from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pomerania (Europe)
Cercle rouge 100% .svg
Position of Pomerania in Europe in the southern Baltic region
Today's administrative units that have the Pomeranian part of the name : In Germany Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , in Poland the West Pomeranian Voivodeship , the Kujawian-Pomeranian Voivodeship and the Pomeranian Voivodeship .

Pomerania is a region in north-east Germany and north-west Poland , which extends from the Baltic Sea coast and its offshore islands from almost 50 km to almost 200 km inland. The name Pommern is the Germanized form of a Slavic landscape name, which is derived from a Slavic phrase meaning "by the sea" - cf. po morzu “by the sea, along the sea” or po morze “to the sea” in Polish . The western limit is the Recknitz . There are differences between the German and Polish language usage regarding the view of the expansion to the east.

In German usage, Pomerania is understood to mean the area of ​​the former duchy and the later Prussian province of Pomerania . The province of Pomerania was within the German state borders from 1937 and existed as such from 1815 until the end of World War II . The area is made up of Western Pomerania, west of the Oder , and Hinterpommern , east of the Oder . The landscape to the east of Hinterpommern up to the Vistula is called Pommerellen , which means something like "Little Pomerania".

The name Pomeranian does not exist in Polish. In the Polish understanding, Pomeranian, also called Danzig Pomerania, forms the core of Pomerania. The historic Pomesania on the east bank of the lower Vistula is also included. The area of ​​the former duchy of the Griffin and thus the former Prussian province of Pomerania is called in Polish West Pomerania or also Stettiner Pomerania . The Polish name Przedpomorze for Western Pomerania corresponds to the German one, although this part of Pomerania is the most distant from central Poland. Sometimes one speaks of the so-called Central Pomerania ( Pomorze Środkowe ) with Koszalin and Słupsk as regional centers.


Satellite image of the Oder estuary with the Stettiner Haff , Peene , Peenestrom , Usedom , Swine , Wollin , Dievenow and Pomeranian Bay .

Politically, Pomerania is now divided between the German states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg and the Polish voivodeships of West Pomerania with the capital Stettin (Szczecin), Pomerania with the capital Danzig (Gdańsk) and Kujawien-Pomerania with the capitals Bromberg ( Bydgoszcz ) and Thorn ( Toruń) ).

The Pomeranian Bay and the Szczecin Lagoon behind it , also called Oderhaff , are in the region. The largest islands off the Pomeranian coast are Usedom , Wollin ( Wolin ) and Rügen . The islands of Rügen and Usedom and the Western Pomerania lagoon coast have a mixture of land cores and a close intermeshing of land and sea and the spits connecting them (not called here). The inland of Western Pomerania is characterized by a network of glacial valleys , the floor of which is only a little above sea level. Since the Stettiner Haff (Oderhaff) is a sea bay, the three mouths of the Oder , i.e. Peenestrom , Swine ( Świna ) and Dievenow ( Dziwna ) are not rivers, but inlets. The Pomeranian Compensatory Coast extends between Dievenow and Gdańsk Bay (Zatoka Gdańska) . There the bays were closed by the effects of currents and now form beach lakes such as the Lebasee . At the end of the compensation coast, the Hela peninsula juts out into the Gdańsk Bay. The Pomeranian Lake District , which was formed during the Ice Age and the eastern part of which is also known as the Kashubian Lake District , extends in the interior of the Pomerania and Pomerania Region . The strip between the coast and Lake District is Slowinzisches coastal land ( Pobrzeże Slowinskie ).

Western Pomerania is largely located in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with the regional centers of Stralsund and Greifswald . The southernmost part of Western Pomerania is located in the state of Brandenburg and extends in the south to the Randow and the catfish . Most of the West Pomeranian communities in Brandenburg are grouped together in the Gartz (Oder) district. The Western Pomerania towns of Schönow and Jamikow belong to the Passow municipality in the Oder-Welse district . The Western Pomerania towns of Kunow and Kummerow are part of the town of Schwedt / Oder . A part Vorpommern, known as Stettiner Zipfel with the city of Szczecin itself and the eastern section of the island of Usedom (Uznam) with the former county town Swinoujscie ( Świnoujście ) and the island of Wolin ( Wolin ), part of the Polish province of West Pomerania.

Origin and meaning of the name

The name is derived from the Slavic po more and means "by the sea". Pomerania is originally the land of the Slavic tribe of Pomeranians .

The Latin name Pomerania is written down as the formulation longum mare ('along the sea') in the Dagome-Iudex document from approx. 1086, a regest of the Curia regarding a donation to the Pope from “Dagome and Ote” ( Mieszko I. and Oda von Haldensleben ), who describes their country as "Schinesge" (early Polish Piast state ). The Spanish-Arab-Jewish traveler Ibrahim ibn Jaqub visited - also in the 2nd half of the 10th century - the trading town of Vineta near the mouth of the Oder , which has not been reliably located to this day, and also mentioned Demmin and the Western Pomeranian tribe of the Ranen . The first mention of Pomerania is for the year 1046 about a Zemuzil , Duke of Pomerania ("Zemuzil [dux] Bomeraniorum"). In the chronicles of Adam of Bremen around 1070 and Gallus Anonymus around 1113, Pomerania is mentioned frequently.

Vorpommern and Hinterpommern in other languages

The Polish name for Western Pomerania is Pomorze Przednie or Przedpomorze , which is the literal translation of the German name, even though it is across the Oder from Poland. Vorpommern can be translated into English with both Hither Pomerania and Western Pomerania , so the latter is not unambiguous. Hinterpommern is called Farther Pomerania or Further Pomerania . In French, West Pomerania and West Pomerania have the same name Poméranie occidentale . In Spanish, Pomerania Occidental , Pomerania Anterior or Antepomerania stands for Vorpommern, while Hinterpommern means Pomerania Central , so "Central Pomerania".

Language and culture

In Western Pomerania , German and Eastern dialects of Low German ( Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian and Central Pomeranian ) are spoken.

Pomerania in the pre- and interwar period has been culturally divided into West, Central and East Pomerania since Robert Holsten's linguistic-geographical work (beginning in 1913). West Pomerania encompasses the largest part of Western Pomerania up to Zarow in the south and dialectically follows Mecklenburg . Central Pomerania encompasses both front and rear Pomerania on both banks of the Oder. Dialectic features show or rather showed similarities to the Mark Brandenburg in the south, which is why the "Central Pomeranian wedge" is spoken of, which was the result of medieval Lower Franconian- Mark colonization along the Oder from the south between the coastal areas, which were more influenced by Lower Saxony. Further east followed (with a wide transition area between Ihna and Rega ) East Pomerania , i.e. H. roughly the middle and eastern Pomerania, which in turn was more likely to be traced back to Lower Saxon settlement, but with strong Slavic influences and clear characteristics compared to Western Pomerania (see dialect: East Pomeranian ). In addition to the language, Holsten saw these cultural boundaries manifested in 1928 in: the original form of the city law ( Luebisch or Magdeburg ), structural forms (especially in the case of churches), the spread of the Lower Saxony house , the spread of certain Carnival dishes (hot wake in milk), Easter customs and peculiarities of the Guilds. According to Kurt Dröge, this v. a. Cultural tripartite division of Pomerania based on settlement history and shaped the view of many other areas that were no longer directly related in terms of time and subject (e.g. the Central Pomeranian name of the potato as "noodle", which was only introduced in the 18th century, which is based on East Central German terms connects). The "limitlessly oversized historicization" (Dröge) reached its climax with the Second World War and consolidated in the post-war period, when the dissolution of the German settlement areas promoted romanticization and at the same time made further research more difficult.

In Western Pomerania , due to the almost complete expulsion of Germans as part of Poland's shift to the west after the Second World War, Polish is spoken almost exclusively today. Around 160,000 people speak the Kashubian language in Pomerellen and the eastern Pomerania region, near Bytów (Bütow) . Slowinsic , which was widespread in large parts of Western Pomerania in earlier times, was spoken by few people even before the Second World War. No use of this language was mentioned after 1945.

Large nine-field coat of arms of Pomerania in a glass window of the St. Bartholomaei Church, Hanseatic City of Demmin


Before the Great Migration , the later Pomerania was populated by the East Germanic tribes of the Rugians (since the 6th century BC) in the west and the Goths (since around 100 BC) in the east. When large parts of them moved to new places in the south as part of the migration of peoples, Slavic tribes settled there from the end of the 5th century .

From the 10th century the tribes of what would later become Pomerania came under the influence of their Christian neighbors. From the west they were threatened by the German sovereigns ( Saxony from approx. 918) and the margraves of the East Marks ( Brandenburg from approx. 1150), both part of the Holy Roman Empire , from the north the Danes (10th – 13th centuries) and from 970 to the southeast the Polanen (Polish Piasts ). In the 11th century Poland repeatedly but not permanently won sovereignty over Pomerania. The easy-to-control Brahe-Netze-Warthe line on the northern edge of the Polish heartland was secured by a chain of castles, Wyszegrod near Fordon on the Vistula, Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) on ​​the Brahe ( Brda ), and along the nets : Nakło ( Nakel) and Ujście (Usch), Czarnków (Czarnikau), Wieleń (Filehne) in its vicinity and Drezdenko (Driesen). At the end of the 11th century there were two border castles in Santok (Zantoch) at the confluence of the Netze in the Warthe, one Polish and one Pomeranian. Bolesław III. Schiefmund subjugated large parts of Pomerania from 1113 to 1122 and incorporated them into the Polish Piast state. In 1135, however, he had to recognize the feudal sovereignty of the empire for a large part of these areas . The (West) Pomeranian dukes with their seat in Cammin submitted to the feudal sovereignty of Henry the Lion in 1164 and directly to the feudal sovereignty of the emperor in 1181 . However, Denmark conquered West and West Pomerania between 1168 and 1186 and held them until 1227. After that, Pomerania, with the exception of the Principality of Rügen and the East Pomeranian Duchy of the Samborids , became part of the Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the imperial fief of Pomerania experienced a demographic as well as an economic and cultural turning point in the course of its incorporation into the ecclesiastical and secular structures of the empire and the massive settlement of Germans and Flemings in the course of the eastern settlement . It became part of the Low German- speaking area. This development was promoted by the dukes from the Slavic house of griffins , who wanted to increase the number of inhabitants and the tax power of their fiefs. Numerous monasteries, towns and villages were newly founded or expanded, thus creating the current settlement structure.

Conflict between the Teutonic Order and the Kingdom of Poland over Pomerania and West Prussia in the 15th century

The first Pomeranian monastery was Stolpe an der Peene , founded in 1153 . Two years later, the Grobe Abbey near Usedom followed . In 1180, Premonstratensians from Lower Saxony founded the Belbuck Monastery. Danish Cistercians founded the Kolbatz Monastery in 1173, the Hilda Monastery (today Eldena) in 1199 and the Cistercian Oliva Monastery near Gdansk in 1186. Monks from Kolbatz founded the Oliva Monastery . In the 13th century, settlers from the areas of present-day Mecklenburg, Lower Saxony and Westphalia founded new cities according to Lübischem law (1234 Stralsund , 1250 Greifswald , 1255 Kolberg ( Kołobrzeg ), 1259 Wolgast , 1262 Greifenberg ( Gryfice )) and according to Magdeburg law (1243 Stettin ( Szczecin ), 1243/53 Stargard , 1260 Pölitz (Police) ).

In 1295 the rulership of the Griffin was divided into the principalities of Stettin (inland part on both sides of the Oder and south of the Stettiner Haff ) and Wolgast (coastal areas, in Western Pomerania north of the Peene including Demmin and Anklam ). The latter was further divided several times until the middle of the 15th century, but took over the Principality of Rügen (island of Rügen and the mainland opposite with the cities of Stralsund, Barth , Damgarten , Tribsees , Grimmen and Loitz after the extinction of the Rügen princes in 1325 and the Wars of the Rügen Succession) ). At the beginning of the 15th century, the Polabian dialect of the Rügen Slavs became the last Slavic dialect of Western Pomerania.

From 1534 the Reformation found its way into Pomerania . By confiscating the extensive ecclesiastical lands, the dukes expanded their position of power. In 1536, Duke Philip I of Pomerania-Wolgast was married by Martin Luther in Torgau to Maria von Sachsen, a half-sister of Johann Friedrich I von Sachsen . The Pomeranian pastor Johannes Bugenhagen from Treptow an der Rega became one of the most famous reformers as "Doctor Pomeranus" alongside Luther and Melanchthon.

Under Bogislaw XIV , Pomerania was reunited in 1625. The neutrality of Pomerania during the Thirty Years' War was of little use to the country. Pomerania was mutually plundered by the imperial troops under Wallenstein and the Swedes under Gustav II Adolf . After Wallenstein occupied Pomerania despite the promise of Emperor Ferdinand II , Stralsund in 1628 and in 1630 (not entirely voluntarily) all of Pomerania joined the Swedes.

Swedish and Brandenburg-Prussian rule

Prussian Province of Pomerania

With the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Western Pomerania became part of Brandenburg, and Western Pomerania became Swedish Pomerania . Pomerania lost almost two thirds of its population in the Thirty Years War. The country was divided and economically poor. During the Swedish-Polish War (1655–1660) and also in the Swedish-Brandenburg War (1674–1679), the area was occupied by Swedish troops, and the larger cities of Stettin , Stralsund and Greifswald , which had been developed into fortresses, were besieged. The Brandenburg elector Friedrich Wilhelm I succeeded in conquering all of Swedish Pomerania in 1678. Although the estates had already paid homage to him, under pressure from France in the Peace of Saint-Germain he had to give up the conquered areas with the exception of the narrow strip of land east of the Oder.

Brandenburg and later the Kingdom of Prussia never waived their claims to the whole of Pomerania. After the end of the Great Northern War (1700–1721), Western Pomerania came south of the Peene with the islands of Usedom and Wollin to the Kingdom of Prussia, which had administered this area since 1713 under Sequester . In the 17th and 18th centuries the farm economy was fully established on the flat land. Concomitant phenomena were serfdom-like legal conditions of the dependent rural population and the so-called peasant laying , that is, the confiscation of peasant positions in favor of farms.

On the other hand, the Prussian kings intervened for military reasons from the middle of the 18th century and forbade the further drawing in of the farms in order not to endanger the recruitment of soldiers on the basis of the cantonal system. Something similar did not happen in Swedish Pomerania, and so at the end of the 18th century the estate economy reached a similar high point here as in neighboring Mecklenburg . Ernst Moritz Arndt , himself the son of a freed serf, castigated the related practices in several writings at the beginning of the 19th century.

In 1815, Pomerania received the Dramburg and Schivelbein districts and the northern parts of the Arnswalde district with the town of Nörenberg von der Neumark , which otherwise remained with the Province of Brandenburg . In the period from 1816 to 1945, the territorial administrative structure in the predominantly agricultural province of Pomerania changed only gradually. On October 1, 1938, Pomerania received most of the districts from the dissolved Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia province , plus the Arnswalde and Friedeberg (Neumark) districts from the Brandenburg province, and organized them into a new administrative district Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia with the seat in Schneidemühl , in which the Pomeranian districts of Dramburg and Neustettin were also incorporated.

After 1945

At the end of the Second World War , Pomerania was conquered by the Red Army in the spring of 1945 and was subsequently divided by establishing the German-Polish border along the Oder-Neisse line .

Shortly after the conquest, the areas east of the Oder and Swine were placed under Polish administration. It was not until July 3, 1945 that the provincial capital of Stettin, west of the Oder, was handed over by the Soviet Union to Poland, after a Polish and a German city administration had worked alongside and against each other. Even the German communists were surprised by this step. The flight and expulsion of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe 1945–1950 also included the entire area of ​​Pomerania that came to Poland.

Western Pomerania to the west of the new border became part of the Soviet occupation zone and in this part of the new federal state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . This name was shortened to Mecklenburg in 1947 . In 1952, the Western Pomerania area was divided into the GDR districts of Rostock and Neubrandenburg , a small part also came to the district of Frankfurt (Oder) . The tabooing of the name Pomerania during the GDR period was reflected in the renaming of the Pomeranian Evangelical Church in 1968 or in geographical names such as the Pomeranian Bay (renamed to Oderbucht) and the Stettiner Haff (renamed to Oderhaff).


With the accession of the GDR to the area of ​​application of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany , the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was newly constituted in 1990 , but with a different regional structure. With the two-plus-four treaty , the Federal Republic of Germany finally recognized the German-Polish Oder-Neisse border and thus the affiliation of Western Pomerania to Poland. As a result of the district reform of 1994, the districts of Northern Pomerania , Eastern Pomerania and Uecker-Randow were formed. North Western Pomerania, Uecker-Randow and, since its expansion, the Demmin district, combined the old Pomeranian and old Mecklenburg areas. In a new district reform in 2011 , the Western Pomerania districts of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania were dissolved again. The Pomeranian part of the state now extends over the newly created districts of Vorpommern-Rügen , Vorpommern-Greifswald and a smaller part of the Mecklenburg Lake District .

In order to bring the areas separated between Germany and Poland closer together, the Euroregion Pomerania was founded as part of European cooperation .

See also

Portal: Pomerania  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Pomerania


  • Thomas Heinrich Gadebusch : Swedish-Pomeranian civics . 2 volumes. Greifswald / Dessau 1783–1786.
  • Thomas Kantzow : Pomerania. Or Ursprung, the antiquity and history of the peoples and lands of Pomerania, Cassuben, Wenden, Stettin, Rhügen. In fourteen books . Edited by Johann Gottfried Ludwig Kosegarten, 2 volumes. Mauritius, Greifswald 1816–1817. (E-copy)
  • Pomerania. History and description of the Pomeranian country to promote Pomeranian patriotism. 2 volumes. Stettin 1844 ff. (With 109 city views).
  • Pomerania (encyclopedia entry). In: Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon. 6th edition, 16th volume, Leipzig and Vienna 1908, pp. 134-137.
  • Martin Wehrmann : History of Pomerania . 2 volumes. Gotha 1919–1921.
  • Martin Spahn: Constitutional and economic history of the Duchy of Pomerania from 1476 to 1625. Leipzig 1896.
  • Bruno Schumacher : History of East and West Prussia . Wuerzburg 1959.
  • Hans Branig: History of Pomerania. From 1648 to the end of the 18th century . Böhlau, Cologne et al. 1999, ISBN 3-412-09796-9 .
  • Manfred Raether: Poland's German Past. Schöneck 2004, ISBN 3-00-012451-9 . - New edition as an e-book, 2012; Kindle version.
  • Norbert Buske : Pomerania. Territorial state and part of Prussia. Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin 1997, ISBN 3-931185-07-9 .
  • Werner Buchholz (Ed.): Pomerania . Siedler, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-88680-272-8 . (= German history in Eastern Europe; Vol. 9)
  • Roderich Schmidt: The historical Pommern Böhlau publishing house, Cologne / Weimar 2006, ISBN 3-412-27805-X .
  • Gerhard Kobler: Historical Lexicon of the German Lands - The German Territories from the Middle Ages to the Present. 7th edition. CH Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-54986-1 .
  • Johannes Bugenhagen: Pomerania First overall presentation of the history of Pomerania . Edited by Norbert Buske . Thomas Helms Verlag Schwerin 2008, study edition Schwerin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940207-10-4 .
  • Monika and Stephan Wolting: This is Pomerania. A literary-artistic travel companion. Neisse Verlag, Dresden 2009, ISBN 978-3-934038-81-3 .
  • Haik Thomas Porada : Pomerania . In: Online encyclopedia on the culture and history of Germans in Eastern Europe. - Oldenburg 2014.

Web links

Commons : Pomeranian  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Pomerania  - Sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Pomerania  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bertelsmann - The New Universal Lexicon. Wissen Media Verlag, Gütersloh / Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-577-09099-5 , p. 757.
  2. The Brockhaus in one volume. 12th edition. Brockhaus Verlag, Leipzig / Mannheim 2006, ISBN 3-7653-1682-2 , p. 698.
  3. That is, the German state borders before the annexation of Austria in March 1938.
  4. Kurt Dröge: The "Central Pomeranian Wedge". Genesis of a cultural studies stereotype. In: Land by the Sea. Pomerania in the mirror of its history. Roderich Schmidt on his 70th birthday. Ed. V. Werner Buchholz u. Günter Mangelsdorf. Cologne / Weimar / Vienna 1995, pp. 759–785, passim.
  5. ^ Province of Pomerania. In: Territorial changes in Germany and German administered areas 1874–1945.