German tragedy of destiny

East Brandenburg

 

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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.

 

Guben

 

 History of East Brandenburg

 

Up to the 2nd century

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

 

1157

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

 

1375

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).

 

1402

 The Teutonic Order of Knights acquired Neumark.

 

1454

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

 

1626

Brandenburg became the main theater of the Thirty Years War.

 

1938

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

 

1945

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,

writer

 

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

 

Ludwig von Reuter - Guben, 1869-1943,

admiral

 

Alfred von Tirpitz - Küstrin, 1849-1930,

admiral