Talk:East Prussia

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present legal status ?[edit]

Strange article, seems to be unfinished: Does not even tell you what is the present legal status of the geographic region of "East Prussia". MW9123 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

East Prussia doesn't exist anymore. It belongs to Russia (by conquest)and Poland by treaty. (talk) 22:36, 26 January 2017 (UTC)

Article's agenda[edit]

Since there seems to be some kind of anti-Polish or worse agenda on the Prussia pages bent on maintaining the idea of a Greater Prussia centered on Brandenburg to the exclusion of Prussia proper's historic limited Baltic identity, I wonder what anyone else thinks about combining the history of Baltic Prussia and Ducal Prussia either with this page or combining all these pages with the Kaliningrad Oblast and Warmia_i_Mazury pages.Zestauferov 15:26, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The name is the same but the people, their religion, political loyalty, language etc. are completely different, therefore I think we definitely need separate articles for Baltic Prussia, Monastic Prussia, Ducal Prussia, Royal Prussia, Brandenburg-Prussia, East Prussia, West Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia, Warmia, Masuria and the Oblast. Space Cadet 23:42, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Well there are 12,000+ Prussians now living in the Oblast and their organizational leaders calim they are the same people who have always been there. They consider themselves true Prussians distinct from the Brandenburg wannabe pretenders whose ancestors always wanted independence and simply adopted a german language for convenience sake. Only the officials call them ethnic Germans. The ideas of seperate articles is all well and good as long as the main page Prussia is a kind of disamniguation, but the Greater-Prussia advocates (re-named having taken your advice and edited our posts to avoid offence) are bent upon siezing that page only for Freistaat Prussia and its own previous manifestations.Zestauferov 06:47, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Aren't those "Prussians" considered Lithuanians, don't they speak a dialect of Lithuanian and isn't that part of Oblast called "Mazoji Lietuva"?
Space Cadet 14:17, 28 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This article needs certainly some editing...

"Appealing to the spirit of ancient heritage in the area, "Baltic Germans" were sucked in by Hitler's speeches (as were Germans across Europe), and as the many other ethnicities (most notably Jews, Poles, and Lithuanians) in Prussia were not allowed to vote, Hitler apparently gained quite a few supporters winning a good majority of the "ethnic German" votes in this multi-ethnic and historically richly Yiddish region. Historically Jews had played an important role in the region; although the Jewish religious perspective on Christ was not popular, anti-Semitism seems to have been non-existent there up to 1918. Not coincidentally Hitler formed his Gestapo there to counter Communist revolutionary propaganda. "

"Gradually, all men were conscripted to Wehrmacht, where they either were killed in action or taken prisoners of war."

Removed that parts and edited some stuff. Mainly stuff that claimed, the germans fled completely out of fear of the soviets, and empty lands were resettled by polish people etc... Just stuff that did intentionally not mention polish responsibility in the expulsion of the german population, but instead blamed the russians for it exclusively.

Concerning the ballot a polish explanation, though unfortunately here in German:


Would somebody please enlighten me, why a pro-polish bias was deemed necessary to be put into the article by user ? Also, why he deleted the subsection WW II and put everything, e.g. expulsion of Germans, Annexing of East Prussia etc. etc. under "Nazi reign" ? Also why East Prussia was divided by the Potsdam Conference between Poland and Soviet Union, but ANNEXED only by the soviet union...? Did User 217.etc. not like the term "annexed" for something Poland was doing ? Why is the forceful expulsion of the german population so nicely called "transfer", why was the mentioning of civil casualties during that "transfer" deleted ? And what ist this crap about Hitler forming the Gestapo [in East Prussia] to counter communist revolutionary propaganda ? Further, why is a part i removed (for good reason) in which it is ridiculously claimed, that Jews, Poles and Lithuanians were not allowed to vote in Prussia, put back by User 217.etc. ?


PS: Thanks to the users correcting my, sometimes widespread, spelling errors... PPS: Reverted to the old version.

Feel the need to justify a bit more in detail my revert. I do not consider the version by (and which was reverted back to by appropriate, for this version has, first of all, rather bad grammar and spelling. So i wonder why 167etc. reverted back to this version - probably because of its content:

Several times mentioning of Germany's official policy of suppressing polish thoughts, culture and language, "bloody conquest by teuton knights", beating of polish kids who speak polish and the like. I see the point, but everything of this is sounding simply as "The Germans are bad, and therefore it was only right this once German lands came to Poland". The Reality is a bit more complex, and should be depicted as such in an encyclopia as Wikipedia.


Okay, i'm listening to your arguments...


Prusia Oriental[edit]

So, the English name is there because this is an Encyclopedia in English. The German, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian ones, because people speaking those languages lived, fought or died there historically. But why the Dutch and Spanish names? These nationalities aren't even mentioned in the article. -- 10:22, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

A few minor edits: - "news about [Red Army] massacres" is "rumors about massacres", otherwise give the facts, numbers and links to the corresponding wiki pages about the so-called massacres

- "Over 15,000 of these refugees, civilians as well as military, drowned" -- important to point out that half of those refugees were soldiers being transferred to the Western front to kill Americans and other Allies, or to defend Berlin, and thus were the primary reason for the attack, which otherwise would be perceived as a senseless act, which it certainly was not.

- "Russian submarines" to "Soviet submarines", USSR was much more than Russia, and was ruled single-handedly by a native of Georgia at the time

- removed _slave_ labourers of Gulag; save the slaves for ancient Egypt

- "expulsion of the German population ... from the Russian territory" -- removed Russian -- Germans were expelled from everywhere, including Poland. Why be so shy about mentioning that???

Guinness man

Killed in action ?[edit]

I'm a bit concerned about this statement in the World War II section: "most of the young people conscripted to the German army and killed in action". Was this indeed so that most of the young people were killed in action and if so is there any documentation or research to support this ? How many were killed in action ? --Lysy (talk) 18:44, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

It wasn't saying that most (over 50%) of the young people were killed. It was saying that many of the 2.49 million inhabitants were killed; most of those that were killed were young people who had been conscripted into the military. It doesn't look like a typo to me, but I'll rephrase it a little bit. Olessi 19:07, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Their was no other way for the most Germans in East Prussia than to fight they where with the back to the water and the russians killed nearly everybody. I knew serveral people witch servived this tragety. Whomen and man where fighting dieing side by side never in history probably a group of people faught so brave like the last ones on the shores south of Königsberg abattle witch is forgotten and possible will never been talled Johann

Please check this[edit]

Please check this quote allegedly said by Churchill: , if it is real. One user, who does quite nationalist statements and reverts (and calling NPOV to be nationalism and russophobia), keeps adding it to Kaliningrad Oblast article. The only refferance I was able to found is in Russian and the one he gave; if it would be a real quote it would probably be available on more places online; as well, Churchill, unlike Roosevelt, seemed to be less supportive for partitioning of East Prussia...Knyaz 09:58, 25 October 2005 (UTC)


Considering that this article is about a former German administrative division - a meaningless, arbitrary thing, not a mountain or a lake - why does it need so many names? Colonel Mustard 15:38, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Discussion moved from article to talk[edit]

The parts annexed by Poland are still heavily guarded by the central Polish government against reinstating any of the German heritage and history. Until 1990 Polish activists took measures to demolish churches, graveyards and road signs bearing indications to a German history or which were in German entirely. This Polish-Slavic nationalistic approach towards the "Recovered Territory" of southern East Prussia remains vivid even today, with old, German expellees trying to erect expulsion commemoration monuments. Except for the supported of the Roman Catholic Polish Archbishop of Warmia (Ermland), Dr. Edmund Piszcz, most Polish authorities are openly reluctant to recognise southern East Prussia's long German history and cultural heritage. Against this, the German past in the Castle of Malbork (Marienburg) is not disguised and tribute is paid to both German and Polish restorers of the heritage site over the last hundred years. This is similar to Gdansk (Danzig) where, since the fall of Communism, the visitor to the City Hall is impressed by a whole floor devoted to the (German-speaking) Free City of the inter-war years.

East Prussia as a symbol[edit]

I have moved this from the article to the talk page:

Because of its exposed position at the Imperial Russian border, its front-line position in World War I, its separation from Weimar Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the violent excesses during the occupation by the Red Army in 1945, and the evacuation and expulsion of its German population, East Prussia has become a symbol for nationalists in all involved parties for the horror of war and war crimes against civilians in general. The history of East Prussia indicates the implications of systematically planned and executed ethnic cleansings on cultural heritage, as well as on long-term economic development.

The text above is unsourced and seemingly original research. Olessi 21:07, 20 January 2007 (UTC)


Ostpreussen pronounced with an American Accent , can someone who's German pronounce it please? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Category:German natives of East Prussia[edit]

As the Category:German natives of East Prussia is repeatedly removed from biographies, mainly by a single editor with claims like (No East Prussia 1829 - 1878), I've introduced a paragraph reminding that

Apart from political institutions, East Prussia serves also as general name for the region in historical context from 13th century to 1945, when inhabitated mainly by a German-speaking population (Category:German natives of East Prussia). Its borders to the East and South, as established in the Treaty of Melno of 1422, remained unchanged for about 500 years.

-- Matthead discuß!     O       21:16, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

But the borders DID change for crying out loud! So are Elbing, Marienwerder and Marienburg a part of this supposedly generally known East Prussia or not? After all, they were located in West Prussia 1772 - 1829 and 1878 - 1918. And then (for the first time!) they ended up in East Prussia from 1918 to 1945. And what's with this term "general" name? Isn't "worms" a general name for invertebrates? Is this an encyclopedia or a Collection of Popular Stereotypes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Space Cadet (talkcontribs) 21:45, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Again for beginners in the field: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001-05 East Prussia -- DaQuirin 01:58, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Article quite biased - added bias tag[edit]

...the region was conquered by invading Teutonic Knights who either murdered and enslaved the native populaton, while turning others into serfs... and ...the demographic situation was changed and descendants of German conquerors and colonists were forced back to Germany... sounds quite biased to me. This article definitely needs a throughout NPOV check. 01:47, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


Province of East Prussia seems to be a content fork of this article. Although "East Prussia" is often used as a synonym for earlier entities such as the Duchy of Prussia, this can easily be handled by disclaimers at the top of the article. The newer article does not have any information not already found in this article. Olessi 16:54, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure. Both the Prussian province and the general history of the historical region should have their respective articles. --DaQuirin 23:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Province of Prussia[edit]

de:Provinz Preußen states that Provinz Preußen was originally used for East Prussia (Ursprünglich wurde der Name nur für Ostpreußen verwendet.). However, de:Ostpreußen states that the Duchy of Prussia became known as Altpreußen in 1701, and the province created in 1773 became "East Prussia" (Das bisher Herzogliche Preußen wurde nun Altpreußen genannt ... Aus Altpreußen und dem Ermland wurde am 31. Januar 1773 Ostpreußen, jetzt offiziell so genannt.) Olessi 17:10, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

This 1999 book mentions the former Ducal Prussia being known as Altpreußen to differentiate between the Kingdom of Prussia as a whole. Olessi 19:49, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
You won't get a perfect solution here. As this article rightly states, 'East Prussia refers to the main part of the region of Prussia.' The names 'East Prussia' and 'West Prussia' came into existence in 1773, and were established by Frederick II to solve the existing terminology problem (see Boockmann: Ost- und Westpreußen). As far as I see, 'Altpreußen' was only informal terminology after 1701. Even after 1773, Königsberg (and other cities) were, by name ('Königsberg in Preußen' or 'Königsberg [Preußen]'), situated (until 1945) 'in Prussia' with reference to the historical region, and not to the Kingdom (or later Free State) of Prussia. --DaQuirin 23:48, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Terminology continued[edit]

Under the current system of categorizing biographies by state/province of birth, people are grouped within West Prussia (1773-1824/29; 1878-1920), East Prussia (1773-1824/29; 1878-1945), and Province of Prussia (1824/29-1878). However, this leaves a rather glaring loophole - people born in former Ducal Prussia from 1701-1772. Initially it was the Kingdom of Prussia 'proper', but "Kingdom of Prussia" is usually applied to all of the Hohenzollern lands and not just former Ducal Prussia.

West Prussia was clearly established as a separate province in 1773 and 1878, but I am confused by the status of the eastern/ducal lands, specifically when "Provinz Preussen" and "Provinz Ostpreussen" were used and whether or not they were actually the same thing. It has been difficult since most English (and many German) texts use "East Prussia" even when referring to pre-1701. I checked local libraries, but the texts available do not go into enough detail to bring clarity, so I have been browsing texts from Google Books.

Toeppen's Historisch-comparative Geographie von Preussen from 1858, available on Google Books, contains a veritable wealth of information on the administrative subdivisions of the Prussian region from the Ordensland through the mid-19th century. On page 260, Toeppen lists Ducal Prussia being initially divided into three Kreise, Samland (capital: Königsberg), Natangen (Bartenstein), and Oberland (Sa(a)lfeld); each Kreis was subdivided into Hauptämter and Erbämter (p. 262).

The administrative subdivisions began to be reformed during the reigns of Elector Frederick William and especially of King Frederick William I. The latter created a Lithuanian (Tilsit) Chamber and a Prussian-German (Königsberg) Chamber in 1713 (p. 309). Out of these developed the Kriegs- und Domänenkammern Königsberg in 1723, and, from a deputation created in 1724, the Kriegs- und Domänenkammer Gumbinnen in 1736 (p. 310). Toeppen lists many of the Hauptämter and Kammerämter which the Kriegs- und Domänenkammern (or Departemente) were subdivided into in 1747 (p. 317), and mentions that the Kammerämter were commonly called Domänenämter (p. 318). Toeppen uses "Provinz Preussen" in reference to pre-1772/73 events (p. 309).

I'm not sure how the Kriegs- und Domänenkammer were delineated from the three original Kreise (Samland, Natangen, Oberland), but the latter still existed apparently by the reign of Frederick II (pp. 319). In 1752 Frederick the Great reorganized the three Kreise into ten new landrätliche Kreise: from Samland- Schaaken, Tapiau, Insterburg; from Natangen- Brandenburg, Rastenburg, Sehesten; and from Oberland- Mo(h)rungen, Marienwerder, Neidenburg (pp. 319-320). Cities were divided amongst steuerrätliche Kreise, which were started in 1688 and discarded in 1809 (p. 321).

After the First Partition of Poland in 1772, a new Kriegs- und Domänenkammer was created in Marienwerder for most of the annexed territory, while Ermland went to Kriegs- und Domänenkammer Königsberg and the Netze District was initially administered separately (pp. 321-322). Regarding administrative changes beginning in 1815 (well before the merger into the "Province of Prussia" in 1824/29), Toeppen explicitly refers to "die Provinzen Preussen und Westpreussen" (p. 338). "Provinz Preussen" is divided between Regierungsbezirke Ostpreussen (Königsberg) and Lithauen (Gumbinnen) (Kleinlitaen), and "Provinz Westpreussen" between Regierungsbezirke Danzig and Marienwerder. He later refers to "Preussen, Westpreussen, und Posen" (p.340). Regarding the personal union in 1824, Toeppen writes, "Beide Provinzen, Preussen und Westpreussen, sind im Jahre 1824 unter einem Oberpräsidenten vereinigt" (p. 342). He seems to use Ostpreussen and Lithauen as synonyms for the Kriegs- und Domänenkammer (later Regierungsbezirke) Königsberg and Gumbinnen, respectively (pp. 338, 344, 351).

German is not my native language and I might have misunderstood some of the more technical text that Toeppen uses. However, he clearly differentiates between "Preussen" (former Ducal Prussia) and "Westpreussen" (former Royal Prussia). The German article on Ostpreußen states the territory was renamed on 3 January, 1773, but Toeppen does not mention it. Preuss's 1834 Urkundenbuch zu der Lebensgeschichte Friedrichs des Großen (available on Google Books) does mention this cabinet order, stating that the new territory should be named Westpreußen instead of Neu-Preußen, while the "alte Preußische Provinzen" should be known as "Ostpreußen" (p. 227).

Provinz Preußen and numerous Landkreise articles state that "East Prussia" was officially still known as "Provinz Preußen (nicht: Ostpreußen)" in 1818. The usage of "East Prussia" in the late 18th century seems to be retroactive.

Toeppen indicates to me there were no major internal changes in East Prussia after the First Partition of Poland, although its geographic borders changed through the addition of Ermland and the subtraction of Marienwerder. As far as I can tell, the East Prussia region largely maintained administrative continuity until the Napoleonic Wars (creation of Regierungsbezirke). Frederick the Great renamed the province to "East Prussia" in January 1773, but no 'new' province was actually created. Based on Toeppen's usage of "Provinz Preussen", this name change does not seem to have caught on by the time he wrote, although it must have at least become an alternative by the end of the 18th century (hence "New East Prussia").

I'm not sure when the "Province of Prussia" was created/titled — it could have been a gradual change in nomenclature for the former duchy — but it seems to have had continuity before and after 1772/73. This Province of Prussia, with its seat in Königsberg, shared its Oberpräsident with West Prussia in 1824, and they were formally merged in 1829 (the current Province of Prussia article). Gotthold Rhode's 1956 Die Ostgebiete des Deutschen Reiches states "... die Provinz Westpreußen, die seit 1878 von der Provinz Ostpreußen abgetrennt war, ..." (p. 54). This implies to me that in 1878 West Prussia was detached from East Prussia, as opposed to two separate provinces being created from a single Province of Prussia.

Alternately, is it possible that after the crowning of Frederick I in 1701, since governmental administration and centralization was still developing, former Ducal Prussia became known equally known as "Old Prussia" (Altpreußen), "East Prussia" (Ostpreußen) and the "Province of Prussia" (Provinz Preussen) to differentiate it from the other Hohenzollern territories? The 1772 territories were dubbed "West Prussia" to differentiate them from the pre-existing "Province of Prussia". West Prussia was then merged into the Province of Prussia during the 1820s, which is why Toeppen uses the phrasing "Provinz Preussen". After 1878, however, West Prussia was reestablished as a separate province, while the Königsberg-based Province of Prussia was renamed East Prussia (but a "new" province was not created). That might explain why Rhode used the terminology 'Ostpreußen' in 1956, while Toeppen used 'Preussen' a century earlier.

Assuming that no new province was created in 1773 and that the province was merely renamed to East Prussia, here are some possibilities I have considered. Because this current East Prussia article focuses on the geographic region, as opposed to a specific administrative unit, it should continue to describe the Ordensland, Ducal Prussia, the Province of Prussia, and the Province of East Prussia.


  • "Province of East Prussia" covers former Ducal Prussia from 1701 through its renaming to "Province of East Prussia" in 1773, and ends with its merger into a joint "Province of Prussia" in 1824/29. It then restarts with the reestablishment of a separate "Province of East Prussia" in 1878, which ultimately is dissolved in 1945. This interpretation would mean expanding Province of East Prussia's content from 1773-1824/29 & 1878-1945 to 1701-1824 & 1878-1945.

Thoughts, suggestions, clarifications, alternatives? Olessi 01:21, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I have listed this at WP:RFC/HIST. My current inclination is toward the second suggestion above. Since 1701, former Ducal Prussia became known by a variety of names - the Kingdom of Prussia "proper", Altpreussen, the Province of Prussia, East Prussia, depending on the author's time period. Frederick II officially renamed the province to "East Prussia" in 1773, but no new province seems to have actually been created at the time. Even with the official renaming, some historians still referred to it as the Province of Prussia, indicating continuity before and after 1773 to me. Since all of the terms basically refer to one province now most commonly known as "East Prussia", I think Province of East Prussia should be the terminology used from 1701-1824 & 1878-1945. Because "Province of Prussia" seems solidly used in the 1824-78 time period, Province of Prussia should continue to cover that time period. Olessi (talk) 00:42, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree to use PoP only for the united provice in 19th century. -- Matthead  DisOuß   10:08, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Does it also make sense to you to use Province of East Prussia for 1701-1824, instead of just 1773-1824? Olessi (talk) 18:23, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't know, if it hasn't been proposed already, but can we intrduce an article called "Altpreussen" and then use the term to describe the territory of the Kingdom of Prussia (or "IN Prussia", for that matter), that used to be the Duchy of Prussia? Space Cadet (talk) 22:29, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
One problem is that Altpreußen/Old Prussia is not exclusively or predominantly used to refer to that time period; the only link I can find referring specifically to 1701 is this book, which is not dedicated to the history of the Prussian state. Altpreußen/Old Prussia can refer to the Old Prussians; East and West Prussia; Prussia before Napoleon; Prussia before 1848; Prussia before Königgrätz, Prussia before 1918 etc. The English and German texts I've searched through have emphasized 1772/73 as being years of importance for West Prussia, but not East Prussia; they have not indicated that an entirely new province was created (ala the Rhine Province in 1822). Former Ducal Prussia from 1701-1773 seems to be the same province as "East Prussia" (1773-1824), only with a new name. That the Province of East Prussia was also known as Altpreußen could certainly be included in bold. Olessi (talk) 23:03, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
The territories of Ducal of 1700 and East Prussia of 1773 seem too different to me (Warmia for one and western parts of former Ducal lost to West Prussia). How about coining the term former Ducal Prussia territories of the Kingdom of Prussia, or something like that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Space Cadet (talkcontribs) 01:36, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

I checked books I have close access to in order to determine exactly how the territory in question is phrased in 18th century contexts.

  • H.W. Koch: A History of Prussia (1978)
    • "After his coronation Frederick I stayed for two months in Prussia and finally returned to Berlin on 6 May 1701." (69)
    • "A kingdom such as his, spread in several pieces across northern Germany from East Prussia to the Rhine, made defence a permanent problem." (69)
    • "Nevertheless he immediately began to refer to his entire possessions as the Prussian Kingdom, while the Prussian army and all his administrative organs began to carry the prefix 'royal'. (72)
    • "The Supreme Appeal Court was as yet not the supreme court of the country. It was not the superior of but an equal institution to the Chamber Court. The province of East Prussia had its own superior tribunal, and even some of the new King's Reich territories were exempt for some time from the jurisdiction of this new court." (72-3)
    • "Towards the last years of Frederick's reign the Black Death, coming from the east during the terribly cold winter of 1709, reached East Prussia, causing immense suffering, depopulating vast areas and extending into neighbouring regions." (75)
    • Koch continues to use "East Prussia" in regard to former Ducal Prussia in the reigns of Frederick William I and Frederick II.
  • Christopher Clark: Iron Kingdom (2006)
    • Clark uses "Ducal Prussia" until 1701, after which he uses "East Prussia".
    • "The new title also had a psychologically integrating effect: the Baltic territory formerly known as Ducal Prussia was no longer a mere outlying possession of the Brandenburg heartland, but a constitutive element in a new royal-electoral amalgam that would first be known as Brandenburg-Prussia, later simply as Prussia. The words 'kingdom of Prussia' were incorporated into the official denomination of every Hohenzollern province." (77)
    • "He was only thirteen when he began attending meetings of the Privy Council in 1701; his induction into other departments of the administration followed soon after. Frederick William was therefore well versed in the inner workings of the administration when an outbreak of plague and famine in East Prussia plunged the monarchy into crisis in 1709-10." (86)
    • "The East Prussian reform programme began with the compilation of a survey of landholdings." (90)
    • "Whereas virtually all Brandenburg families married within their own provincial elite until the end of the seventeeth century, things had changed by the 1750s and 1760s, when there were signs of an increasingly enmeshed kinship structure. Almost one-half of the marriages contracted by leading families in Brandenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia were to lineages based in another Hohenzollern territory." (157)
    • Frederick II was "particularly resentful of the fact that the Estates of East Prussia had sworn an oath of fealty to his nemesis Tsaritsa Elisabeth in 1758. After 1763, Frederick, the indefatigable chief inspector of his realm, never made a single visit to East Prussia. He simply ordered the East Prussian chamber presidents to report to him in Potsdam or to attend him at his headquarters during the annual manoeuvres in West Prussia. This reflected a significant demotion in the importance of this province, which had been something of a fetish to Frederick William I and his grandfather the Great Elector." (245)
    • Regarding West Prussia, Clark writes "By the mid-1770s, the new province was contributing 10 per cent of Brandenburg-Prussian state revenues, a share that was fully proportional to its size and population." (238) He makes no reference to a new province of East Prussia from the 1770s.
  • Geoffrey Barraclough: The Origins of Modern Germany (1984)
    • Austria was more and more involved in eastern Europe and Italy (in 1736 it had bartered away Lorraine for Tuscany), and had been ready in the Seven Years War to abandon its Belgian provinces to France and East Prussia to Russia in return for support against Prussia." (402)
  • Hajo Holborn: A History of Modern Germany: 1648-1840 (1964)
    • "King Frederick William I invited the refugees from Salzburg to settle in East Prussia, and 20,000 answered his call." (24)
    • "It is difficult to see what Frederick could have gained if he had recalled his army and entered the Nordic War. Whether he would have entered the war on the side of Charles XII or August II, neither of these rulers could have afforded to give him the land bridge connecting East Pomerania and East Prussia." (119)
    • "A Russian army under Count Fermor had crossed into East Prussia in the first days of 1758." (245)
  • Ludwig Reiners: Frederick the Great (1960)
    • Reiners uses "East Prussia" exclusively through the text, which focuses on 18th century Frederician Prussia. (13, 15, 178, 184, 217)
    • "But Frederick, too, wanted his bite, that strip of Poland that ran northwards to the shores of the Baltic and separated his territories of East Prussia and Pomerania." (238)
  • Gerhard Ritter: Frederick the Great (1974)
    • "Frederick remained - in Voltaire's derisive phrase - a "King of the Border Zones." Apart from the few core provinces around Berlin, his state consisted of widely distributed territories. East Prussia was entirely isolated." (93)
    • "In short, a war against Austria and Russia was bound to be full of danger for Frederick; whether, for example, East Prussia could be held against the Russians was at least doubtful." (97)
    • "Marshal Lehwaldt, who was charged with the defense of East Prussia, was given instructions on how to conduct the relevant negotiations with the Russians after they had been defeated." (107)
    • "From East Prussia came the news that the Russians had beaten Field Marshal Lehwaldt at Grossjägersodrf, from the Lausitz that the corps there was withdrawing to Silesia, and at best hoped to be able to defend Breslau." (111)
    • "The flow of taxes to the Prussian treasury from the Westphalian provinces, from East Prussia, Magdeburg, the best part of Pomerania, and much of Silesia ceased, and Frederick's resources rapidly diminished. (111)
  • Giles MacDonogh: Frederick the Great: A Life in Deeds and Letters (2001)
    • Mean and misanthropic, Frederick William none the less had a genuine regard for the well-being of his subjects. His interest in the distant territory of East Prussia went back to his earliest years and his former tutor, Alexander von Dohna, a member of one of the province's oldest families." (23)
    • "It was typical, however, that Frederick William should attempt to kick start the East Prussian economy at the same time. The far-away Baltic province was Brandenburg's dairy, the home of Tilsit cheese and a sizeable butter-mountain." (24)
    • "In September 1735 the newly gazetted major-general accompanied the king on his annual trip to East Prussia." (127)
    • "He was obliged to go to East Prussia because that was, strictly speaking, where he was king." (142)
    • "The 1758 campaign got off to a slow start. Despite the calm in Saxony and Silesia, there had been a further shock in the Baltic provinces of New Year's Eve when the East Prussian orders had sworn an oath of loyalty to the tsarina." (274)
  • "Not all the atrocities had been committed by the Russians, and some felt that the battle might have gone much better for Frederick had the East Prussians not left the field to rob the Russian baggage train. Their action did not improve Frederick's dim view of this Baltic province, which had paid homage to its Russian invaders." (276)
  • David Kirby: Northern Europe in the Early Modern Period: The Baltic World 1492-1772 (1990)
    • In 1740, on the occasion of Frederick II's accession, the East Prussian nobility complained of the ban on travel and study abroad and the obligation to send their sons in the army." (340)
    • The East Prussian Landtag expired after 1704, although twelve interim Landräte were appointed by Frederick II at the beginning of his reign." (341)
    • "The Russians invaded East Prussia, capturing Memel and inflicting defeats on the Prussians at Gross Jägerndorf and Wehlau. Abandoning his outlying provinces, Frederick fought a rapid campaign along interior lines, defeating the French and Austrian forces at Rossbach, and rushing a superior Austrian force at Leuthen." (334)
    • "In the midst of the agricultural depression, Frederick William I embarked upon a ambitious resettlement programme in the Lithuanian border region of East Prussia, designed not only to colonise this remote area, but also to bring it more firmly under central administrative control." (354)
  • Günter Vogler and Klaus Vetter: Preußen: Von den Anfängen bis zur Reichsgründung (1979)
    • "Die hannoversche Armee wurde am 26. Juli von den Franzosen bei Hastenbeck in der Nähe von Hameln geschlagen, preußische Truppen unterlagen am 30. August den Russen bei Großjägerndorf in Ostpreußen und am 7. September den Österreichern bei Moys in der Nähe von Görlitz." (89)
  • Gotthold Rhode: Die Ostgebiete des Deutschen Reiches (1955)
    • "Während Russland große Teile Weißrutheniens mit Polozk und Witebsk und Polnisch Livland, Österreich das dichtbevölkerte Südpolen mit Lemberg (von ihm "Galizien" genannt) besetzten, erhielt Preußen mit dem Ermland und dem "Königlichen Preußen" (nun "Westpreußen" gennant) im wesentlichen nur altes Ordensgebeit, das es nur im Süden mit dem "Netzedistrikt" überschritt." (111) He does not mention anything about a new East Prussian province.
  • Herbert G. Marzian: The role of Brandenburg-Prussia in Eastern European affairs from 1648 to 1815
    • "King Frederick William I, like the Great Elector, adhered to the principle of tolerance in his great project of colonizing East Prussia, the 'Retablissement' (re-establishment) of a country depopulated by plague and by Tartar invasions." (154)
  • E. J. Feuchtwanger: Prussia: Myth and Reality (1970)
    • "A strikingly successful instance of Frederick William's policy of conservation was the rehabilitation of East Prussia, particularly its Lithuanian borderlands, which had been badly depopulated in the plague epidemic of 1709." (47)
    • "Prussia's position in Europe continued to be weak and full of dangers. In resources and population she was not the equal of of the established Great Powers. This was aggravated by the disjointed nature of her territory, which made areas like East Prussia or the Hohenzollern lands on the Lower Rhine quite indefensible." (63)
    • "Frederick had always known that Prussia could tolerate only a short war, yet here she was fighting incessantly year after year, with many of her provinces, the Lower Rhine, East Prussia, Silesia, occupied by the enemy." (66)
  • Sidney Fay: The Rise of Brandenburg-Prussia to 1786 (1964)
    • "In the following years it was worse, because the Russians marched through East Prussia to the Oder and slaughtered thousands of Prussian soldiers in bloody encounter at Zorndorf in 1758 and at Kunersdorf in 1759." (110)
  • Via Regia: Preußens Weg zur Krone (1998)
    • This book contains contemporary documents and images relating to the 1701 and 1861 coronations of Frederick I and William I. The early 1700s documents refer to the territory as the Kingdom of Prussia or simply Prussia.

While Koch and Via Regia refer to former Ducal Prussia as "Prussia" in the immediate post-coronation years, the publications I examined consistently used "East Prussia" to designate the territory of former Ducal Prussia as early as 1709, and in some texts even earlier, and the usage of "East Prussia" continues throughout other 18th century topics. Several books emphasized the creation of West Prussia after the First Partition of Poland, but none mentioned a new province of East Prussia being created at the same time. We should not be coining phrasing like former Ducal Prussia territories of the Kingdom of Prussia, as that is original research. Rather, we should be reflecting the terminology used by sources. In my readings, modern historians have seen former Ducal Prussia ca. 1701 as the same province as ca. 1773, and overwhelmingly call it "East Prussia". 18th century officials probably used a variety of terms (Prussia, Old Prussia, East Prussia, etc.) for the province as time passed, and those names should be added when verifiable, but they simply seem to be different names for the same province. Olessi (talk) 09:52, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

You are really hard working on this! Reading your summary, I would like to comment that there is often a difference between an administrative name and even a semi-official use. As I stated earlier, according to historian Hartmut Boockmann the names 'East Prussia' and 'West Prussia' came into existence as late as 1773, and were established by Frederick II himself to solve the existing terminology problem. But the case seems obvious that East Prussia was called just 'Preußen' before that. There was a similar case with the later Prussian Province of Saxony, existing alongside the Kingdom of Saxony (so if Saxony would have become annexed to Prussia...). Let me speculate, that even after 1773 the documents are not always clear on this. To remember: Königsberg (and other cities) always kept the old name 'in Preußen' until 1945 (referring to East Prussia, not the overall state). --DaQuirin (talk) 23:02, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. My understanding is that although multiple names were used for the territory during the 18th century, it was continually the same province (as opposed to the break between the Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Province of Brandenburg). With regard to the beginning of this discussion, it makes sense to me to categorize someone born in Memel in 1709 as being from East Prussia, as opposed to former Ducal Prussia. I (or other editors) may eventually add information about the Ämter, Kreise, etc. within the territory. Adding detailed information like that would be better at Province of East Prussia (currently restricted to 1773-onwards), rather than the more general East Prussia. Aside from its designation, historians don't seem to treat the province as different from the beginning and end of the 18th century. If the terminology should be emphasized, a suggestion is to have separate Province of Prussia (1701-1773) and Province of Prussia (1824-1878) (or Province of Prussia (1829-1878)) articles. Olessi (talk) 01:47, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure about the name, but the "province" kept its legal (?) identity throughout the 18th century. The deeper problem is to fix the moment when the overall state of Prussia came into existence. The transition from a group of distinct 'sovereign' territories led by the same monarch (under different titles) to the state of Prussia is a complex process (like with so many other German states). The coronation of 1701 in Königsberg is an important date, but the "King in Prussia" (became King of Prussia after the takeover of West Prussia) was strictly speaking only King in the territories of former Ducal Prussia. But the situation changed. A form of united government for the different territories was created (but when exactly?). As far as I know, the term "Kingdom of Prussia" (for the whole set of territories) was used early on, but informally by the public before it gained any legal meaning. So if I am right with this, "province" after 1701 would not be the proper name of East Prussia - it was a kingdom then, and only after time there was need to change the terminology. Nevertheless, former Ducal / the "Kingdom" or whatever / Province (East) Prussia kept its continuity without any evident break. --DaQuirin (talk) 13:05, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks again for the feedback. I'll search through my texts later to see if I can find an exact date for when the overall state formally came into existence. Regarding former Ducal Prussia, because continuity was maintained until 1824/29 (union of East Prussia with West Prussia), it seems best to me to describe the entire 1701-1820s time period within one Province of East Prussia article, in which the varying terminology is explained. Olessi (talk) 19:43, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
This should be a good practical solution. I will check myself the question of the emergence of the united Prussian state, though I fear it's difficult to find a single date. But let's see, what the books tell. --DaQuirin (talk) 18:41, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I checked through a few of my texts to see what I could find.

From H. W. Koch's A History of Prussia

  • After his coronation Frederick was officially called King in rather than of Prussia. This was because of objections from the Poles who still held some parts of the former territory of the Teutonic Order. Nevertheless he immediately began to refer to his entire possessions as the Prussian Kingdom, while the Prussian army and all his administrative organs began to carry the prefix 'royal'. (p. 72)
  • Although Frederick the Great had fostered the tendency to refer to 'Prussia', meaning all the King's possessions, up to 1807 the country was still referred to as 'all his Royal Majesty's provinces and domains'. In 1807 it was decreed 'that the entire country will be called Prussia from now on'. (p. 171)

From Sidney Fay's The Rise of Brandenburg-Prussia to 1786

  • Though only king "in Prussia," Elector Frederick III was soon known as Frederick I, King of Prussia; people spoke of the "Royal Prussian Army"; and the administration in all his provinces was henceforth known as the "Royal Prussian Administration." The crown became a new symbol of unity. (p. 82)

From Christopher Clark's Iron Kingdom

  • One little-known but highly emblematic initiative in which Hardenberg was involved was the reform of the old chancellery style in official communications. This issue first came to the fore in March 1800, when it was proposed that the long-winded nomine regis starting with the words 'We Frederick William III' and listing all the king's titles in descending order of importance, should be omitted from the header of government documents. WHen the matter was discussed in the state ministry on 7 April 1800, virtually all of the ministers were opposed, arguing that removal of the full title would dominish the authority of utterances stemming from the government. But on the following day Hardenberg submitted a separate judgement expressing his support for a much more radical reform to the language of public and official communications. The chancellery style that was currently used, he wrote, was that of a 'bygone age'; but whereas the age ahd changed, '[the style] has remained'. There was thus no reason why the state authority should maintain the 'barbaric written style of an uneducated era'. Little came of this spirited intervention in 1800, but ten years later, the nomine regis was abolished by a law of 27 October 1810 that carried Hardenberg's and the king's signatures. (p. 342-3)

Fay and Koch indicate that prior to Jena, the Prussian kings preferred to refer to their territories as the Kingdom of Prussia, but do not indicate that this was the formal designation for a united state. Koch specifies 1807 as the change in nomenclature, but does not give a specific date or document. Olessi (talk) 22:20, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Does Poland have a Historic Claim on Northern East Prussia?[edit]

It would seem that Poland would have more of a historic claim on Northern East Prussia than Russia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:15, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

based on what? (talk) 13:44, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
maybe based in part on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth history (see Wikipedia, subj: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Fixation on Königsberg?[edit]

The last part of this article seems quite fixated on Königsberg. I find this a bit odd for an article entitled "East Prussia." What, did Königsberg comprise most of the population of East Prussia or most of its territory after WWII? RobertM525 (talk) 07:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

East Prussia affected by 1990 German Peace Treaty[edit]

Hidden in Article 1 of the 1990 German Peace Treaty is Germany's acknowledgment that it has no claims against all former German provinces east of the Oder-Neisse boundary. So, after 45 years (1945-1990) in "temporary administered" status, the Oder-(Western)Neisse Line was recognized in International Law as Poland's western border. Likewise, per interpretation of their above no claims acknowledgment, the Germans have no claims on their former province of East Prussia. Again, after 45 years in legal limbo for East Prussia as an "Adminstered" area between Russia & Poland, the line separating the two administered areas in East Prussia became subject to recognition by International Law, following the 1990 German Peace Treaty, as the (only) border line between Poland and Russia. Poland's borders to the East are with Ukraine and with Belarus (Belorussia). Lithuania extends to Poland's north eastern border between Belarus and the former northern part of East Prussia. The Soviet Union claimed to have given a name to their "temporarily administered" northern part of East Prussia, but International Law doesn't recognize nations charged with temporary administration of parts of another nation renaming their administered part. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:53, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Please fix this error[edit]

This article (as of July 1, 2016, contains the sentence "Because the duchy was outside of the core Holy Roman Empire, the prince-electors of Brandenburg were able to proclaim themselves King of Prussia beginning in 1701." That's wrong. In 1701 it was King IN Prussia. Not King OF Prussia until such time as there was no longer a Holy Roman Emperor.2604:2000:C682:B600:F9A6:974F:83CB:9E2C (talk) 14:57, 1 July 2016 (UTC)Christopher L. Simpson