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Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder was a Regierungsbezirk (governorate), or administrative region, of Prussia from 1815 until 1945. Marienwerder region was part of the Province of West Prussia from 1815–1829, and again 1878–1920, belonging to the Province of Prussia in the intermittent years. Marienwerder region was then placed under an inter-allied commission from 1920–22. It was known as Regierungsbezirk Westpreußen ("West Prussia") while it was joined to the Province of East Prussia from 1922–39, after which its original name was restored until its dissolution in 1945. The regional capital was Marienwerder (Kwidzyn).
Most of Polish Royal Prussia was annexed by King Frederick the Great of Prussia in the 1772 First Partition of Poland. The town of Marienwerder, previously in Ducal Prussia, became an administrative capital of the newly acquired territory, which became the Province of West Prussia on 31 January 1773.
West Prussia was divided into Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder and Regierungsbezirk Danzig in 1815, following the Napoleonic Wars. While the governor and provincial authorities were based in Danzig (Gdańsk), the provincial court was in the town of Marienwerder.
From 1815-18, West Prussia was reorganized into Kreise, or districts, within each government region. The Marienwerder region included the rural districts (Landkreise) of Deutsch-Krone, Flatow, Graudenz, Konitz, Kulm, Löbau, Marienwerder, Rosenberg, Schlochau, Schwetz, Strasburg, Stuhm, and Thorn.
Up until 1920, the Marienwerder region comprised the urban districts (Stadtkreise) of Graudenz (Grudziądz) and Thorn (Toruń). Rural districts in the region included Briesen, Kulm, Deutsch-Krone, Flatow, Graudenz, Konitz, Löbau, Marienwerder, Rosenberg, Schlochau (Człuchów), Schwetz, Strasburg, Stuhm, Thorn, and Tuchel.
As a result of the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, most of West Prussia, including much of the Marienwerder region, was allocated to the Second Polish Republic. Parts of the territory east of the river Vistula took part in the East Prussian plebiscite and remained in the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany. These parts of the Marienwerder region were officially incorporated into the Province of East Prussia in 1922, and renamed from Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder to Regierungsbezirk Westpreußen, or "West Prussia". This smaller region consisted of the rural districts of Elbing, Marienburg (now Malbork), Marienwerder (now Kwidzyn), Rosenberg (now Susz), Stuhm (now Sztum), and the city of Elbing (Elbląg); the districts of Elbing and Marienburg and the city of Elbing had previously been part of Regierungsbezirk Danzig. The districts of Deutsch-Krone, Flatow, and Schlochau became part of the new Prussian Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen. The districts of Graudenz, Konitz, Kulm, Löbau, Schwetz, Strasburg, and Thorn became part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland.
On 26 October 1939, following the Wehrmacht's conquest of the Polish Corridor at the beginning of World War II, Regierungsbezirk Westpreußen was transferred from East Prussia to the newly created Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. It was also given its original name of Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder.
Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder was dissolved in 1945 following Nazi Germany's defeat in the war. The Soviet conquerors handed the region's territory to Poland in March 1945. Since that time it has been part of Poland. At the Potsdam Conference, the three Allies assigned the region to Polish administration in August 1945, and the German-Polish Border Treaty confirmed the annexation in 1990.
Districts by 1818
- Deutsch-Krone (Wałcz between 1466-1772 and since 1945)
- Flatow (Złotów between 1370-1722 and since 1945, most of district was part of Poland between 1920–1939 and since 1945)
- Graudenz (Grudziądz between 1466-1772, 1920–1939 and since 1945)
- Konitz (Chojnice between 1466-1772, 1920–1939 and since 1945)
- Kulm (Weichsel) (Chełmno between 1466-1772, 1920–1939 and since 1945))
- Löbau (Lubawa between 1466-1772, 1807–1815, 1920–1939 and since 1945)
- Marienwerder (Kwidzyn today)
- Rosenberg (Susz between 1466-1772 and since 1945)
- Schlochau (Człuchów between 1466-1772 and since 1945)
- Schwetz (Świecie between 1466-1772, 1920–1939 and since 1945)
- Strasburg (Brodnica before 1772, between 1920–1939 and since 1945)
- Stuhm (Sztum between 1466-1772 and since 1945)
- Thorn (Toruń today)
Districts in 1937
Districts in the Region of West Prussia, seated in Marienwerder, as of 31 December 1937
- Elbing, based in Elbing (Elbląg since 1945, also between 1466-1772)
- Marienburg (West Prussia), based in Marienburg in West Prussia (Malbork since 1945, also between 1466-1772)
- (in German) Michael Rademacher: Deutsche Verwaltungsgeschichte Preußen, Provinz Westpreußen (2006)
- (in German) E. Jacobson: Topographisch-statistisches Handbuch für den Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder, Danzig 1868 (Online, Google).