The name Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means "[land] by the sea". The adjective for the region is Pomeranian (Polish: pomorski, German: pommersch), inhabitants are called Pomeranians (Polish: Pomorzanie, German: Pommern).
Now divided between Germany and Poland, Pomerania stretches roughly from the Recknitz river near Stralsund in the west, via the Odra River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Łeba river or the Żarnowieckie Lake near Lębork. It is sometimes also considered to encompass Pomerelia (Pomorze Gdańskie), up to the Vistula River delta near Gdańsk in the east, as well as Chełmno Land in the south. The contemporary Pomeranian Voivodeship encompasses only a part of historical Pomerania.
The biggest Pomeranian islands are Rügen, Usedom/Uznam and Wolin. Pomerania belongs to the lowlands of the North European Plain. The largest Pomeranian city is Szczecin (narrow), or Gdańsk/Trójmiasto (wide). Outside its urban areas, Pomerania is characterized by farmland, dotted with numerous lakes, forests, and towns. The region was strongly affected by post–World War I and II border and population shifts, with most of its pre-war inhabitants leaving or being expelled after 1945.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Etymology
- 3 History
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 See also
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 External links
Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz in the west and Vistula in the east. It formerly reached perhaps as far south as the Noteć river, but since the 13th century its southern boundary has been placed further north.
Most of the region is coastal lowland, being part of the North European Plain, but its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, a belt of terminal moraines formed during the Pleistocene. Within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District. The soil is generally rather poor, sometimes sandy or marshy.
The western coastline is jagged, with many peninsulas (such as Darß–Zingst) and islands (including Rügen, Usedom, and Wolin) enclosing numerous bays (Bodden) and lagoons (the biggest being the Lagoon of Szczecin).
The eastern coastline is smooth. Łebsko and several other lakes were formerly bays, but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay (with the Bay of Puck) and Vistula Lagoon, has the Hel peninsula and the Vistula peninsula jutting out into the Baltic.
Pomerania is subdivided into the following contemporary political regions:
- Vorpommern ("Hither Pomerania") in northeastern Germany, stretching from the Recknitz River to the Oder–Neisse line. This region is part of the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The southernmost part of historical Vorpommern (Gartz area) is now in Brandenburg, Germany, while its historical eastern parts (the Oder estuary) are now in Poland. Vorpommern comprises the historical regions inhabited by Slavic tribes Rugians and Volinians, otherwise the Principality of Rügen and the County of Gützkow.
- Zachodniopomorskie ("West Pomeranian Voivodeship") in Poland, stretching from the Oder–Neisse line to the Wieprza river, encompassing most of historical Pomerania in the narrow sense (as well as the northern half of Neumark).
- Pomeranian Voivodeship, roughly similar to historical Pomerelia, stretching from the Wieprza River to the Vistula delta in the vicinity of Gdańsk.
- Northern half of Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, comprising most of historical Chełmno Land.
The bulk of historical Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, but its easternmost parts (the Słupsk area) now constitute the northwestern Pomeranian Voivodeship. Farther Pomerania in turn comprised several other historical subregions, most notably the Principality of Cammin, the County of Naugard, the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp, and also the Lauenburg and Bütow Land (the last, however, is sometimes regarded as a part of Pomerelia). In the 19th century, Farther Pomerania also included the northeastern part of historical Neumark.
Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995. The Pomerania euroregion comprises Vorpommern and Uckermark in Germany, Zachodniopomorskie in Poland, and Scania in Sweden. The Szczecin metropolitan area is one of many German-Polish cross-border projects in Pomerania.
Typical Pomeranian beach (West Pomeranian Voivodeship)
"Pomerania" and its cognates in other languages are derived from Old Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", and more, meaning "sea", thus "Pomerania" literally means "seacoast" or "land by the sea", referring to its proximity to the Baltic Sea.
Pomerania was first mentioned in an imperial document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum (Zemuzil, Duke of the Pomeranians). Pomerania is mentioned repeatedly in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen (c. 1070) and Gallus Anonymous (ca. 1113).
The term "West(ern) Pomerania" is ambiguous, since it may refer to either Vorpommern (in historical and German usage), to narrow Pomerania/West Pomeranian Voivodeship (in common Polish usage), or both (in Polish historical usage).
The term Eastern Pomerania may similarly carry different meanings, referring either to historical Farther Pomerania (in historical and German usage), or Pomerelia/Pomeranian Voivodeship (in Polish usage).
(West Pomeranian Voivodeship)
(corresponding English term)
in modern usage excluding Szczecin
(corresponding English term)
before World War II Pomorze
(Pomerelia, literally Pomerania)
(corresponding English term)
Part of a series on the
|History of Pomerania|
Prehistory and Early Middle Ages
Settlement in Pomerania started by the end of the Vistula Glacial Stage, some 13,000 years ago. Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, Baltic peoples, Germanic peoples and Veneti during the Iron Age and, in the Middle Ages, Slavic tribes and Vikings. Starting in the 10th century, early Polish dukes on several occasions subdued parts of the region from the southeast, while the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark augmented their territory from the west and north.
High Middle Ages to Early Modern Age
In the 12th century, narrow Pomerania became Christian under saint Otto of Bamberg (the Apostle of the Pomeranians); at the same time Pomerelia became a part of diocese of Włocławek. Since then, the Griffin Duchy of Pomerania stayed with the Holy Roman Empire and the Principality of Rugia with Denmark, while Pomerelia, under the ruling of Samborides, was a part of Poland. The Teutonic Knights succeeded in integrating Pomerelia into their monastic state in the early 14th century. Meanwhile, the Ostsiedlung started to turn Slavic narrow Pomerania into an increasingly German-settled area; the remaining Wends and Polish people, often known as Kashubians, continued to settle within Pomerelia. In 1325 the line of the princes of Rügen died out, and the principality was inherited by the Griffins. In 1466, with the Teutonic Order's defeat, Pomerelia became again subject to the Polish Crown as a part of Royal Prussia. While the German population in the Duchy of Pomerania adopted the Protestant reformation in 1534, the Polish (along with Kashubian) population remained with the Roman Catholic Church. The Thirty Years' War severely ravaged and depopulated narrow Pomerania; few years later this same happened to Pomerelia (the Deluge). With the extinction of the Griffin house during the same period, the Duchy of Pomerania was divided between the Swedish Empire and Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648, while Pomerelia remained in with the Polish Crown.
Prussia gained the southern parts of Swedish Pomerania in 1720, it invaded and annexed Pomerelia in 1772 in Partitions of Poland, and the remainder of Swedish Pomerania in 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars was lifted. The former Brandenburg-Prussian Pomerania and the former Swedish parts were reorganized into the Prussian Province of Pomerania, while Pomerelia was made part of the Province of West Prussia. With Prussia, both provinces joined the newly constituted German Empire in 1871. Under the German rule the Polish minority suffered discrimination and oppressive measures aimed at eradicating its culture. Following the empire's defeat in World War I, however, Pomorze Gdańskie Pomerelia was returned to the rebuilt Polish state (the region once called by the Germans the Polish Corridor), while German-majority Gdansk/Danzig was transformed into the independent Free City of Danzig. Germany's Province of Pomerania was expanded in 1938 to include northern parts of the former Province of Posen–West Prussia, and in late 1939 the annexed Pomorze Gdańskie/Polish Corridor became part of the wartime Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. The Nazis deported the Pomeranian Jews to a reservation near Lublin and, in Pomerelia, mass-murdered Jews, as well as some Poles, since Nazi ideology considered them to be untermenschen (sub-human) races. The Polish population suffered heavily during the Nazi oppression; more than 40,000 died in executions, death camps, prisons and forced labour, primarily those who were teachers, businessmen, priests, politicians, former army officers, and civil servants. Thousands of Poles and Kashubians suffered deportation, their homes taken over by the German military and civil servants, as well as some Baltic Germans resettled there between 1940-1943.
After Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II, the German–Polish border was shifted west to the Oder–Neisse line, and all of Pomerania was under Soviet military control. The German citizens of the former eastern territories of Germany and Poles of German ethnicity from Pomerelia were expelled, and the area was resettled primarily with Poles of Polish ethnicity, (some themselves expellees from former eastern Poland) and some Poles of Ukrainian ethnicity (resettled under Operation Vistula) and few Polish Jews. Most of Hither or Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) remained in Germany, and at first about 500,000 fled and expelled Farther Pomeranians found refuge there, later many moved on to other German regions and abroad. Today German Hither Pomerania forms the eastern part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, while the Polish part is divided between the West Pomeranian and Pomeranian voivodeships, with their capitals in Szczecin and Gdańsk. During the 1980s, the Solidarity and Die Wende ('the change') movements overthrew the Communist regimes implemented during the post-war era; since then, Pomerania is democratically governed.
Western Pomerania is inhabited by German Pomeranians. In the eastern parts, Poles are the dominating ethnic group since the territorial changes of Poland after World War II, and the resulting Polonization. Kashubians, descendants of the medieval Slavic Pomeranians, are numerous in rural Pomerelia.
Polish 31 December 1999
German December 2010
|Bydgoszcz (Voivod office)
Toruń (Voivod council)
|West Pomeranian Voivodeship||Szczecin||Z||22,901.48||1,732,838||32|
|Polish Pomerania and Kuyavia total||59,164.08||6,025,877|
|Vorpommern-Greifswald||Greifswald||VG and locally optional: ANK, GW, HGW, PW, SBG, UEM, WLG||3,927||245,733|
|Vorpommern-Rügen||Stralsund||VR and locally optional: GMN, HST, NVP, RDG, and RÜG||3,188||230,743|
|German Pomerania total||7,115||476,476|
German Hither Pomerania had a population of about 470,000 in 2012 (districts of Vorpommern-Rügen and Vorpommern-Greifswald combined) - while the Polish districts of the region had a population of about 520,000 in 2012 (cities of Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police County combined). So overall, about 1 million people live in the historical region of Hither Pomerania today, while the Szczecin metropolitan area reaches even further.
Cities and towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants
(with population figures for 2012):
- Tricity metropolitan area (Pomeranian Voivodeship) (population in 2012: at least 1,035,000; area 1,332,51 km²), including:
- Szczecin (West Pomeranian Voivodeship, 408,913; up to 763,321 in the metropolitan area)
- Toruń (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, 205,934)
- Stralsund-Greifswald high level urban center of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (population 113,128), including:
- Koszalin (West Pomeranian Voivodeship, 109,343)
- Grudziądz (Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, 96,042)
- Słupsk (Pomeranian Voivodeship, 94,849)
- Stargard Szczeciński (West Pomeranian Voivodeship, 69,724)
- Tczew (Pomeranian Voivodeship, 60,279)
Languages and dialects
In the German part of Pomerania, Standard German and the East Low German Pomeranian dialects Vorpommersch and Mittelpommersch are spoken, though Standard German dominates. Polish is the dominating language in the Polish part; Kashubian dialects are also spoken by the Kashubians in Pomerelia.
East Pomeranian, the East Low German dialect of Farther Pomerania and western Pomerelia, Low Prussian, the East Low German dialect of eastern Pomerelia, and Standard German were dominating in Pomerania east of the Oder-Neisse line before most of its speakers were expelled after World War II. Slovincian was spoken at the Farther Pomeranian–Pomerelian frontier, but is now extinct.
For typical food and beverages of the region, see Pomeranian cuisine.
The Pomeranian State Museum in Greifswald, dedicated to the history of Pomerania, has a variety of archeological findings and artefacts from the different periods covered in this article. At least 50 museums in Poland cover history of Pomerania, the most important of them The National Museum in Gdańsk, Central Pomerania Museum in Słupsk, Darłowo Museum, Koszalin Museum, National Museum in Szczecin.
Agriculture primarily consists of raising livestock, forestry, fishery and the cultivation of cereals, sugar beets, and potatoes. Industrial food processing is increasingly relevant in the region. Since the late 19th century, tourism has become an important sector of the economy, primarily in the numerous seaside resorts along the coast. Key producing industries are shipyards, mechanical engineering facilities (i.a. renewable energy components), sugar refineries, paper and wood fabricators. Service industries today are an important economical factor in Pomerania, most notably with logistics, information technology, life sciences/biotechnology/health care and other high tech branches often clustering around research facilities of the Pomeranian universities.
- German exonyms (Pomorze)
- History of Pomerania
- Kashubian-Pomeranian Association
- Pomerania State Museum
- Pomeranian (dog)
- Pomeranian (disambiguation)
- Der Name Pommern (po more) ist slawischer Herkunft und bedeutet so viel wie „Land am Meer“. (Pommersches Landesmuseum, German)
- The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001-07
- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000, Pomerania 
- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000, Pomerania : "Pomerania is the medieval Latin form of German Pommern, itself a loanword in German from Slavic. The Polish word for Pomerania is Pomorze, composed of the preposition po, "along, by," and morze, "sea." The Slavic word for sea, more, which becomes morze in Polish, comes from the Indo-European noun *mori–, "sea," the source of Latin mare, "sea," and the mer- of English mermaid."
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.23,24, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- e.g. here (Sheperd Atlas), or in old Enc Britannica
- Johannes Hoops, Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, Walter de Gruyter, p.422, ISBN 3-11-017733-1
- From the First Humans to the Mesolithic Hunters in the Northern German Lowlands, Current Results and Trends - THOMAS TERBERGER. From: Across the western Baltic, edited by: Keld Møller Hansen & Kristoffer Buck Pedersen, 2006, ISBN 87-983097-5-7 OCLC 43087092, Sydsjællands Museums Publikationer Vol. 1 
- Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, 1999, pp.18ff, ISBN 83-906184-8-6
- Horst Wernicke, Greifswald, Geschichte der Stadt, Helms, 2000, pp.16ff, ISBN 3-931185-56-7
- A. W. R. Whittle, Europe in the Neolithic: The Creation of New Worlds, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p.198, ISBN 0-521-44920-0
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.22,23, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Joachim Herrmann, Die Slawen in Deutschland, Akademie-Verlag Berlin, 1985, pp.pp.237ff,244ff
- Joachim Herrmann, Die Slawen in Deutschland, Akademie-Verlag Berlin, 1985, pp.261,345ff
- Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, 1999, p.32, ISBN 83-906184-8-6 OCLC 43087092:pagan reaction of 1005
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.25, ISBN 3-88680-272-8: pagan uprising that also ended the Polish suzerainty in 1005
- A. P. Vlasto, Entry of Slavs Christendom, CUP Archive, 1970, p.129, ISBN 0-521-07459-2: abandoned 1004 - 1005 in face of violent opposition
- Nora Berend, Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' C. 900-1200, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p.293, ISBN 0-521-87616-8, ISBN 978-0-521-87616-2
- David Warner, Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, Manchester University Press, 2001, p.358, ISBN 0-7190-4926-1, ISBN 978-0-7190-4926-2
- Michael Borgolte, Benjamin Scheller, Polen und Deutschland vor 1000 Jahren: Die Berliner Tagung über den "Akt von Gnesen", Akademie Verlag, 2002, p.282, ISBN 3-05-003749-0, ISBN 978-3-05-003749-3
- James Thayer Addison, Medieval Missionary: A Study of the Conversion of Northern Europe Ad 500 to 1300, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, pp.57ff, ISBN 0-7661-7567-7
- Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, 1999, pp.35ff, ISBN 83-906184-8-6 OCLC 43087092
- Gerhard Krause, Horst Robert Balz, Gerhard Müller, Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp.40ff, ISBN 3-11-015435-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.34ff,87,103, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Jan M. Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, 1999, p.43, ISBN 83-906184-8-6 OCLC 43087092
- Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, 1999, pp.77ff, ISBN 83-906184-8-6 OCLC 43087092
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.45ff, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.115,116, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.186, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.205–212, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Richard du Moulin Eckart, Geschichte der deutschen Universitäten, Georg Olms Verlag, 1976, pp.111,112, ISBN 3-487-06078-7
- Gerhard Krause, Horst Robert Balz, Gerhard Müller, Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp.43ff, ISBN 3-11-015435-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.263,332,341–343,352–354, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.341-343, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.363,364, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.366, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Leni Yahil, Ina Friedman, Haya Galai, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945, Oxford University Press US, 1991, ISBN 0-19-504523-8, p.138: February 12/13, 1940, 1,300 Jews of all sexes and ages, extreme cruelty, no food allowed to be taken along, cold, some died during deportation, cold and snow during resettlement, 230 dead by March 12, Lublin reservation chosen in winter, 30,000 Germans resettled before to make room 
- Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.512-515, ISBN 3-88680-272-8
- Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, pp.373ff, ISBN 83-906184-8-6 OCLC 43087092
- Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeiten, pp.381ff, ISBN 83-906184-8-6 OCLC 43087092
- Tomasz Kamusella in Prauser and Reeds (eds), The Expulsion of the German communities from Eastern Europe, p.28, EUI HEC 2004/1 
- Philipp Ther, Ana Siljak, Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe, 1944-1948, 2001, p.114, ISBN 0-7425-1094-8, ISBN 978-0-7425-1094-4
- Entwicklungsprioritäten der Metropolregion Stettin (German PDF; 1,7 MB)
- "Muzeum Pomorza Środkowego - Strona główna". Muzeum.slupsk.pl. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Muzeum w Darłowie - Zamek Książąt Pomorskich zaprasza". Muzeumdarlowo.pl. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Muzeum w Koszalinie". Muzeum.koszalin.pl. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie - Aktualności". Muzeum.szczecin.pl. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pomerania.|
- Western Pomerania at DMOZ
- Pomerania at DMOZ
- Kuyavia and Pomerania at DMOZ
- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at DMOZ
Culture and history
- Pomeranian dukes castle in Szczecin (Polish, German, English)
- Pomeranian (German)
- "Pomerania". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Collection of historical eBooks about Pomerania (German)
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pomerania". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Maps of Pomerania
- Map of Pomerania as in 1905, in German Wikipedia
- Woiewództwa Pomorskie i Małborskie oraz Pomerania Elektorska, G.B.A.Rizzi-Zannoni 1772
- FEEFHS Map Room: German Empire - East (1882) - Pommern (Pomerania), Prussia
- Pomerania in 1789