District (Prussia)

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Official district is the name for an administrative district in Prussia from 1874 to 1945. Other historical states also used the term for their administrative units. The management of the respective districts was incumbent on an office head or, in the case of the administrative districts in the "integrated eastern areas", an office commissioner . Each District introduced its own round of correspondence adhesive stamp paper for sealing letters.

Official districts according to the Prussian eastern district order

The Prussian administrative districts brought together several rural communities and manor districts for joint administration.


With the introduction of the district order for the six eastern Prussian provinces from December 13, 1872 to January 1, 1874, the lordly police force was eliminated. However, it was not transferred to the parishes or the district, but entrusted to the new office heads.

These were elected by the district council for their district, the administrative district, and appointed by the king, later by the chief president and finally by the district president.

The administrative district comprised several rural parishes or manor districts, while the urban parishes remained outside the area of ​​an administrative district. Larger rural communities or manor districts could also form an administrative district for themselves (Eigenamts district).

The chief officer was the local police department. He was elected and appointed for a term of six years. In the absence of suitable candidates, a head of department could be appointed provisionally for the area of ​​one or more neighboring districts .

In an independent district , the municipality or estate manager performed the duties of the office manager. There was no specific official seat. The business was run on an honorary basis from the domicile of the office head , so that this seat could also change location when a new office head was appointed. Thus an economical administration should be guaranteed and the weak financial strength of the eastern districts of Prussia should not be overwhelmed by a full-time administration.

With the district order for the province of Schleswig-Holstein of May 26, 1888 (Preuss. GS. P. 139), the administrative districts were also introduced in the province of Schleswig-Holstein.

After the end of the monarchy in 1919/20, all heads of office in what was now the Free State of Prussia were re-elected as a group, regardless of the respective term of office . The duration of the electoral term was open, it should be determined by law. But this did not happen until 1945. Thereafter, the heads of office were appointed from 1919 for an indefinite period until a new election or appointment of a head of office.

Free City of Gdansk

The previous Prussian regulations remained in place after 1920, only the term of office of the head of office was shortened to four years.

Memel area

The previous Prussian regulations remained in place after 1920, only the term of office of the head of office was shortened to three years.

Administrative districts in countries outside of Prussia

The administrative districts of the State of Anhalt were also divided into administrative districts similar to the Prussian model.

Administrative districts in the "integrated eastern areas"

After the attack on Poland and the subsequent annexation of the Wartheland and Danzig-West Prussia by the German Reich on October 26th / 20th. November 1939 - so-called "integrated eastern areas" - the administration of the local communities there was adapted to imperial law. While the city districts from January 1, 1940 and most of the important cities gradually became subject to the German municipal code of January 30, 1935 valid in the Altreich , which provided for the enforcement of the Führer principle at the community level, Article III 1 of the ordinance provided for its introduction of the German municipal code in the incorporated eastern areas of December 21, 1939 with effect from April 1, 1940, that the "remaining" municipalities were temporarily grouped together in administrative districts and administered by official commissioners. These administrative districts were redefined, but were based for the most part on the districts of the previous large Polish communities (Gmina), which in turn comprised several village communities. The previous Poznan police districts were not restored.

The official commissioner was an official of the district who administered the individual municipalities of the administrative district as a whole . In terms of budgetary law in particular, the entire district was viewed as a unit. There was therefore no question of “autonomy under municipal law” in the National Socialist sense.

In one single case, by the end of the war, such an administrative district had been converted to the individual parishes by granting the German municipal code of January 30, 1935. This happened with effect from April 1, 1944 for the communities of the "Koschneiderei" in the district of Konitz , Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia for the district of Osterwick, Kr. Konitz .

This then included the municipalities administered according to the German municipal code:

  • Döringsdorf
  • Dützenfliess
  • Frankenhagen
  • Görsdorf, district of Konitz
  • Götzendorf
  • Granau
  • Harmsdorf, district of Konitz
  • Heideneuhof
  • Lichnau
  • Osterwick, Kr. Konitz
  • Schlagenthin

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Wiktionary: District  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations