. Matthead, will you do me the honor of commenting on my above question, regarding Befindlichkeit, bitte?

How about renaming the article into the History of Klaipėda Region ? --Lysytalk 14:25, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

That would be a great solution if "Klaipėda Region" has any meaning other than a historical one. I think I can sum up some of the key questions and the results of following standard policies and procedures as:
  • Is "Klaipėda Region" a current geographic term? If so, the article under the title "Klaipėda Region" should be about the region, with the history only one component, and the contents of the current article should be moved to History of Klaipėda Region as suggested. In fact, if it is just a geographic term, this page should be "Klaipėda region" and the history at "History of the Klaipėda region" - unless some instance can be found in English of this being referred to as "Klaipėda Region" with a capital "R". There is quite a big distinction in English between the two cases.
  • Is "Klaipėda Region" only used as a name for the the territory under international control and known in English as "Memel Territory" before being taken into Lithuania as an autonomous region? In this case:
  • Is the focus of this article the International Territory and its subsequent fate? If so then the article should be put into the most common English name which would be "Memel Territory". Not Memelland, not "Klaipėda Region" and not whatever the actual Lithuanian term is. That's nothing to do with legal issues or using what the majority of the population used, that's just applying the standard Wikipedia naming conventions (in the same way that nobody talks about the "Free City of Gdansk"). At present the article contains at one point "Memel Territory (Territoire de Memel, Memelland,Klaipėda Region)" which is nonsensical and really should be changed ASAP (it was not called in either English or Lithuanian "Klaipėda Region"... if the Lithuanian is to be given, it should be given in full, not half-translated).
  • Is the focus of this article the autonomous region following initial incorporation into Lithuania? If so it should be given the most common English name for the autonomous region. To find this, you probably need to consult some of the standard English language history textbooks on the region. If "Klaipėda Region" is simply some Wikipedian's non-standard translation of a Lithuanian term, then that needs to be checked. It may be worth considering making a distinct article for "Memel Territory" - it was quite an unusual administrative entity, and its special status probably means that an article devoted to its administrative and political arrangements and status under international law would be worth doing.
  • Did Memelland have at any stage: (1) a distinct administrative status within Prussia or Germany, or (2) did it have a distinctive culture, dialect or accent, regional identity, particular cultural achievements or notably distinct social aspects? Or (3) does "Memelland" as a term include some areas that did not in fact end up as part of the international Memel Territory?
  • If the answer to all these is no, then "Memelland" is a merely an obsolete geographic term about which nothing more needs to be said. Even if this is the case, Memelland needs to redirect somewhere, however. Now, if Klaipėda Region or Klaipėda region refers to a geographic area, then it should redirect there. But if Klaipėda Region in fact refers only to the International Territory/autonomous region (WWI-WWII) then it is perhaps not satisfactory for it to be a redirect - maybe Memelland should have its own article.
  • If the answer to one of these is yes, then "Memelland" deserves its own article. In cases (1) and (2) then that article should be about Memelland's distinct nature as a historic region (not on the current region, of course) and in case (3) it would probably be little more than to detail Memelland's exact boundaries and explain which parts did not become part of the International Territory.

I hope this analysis is helpful? At any rate "Memel Territory (Territoire de Memel, Memelland,Klaipėda Region)" is desperately in need of changing. TheGrappler 00:31, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Surely, the target of the article was the autonomous region. I see, that many questions around this part of former Eastern Prussia arise as if in expecting some nationalistic biases. And somebody treated this article in enlarged context, perhaps understanding Klaipėda Region as a synonim of historical Lithuania Minor or similarly. Consequently the discussion started, that now have increased to incredible extents. But I think that one article encompassing both the autonomous region and the International Territory is possible. --Linas Lituanus 14:52, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

P.S. Memelland didn't exist prior to 1919 as a distinctive administrative or ethnographic entity. It's no need to expand te article to the past before 1919. This region was a part of Eastern Prussia and, ethnographically, of Lithuania Minor. Also articles about individual counties can be written/expanded. Linas Lituanus 14:58, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Yet. Considering the idea, that is written in a form of question, if anybody can say, that he is from Klaipėda region, i should say, that the situation is possible. Present Lithuanians distinguish this region from other parts of Lithuania, and the positive answer to the question is possible. But no any special identity, say, of Klaipėda region Lithuanians, exist. On the other hand, Prussian Lithuanian identity exist and is well known in Lithuania. Presently, after all historical adversities, it's similar, for example, to the Scottish identity somewhere in London or, say, in the USA, for there is no place where Prussian Lithuanians live compactly. Religion is the main sign of this identity, Lutheranism versus Catholicism of Lithuanian majority. But this identity does't distinguish, if ancestry of a person lived in Klapėda region or elsewhere in Prussia. Linas Lituanus 16:01, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Ethnographic regions of Lithuania as contained within the modern state of Lithuania
Today, the Klaipeda region (this is the term used by US Dept of State) is the only part of Lithuania Minor contained within Lithuania's borders <-- true statement? Relevant statement? heqs 09:41, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Heqs, this is a nice map, but without a legend, it is not particularly useful. Or a least a written explanation of what the colors mean. Dr. Dan 17:31, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Oops! Didn't see the link. It could still use a legend or info. Others might miss it like I did. Dr. Dan 17:34, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
There ya go. heqs 18:55, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Within Prussia[edit]

It's quite strange to call Duchy of Prussia, Brandenburg-Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia not a single political entity. State of Teutonic Knights was in Prussia too. Changes of status don't change country. When France became republic, later monarchy, more later once again republic and so on - it still was France. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vulpes vulpes (talkcontribs)

Well, I'm using "political entity" more in the sense of a polity than a nation or body politic, so in France's case the revolutions and coupes certainly created different entities. Back to the subject at hand, setting aside when Prussia actually became Prussia or whether the various phases of Prussia as a "political entity" were continuous or singular, I actually reverted your edit because clearly, "the area" was not "always part of a single political entity until..." - the world didn't start in 1252. As for the list, which I think provides a useful summary to the reader, it might as well include all those sovereign powers which ever controlled the territory, which, as far as I know, it currently does. heqs 10:33, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, if You are using term in such sense, when a tribe becomes a political entity, then, of course, area not always been within single entity. But I don't agree that Kingdom of France, French Republic (No.1, No.2 etc.), French Empire (No.1 etc). is not the same France. If you say such phases of France were not the same political entity - France, then whole Wikipedia should be rewritten. For example, Corsica belongs to France not from 1768, but from 1958 because today's France is French Fifth Republic and other phases of France were not a France at all... --Vulpes vulpes 07:22, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Regional identity based on dialect[edit]

The Lithuanians in the Memelland spoke a Samogitian dialect, although not considering themselves as Samogitians, "klaipedischkiu kalba", "Memler Dialekt" or "burisch" and called themselves "burai" (peasants), other Prussian-Lithuanians were "Lietuvininkai". Lutz Szemkus

Don´t forget curonian north od river Minia/ Minja/ Minge (curonian name as well as Dange/ Dane) up to Nimerseta/ Nimmersatt and prussian languages! In 1569 a "confusion of languages" was noticed. -- Kaubri (talk) 10:29, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Picture[edit]

It seems that one contributor trying to remove one of images, by providing arguments like "POV pushing" etc. Several contributors already noted that such approach is wrong, I only can repeat that picture illustrates monument in the region which belongs to Lithuania and it is the fact. And another fact is that till present day part of this region which belongs to LT is called Klaipėda region. Do not see any reason why it should be removed. M.K. (talk) 12:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Versailles Treaty[edit]

The writer of the article included the following sentence which I have deleted:

the Treaty of Versailles which had been perceived by the German-speaking peoples as humiliations. The Allies and neighboring countries had granted no concessions to the democratic German governments which had struggled for over a decade in the Weimar Republic; but when the hardliner Hitler took charge, these countries undertook a policy of appeasement of Nazi Germany.

It was deleted for a number of reasons, but largely because it is an outrageous oversimplification of an ongoing historical debate. Other reasons include the fact that it is merely confusing to talk of "concessions" without some context for the discussion. Concessions over what? Concessions for what purpose? (One might argue too, that under Stesseman, the Weimar Republic actually did achieve some "concessions" from the Allies; and when one considers that the amount of reparations was continually diminished, and after 1923, never really hoped for, then those too, become concessions which were indeed granted.) Moreover, to say that certain countries (un-named) undertook a policy of appeasement the moment Hitler became Chancellor, ie, from 1933 onwards, is not only absurd, it's demonstrably false. Appeasement properly refers to the deal Hitler and Chamberlain did over the fate of the Sudeten Germans in late 1938. By spring 1939, when Hitler seized the rump of Czecho-Slovakia, appeasement was dead, and recognized as dead by all the major powers. Perhaps worst of all is to describe Hitler as a "hard-liner" as if he were simply a slightly worse version of the German rightist nationalists who had helped him achieve power. The sentence not only adds nothing to the article, it is poorly thought out and presented, and contains errors.

And what are the precise sources of the census and voting data? The footnote leads only to a website that is devoted to the Deutsches Reich, the German Empire. Who attests the website? Just asking.

Theonemacduff (talk) 05:15, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


It is idiotic to think that we, Memellanders have any connection with Prusu Lietuviai in our minds. It is compleatly different, lithuanians spoge Augstaitian dialect, but our language is misschung zwischen nehrungs-kurisch; latvian - curronian dialects, lithuanian, samogitian and german. It is not mutualy inteligable with standart lithuanian, nor even samogitian. When you read a written text and knov lithuanian and german, it is possible to understand from context. if you are latvian from Curland and know these old latvianised germanisms who are not in everyday use since the independance, then you can almoast freely understan that what these lithuanians call "western-samogitian". grammaticaly - yes, it is more simmilar to lithuanian than to latvian, but it is compleatly different from standart lithuanian and even samogitian. and + 700 years being seperated from other tribes, is what it finaly done - a seperate nation.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.246.141.190 (talk) 01:58, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

About Lithuanian Point of View[edit]

Found here: D. Willoweit. Memel-Klaipėda im historischen Bewußtsein der Deutschen und Litauer in Annaberger Annalen 1998, p.S. 193: "... daß Litauen seit seiner Union mit Polen, genau genommen also seit der Union von Lublin 1569, keinen eigenen Staat mehr bildete. Das litauische historische Denken kann daher für den Zeitraum zwischen 1569 und 1918 litauische Geschichte nur als Geschichte des litauischen Volkes verstehen. Dann aber ist Litauen dort, wo Litauer siedeln. Daher ist auch die fünfhundertjährige Grenze zwischen Preußen und Litauen, danach Preußen und Litauen-Polen und schließlich Preußen-Deutschland und Rußland, deren Bedeutung von den Deutschen so sehr betont wird, für Litauer in Wahrheit keine echte Grenze"

And p. 194: "Deutsche denken, wie Engländer oder Franzosen, wenn sie ihre Geschichte betrachten, in erster Linie an die Geschichte ihres Staates … .Die Geschichte der Deutschen in Kleinpolen oder an der Wolga wird kaum ein Deutscher als Teil der deutschen Geschichte begreifen, weil diese Gebiete stets außerhalb der deutschen Grenzen lagen. Diese Fixierung auf die Grenze als Ort, an welchem die Geschichte eines Staates und zugleich Volkes beginnt und endet, ist den Litauern - so mein Eindruck - weitgehend fremd."

(Short translation: Because Lithuania had no own state, their thinking is so that they understand Lithuanian history only as history of Lithuanian people. In this case is Lithuania everywhere, where Lithuanians live. That´s why the 500 year old border between Prussia and Lithuania is no real border in Lithuanian understanding." ... Germans think like Englishmen and Frenchmen when they look at their history at first at history of state. .... A German would hardly see places in Poland or at river Wolga as a part of German history because these places are outside of the borders of the state. The specification on a border as a place where history of state and inhabitants begins and ends seems to be strange for Lithuanians") -- Kaubri (talk) 10:29, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

"Harbor"[edit]

I deleted the last paragraph ...

The former Memel Territory is of continuing vital importance to Lithuania, acting as an important harbour, as well as an industrial and agrarian region.

... because, 1) it sounds like it came from the Lithuanian Chamber of Commerce, and 2) it is erroneous in that the city of Klaipėda (ex-Memel), not the former Memel Territory as a whole, is an important harbor; the "entire territory" is otherwise composed mainly of farmland and small villages.

Sca (talk) 22:01, 9 January 2012 (UTC)