German tragedy of destiny

East Brandenburg







598,000 people fled East Brandenburg, of which 174,000 lost their lives on the way.


In this province once lived 657,000 Germans.

Major cities:

Bomst, Fahlenwerder, Crossen, Guben, Königsberg/Nm., Landsberg a.d. Warthe, Meseritz, Reppen, Schwerin a.d. Warthe, Schwiebus, Soldin, Sommerfeld, Sorau/NL., Zielenzig and Züllichau



East Brandenburg in a nutshell


The province of East Brandenburg is almost as large as the area of Northern Ireland.


The province of East Brandenburg was changed slightly in 1938:


The area around Meseritz was separated from Posen and West Prussia and attached to East Brandenburg.


On the other hand, a small area of East Brandenburg near Driesen, the counties Arnswalde and Friedeberg, was transferred to Pomerania.


After 1945, East Brandenburg was practically torn in two from north to south.


The Oder and the Neisse rivers, flowing right through the province, form since the Second World War the new frontier between Poland and Germany.




 History of East Brandenburg


Up to the 2nd century

Settlement by Germanic tribes in the territory of the later Marquisate of Brandenburg.



Albert the Bear and the Archbishop of Magdeburg extended their dominion to the Oder and as far as to Neumark.



Charles IV divided the area west of the Elbe into Neumark (Old Marquisate), the area between the Elba and Odera into Mittelmark (Middle Marquisate) and the area east of the Oder into Neumark (New Marquisate).



 The Teutonic Order of Knights acquired Neumark.



Frederick II of Brandenburg regained Neumark from the Teutonic Order of Knights.



Brandenburg became the main theater of the Thirty Years War.



The province is reorganized, Arnswalde and Friedberg go to Pomerania, in exchange it gets the counties Schwerin and Meseritz.



Flight and expulsion of over 400,000 Germans from their native East Brandenburg.




Flight and expulsion


Almost a third of the approximately 600,000 residents in East Brandenburg was killed in 1945 by military attacks of the Red Army and atrocities committed during the occupation.


The area of East Brandenburg figured the highest percentage loss among the civilian population compared to the other German territories.


Many refugee flows from the East marged into one huge stream in East Brandenburg. The towns were crowded with refugees and constantly refilled by new misery flows. Many died from malnutrition, exhaustion or pandemic disease. The dead were stacked in churches because the funerals could not keep pace with the growing number of victims.


Thousands of men and women were deported to the East and sentenced to forced labor.


Even those who remained in the country had to do forced labor in important sectors.


The land, the farms and houses were expropriated and passed to Polish settlers.


Up to 1947, the remaining German population was expulsed completely.


174,000 dead




Important personalities of

East Brandenburg


Famous names: who remember where they came from?


Fedor von Bock - Küstrin, 1880-1945,

field marshal


Martin Agricola - Schwiebus, 1486-1556, composer


Richard Demel - Wendisch-Hermsdorf, 1863-1920, poet


Adam Krieger - Driesen/Neumark, 1634-1666, composer


Franz Felix Adalbert Kuhn - Königsberg/Neumark, 1812-1881, indogermanist, mythologist


Caspar Neumann - Züllichau, 1683-1737, chemist


Rudolf Pannwitz - Crossen, 1881-1969,



Johann Gottfried Piefke - Schwerin a.d. W., 1817-1884, composer


Ludwig von Reuter - Guben, 1869-1943,



Alfred von Tirpitz - Küstrin, 1849-1930,