Mecklenburg-Strelitz , sometimes called Strelitz or Strelitzer Land for short, was a (partial) duchy of the state of Mecklenburg from 1701 to 1918 without its own legislature. As administratively separate parts of the Mecklenburg state, the two (part) duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz were imperial fiefdoms and part states of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until 1806 . After the end of the empire, as a result of the increase in status through the Congress of Vienna in 1815, both parts of the now sovereign Duchy of Mecklenburg became a grand duchy, in 1867 they also became federal states of the North German Confederation and, with the founding of the German Empire in 1871, became states of the German Empire .
The (partial) duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was formed in 1701 by the rule of Stargard , east of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and the principality of Ratzeburg , west of Mecklenburg-Schwerin . Until 1918, the larger, south-eastern part of Mecklenburg-Strelitz formed one of three knightly districts of the state of Mecklenburg (the Stargard District ).
In the Weimar Republic , Mecklenburg-Strelitz gained political independence as a free state for the first time. It was the first German state to give itself a democratic state constitution and existed until reunification in the Nazi state with the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on January 1, 1934. The south-eastern part of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the old Stargard estate, formed from 1934 until 1946 Stargard County . After that, the historical territorial continuity broke off. The district of Neubrandenburg was formed from the north-eastern part, including the city of Neubrandenburg , and the district of Neustrelitz from the south-western part, including the city of Neustrelitz . In 1952, both circles were assigned to the Neubrandenburg district of the GDR . In the course of the regional reform in 1994 , a district of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was created, which only included parts of the historical territory of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and was merged into the district of Mecklenburgische Seenplatte in 2011 . The Kulturquartier Mecklenburg-Strelitz in the old post office building on Schloßstraße in Neustrelitz presents the history of the cultural region. Neustrelitz Castle was the main residence of the (grand) dukes of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. After arson at the end of the war and demolition of the fire ruins in 1950, it was not reconstructed .
The (partial) duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz came into being in 1701 after more than five years of disputes over the succession to the throne of the Mecklenburg dynasty of the Obodrites , which led to Mecklenburg in conditions similar to civil war. The founding document represented a dynastic house contract that sealed the third division of Mecklenburg's main state and went down in state history as the Hamburg settlement . According to Section 2 of the treaty of March 8, 1701, Mecklenburg-Strelitz was formed from several dominions: the principality of Ratzeburg on Mecklenburg's western border south of Lübeck , the dominion of Stargard in the southeast of Mecklenburg with the cities of Neubrandenburg , Friedland , Woldegk , Strelitz , Stargard , and Fürstenberg and Wesenberg , as well as the Commanderies Mirow and Nemerow .
The stipulations made in 1701 lasted with minor changes until the end of the monarchy. The short interim phase after the March Revolution from 1848 to 1850, in which only the (partial) Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin took the step towards becoming a modern constitutional state and thus ultimately failed, did not affect the (partial) Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
From 1701 to 1918 Mecklenburg-Strelitz was ruled by the younger line of the ducal house of Mecklenburg. The rulers of Mecklenburg-Strelitz initially bore the title Duke of Mecklenburg without distinguishing them from other members of the princely family . The heirs to the throne were referred to as hereditary princes. At the Congress of Vienna , the two (ruling) Dukes of Mecklenburg received an upgraded title as Grand Duke of Mecklenburg . Since then, the heirs to the throne have been known as Hereditary Grand Dukes, and their wives accordingly as Grand Duchess or Hereditary Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg. All other members of the princely family continued to use the old titles of Duke or Duchess of Mecklenburg. Since there were always two Mecklenburg regents at the same time, the name of the respective (partial) duchy (Schwerin or Strelitz) was added to their main title for better differentiation. The rest of the family members were treated in the same way. However, these name suffixes were only used unofficially to avoid confusion and were never part of the official title.
Until 1918, Mecklenburg's state system consisted of a feudal estate system . In Mecklenburg, the sovereigns were dependent on the participation of the state estates . In contrast to other states, absolutism never developed in Mecklenburg . Since 1523, the knighthood and estates of both duchies – the so-called estates – formed a joint body, the “ Union of the Estates ” or “Union of Estates” and functioned as departments of the Mecklenburg state parliament . The two parts of the country therefore had a common legislature. All owners of knightly main estates in the Mecklenburg, Wendish and Stargard districts belonged to the knighthood . The knightly territory comprised about 46% of the total area and was 640 square kilometers in the Strelitz part of the country. The landscape consisted of the authorities of the 49 cities eligible for parliament. In addition, there were the secularized state monasteries and the domanium , the ducal (sovereign) property (separated according to the lines of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and -Strelitz), which comprised about 40 percent of the state, in Mecklenburg-Strelitz 1652 square kilometers. According to the constitution, the revenues of the domanium were earmarked for the costs of sovereignty. Corresponding to the three-fold structure of the state, there were cities (with the capacity to legislate) as well as domanial and knightly offices. The cities governed themselves.
By far the most important city in Southeast Mecklenburg was Neubrandenburg . Although there had not been a residence there since the late Middle Ages, Neubrandenburg, as one of three "front towns" (upper centers) of the Mecklenburg state, had a special political role with a representative function for all other cities of the Stargard dominion and as the seat of important higher authorities. Therefore, in 1701, Neubrandenburg was initially intended to become the capital and residence of the newly formed part-duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, but this failed due to the civic pride of the Neubrandenburg residents. Out of necessity, the seat of residence initially fell to Strelitz , where there was an old official palace and where the first regent of the new part of the country had lived for a long time anyway. After the Strelitz moated castle burned down in 1712, the nearby hunting lodge in Glienecke was converted into a baroque three-winged castle, which Duke Adolf Friedrich III. and his wife Dorothea Sophie named Neustrelitz Castle and made it their main residence. The town of Neustrelitz developed around the castle . (After 1918 the Residenzschloss became the seat of the state parliament of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and the Mecklenburg-Strelitz State Museum, in 1945 it burned down with all its inventory, the ruins were removed in 1949.)
From the middle of the 18th century Neubrandenburg nevertheless became an important secondary residence, where the court society stayed every year during the summer months and the Palais Neubrandenburg was built directly on the market square as a princely summer palace. While the court in Neubrandenburg ended with the death of Duke Adolf Friedrich IV (1794), Neubrandenburg as a front town remained the politically most important town in Mecklenburg-Strelitz until the end of the monarchy. Traditionally, the meetings of the knights and landscape of the Strelitz region took place here. The enthronement of new rulers always took place in the Neubrandenburg Palace. Other secondary residences of the Strelitz ducal house were Hohenzieritz Castle , Mirow Castle , Remplin Castle and Fürstenberg Castle an der Havel .
Domestically, Mecklenburg-Strelitz was assigned a subordinate role in the Mecklenburg corporate state in 1701. A dissolution of the state of Mecklenburg, which was decided by both reigning dukes in 1748, failed due to the bitter resistance of the knights. The enforcement of absolutist claims to power by the princes also failed when the succession to the throne suddenly occurred in 1752 and the troops of the Duke of Schwerin occupied the Strelitzer part of the country and thus wanted to enforce its political independence after decoupling from the Mecklenburg state as a whole. The outcome of the succession dispute caused the further strengthening of the estates.
In 1755, Adolf Friedrich IV and his mother, in their capacity as guardians of his younger siblings, ratified the state constitutional inheritance settlement (LGGEV), with which the Mecklenburg state received a new, state constitution. This led to the consolidation of the power of the Mecklenburg knighthood and preserved the backwardness of the country until the end of the monarchy (1918).
Domestically, both Mecklenburg states have often acted together and amicably since 1701. However, they pursued different goals in terms of foreign policy and military conflicts. Mecklenburg-Strelitz practiced a policy of neutrality, did not take part in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), declared itself neutral in 1806 and condemned the annexation of Hanover by Prussia in 1866. The mobilization of the Strelitzer contingent in 1870 was delayed and the Strelitzer Grand Duke did not attend the proclamation of his cousin, the Prussian King Wilhelm I , in Versailles on January 18, 1871.
In 1867 the two (partial) grand duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz became federal states of the North German Confederation and, since 1871, states of the German Empire . Mecklenburg-Strelitz had 1 vote, Mecklenburg-Schwerin 3 votes in the Bundesrat . Both states maintained a joint embassy for the Bundesrat and were commissioned by other small states (e.g. Reuss ) to represent them in the Bundesrat.
After the suicide of Adolf Friedrich VI. , the last Grand Duke from the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the Schwerin Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV took over the task of administrator of the Strelitz part of the country shortly before the end of the monarchy. Until the end of the monarchy in Mecklenburg and the abdication of Friedrich Franz IV as Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and as administrator of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the question of succession to the Strelitz throne could no longer be clarified.
All (reigning) dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg-Strelitz held absolutely identical sovereign titles as the regents of Mecklenburg-Schwerin : Duke of Mecklenburg (from 1815 Grand Duke of Mecklenburg ), Prince of Wenden, Schwerin and Ratzeburg, also Count of Schwerin, the Land Rostock and Stargard Lord .
- 1701–1708: Adolf Friedrich II , Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1708-1752: Adolf Friedrich III. , Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1752–1794: Adolf Friedrich IV , Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1794–1816: Charles II , Duke of, then Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1816–1860: Georg , Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1860–1904: Friedrich Wilhelm (II.) , Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1904–1914: Adolf Friedrich V , Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1914-1918: Adolf Friedrich VI. , Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
- 1918–1918: Friedrich Franz IV , Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Schwerin] as administrator
Strelitz succession question 1918
The suicide of the unmarried and childless last Grand Duke of Strelitz, Adolf Friedrich VI. on February 24, 1918, the Mecklenburg-Strelitz family fell into an existential crisis. In both Mecklenburg parts of the state, the throne was hereditary from 1701 according to the right of primogeniture and according to the lineal line of succession in the male line. Both (grand) ducal houses were linked by house contracts from 1701 and 1755, according to which if one line died out, the other line would follow. If both houses died out, the succession to the throne would have passed to Prussia according to these treaties.
The only possible successor under the house law of the Mecklenburg dynasty was Duke Carl Michael , a grandson of Grand Duke Georg . He had served in the Russian Army until 1917 and was a fugitive in the Russian Civil War. He had already taken Russian citizenship in 1914 with the permission of Adolf Friedrich and declared that in the event of succession to the throne he would renounce his right of succession to the throne in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. There was one other male relative, Carl Michael's nephew, Georg Graf von Carlow . His father, Carl Michael's brother Georg Alexander , who had also emigrated to St. Petersburg, already had a morganatic marriage to Natalie Vanljarskaja (1858-1921), the daughter of the Russian State Councilor Fedor Vanljarski, in 1890 towards Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm for himself and his descendants renounced the succession to the throne and only reserved the right of an agnatic regency. Therefore, his wife and children only received the title of count and did not officially belong to the House of Mecklenburg. There was a brief dispute, Carl Michael was officially recognized as the presumptive heir to the throne, but remained unreachable in the Russian turmoil of war. For this reason, Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin took over government power on February 27, 1918 and acted as regent of Mecklenburg-Strelitz until the end of the monarchy. A solution to the question of succession to the Strelitz throne became irrelevant after the November Revolution of 1918, which also abolished the monarchy in Mecklenburg. Carl Michael's formal renunciation of his right of succession in January 1919 was only an internal family matter and no longer had any political significance. In 1926, however, there was still a legal dispute between the two Mecklenburg Free States before the State Court for the German Reich because of constitutional and property law consequences .
The last Grand Duke of Strelitz, Adolf Friedrich VI, left his fortune (approx. 30 million marks) to the second-born son of Friedrich Franz IV, his godchild Christian Ludwig zu Mecklenburg-Schwerin , on the condition that a new dynastic agreement would be reached , who would follow him as Grand Duke in Mecklenburg-Strelitz and take up residence in Neustrelitz. Otherwise the inheritance would be reduced to 3 million marks. However, this wish contradicted the house laws valid at the time, which provided for the reversion of the part of the state to the Mecklenburg-Schwerin line in the event of the Strelitz line becoming extinct and thus the reunification of the two Mecklenburg parts of the state. Whether and what consensus the princely family would have found in this situation if the monarchy had continued and whether these regulations would have found the approval of the parliamentary bodies of the Mecklenburg corporate state is speculative and historically meaningless due to the developments that have occurred.
In any case, the line of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz that was eligible for succession to the throne ended with the death of Duke Carl Michaels in 1934. In the same year, the constitutional reunification of the free states of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Mecklenburg-Schwerin within the Weimar Republic took place . Georg Graf von Carlow, Carl Michael's nephew, had already been adopted by him in 1928 and thus received the name Georg Herzog zu Mecklenburg . The former Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Friedrich Franz IV , agreed to this adoption as well as the admission of Count Carlow to the Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg, but on the condition that Georg renounced his - anyway only theoretical - claims to the throne for the Strelitzer part of the country, what he did. However, from 1934 until his death in 1963, Georg held the position of head of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz family. He inherited Remplin Castle from his uncle Carl Michael in 1934 , but was persecuted by the Nazis because of his dynastic connections to Russia and because of his "political Catholicism". The Nazis probably also caused the Rempliner Castle to burn down in 1940. In 1944 they imprisoned him in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp . He died in Sigmaringen in 1963. He was succeeded as head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz by his son Georg Alexander Duke of Mecklenburg (1921-1996) and his son Georg Borwin Duke of Mecklenburg (* 1956). After the Mecklenburg-Schwerin line died out in the male line in 2001 with the last Hereditary Grand Duke, Friedrich Franz , Georg Borwin and his two sons are the last male representatives of the Obodrites .
Minister of State
Title of office : (actually) Minister of State
- 1769-1784: Stephan Werner von Dewitz (1726-1800)
- 17xx-1816: Christoph Albrecht von Kamptz
- 1800-1806: Anton Ludwig Seip
- 1810-1827: Carl von Pentz (1776-1827)
- 1810-1836: August von Oertzen (1777-1837)
- 1827–1848: Otto von Dewitz (1780–1864), from 1837 sole Minister of State
- 1848–1850: (vacancy)
- 1850–1861: Wilhelm von Bernstorff († 1861)
- 1862-1868: Bernhard Ernst von Buelow (1815-1879)
- 1868-1872: Wilhelm von Hammerstein-Loxten (1808-1872)
- 1872–1885: (vacancy) , prov. Fü. Carl Piper (1837–1919)
- 1885-1907: Friedrich von Dewitz (1843-1928)
- 1908-1918: Heinrich Bossart (1857-1930)
Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1918–1933)
After the fall of the monarchy in 1918, Mecklenburg-Strelitz gained political autonomy as a free state for the first time in its history and remained a member of the German Reich as an independent state (§ 1 of the state basic law of May 23, 1923). The state election results are presented in the article Landtag des Freistaates Mecklenburg-Strelitz .
However, maintaining political independence as one of the smallest German states proved to be financially impossible after just a few years. The treasury left by the last Grand Duke was exhausted around 1926. The government first sought a decision for an agreement with Mecklenburg-Schwerin before the Imperial Court in Leipzig, but this failed. In a legal dispute over the joint disposal of the assets of former state monasteries and assets of the former estates, which the Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz brought before the State Court of Justice for the German Reich against the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1926 , Mecklenburg-Schwerin submitted a counter-motion to state that the State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz became part of the State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on February 23, 1918 and has since legally formed part of it. Mecklenburg-Schwerin stated that after the Hamburg comparison of 1701 (see above) Mecklenburg-Strelitz with the death of its last grand duke Adolf Friedrich VI. fell to Mecklenburg-Schwerin on February 23, 1918. However, the State Court of Justice did not grant this counter-motion, since Mecklenburg-Strelitz had been regarded as a state within the meaning of the constitution when the Reich Constitution was enacted.
After plans to join Prussia in 1932 proved to be politically unfeasible, the reunification with Mecklenburg-Schwerin to form the state of Mecklenburg took place under National Socialist pressure on January 1, 1934 . However, the Gau Mecklenburg(-Lübeck) of the NSDAP soon became decisive for the period that followed , since the state parliament was dissolved immediately after the vote on the merger of the two Mecklenburgs.
Minister of State
- 1918-1919: Peter Stubman (DDP)
- 1919-1919: Hans Krueger (SPD)
- 1919-1923: Kurt von Reibnitz (SPD)
- 1923-1928: Karl Schwabe (DNVP)
- 1928-1928: Ministry of Civil Servants: Harry Ludewig (independent) and Erich Cordua (DNVP)
- 1928-1931: Kurt von Reibnitz (SPD)
- 1931-1933: Heinrich von Michael (DNVP)
- 1933-1933: Fritz Stichtenoth (NSDAP)
The rule of Stargard as the heartland of the former part of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was assigned to the two offices of Stargard and Strelitz in 1920. From 1934, these formed a political district of Stargard , which was renamed Kreis Neustrelitz in 1946. In 1950, the Fürstenberger Werder was separated around the town of Fürstenberg and assigned to Brandenburg, and in 1952 the territory was finally divided into the newly formed districts of Neubrandenburg, Neustrelitz and Strasburg.
In 1994 the old district of Stargard and Neustrelitz was re-established in its 1952 borders with the exception of the now independent city of Neubrandenburg. Despite fierce criticism from historians, the newly formed circle was no longer given its historically correct name, but was named after the former Mecklenburg partial rulership of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and at times even carried the symbolism of the former Free State. However, the district only comprised larger parts (approx. 71%) of the actual territory of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in the area of the former Lordship of Stargard and was not a legal successor to the former Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The district reform in 2011 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania finally erased the name Mecklenburg-Strelitz from the map, and the former district was merged into the Mecklenburg Lake District .
- Daniel Zander : Material for regional studies of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Neustrelitz 1889.
- Georg Krüger [ed.]: Art and historical monuments of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 2 vols. in 4 parts. Neubrandenburg 1921–1934 ( digital copies ).
- Mecklenburg-Strelitz history sheets / ed. by Hans Witte. 11 years (1925-1935).
- Carl August Endler: History of the State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1701-1933). Hamburg 1935.
- Hans Terran (di Hans-Peter Range): Mecklenburg-Strelitz: splendor and misery in the 20th century. Mountain 1994.
- Rajko Lippert: The Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Reutlingen 1994.
- Reno Stutz: Ratzeburger Land: Mecklenburg's unusual part of the country between Wismar and Lübeck. Rostock 1996.
- Peter Hoffmann: Mecklenburg-Strelitz: a region in the ups and downs of history. Nienburg 2001.
- Mecklenburg-Strelitz: Contributions to the history of a region / ed.: District Mecklenburg-Strelitz. 2 vols. Friedland 2001.
- Axel Lubinski, Klaus Schwabe: Mecklenburg-Strelitz. district of Neubrandenburg. District of Mecklenburg-Strelitz: 300 years of history of a region / ed.: State Center for Political Education MV. Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin 2001.
- From the beginning and end of Mecklenburg-Strelitz history: International scientific conference "300 Years Mecklenburg-Strelitz" April 6th and 7th, 2001 in Neustrelitz, organized by the Landesheimatverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e. V Friedland 2003.
- Helmut Borth: Castles that are on the way: On the way to 101 manors and mansions in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Friedland 2004.
- Helmut Borth: Between the Prince's Castle and Zahrenhof: On the way to manors and manor houses in old Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Friedland 2004.
- Sabine Bock : Stately homes on the estates and domains in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. architecture and history. 3 vols. Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin, 2008.
- Hans-Joachim Rehmer, Gustav-Adolf Strasen: Mecklenburg-Strelitz 1918-1945. A country in transition. 1st edition, Neustrelitz 2011, ISBN 978-3-941681-20-0 .
- State bibliography MV
- Neubrandenburg in black and white. 750 years of city history in literary documents; a selected bibliography …. Publisher: Regional Library Neubrandenburg. Neubrandenburg 1998.
- Mecklenburg-Strelitz in black and white. History of a Region in Literary Documents; a selected bibliography …. Publisher: Regional Library Neubrandenburg. Neubrandenburg 2001.
(with link collection)
- : Strelitzer Land - Neustrelitz in: German soil - hikes through Mecklenburg. , accessed 29 January 2018
- Initially, this increase in rank was only intended for the Schwerin Line. Hereditary Prince Georg feared that the Strelitz line would be treated as equal to the estates under the House Agreement, and two weeks later, after diplomatic intervention and with the help of Prussia, he was able to increase the rank of Mecklenburg-Strelitz as well.
- And z. B. used on coins, stamps, certificates, medals and to avoid confusion in diplomatic and legal transactions
- similar to e.g. B. in the various sub-lines in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg
- Antje beam: Rostock in the First World War: Education, culture and everyday life in a seaside town between 1914 and 1918 , Volume 6, Little City History, LIT Verlag Münster, 2007, p. 154.
- Helge at Wieden: Outline of German administrative history. Vol. 13: Mecklenburg. Marburg 1976, pp. 221–222.
- 1784–1800 President of the Privy Council of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
- 1810 Appointment of 2 Ministers of State
- Otto von Dewitz's son-in-law
- Former Prime Minister of Hanover
- Interim decision of the StGH of June 5, 1926, RGZ 113, appendix p. 1 f
- Literature about Mecklenburg-Strelitz in the state bibliography MV
- The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
- Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Municipalities 1910)
- Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (government system)
- Genealogy of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz ( Memento of 4 December 2006 at the Internet Archive )