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Future of Kaliningrad Oblast - is it possible to annex by Poland or will it become an independent country?


Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
26 Jul 2015 #61
Anyway.....

Kaliningrad is a tragic story. And now Russia would protect their "gift in war reparations" with nuclear weapons. They really don't need to as nobody would want to take it from them. From being the most beautiful city on the Baltic, the area is now a concrete living hell for those Russians who have the great misfortune to live there. They have subsidies and cheap flights to Russia, but it is a militarised zone and I would have thought everybody who could, must have married a Pole et al years ago to get out.
Crow 139 | 8,358
26 Jul 2015 #62
Kaliningrad Oblast as part of Poland was mentioned in our academic circles, as i can remember. It was in time when Ukrainian crisis started. Discussion was closely related to the possibilities of the Polish-Russian historical reconciliation at the same time when Ukrainian-Russian issue have to be settled. All that in the context of the long term border solution, strategically sustainable, between future Commonwealth around Poland (the one Pilsudski suggested) and Eurasian Union around Russia.

But, seams that things don`t move in good direction in a situation when Russia just cope to respond to challenges by the western Europe and USA, while Poland work against its own interests. Opposing forces have decisive control, at least for now..
WestPrussian
26 Jul 2015 #63
"Because they're Russian." ... So what? Many of these "Russians" have developed a separate identity and this does not exclude preferring closer ties to Germany over Russia.

"It was." ... Which means what exactly in terms of Poland caving in?

"They did." ... Was that in 1939 by any chance? No, of course not. The Poles belatedly got around to doing something when it was believed that Germany was being defeated.
jon357 63 | 15,440
26 Jul 2015 #64
Many of these "Russians" have developed a separate identity and this does not exclude preferring closer ties to Germany over Russia.

Why 'Russians' and not Russians? And by the way, no they haven't developed any such identity. Kaliningrad has nothing to do with Germany or Germans. The last ones fled with their tails between their legs decades ago.

Poland caving in

Fighting to the bitter end is a better way of putting it.

The Poles belatedly got around to doing something when it was believed that Germany was being defeated.

Given the cruelty of the vile German regime I'd say their choices were somewhat limited. Wouldn't you?
TheOther 6 | 3,818
26 Jul 2015 #65
Kaliningrad has nothing to do with Germany or Germans.

Present day Kaliningrad has nothing to do with the Germans anymore, correct, but Königsberg had everything to do with them.

The last ones fled with their tails between their legs decades ago.

Get your facts straight:

"About 120,000 survivors remained in the ruins of the devastated city. These survivors, mainly women, children and the elderly, plus a few others who had returned immediately after the fighting ended, were held as slave labourers until 1949. The vast majority of the German civilians left in Königsberg after 1945 died from disease or starvation, or in revenge-driven ethnic cleansing. The remaining 20,000 German residents were expelled in 1949-50."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%B6nigsberg
jon357 63 | 15,440
27 Jul 2015 #66
Present day Kaliningrad has nothing to do with the Germans anymore, correct, but Königsberg had everything to do with them.

Konigberg is nothing more than a historical term,

were held as slave labourers until 1949

They were very lucky indeed that the rest of Europe didn't use them in the same way to rebuild the damage (both material and economic) from the war that they, and nobody else but they, had started. And done that until all economies other than their own had returned to pre-war levels.

died from disease or starvation, or in revenge-driven ethnic cleansing

Nothing they hadn't delliberately and thoroughly visited upon others, including in Kaliningrad Oblast and especially in Poland, during that shameful period.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
27 Jul 2015 #67
So the former inhabitants of East Prussia, the woman and children, are the sole responsible people for the outbreak of WWII?

Besides that "Königsberg" maybe a historical term now, but I bet it will be the future name of the city in twenty or thirty years because it is very unlikely that the city will be named after mass murderer Kalinin forever! Don't get me wrong! Like the vast majority of Germany I don't want East Prussia back! The root has been torn out in 1945, and Germany, the same as Poland and Lithuania by the way, does not have the demographic power to recolonize it.

Therefore I think it should be the major goal of all Europeans to ensure that the Kaliningrad Oblast does not cause any trouble in the future for its neighbours.
jon357 63 | 15,440
27 Jul 2015 #68
So the former inhabitants of East Prussia, the woman and children, are the sole responsible people for the outbreak of WWII?

Don't forget the rest of the Germans.

I suppose we could analyse voting patterns in the early 30s or levels of actual support for the German regime afterwards, however responsibility is collective and collectively only Germans are responsible. As a nation they acknowledge this - and (in the British zone of occupation at any rate) got off extremely lightly afterwards. To lose Kaliningrad and the great chunks of land that are now Poland is as nothing compared to what they did to others.

To stick to the thread, no it is not possible for Poland to 'annexe' it, nor is it going to become an independent country. The residents are very secure in their identity as Russians.
TheOther 6 | 3,818
27 Jul 2015 #69
Jon, I only quoted from Wikipedia because you said that "the last ones (Germans) fled with their tails between their legs decades ago." That is historically incorrect.

however responsibility is collective and collectively only Germans are responsible.

Try past tense: responsibility WAS collective and collectively only Germans WERE responsible. Or do you want to blame present day Russians for Stalin's gulags, or Americans for slavery in their country? This is not about forgetting the Holocaust, but about stopping to blame people who weren't even alive when all this happened.
jon357 63 | 15,440
27 Jul 2015 #70
There was a huge (and sensible) rush to leave - in fact those fleeing Kaliningrad ahead of the Red Army were a huge strain on resources for Germany.

And no, I don't think people can be blamed for things before their lifetime, however there is a strong case for reparations today to some of the Eastern Bloc countries that did not receive any. Kaliningrad would not count among them.

It's still definitely Russian now, whether we like that or not, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
27 Jul 2015 #71
It's still definitely Russian now, whether we like that or not, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

I agree on that. I don't see that Russia is going to give up Kaliningrad. Why should they?

Nevertheless if things in Russia should continue to go wrong - what I don't hope - and Russia should destabilize to such an extent that at least parts of it break apart, then we would be stupid if we didn't make any mind games. To me it is pretty clear that Kaliningrad could not become part of another state, neither Poland nor Lithuania nor Germany. It could become an independent state or semi-autonomous territory, embedded in European structures. But the territory surely would remain a Russian speaking territory with Russian traditions. It is not unlikely that many cities in the territory will get their original German names back, eventually. The city with the ridiculous name "Sovetsk" at the Lithuanian border, until 1946 known under the reputable name "Tilsit" is begging for years in Moscow to get its old name back, but Putin refuses.

I suppose we could analyse voting patterns in the early 30s or levels of actual support for the German regime afterwards

Nazi Germany wouldn't have been so terrifying successful if it hadn't had millions of supporters among other nations! Also there were millions of Germans either unpolitical or in opposition to the Nazis.

Responsible for the Nazi crimes are those who perpetrated them, either German - which the vast majority of the Nazi apparatus was - or any other nation! And a German child that was so unfortunate to be in East Prussia in January 1945 surely was not responsible for her fate. I hope we can agree on that!
jon357 63 | 15,440
28 Jul 2015 #72
if it hadn't had millions of supporters among other nations!

I'm not sure you can blame the Italians, the Vichy French etc for the fate of Kaliningrad.

Also there were millions of Germans either unpolitical or in opposition to the Nazis.

Indeed, however much they may be victims too, it would be far too hard (probably impossible) to weed out every German in former-Konigsberg to find ones who had never, in any way whatsoever, benefitted from the post-1933 regime in order to let them stay in Kaliningrad.

Responsible for the Nazi crimes are those who perpetrated them

See above. Even those who disliked the regime didn't hold back from accepting its material benefits.

But the territory surely would remain a Russian speaking territory with Russian traditions.

Russia would fight that tooth and nail. Your Tilsit/Tylzyc/Sovetsk example is just a symptom of it, but a fairly telling one. The Russian military tradition is firmly entrenched in Kaliningrad - not just the state but the people. Even some of teh proposals for a free economic zone were rebuffed.

And a German child that was so unfortunate to be in East Prussia in January 1945 surely was not responsible for her fate.

Yes - Children and animals are the silent victims of war.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
28 Jul 2015 #73
I'm not sure you can blame the Italians, the Vichy French etc for the fate of Kaliningrad.

Hey Jon, I never doubted that the destructive politics of the Nazi governement ist responsible for the annihilation of permanent German presence east of the rivers Oder and Neisse! I just wanted to make clear that not every German was a Nazi and some people were Nazis without being German.

It should be noted that the NSDAP had extraordinary high election results in East Prussia, especially in Mazuria, despite the fact hat many people there still spoke their Polish-Mazowian dialect as venacular.

in any way whatsoever, benefitted from the post-1933 regime in order to let them stay in Kaliningrad.

If everyone is guilty who benefits from an injust situation then we all in the first world are doomed, because our way of life and life standard is based on the abuse and looting of third world resources!

There is a German proverb, problably there is a similar Polish phrase too: "Wer den Wind sät, wird den Sturm ernten!" (Those who sow the wind will reap the storm!)
jon357 63 | 15,440
28 Jul 2015 #74
If everyone is guilty who benefits ...

Pretty well true.

In Kaliningrad it's complicated. The behaviour of the Russians in 1945 was certainly inhumane. The behaviour of the citizens there who voted for and supported the NDSAP (Koenigsberg was a stronghold for them) was equally inhumane.

One great tragedy about Kaliningrad was the sweeping away of centuries of history, though of course that process had started more than a decade before the Russians came and nothing can now bring it back, not even a change in the city's status.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
28 Jul 2015 #75
So many things got lost irretrievably in central and eastern Europe. The older I get the more I understand the magnitude of crime and malefaction that was caused by National Socialism (and not to forget Stalinism too, of course).

I once saw a great French-German documentary (filmed in 2004) about the Kaliningrad/Königsberg situation, which I can highly recommend to anyone who is interessted in the topic:

docuwiki.net/index.php?title=Koenigsberg_is_Dead
jon357 63 | 15,440
28 Jul 2015 #76
I'll watch that - it sounds interesting. Whenever I'm in the bits of Poland nearest to Kaliningrad I always think of The House by Mike Figgis (his first film, sponsored by Channel 4 back in the 80s) which is set on the basis of England being a in territory bordering the former East Prussia sometime in the 1880s. It's an amazing thing and looks at the vagaries of history in that region. The film ends with Poland invading.

It's been unavailable for decades but a grainy VHS copy appeared about a year ago on YouTube, allegedly put there by the man himself. It's still there I think.
egbert88
28 Jul 2015 #77
It should be noted that the NSDAP had extraordinary high election results in East Prussia, especially in Mazuria, despite the fact hat many people there still spoke their Polish-Mazowian dialect as venacular.

This is perhaps more complicated than it seems. A lot of Masurians were Protestant and didn't always speak great Polish. Also they saw Germany as a stronger country than Poland and so rather wanted to stay part of Germany hence they voted this way in the plebiscite. This last fact didn't force them to vote nsdap but was an influence. They were also on the whole poor so reacted favourably to the NSDAP's populist politics.
jon357 63 | 15,440
28 Jul 2015 #78
Yes, I heard something similar. The grandfather of someone I slightly knew years ago was one of the NDSAP biggies in Kaliningrad/Konigsberg, something to do with farmers in East Prussia.

I wonder if the proximity of the Soviet Union and the perceived vulnerability of Courland and Russian Germans influenced that.
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
28 Jul 2015 #79
I should also be noted there was a great sense of being treated unfairly by the allies and its Polish and Lithuanian neighbors in East Prussia.

The interbellum Polish-German political relations never were good but they deterioted more and more in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and finanlly to such an extent that an economoc war between both countries started. Therefore East Prussia was practically locked away from the rest of Germany and only to reach unchecked by air and sea! Due to that fact the East Prussian economy almost broke down completely and therefore the standard of life was much lower than in the rest of Germany.

Did you guys know that the German-Polish Vistula border that existed from 1919 to 1939 between Poland, East Prussia and the Free City of Danzig never was in the middle or on the shore of the river but a couple of meters inland on the East Prussian side? Even farmers were no longer allowed to let their cattle drink from Vistula water. At least five or ten meters before the river there was the German-Polish border.

Here a map with the demarcation line:

German-Polish border - the demarcation line

Don't misunderstand me! This, of course, does not justify the German assault on Poland in September 1939 but helps to explain why so many East Prussian voted for the Nazi party.
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
28 Jul 2015 #80
a great French-German documentary (filmed in 2004) about the Kaliningrad/Königsberg situation

This one : Dokumentation zur früheren deutschen Provinz Ostpreussen

Others will have to brush up on their schoolboy/girl German though :)
Funky Samoan 2 | 181
29 Jul 2015 #81
I always think of The House by Mike Figgis (his first film, sponsored by Channel 4 back in the 80s)

Is it in English language? Then I'll give it a try!
Crow 139 | 8,358
21 Apr 2018 #82
Annexation of Kaliningrad by Poland isn`t possible. But, in future, if Polish-Russian relations are better, maybe Russia give Kaliningrad to Poland, if we presume how are people there ready to accept it.

But, how things develop, I wouldn`t disregard possibility of creation of one entirely new Slavic state on remnants of what is now Germany or to say what was Eastern Germany. It could be one of outcomes of eventual aggressive NATO war on Russia. States within NATO then losing sovereignty and winner takes whatever winner want.

In the meanwhile, spot this >

Trump Trolls Baltic Leaders - Implies They Are All Stupid, Does It in the Third Person to Boot
youtube.com/watch?v=r5H8O6cuF3Q

No, Trump won`t sacrifice USA in possible nuclear war for the interests of Germany and deluded assimilated Slavs that were germanized in past and now, as side psychological effect, hate everything Slavic and pledge its loyalty to Nazism.
Lyzko 25 | 7,015
22 Jun 2018 #83
The entire region of East Prussia once was German territory prior to the Red takeover. Despite the changes, it must retain a German character.
Crow 139 | 8,358
22 Jun 2018 #84
Prussia is Slavic (ie Sarmatian) since time immemorial. End of story.

It is of great importance that Russia hold Kaliningrad. No, not that I myself wouldn`t give it to Poland. I would, if its up to me. But, fortunately, its not up to me.

See, you must realize that. Poland is in tragic situation. Think. Catholicism rule Earth. Poles are Catholics. On the other side, Slavs are Whites that, as somebody decided it, have to perish. And Poles are Slavs. Good Slavs. This situation of being Catholic and being Slavic tear Poland apart. Poles knows that other European Catholics wants them dead because they are Slavs. On the other side, Russians, kin Slavs, Orthodox, wanted to dominate Poles.

Anyway, if we take all in consideration and speak of bottom line, Poles aren`t capable to hold Kaliningrad. German Catholics and Protestants would prevail, weaken Polish rule there and overtake Kaliningrad. Simple, Slavs must lose, as somebody decided. Being Slavic Catholic just isn`t enough. Slavic must perish. Plus, if Russians hold Kaliningrad they actually act as support to Poland.

Now, in this world, such as it is, Poles, pray that Russians keep Kaliningrad. You Poles maybe have problems with Russians but, they are least of your problem. Your religion rule world but, your religion want death to your civilization. Sure, it wouldn`t be problem if you yourself hate your civilization but you don`t hate it. You are proud Slavs. God help you. You need help.
Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,717
23 Jun 2018 #85
@Lyzko
No, it doesn't "must" anything. Entire Prussia and Pomerania was germanized. If the locals don't see any reason to retain that influence I see no reason to stop them. It's not like there are German settlers there waiting to get slaughtered.

Speaking of architectural influence, Kaliningrad would had to be part of EU for it to be preserved. Doesn't seem like the Russian federation has any motives except for it to be a military outpost with bases
Crow 139 | 8,358
23 Jun 2018 #86
But how would Poles keep Kaliningrad, even if Russians give it to them? Man, even if Poles stop to be Slavic over night, it won`t be enough. Western Europeans want Polish souls, bodies and blood and every last peace of land.
Lyzko 25 | 7,015
23 Jun 2018 #87
@Crow, Prussians were BALTS...end of story! Balts, like the Ughurs who settled the present-day Hungarian "Basin", weren't Slavs either, got it?

@Hr. Grunvald, I simply meant that the regions has doubtless retained much of her formerly Germanic flavor, that's all.
Bratwurst Boy 7 | 10,456
23 Jun 2018 #88
Has it? I thought Stalin made sure of that being an impossibility....short of salting the earth like in Carthage...do you have some examples?
Crow 139 | 8,358
23 Jun 2018 #89
Prussians were BALTS...end of story!

You know what was old original name of Baltic sea? It was correctly recorded in oldest Roman maps. It was Oceanus Sarmaticum (ie Serbian ocean/read Slavic ocean). Then it later was by Germans known as `Mare Svebicum` (Pronounced in newly formed Germanic language > Swab = Serbs). Then, should I mention that oldest recorded name of old Prussians was Sambians.

Not to say that word `Balt` origin from `Blato` (ie Slavic, Serbian)- `Swamp, mud` in English, same as Hungarian lake `Balaton`.

Only in era when Germanc ethos started to appear from within (!) Sarmatians, under the Roman influence, early Germanic nobles starte to designate themselves as Balts. As you see, even them as elite of newly emerging ethos were not able to escape from naming themselves with the word that originate from within Sarmatian culture and linguistic logic.

Anyway, you want to suggest that there was Sarmatian ocean and that people who lived on shores was not Sarmatian people? Please, really please. Stop that. This forum should moved forward with knowledge, not backward.
Lyzko 25 | 7,015
23 Jun 2018 #90
Exactly there Crow, old man. And so let it begin with YOU.

@Bratwurst Boy, The Carthage analogy (shades of Cato the Elder: Carthage must be destroyed!) suggests, perhaps inadvertently, almost a scorched earth type of policy on the part of the Soviets to unutterably eradicate any and all traces of anything German remaining.

Clearly, based on the bilingual place names extant, this wasn't the case.


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