The name may originate from the Slavic term timänie 'swampy area'. Another possible origin for the name Demmin could be from Old Polabiandym (plural: dyminy) 'smoke', referring to clearing land through burning to make settlement possible. In 1075, Adam of Bremen reported a fight over the castle at Dimine. In the course of history, the name changed, and sources refer to Dymine and Dimin,Latinized to Dyminium, finally Demmyn, and since 1320 the town has been known under its present spelling Demmin.
A popular explanation of the name, but without any historical basis, is as follows: two princesses built a castle called Haus Demmin and promised each other (in the Low German language spoken in Demmin) Dat Hus is din und min 'That house is yours (din) and mine (min).' Thus the name of the castle and of the city is said to have developed.
As early as 5500 - 4900 BC, the Neolithic Linear Pottery culture spread from the East, and from the Oder river into the area east of Demmin. The great dolmen near Upost is classified as the eastern most great dolmen. As an evidence of the Funnelbeaker culture, 119 Megalith constructions bear witness around the county of Demmin. Of these, 56 are partially preserved. The majority of these constructions are 37 Dolmen The fact that there are also six simple dolmen preserved, makes Demmin and its surrounding area one of those regions in which the construction of such facilities had its roots. The later period is characterized by 12 preserved in the district of Demmin Tumulus and basin stones. From about 1800 BC on, the settlement of the area by Germanic peoples began.
Slavic settlements of the Veleti in the forests surrounding Demmin can be traced back to the 8th century. In 789, during the Saxon wars, Charlemagne led his troops to the Peene river, against the Veleti who were allies of the Saxons. Dragovit, king of the Veleti, whose castle, civitas Dragowiti was said to most likely have been located at Vorwerk (Demmin), submitted to Charlemagne and swore fealty. The region was very suitable for a settlement and was important due to its location at the crossing of rivers and trade roads. During the struggle between the Veleti and the Franks, a border castle was erected by LuticiCircipanians at the dawn of the 10th century. That castle was later called “Haus Demmin”. It controlled the Eastern parts of Circipania, a territory that stretched to Güstrow in the west. Its main castle was Teterow.
Demmin was a stronghold of the West SlavCircipanes during the Middle Ages. Due to its strategical importance, burghs were erected (and often attacked and destroyed) at the Vorwerk and Haus Demmin sites, named Dimin or Dymin. A Saxon army unsuccessfully besieged the settlement during the 1147 Wendish Crusade. Yet, the armed conflicts with their neighbors and invasion troops from Germany and Denmark devastated the Circipanes land badly. It was resettled by Germans and Flemmings by the 12th to 14th centuries. Circipania was split between Mecklenburg and Pommern, with Demmin on the Pomeranian side becoming a residence town for Pomeranian dukes (Teilherzogtum Pomerania-Demmin).
Like most of Pomeranian areas aside the larger coastal Hanse cities, the character of Demmin and its surrounding areas remained rural and dominated by agriculture until today, even though Demmin had been a member of the Hanse league because of the rivers (e.g. the Peene River) connecting this area to the Baltic coast.
In the Weimar Republic Demmin was a stronghold of the nationalistic organisations DNVP and the Stahlhelm. Even before 1933 there were boycotts of Jewish businesses, which drove away most of the Jews and the synagogue was sold in June 1938 at a furniture company, which is why it survived as a building today. On 11 November 1938 thousands gathered in the square in anti-Semitic demonstration. In the last free national elections to the Reichstag on 5 March 1933 the National Socialist Party won 53.7 percent of votes in Demmin
^Artikel Demmin in: Irene Diekmann (Hg.), Wegweiser durch das jüdische Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Potsdam 1998, S. 99 ff, bes. S. 111 f
^Thomas Schreck: Echt deutsch und antional - Die vorpommersche Kleinstadt Demmin im Jahr 1933, in: Zeitgeschichte regional 4/4 (2000), S. 14-23
^Buske, Norbert (Hg.): Das Kriegsende in Demmin 1945. Berichte Erinnerungen Dokumente (Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Landeskundliche Hefte), Schwerin 1995, in German (The End of the War in Demmin 1945 - Reports, Reminiscences, Documents). ISBN 3-931185-04-4.