East Prussia

Province of East PrussiaEastern PrussiaEast PrussianEast-PrussiaEastOstpreußenPrussia1. East PrussiaOstpreussen 1. East Prussia
East Prussia (Ostpreußen, ; Prusy Wschodnie; Rytų Prūsija; Borussia orientalis; Восточная Пруссия) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878 (with the Kingdom itself being part of the German Empire from 1871); following World War I it formed part of the Weimar Republic's Free State of Prussia, until 1945.wikipedia
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Lithuanians

LithuanianLithuanian peopleLithuanian diaspora
Because of Germanization and colonisation over the following centuries, Germans became the dominant ethnic group, while Masurians and Lithuanians formed minorities.
Most Lithuanians belong to the Roman Catholic Church, while the Lietuvininkai who lived in the northern part of East Prussia prior to World War II, were mostly Evangelical Lutherans.

Polish Corridor

Danzig CorridorCorridoraccess to the Baltic sea
However, the Treaty of Versailles following World War I granted West Prussia to Poland and made East Prussia an exclave of Weimar Germany (the new Polish Corridor separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany), while the Memel Territory was detached and annexed by Lithuania in 1923.
The Polish Corridor (Polnischer Korridor; Pomorze, Korytarz polski), also known as the Danzig Corridor, Corridor to the Sea or Gdańsk Corridor, was a territory located in the region of Pomerelia (Pomeranian Voivodeship, eastern Pomerania, formerly part of West Prussia), which provided the Second Republic of Poland (1920–1939) with access to the Baltic Sea, thus dividing the bulk of Germany (Weimar Republic) from the province of East Prussia.

Evacuation of East Prussia

evacuatedfledevacuation
The German population of the province was largely evacuated during the war or expelled shortly afterwards in the expulsion of Germans after World War II.
The evacuation of East Prussia was the movement of German civilian population and military personnel from East Prussia between 20 January and March 1945, that was initially organized and carried out by state authorities but quickly turned into a chaotic flight from the Red Army.

Masurians

MazurMasurianMasurs
Because of Germanization and colonisation over the following centuries, Germans became the dominant ethnic group, while Masurians and Lithuanians formed minorities.
Before World War II and its post-war expulsions, Masurians used to be a more numerous ethnic group found in the southern parts of East Prussia for centuries following the 16th century Protestant Reformation.

Old Prussians

PrussiansOld PrussianPrussian
The bulk of the ancestral lands of the Baltic Old Prussians were enclosed within East Prussia.
The land of the Old Prussians was larger before the arrival of the Polans, consisting of central and southern East Prussia and West Prussia.

Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950)

expelledexpulsion of Germans after World War IIexpulsion of Germans
The German population of the province was largely evacuated during the war or expelled shortly afterwards in the expulsion of Germans after World War II.
During the later stages of World War II and the post-war period, Germans and Volksdeutsche fled or were expelled from various Eastern and Central European countries, including Czechoslovakia, and the former German provinces of Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia which were annexed by other countries.

Germanisation

GermanizationGermanizedGermanised
Because of Germanization and colonisation over the following centuries, Germans became the dominant ethnic group, while Masurians and Lithuanians formed minorities.
In East Prussia, forced resettlement of the "Old" or "Baltic" Prussians by the Teutonic Order as well as acculturation by immigrants from various European countries – Poles, French and Germans – contributed to the eventual extinction of the Prussian language in the 17th century.

Kaliningrad Oblast

KaliningradKaliningrad RegionOblast Kaliningrad
Following Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, war-torn East Prussia was divided at Joseph Stalin's insistence between the Soviet Union (the Kaliningrad Oblast became part of the Russian SFSR, and the constituent counties of the Klaipėda Region in the Lithuanian SSR) and the People's Republic of Poland (the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship).
The territory was formerly the northern part of East Prussia, with the southern part now being Poland's Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship.

Province of Prussia

Prussiamergerof Prussia
Between 1829 and 1878, the Province of East Prussia was joined with West Prussia to form the Province of Prussia.
Prussia was established as a province of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1829 from the provinces of East Prussia and West Prussia, and was dissolved in 1878 when the merger was reversed.

Free State of Prussia

PrussiaPrussianState of Prussia
East Prussia (Ostpreußen, ; Prusy Wschodnie; Rytų Prūsija; Borussia orientalis; Восточная Пруссия) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878 (with the Kingdom itself being part of the German Empire from 1871); following World War I it formed part of the Weimar Republic's Free State of Prussia, until 1945.
These losses separated East Prussia from the rest of the country, now only accessible by rail through the Polish corridor or by sea.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarWorld War One
However, the Treaty of Versailles following World War I granted West Prussia to Poland and made East Prussia an exclave of Weimar Germany (the new Polish Corridor separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany), while the Memel Territory was detached and annexed by Lithuania in 1923.
In 1911, the Russian Stavka had agreed with the French to attack Germany within 15 days of mobilisation; this was unrealistic and the two Russian armies that entered East Prussia on 17 August did so without many of their support elements.

Polish People's Republic

People's Republic of PolandPolandCommunist Poland
Following Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, war-torn East Prussia was divided at Joseph Stalin's insistence between the Soviet Union (the Kaliningrad Oblast became part of the Russian SFSR, and the constituent counties of the Klaipėda Region in the Lithuanian SSR) and the People's Republic of Poland (the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship).
In compensation, the USSR gave Poland former German populated territories in Pomerania, Silesia, and Brandenburg east of the Oder–Neisse line, plus the southern half of East Prussia.

West Prussia

Province of West PrussiaWestWestpreußen
Between 1829 and 1878, the Province of East Prussia was joined with West Prussia to form the Province of Prussia.
West Prussia was dissolved in 1829 and merged with East Prussia to form the Province of Prussia, but was re-established in 1878 when the merger was reversed and became part of the German Empire.

Lithuania

LTURepublic of LithuaniaLithuanian
However, the Treaty of Versailles following World War I granted West Prussia to Poland and made East Prussia an exclave of Weimar Germany (the new Polish Corridor separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany), while the Memel Territory was detached and annexed by Lithuania in 1923.
In January 1923, Lithuania staged the Klaipėda Revolt and captured Klaipėda Region (Memel territory) which was detached from East Prussia by the Treaty of Versailles.

Lithuania Minor

Prussian LithuaniaMažoji LietuvaLithuanian
Kursenieki inhabited the areas around the Curonian lagoon, while Lithuanian-speaking Prussians concentrated in the northeast in (Lithuania Minor).
Lithuania Minor (Mažoji Lietuva; Kleinlitauen; Litwa Mniejsza; Máлая Литвá), or Prussian Lithuania (Prūsų Lietuva; Preußisch-Litauen, Litwa Pruska), is a historical ethnographic region of Prussia, later East Prussia in Germany, where Prussian Lithuanians (or Lietuvininkai) lived.

Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship

Warmia-MasuriaWarmian-MasurianWarmińsko-Mazurskie
Following Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, war-torn East Prussia was divided at Joseph Stalin's insistence between the Soviet Union (the Kaliningrad Oblast became part of the Russian SFSR, and the constituent counties of the Klaipėda Region in the Lithuanian SSR) and the People's Republic of Poland (the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship).
The throne was inherited by Frederick I of Prussia who wanted to unite the Duchy with Brandenburg and also wanted to proclaim himself king of Prussia and therefore participated in the Russian-initiated Partitions of Poland in which Warmia was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia, and henceforth became part of the newly established province of East Prussia until 1945.

Germans

Germanethnic Germanethnic Germans
Because of Germanization and colonisation over the following centuries, Germans became the dominant ethnic group, while Masurians and Lithuanians formed minorities.
Germans were also forced to leave the former eastern territories of Germany, which were annexed by Poland (Silesia, Pomerania, parts of Brandenburg and southern part of East Prussia) and the Soviet Union (northern part of East Prussia).

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
Following Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, war-torn East Prussia was divided at Joseph Stalin's insistence between the Soviet Union (the Kaliningrad Oblast became part of the Russian SFSR, and the constituent counties of the Klaipėda Region in the Lithuanian SSR) and the People's Republic of Poland (the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship).
In March 1939, Hitler demanded the return of the Free City of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, a strip of land that separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany.

Sambia Peninsula

SambiaSamlandSambian Peninsula
Prior to 1945 it formed an important part of East Prussia.

Kingdom of Prussia

PrussiaPrussianPrussian court
East Prussia (Ostpreußen, ; Prusy Wschodnie; Rytų Prūsija; Borussia orientalis; Восточная Пруссия) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878 (with the Kingdom itself being part of the German Empire from 1871); following World War I it formed part of the Weimar Republic's Free State of Prussia, until 1945.
The new territory connected the Province of East Prussia (the territory previously known as the Duchy of Prussia) with the Province of Pomerania, uniting the kingdom's eastern territories.

Battle of Eylau

Eylauinvasion of PolandBattle of Preussisch Eylau
The French troops immediately took up pursuit but were delayed in the Battle of Eylau on 9 February 1807 by an East Prussian contingent under General Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq.
The Battle of Eylau or Battle of Preussisch-Eylau, 7 and 8 February 1807, was a bloody and inconclusive battle between Napoleon's Grande Armée and the Imperial Russian Army under the command of Levin August von Bennigsen near the town of Preussisch Eylau in East Prussia.

War of the Fourth Coalition

Fourth CoalitionFourthPrussian campaign
On 14 June, Napoleon ended the War of the Fourth Coalition with his victory at the Battle of Friedland.
They then advanced all the way to East Prussia, Poland and the Russian frontier, where they fought an inconclusive battle against the Russians at the Battle of Eylau on 7–8 February 1807.

Seven Years' War

Seven Years’ WarSeven Years WarThe Seven Years' War
The province was overrun by Imperial Russian troops during the Seven Years' War.
Their real desire, however, was to destroy Frederick's power altogether, reducing his sway to his electorate of Brandenburg and giving East Prussia to Poland, an exchange that would be accompanied by the cession of the Polish Duchy of Courland to Russia.

Prince-Bishopric of Warmia

Bishopric of WarmiaBishopric of ErmlandErmland
In the 1772 First Partition of Poland, the Prussian king Frederick the Great annexed neighboring Royal Prussia, i.e., the Polish voivodeships of Pomerania (Gdańsk Pomerania or Pomerelia), Malbork, Chełmno and the Prince-Bishopric of Warmia, thereby connecting his Prussian and Farther Pomeranian lands and cutting the rest of Poland from the Baltic coast.
Its territory, Warmia (Ermeland) was incorporated into the Prussian province of East Prussia.

Gumbinnen (region)

GumbinnenGumbinnen RegionRegierungsbezirk Gumbinnen
In the course of the Prussian restoration by the 1815 Congress of Vienna, the East Prussian territories were re-arranged in the Regierungsbezirke of Gumbinnen and Königsberg.
Regierungsbezirk Gumbinnen was a Regierungsbezirk, or government region, of the Prussian province of East Prussia from 1815 until 1945.