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flag coat of arms
coat of arms
Federal district Northwest Russia
Oblast Kaliningrad
Rajon Gusew
First mention 1525
Earlier names Gumbinnen (until 1946)
City since May 24, 1724
surface 16  km²
population 28,260 inhabitants
(as of Oct. 14, 2010)
Population density 1766 inhabitants / km²
Height of the center 45  m
Time zone UTC + 2
Telephone code (+7) 40143
Post Code 238049-238059
License Plate 39, 91
OKATO 27 212 501
Geographical location
Coordinates 54 ° 35 ′  N , 22 ° 11 ′  E Coordinates: 54 ° 35 ′ 0 ″  N , 22 ° 11 ′ 0 ″  E
Gusew (European Russia)
Red pog.svg
Location in the western part of Russia
Gusew (Kaliningrad Oblast)
Red pog.svg
Location in Kaliningrad Oblast
List of cities in Russia

Gussew ( Russian Гусев , German  Gumbinnen , Lithuanian Gumbinė ) is a Rajonstadt in the Russian Oblast Kaliningrad with 28,260 inhabitants (as of October 14, 2010). The city is the administrative seat of the municipal self-government unit of the Gusew district .

Geographical location

The city is located in historical East Prussia at the confluence of the rivers Pissa ( Prussian pisa, pisse : deep swamp / bottomless morass, where only small birch and spruce trees grow) and Krasnaja (German Rominte: Prussian roms, rams : quiet, calm) at 57 meters above NN, about 105 kilometers east of the city of Koenigsberg ( Kaliningrad ) and 25 kilometers east of the city of Insterburg ( Tschernjachowsk ).


Gumbinnen east of the city of Königsberg i. Pr. And east of the city of Insterburg on a map from 1908
“New Government”, building of the former Prussian district government in the city center (1908–1910 by Richard Saran ), photo 2010


Based on soil finds it is known that at the mouth of the Rominto already after the end of the Ice Age around 9000 BC. A settlement existed. Before the conquest of the Prussian territory by the Teutonic Knights Order in the 13th century, there were fortifications here such as the Otholicha Castle and a Schanzburg near Plicken. When the Duchy of Prussia was founded in 1525, a settlement called Kulligkehmen (enclosed village: kullike : bag and kaimas : village) was mentioned for the first time, while on a map from 1576 at the confluence of the Rominte into the Pissa a place called Bisserkeim (Pisserkeim from pissa : deep swamp and caymis, kaimas : village, place). The place name Gumbinnen was first mentioned in a document as early as 1580, it probably comes from Lithuanian (Lithuanian: gumbine : knot stick , gnarled branches). At the time of the Thirty Years' War the village of Gumbinnen consisted of a few farmsteads on both sides of the Pissa and a church that the Prussian Duke Albrecht had built in 1545.

Advancement in Prussia

The government building in Gumbinnen with the monument to Friedrich Wilhelm I (CF Keßler, 1844)
("old government", not rebuilt after the war)
Former Friedrichsgymnasium (built 1763–1764)
Building of the former school for agriculture (photo 2008)

During the Tartar invasion in 1656 and the plague years of 1709/11 , Gumbinnen was badly affected, as was all of East Prussia that later became . By the by Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I launched colonization program also Gumbinnen, which the king had granted a city charter on May 24, 1724 a noticeable upturn learned. After the Great Plague , Swiss Reformed people came to the deserted city as the first new settlers in 1710. They brought their own preacher and built their own church in 1739. From 1732 Gumbinnen developed into the center of the Salzburg exiles . With the Salzburg Hospital and the Salzburg Church, built in 1752, they have preserved their identity to this day.

District building around 1900

As early as 1727, the new town on the south side of the Rominte joined the old town. On August 19, 1736, Friedrich Wilhelm I founded a war and domain chamber in Gumbinnen as the administrative center of the region. At that time, about 2,100 people lived in the city. During the Seven Years' War Gumbinnen was occupied by Russian troops from 1757 to 1762. During the coalition war against Napoléon Bonaparte in 1807 French soldiers camped in the city, who on top of that had to raise 89,000 thalers in contributions . In the Russian campaign in 1812 , the Grande Armée marched through Gumbinnen. Napoleon stayed in the city for four days.

Already in the middle of the 16th century a school is mentioned in Gumbinnen, which was located next to the church. With the Friedrichs-Gymnasium Gumbinnen had a higher school, the beginnings of which go back to the year 1724. The college was granted grammar school status in 1812.

From 1808 Gumbinnen was the official seat of the government in Gumbinnen , then called the Litthauische government zu Gumbinnen , whose president from 1809 to 1816 was Theodor von Schön . He was instrumental in ensuring that the intelligence paper for Litthauen appeared in Gumbinnen on January 6, 1812 , and also wrote its first leading article. On September 1, 1818, Gumbinnen became the district town for the Gumbinnen district . In the middle of the 19th century, the city fathers wrote a petition to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm IV to change the disreputable name of the Pissa flowing through their town. The king is said to have responded humorously (perhaps influenced by Alexander von Humboldt's reports on his trips to South America): “Approved; I suggest: Urinoko. "

With three large barracks, the city was an important garrison of the Prussian army . From June 4, 1860, the Prussian Eastern Railway ran through the city, making it more economically important. At the end of the 19th century, an iron foundry, a machine factory with a steam hammer, a furniture factory, a weaving mill, two steam sawmills, several brickworks and a dairy were located here. After the First World War , the Ostpreußenwerk (electricity works) was added, which supplied all of East Prussia with electricity. At the beginning of the 20th century, Gumbinnen had three Protestant churches, a Catholic church, a synagogue , a grammar school with secondary school, an agricultural winter school, a senior post office, a district court and until 1945 was the seat of government of the Gumbinnen administrative district, the easternmost administrative district of the German Empire .

First and Second World War

At the beginning of the First World War , the battle of Gumbinnen between German and invading Russian troops took place in front of the city on August 18 and 19, 1914 . The German army, which was successful here, was then withdrawn for fear of being gripped. Most of the population fled to Insterburg and partly further west. From August 22nd, Gumbinnen was under Russian occupation for a few weeks. As part of the Battle of the Masurian Lakes , German troops returned to the city on September 12. In February 1915, during the winter battle in Masuria, the Russians were pushed back across the border from the Gumbinnen district. In the district area - including Gumbinnen itself - over 2,100 graves of German and over 2,000 Russian soldiers who died in the fighting in 1914/15 were dug.

Former district building of Gumbinnen (2008)

During the Second World War , the first Soviet bombs fell on Gumbinnen on June 23, 1941 , killing nine. In the summer of 1943, the city and district took in 10,000 air war refugees from Berlin . On August 20, 21 and 25, 1944, Soviet low-flying aircraft bombed Gumbinnen and fired on board weapons. As the front approached, the first evacuations of the then 24,000 inhabitants began. October 16, 1944 went down in the history of the city as the “blackest” day until then. In the early evening, Soviet planes attacked Gumbinnen with 800 high explosive and incendiary bombs. A quarter of all residential and commercial buildings in the city were on fire. All churches, except the Salzburg one, went up in flames, as did the “Old Government”, the granary built in 1741 and the town's landmark, as well as the customs office with its distinctive gable. The number of deaths was comparatively low at eight, as Gumbinnen had already been partially evacuated.

The Red Army carried out the Gumbinnen-Goldaper Operation from October 16-30 , 1944 ; she tried in vain to break through to Konigsberg via Gumbinnen. From October 21 to 23, 1944, the Wehrmacht and the Red Army fought a tank battle near Gumbinnen, as a result of which the front line was stabilized further east and continued until January 1945. On January 13, 1945, Soviet troops began the East Prussian operation . The attack of the Soviet 28th Army (General AA Lutschinski ) on Gumbinnen was initially stopped; on the evening of January 16, it broke through the defense system. The troops shelled Gumbinnen with artillery and occupied it on 21/22. January 1945. It was later placed under Soviet administration and annexed as part of northern East Prussia ( Poland shifted west ).

Soviet Union

In 1946, the city of Gumbinnen was renamed Gussew in memory of the Soviet captain Sergei Ivanovich Gusev (1918-1945) and assigned to the Russian republic of the Soviet Union . Gusew became the center of the Gusew Raion within the Kaliningrad Oblast, which was hermetically sealed off for military reasons. After the flight and expulsion of the native German population , the city was settled with Russians from central Russia and from the area of ​​today's Volga federal district as well as with Belarusians . Numerous new prefabricated buildings were built .

Russian Federation

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union , Kaliningrad Oblast and Gussew became a Russian exclave between Lithuania and the Polish Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship . Since then, Gusev has faced major economic problems. According to official figures, every fourth inhabitant became unemployed, although electrical, animal feed and jersey factories produce in Gusev. The opening of the oblast brought about contacts between former and present residents, especially between authorities, aid organizations and parishes.

Population development

until 1945
year Residents Remarks
1782 0 4,798 Without the garrison (a battalion of infantry ), residents are Germans, Salzburgers , Swiss and French
1816 0 5,072
1831 0 6,023
1875 0 9.114
1880 0 9,530
1890 12.207 including 269 Catholics and 95 Jews
1900 14,000 with the garrison (a fusilier regiment No. 33, three squadrons of Dragoons No. 8 and a detachment of mounted field artillery No. 1), including 297 Catholics and 126 Jews
1925 19.002 of which 18,198 Protestants, 424 Catholics, 20 other Christians and 198 Jews
1933 19,987 thereof 19,253 Evangelicals, 413 Catholics, six other Christians and 161 Jews
1939 22,181 thereof 20,842 Evangelicals, 570 Catholics, 375 other Christians and 33 Jews
since 1945
Number of inhabitants
year 1959 1970 1979 1989 2002 2010
Residents 14,174 22,053 24,574 27,031 28,467 28,260

Note: census data

Gusevskoye gorodskoye posselenie 2008–2013

The urban municipality Gusewskoje gorodskoje posselenije (ru. Гусевское городское поселение) was established in 2008. You belonged to the city of Gusew and eight other settlements that were previously assigned to the village districts of Brjanski selski okrug , Furmanowski selski okrug , Lipowski selski okrug and Mayakowski selski okrug . In 2013 the community was dissolved and its places incorporated into the urban district of Gussew .

Place name German name
Brjanskoje (Брянское) Pruszischken / Preussendorf
Furmanowo (Фурманово) Stannaitschen / Zweilinden and Luschen
Gusew (Гусев) Gumbinnen
Ivashkino (Ивашкино) Kollatiken / Langenweiler
Jarowoje (Яровое) Gertschen / Gertenau
Lipowo (Липово) Kulligkehmen / Ohldorf
Michurinskoje (Мичуринское) Drücklershöfchen
Schaworonkowo (Жаворонково) Gerwischken / Richtfelde
Sinyavino (Синявино) Kampischkehmen / Angereck

Historical coat of arms

Blazon : “ Slanted left split; above in red the black Prussian eagle with its attributes, growing out of the dividing line, below in red a rising black arrow. "

Coat of arms of Gumbinnen

On April 6, 1722, King Friedrich Wilhelm I elevated the town to the status of a town and gave it as a seal “in a diagonally divided shield in the upper half in a red field on the right our royal black half eagle, with an upright wing, in the on the other lower half of the shield on the left, in a red field, a black, upright flying arrow, above with prongs going below ”. There should be a typographical error in the first field. However, a large municipal seal with the year 1724 actually shows both fields hatched in red, while the small seal STADT GUMBINNEN 1724 only contains the Prussian eagle with all insignia.


The former Reichsstrasse 1 and today's European route 28 Kaliningrad - Vilnius runs through the town , from which the trunk road to Sovetsk (formerly Tilsit) branches off in the urban area . The international railway line Kaliningrad - Kaunas also runs through the city .

It is 37 kilometers to the border crossing to Lithuania , and there is also a direct road connection to a border crossing to Poland (38 kilometers).


Evangelical parishes

In Gumbinnen, shortly after the introduction of the Reformation, a Protestant congregation was founded in 1545 . She built her first church in 1582, which included a large parish . In 1720 a new church building had to be built: the Old Town Church . In 1752 the Salzburg church was added as a branch church . The congregation was Lutheran from the start . In 1925 it had more than 18,000 parishioners.

The Reformed parishioners formed their own parish in 1732, for which there was a separate church building from 1739 with the Neustadt Church (also: Reformed Church ). In 1925 the parish had a little over 3,800 parishioners.

Both parishes belonged to the church province of East Prussia of the Church of the Old Prussian Union until 1945 . While the Lutheran congregation belonged to the Gumbinnen parish, the Reformed parish was part of the special Reformed parish in East Prussia, which had its seat in Königsberg (Prussia) .

Flight and expulsion of the local population as well as the restrictive religious policy of the Soviet Union brought church life in Gusew to a standstill after 1945. Since the 1990s there has been an Evangelical Lutheran parish in the city again with the eastern part of the Kaliningrad Oblast as a parish . Parish church is the Salzburg church , which was consecrated again in 1995 . The congregation, to which now mainly Lutheran and Reformed Russian Germans belong, is part of the Kaliningrad (Königsberg) provost of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of European Russia .

Gumbinnen Church District

The evangelical church district Gumbinnen existed until 1945 and comprised seven parishes with their parishes . Its area corresponded to that of the Gumbinnen district , although the Szirgupönen church belonged to the Stallupönen parish until 1825 :

Surname Change name from
1938 to 1946
Russian name
Gerwischkehmen Gerwen Priosjornoje
Gumbinnen, old town church
with Salzburg church
Ischdaggen Branden Lermontowo
Nemmersdorf Mayakovskoye
Niebudszen Herzogskirch Krasnogorskoye
1936-1938: Schirgupönen
Amtshagen Dalneje
Walterkehmen Großwaltersdorf Olchowatka

Church building

Old town church

The construction of a first Lutheran church in Gumbinnen was completed in 1582. The new building, built in 1720 under King Friedrich Wilhelm I , was renovated and expanded in 1810/11 and refurbished in classicist forms. The church only got a tower in 1875. In October 1944 the church was destroyed, the remains of the ruins cleared in 1945.

New Town Church

The church , also known as the Reformed Church , on the former Königstrasse was built between 1736 and 1739 as a plastered brick building. Joachim Ludwig Schultheiss von Unfriedt made the draft . The tower in front was left unfinished. The organ came from Adam Gottlob Casparini's workshop in Königsberg . The building was badly damaged in 1945 and cleared after 1985. One of the three bells survived in the Hamburg bell cemetery and rings today in the Großwolder church in Westoverledingen in East Frisia .

Salzburg Church

The Salzburg Church

The Salzburg Church, which was a Lutheran branch church until 1945 , is located on the former Salzburger Straße , today's Mendelejewa Street . It was built in 1840 as a successor to a first church from 1752/54. It is a simple plastered brick building with a tower in front. In January 1945 the building was badly damaged and then used as a shed for road construction . From 1993 to 1995 the church could be rebuilt. Today it is the only Protestant church in the city of Gusew.

Evangelical-free church

Old Lutheran Church

The Old Lutherans in Gumbinnen, a small community with 36 members in 1939, owned the Kreuzkirche, built between 1923 and 1926 on the former Schillerstraße , until 1945 . It was an octagonal structure with a lantern in the center of the roof. There was a vestibule in the south and a sacristy in the north . The building is in good shape and is now owned by the Russian Orthodox Church .


The Baptist congregation in the former Gumbinner Schillerstraße belonged to a small, neo-Gothic building from the beginning of the 20th century as a chapel . In 1939 the parish had 130 parishioners. The church has not been used for church purposes since 1945 and is now a privately owned stable building .

Roman Catholic

The Roman Catholic church had before 1945 in Gumbinnen the St. Andrew's Church on the Moltkestraße as own church. It was built between 1900 and 1901 and was consecrated on April 21, 1901. In 1939 there were 600 members of the Catholic community. She was assigned to the deanery Tilsit (today Russian: Sowetsk ) in the diocese of Warmia .

The church came unscathed by the Second World War and is now located on a barracks site, where it is used for a purpose other than a military clubhouse. The chapel of the former old town cemetery is now used by the Catholics in Gussew as a place of worship.

Russian Orthodox

The former Old Lutheran Church of the Cross was given to the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1990s . Their architectural style was adapted to the usual for Russia, so with the addition of a corresponding tower and the interior with an iconostasis . The parish in Gusew belongs to the Kaliningrad and Baltiysk diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On the square of the old town church, the Reconciliation Church was built as a new Russian Orthodox church from 2012, the inauguration will take place in 2016.


Jewish immigrants settled in Gumbinnen relatively early. In 1767 they laid out a prayer room and their own burial place. In 1925 the parish had 198 members; their synagogue was on the Long Row . On November 9, 1938, it was destroyed by a fire started by the SS . Most of the Jewish citizens then fled. a. to Lithuania and Poland. In 1940 the last Jews from Gumbinnen and all of East Prussia were deported.

In the 2010s there were again a few Jews living in Gusew. A synagogue community does not yet exist here.


The Moose
  • Salzburg Church (successor from 1840), House Salzburg and Salzburg Institution
  • Statue of Friedrich Wilhelm I by Christian Daniel Rauch from the years 1824/1835 (not preserved)
  • Elk sculpture


sons and daughters of the town

Sorted by year of birth

Connected to the city

Sorted by year of birth

Honorary citizen

  • Hans Pfundtner (1881–1945), State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of the Interior (not an honorary citizen of the Russian Gussew due to the National Socialist past)

See also


  • Johann Friedrich Goldbeck : Complete topography of the Kingdom of Prussia. Part I, Königsberg / Leipzig 1785, pp. 29–30, No. 2.
  • August Eduard Preuss : Prussian country and folklore or description of Prussia. A manual for primary school teachers in the province of Prussia, as well as for all friends of the fatherland. Bornträger Brothers, Königsberg 1835, pp. 471–473, no. 86.
  • Rudolf Grenz (Ed.): Gumbinnen. City and district of Gumbinnen. An East Prussian documentation. Compiled and developed on behalf of the Gumbinnen district community, Marburg / Lahn 1971.
  • Herbert Stücklies, Dietrich Goldbeck : Gumbinnen city and country. Photo documentation of an East Prussian district 1900–1982. Selected, compiled and explained on behalf of the Gumbinnen district community from the picture collection of the Gumbinnen district archive. Volumes I and II. Bielefeld 1985.
  • Norbert Matern : East Prussia when the bombs fell: Königsberg, Allenstein, Braunsberg, Gumbinnen, Insterburg, Memel, Tilsit . Droste-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1986. ISBN 3-7700-0674-7
  • Bruno Moritz : History of the Reformed Community of Gumbinnen. Festschrift for the 200th anniversary of the church 1739–1939. Reprint from the Evangelisches Volksblatt for the Ostmark , 1939.
  • Rudolf Müller: Three weeks Russian governor. Memories of the occupation of Gumbinnen by the Russians August - September 1914. Gumbinnen 1915 ( digitized version )
  • Gumbinner home letter. News bulletin for the city and the district of Gumbinnen. Organ of the district community Gumbinnen / East Prussia. Has been published about twice a year since around 1952.
  • Notices for the former members of the Friedrichsschule and Cecilienschule Gumbinnen. 1954 ff.
  • Gervais: Gumbinnen. Historical-Politico-Statistical Remarks about this city of recent times. In: Contributions to the customer of Prussia. Volume 1. Königsberg 1818, pp. 177-213.

Web links

Commons : Gusev  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 goda. Kaliningradskaya oblastʹ. (Results of the 2010 all-Russian census. Kaliningrad Oblast.) Volume 1 , Table 4 (Download from the website of the Kaliningrad Oblast Territorial Organ of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)
  2. ^ Johann Friedrich Julius Arnoldt : The public examination of the students of the Königl. Friedrichsgymnasiums zu Gumbinnen on September 28th and 29th. J. Gumbinnen 1865 ( full text )
  3. ^ L. Wiese: The higher school system in Prussia. Historical-statistical representation. Berlin 1864, p. 62
  4. ^ Dietrich Goldbeck (ed.): From the life in Gumbinnen: individual representations over two hundred years of local history; a selection from historical writings and private records Bielefeld 1994; quoted from: Gumbinner Heimatbrief No. 139 - July 2020, p. 50.
  5. ^ Dietrich Goldbeck (ed.): From the life in Gumbinnen: individual representations over two hundred years of local history; a selection from historical writings and private records Bielefeld 1994; quoted from: Gumbinner Heimatbrief No. 139 - July 2020, p. 51.
  6. ^ Andreas Kossert : East Prussia - rediscovery of a cultural landscape. In: Christian-Erdmann Schott (Hrsg.): Live in boundaries - overcome boundaries: on the church history of the 20th century in East-Central Europe. Festschrift for Peter Maser on his 65th birthday . Lit, Münster 2008, p. 270.
  7. a b Meyer's Large Conversation Lexicon . 6th edition, Volume 8, Leipzig and Vienna 1907, p. 517
  8. Norbert Matern : East Prussia when the bombs fell . Düsseldorf 1986. pp. 72-81
  9. ^ Johann Friedrich Goldbeck : Complete topography of the Kingdom of Prussia . Part I, Königsberg / Leipzig 1785, pp. 29–30, No. 2.
  10. Alexander August Mützell and Leopold Krug : New topographical-statistical-geographical dictionary of the Prussian state . Volume 2: G – Ko , Halle 1821, p. 104, item 3772.
  11. ^ August Eduard Preuss : Prussian country and folklore or description of Prussia. A manual for primary school teachers in the province of Prussia, as well as for all friends of the fatherland . Bornträger Brothers, Königsberg 1835, pp. 471–473, no. 86.
  12. a b c d e f Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. gumbinnen.html. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
  13. By Закон Калининградской области от 30 июня 2008 г., № 255 «Об организации местного самоуправления на территории муниципального образования" Гусевский городской округ "» (Law of the Kaliningrad Oblast of 30 June 2008, No. 255. On the organization of local Self-government in the field of municipal education "City District Gusew")
  14. Prof. Dr. Erich Keyser : Deutsches Städtebuch - Handbook of urban history, Volume I, Northeast Germany, page 57. W. Kohlhammer Verlag Stuttgart 1939.
  15. ^ Prof. Otto Hupp : German coat of arms . Kaffee-Handels-Aktiengesellschaft , Bremen 1925.
  16. Walther Hubatsch : History of the Protestant Church in East Prussia. Volume 3: Documents. Göttingen 1968, p. 480
  17. Walther Hubatsch: History of the Protestant Church in East Prussia. Volume 3: Documents. Göttingen 1968, p. 508
  18. ^ Evangelical Lutheran Provosty of Kaliningrad ( Memento of August 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  19. a b c d Walther Hubatsch: History of the Protestant Church in East Prussia. Volume 2: Pictures of East Prussian churches. Göttingen 1968, pp. 97-98
  20. The Old Town Church on the Pissa, 1909
  21. Gumbinnen at GenWiki
  22. ^ The New Town Church in Königstrasse, around 1930
  23. ^ Lost buildings in Gumbinnen at
  24. The Salzburg Church, 2007
  25. ^ AP Bachtin, Churches of East Prussia. Old and new photos. Information on history , Kaliningrad, 2013, p. 35
  26. ^ The Old Lutheran Kreuzkirche, around 1932
  27. Лютеранская кирха Гумбиннена Old Lutheran Church Gumbinnen, under renovation in 2012/14
  28. The Former Baptist Chapel, 2010
  29. The former old town cemetery chapel and today's Catholic Church, 2007
  30. The Russian Orthodox (formerly Old Lutheran) Church, 2010
  31. The Russian Orthodox Church of Reconciliation, 2013
  32. 11/28/2016 - Patriarch Kirill inaugurated the new church . Kaliningrader Tageblatt of November 30, 2016, accessed on August 27, 2018.
  34. Leipzig professor catalog