Province of Pomerania

Province of Pomerania

Infobox Former Subdivision
common_name = Pomerania
conventional_long_name = Pomerania
native_name = "Pommern"
subdivision = Province
nation = Prussia

image_map_caption = Pomerania (red), within the Kingdom of Prussia, within the German Empire
capital = Stettin
stat_area1= 30120
stat_pop1 = 1684125
stat_year1 = 1905
p1 = Swedish Pomerania
flag_p1 = Naval Ensign of Sweden.svg
p2 = Farther Pomerania
image_p2 =
s1 = Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
flag_s1 = Flag of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (state).svg
s2 = Szczecin Voivodeship
flag_s2 =
year_start = 1815
year_end = 1946
political_subdiv = Köslin
Posen-West Prussia

:"For the present-day Polish provinces, see Pomeranian Voivodeship and West Pomeranian Voivodeship. For the present-day German state, see Mecklenburg-Vorpommern."

The Province of Pomerania ( _de. Provinz Pommern) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1815 until 1946. It was created from Farther Pomerania and Swedish Pomerania ("Hither" or "Western Pomerania"), which were created from the Duchy of Pomerania after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and had belonged to Brandenburg-Prussia and Sweden, respectively. Sweden had awarded her part of Pomerania to Denmark by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814, but the treaty never entered into force and the territory was passed to Prussia by the Congress of Vienna the following year.

The province was subdivided into the superior administrative districts (Regierungsbezirk) Köslin (Eastern part, "Farther Pomerania"), Stettin (Southwestern part, "Altvorpommern"), Stralsund (Northwestern part, "Neuvorpommern"; merged into Stettin in October 1, 1932), and Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen (Southeastern part, created from the former Prussian province Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen when it was merged into Pomerania in October 1, 1938). The Province's capital was Stettin ("now Szczecin"), the "Regierungsbezirk" capitals were Köslin ("now Koszalin"), Stettin, Stralsund and Schneidemühl ("now Pila"), respectively.

After World War II, Pomerania was part of the Soviet occupation zone. The section of Pomerania east of the Oder-Neisse line was ceded to Poland and resettled with Poles after the German population was expelled. The territory west of the Oder-Neisse line became part of the East Germany in 1949 and was merged with Mecklenburg to form the new state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.


In 1905, of 1,684,326 inhabitants 1,616,550 were Protestants, 50,206 Roman Catholics and 9660 Jews, (1900) 14,162 Polish speakers (at the West Prussian border) and 310 Kashubian speakers (at the Lakes Lebasee and Gardescher See). [Meyers Konversations Lexikon 1905, online at [] ]

Köslin government region (Farther Pomerania)

The Köslin government region ("Regierungsbezirk Köslin") was the administrative name for the region of Farther Pomerania ("Hinterpommern") along with the smaller region of Lauenburg and Bütow Land (easternmost part).

These parts of Pomerania were integrated into Prussia ("Brandenburg-Prussia") after the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648. During the war, the noble House of Pomerania ("Griffins"), ruling Pomerania since the 1120s as Dukes of Pomerania, went extinct in the male line with the death of Bogislaw XIV in 1637. Throughout the existence of the Griffin duchy, Brandenburg claimed overlordship and was asserted of Pomerania inheritance in numerous treaties. Yet, Sweden had been one of the most important players in the war and as such, she was awarded some of her territorial gains in Pomerania after the war by the Peace of Westphalia, thwartening Brandenburg-Prussia's ambitions for inheritance of the whole former Duchy of Pomerania. This led to tensions between Brandenburg-Prussia and Sweden in Pomerania until Sweden lost her Western Pomeranian possessions in 1720 and 1815.

Landkreis Lauenburg-Bütow comprised the Lauenburg and Bütow Land, a Pomerelian borderland with a somewhat different history than the rest of Pomerania. It was in 1846 dissolved into smaller administrative units. In contrast to ethnic German Pomerania, this area also had a Kashubian population.

Landkreis Fürstenthum comprised the earlier secular possessions of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kammin bishops, ruled by Pomeranian dukes after the Reformation. Until 1872, the area kept its territorial integrity, before it was dissolved into smaller administrative units.

During World War II, Farther Pomerania became a battlefield and was occupied by the Red Army in early 1945. While the Pomeranian Offensive took place in the East, the advances in the course of the Battle of Berlin cut Farther Pomerania off the West and only left a short-lived pocket around Kolberg. The population was evacuted via the Baltic Sea from the Kolberg port, until Kolberg, which was declared a fortress, surrendered. By the terms of the Potsdam agreement, Farther Pomerania became part of Poland. The remaining German population was expelled and the area was resettled with Poles.

Administrative subdivision

*urban districts (Stadtkreis):
** Stolp: population 27.293 (1900); 50.377 (1939)
** Köslin: split off Landkreis Köslin in 1923, population 33.479 (1939)
** Kolberg: split off Landkreis Kolberg-Körlin in1920, population 36.617 (1939)

*rural districts (Landkreis):
** Landkreis Belgard (Persante): population 47.097 (1900); 79.183 (1939)
** Landkreis Dramburg: population 35.863 (1900);
** Landkreis Fürstenthum (1816-1872), 1872 divided into
*** Landkreis Bublitz: population 20.916 (1900); in 1932 merged into Landkreis Köslin
*** Landkreis Kolberg-Körlin: population 57.871 (1900); 38.785 (1939)
*** Landkreis Köslin: population population 48.678 (1900); 80.287 (1939)
** Landkreis Greifenberg i. Pom.: until 1939 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stettin, population 47.891 (1939)
** Landkreis Lauenburg-Bütow (the Lauenburg and Bütow Land), 1846 divided into:
*** Landkreis Bütow: population 26.021 (1900); 28.018 (1939)
*** Landkreis Lauenburg i. Pom.: population 45.986 (1900); 63.985 (1939)
** Landkreis Neustettin: population 76.101 (1900); since 1938 administered by Regierungsbezirk Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen
** Regenwalde: 49.668 (1939), until 1938 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stettin
** Landkreis Rummelsburg i. Pom.: population 33.785 (1900); 40.692 (1939)
** Landkreis Schivelbein: population 19.656 (1900); in 1932 merged into Landkreis Belgard (Persante)
** Landkreis Schlawe i. Pom.: population 73.206 (1900); 78.363 (1939)
** Landkreis Stolp: population 75.310 (1900); 83.009 (1939)

Stettin government region (Western Pomerania)

The Stettin government region ("Regierungsbezirk Stettin") comprised the region of Western Pomerania ("Vorpommern", "Hither Pomerania"), the former Swedish Pomerania.

The area was held by Sweden after the Thirty Years' War, when Sweden had occupied all of the former Duchy of Pomerania in 1631. In the Treaty of Stettin (1630), a treaty about an alliance between the last Pomeranian duke Bogislaw XIV and the Swedish king Gustavus (II) Adolphus, Bogislaw acknowledged Swedish succession over his duchy despite century-old Brandenburg claims. In the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, Western Pomarania officially became a part of Sweden. Brandenburg-Prussia succeeded in taking over Swedish Pomerania during the Swedish-Brandenburgian War (1674–1679, a war arisen between Brandenburg and Sweden being enemy parties in the contemporary Franco-Dutch War), yet in the Peace of Saint-Germain (1679), Sweden regained Western Pomerania except some areas on the right bank of the Oder River, which had been agreed to hand over to Brandenburg already in a 1653 border revision. This tempted Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, to utter "Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor!" [Büchmann, Geflügelte Worte] .

In 1711, Brandenburg-Prussia invaded Swedish Pomerania in the course of the Great Northern War (1700-1721). The 1720 Treaty of Stockholm left Western Pomerania south of the Peene River ("Altvorpommern") with Brandenburg-Prussia, only parts of north of the Peene River ("Neuvorpommern") were restored to Sweden after they had been occupied by Denmark.

In the 1814 Peace of Kiel, Sweden offered "Neuvorpommern" to Denmark to compensate her for Norway that had been subdued in an 1813 Swedish campaign. In the 1815 Congress of Vienna, Brandenburg-Prussia took over this claim and integrated "Neuvorpommern" in her Pomeranian province, Denmark in turn was awarded the Duchy of Lauenburg and freed of her war reparations to Sweden resulting from the Kiel treaty, that she was unable to pay, these were now paid by Prussia. "Neuvorpommern" was administered as Regierungsbezirk Stralsund until it was merged into Regierungsbezirk Stettin in 1932.

Stettin, the former ducal residence, was made capital of the province and also was the administrative center of the Regierungsbezirk Stettin.

During World War II, Pomerania became a battlefield and was occupied by the Red Army after the Soviet advances in the course of the Battle of Berlin. By the terms of the Potsdam agreement, Western Pomerania east of the Oder-Neisse line became part of Poland. This line left the Oder river north of Gartz (Oder) and included the Stettin and Swinemünde area ("Stettiner Zipfel") into the Polish state. The remaining German population was expelled and the area was resettled with Poles. Western Pomerania west of the Oder-Neisse line was merged with Mecklenburg to constitute the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany, that in 1949 became the German Democratic Republic (GDR). "Vorpommern" was soon dropped from the federal state's name, and after the GDR states were abolished, the coastal Western Pomeranian Landkreis districts became part of Bezirk Rostock whereas the mainland Landkreis districts became part of Bezirk Neubrandenburg.

In 1990, after the GDR communist system was overthrown, the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was recreated, with Vorpommern being a non-administrative region. The old Landkreis districts were fused into five larger districts: Rügen, Nordvorpommern, Ostvorpommern, Uecker-Randow and Demmin, whith the latter also containing Mecklenburgian Landkreis districts. Due to this and slight Landkreis border changes during the GDR period, the old Pomeranian border disappeared from the map and today is only prevailed by the border of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church.

Administrative subdivision

*urban districts (Stadtkreis):
** Greifswald: until 1932 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stralsund, population 37.051 (1939)
** Stargard (Pommern): split off Landkreis Saatzig in 1901, population 39.760 (1939)
** Stettin: population 210.702 (1900); 382.984 (1939)
** Stralsund: until 1932 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stralsund, population 52.931 (1939)

*rural districts (Landkreis):
** Landkreis Anklam: population 32.693 (1900); 39.527 (1939)
** Landkreis Cammin i. Pom.: population 42.485 (1900); 45.694 (1939)
** Landkreis Demmin: population 48.090 (1900); 54.769 (1939)
** Landkreis Franzburg-Barth (Capital: Barth): until 1932 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stralsund, population 55.542 (1939)
** Landkreis Greifenberg i. Pom.: population 37.483 (1900); after 1939 administered by Regierungsbezirk Köslin
** Landkreis Greifenhagen: population 48.258 (1900); 69.326 (1939)
** Landkreis Greifswald: until 1932 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stralsund, population 39.207 (1939)
** Landkreis Grimmen: until 1932 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stralsund, population 42.259 (1939)
** Landkreis Naugard: population 52.777 (1900); 61.320 (1939)
** Landkreis Pyritz: population 42.686 (1900); 48.418 (1939)
** Landkreis Randow: population 94.859 (1900); partitioned in 1939 by Stadtkreis Stettin, Landkreis Greifenhagen, Landkreis Ueckermünde, and Landkreis Naugard
** Landkreis Rügen (Capital: Bergen auf Rügen): until 1932 administered by Regierungsbezirk Stralsund, population 62.261 (1939)
** Landkreis Regenwalde: population 44.954 (1900);
** Landkreis Saatzig (Capital: Stargard (Pommern)): population 69.762 (1900); 43.258 (1939)
** Landkreis Ueckermünde: population 56.767 (1900); 79.996 (1939)
** Landkreis Usedom-Wollin (Capital: Swinemünde): population 52.193 (1900); 83. 479 (1939)

Stralsund government region (Northwest)

The Stralsund government region ("Regierungsbezirk Stralsund") comprised the Western Pomeranian region of "Neuvorpommern".

The reason for creating a Regierungsbezirk as small as Stralsund was that Neuvorpommern had a somewhat different history than the rest of Pomerania. This region, consisting of the island of Rügen and the adjacted mainland between the Recknitz and Peene rivers, made up the Rani and Danish Principality of Rugia in the Middle ages. Although it was inherited by the Pomeranian dukes in 1325, the region was for some time goverened as the splinter duchy of Pomerania-Barth. While a part of Swedish Pomerania, Denmark maintained her old claims and occupied the area in 1715 during the Great Northern War. Yet, the Danes were forced to return it to Sweden by the 1720 Treaty of Stockholm (Great Northern War). In the 1813 Treaty of Kiel, Denmark again gained nominal overlordship, yet was unable to pay her war reparations to Sweden and awarded her claim to Prussia in the 1815 Congress of Vienna along with her debts in exchange for the Duchy of Lauenburg.

The name "Neuvorpommern" ("New Western Pomerania") originates in that era, to distinguish the Western Pomeranian areas south of the Peene River gained by Prussia in 1720 ("Altvorpommern", "Old Western Pomerania") from the northern regions gained in 1815 and to replace the outdated term "Principality of Rugia".

Regierungsbezirk Stralsund was fused into Regierungsbezirk Stettin in 1932.

Administrative subdivision

*urban districts (Stadtkreis):
** Stralsund: split off Landkreis Franzburg-Barth in 1874, population 31.076 (1900)
** Greifswald: split off Landkreis Greifswald in 1913

*rural districts (Landkreis):
** Landkreis Franzburg-Barth: population 41.704 (1900)
** Landkreis Greifswald: population 61.840 (1900)
** Landkreis Grimmen: population 35.540 (1900)
** Landkreis Rügen (capital Bergen auf Rügen): population 46.270 (1900)

Posen-West Prussia government region

The Posen-West Prussia government region ("Regierungsbezirk Grenzmark Posen-Westpreußen") was created of the northern part (Schneidemühl government region) of the former Prussian province Posen-West-Prussia.

Following World War I, most of the Prussian provinces Posen and West Prussia became part of reconstituted Poland. The remainders of these provinces formed the province of Posen-West Prussia, combining small German-settled regions all along the new German-Polish border ("Grenzmark" meaning "border march"). In 1938, this province was dissolved and partitioned between Pomerania, Brandenburg and Silesia. The Pomeranian share was extended by Landkreis Neustettin, formally administered by Regierungsbezirk Stettin.

During World War II, it became a battlefield and was occupied by the Red Army in early 1945. By the terms of the Potsdam agreement, the Grenzmark became part of Poland. The German population was expelled and the area was resettled with Poles.

Administrative subdivision

*urban districts (Stadtkreis):

*rural districts (Landkreis):
**Landkreis Arnswalde
**Landkreis Deutsch Krone
**Landkreis Dramburg
**Landkreis Flatow
**Landkreis Friedeberg Nm.
**Netzekreis (capital: Schönlanke)
**Landkreis Neustettin
**Landkreis Schlochau

See also

* Pomerania
* Farther Pomerania
* Western Pomerania
* Provinces of Prussia


External links

* [ Gemeindeverzeichnis Deutschland 1900] de icon

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