|flag||coat of arms|
|Situation in Prussia|
|surface||28,991.5 km² (1910)|
|Population density||72 inhabitants / km² (1910)|
|administration||2 administrative districts|
|Arose from||Poznański Department ( Duchy of Warsaw )|
Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia
|Today part of||Greater Poland Voivodeship Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship|
The Province of Posen (identical to the Grand Duchy of Posen ) was a province in the east of the state of Prussia on the territory of historical Greater Poland , which existed from 1815 to 1920 . From 1848 to 1851 the province belonged partly to the German Confederation , from 1867 completely to the North German Confederation and from 1871 to the German Empire . It had an area of almost 29,000 km² and was dominated by agriculture.
The province of Posen was formed in 1815 from two parts: from that part of the area annexed by Prussia in the course of the second partition of Poland in 1793 and lost by the Peace of Tilsit in 1807 , which it had received back through the Congress of Vienna , and that part of the network district which was incorporated into the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807 and which it also received back; the border against Poland, which existed in the 19th century, was established by the State Treaty of November 11, 1817. The province was the only Prussian province with a non-German majority of the population. Of the 2.1 million inhabitants around 1910: 60.9% spoke Polish and 38.4% German as their mother tongue . The language relationships also corresponded to a denominational contrast. More than 90% of the German speakers were Protestant, the Poles were predominantly Catholic. The Jews, whose share was relatively high at 1.5% (compared to 1.0% in the Reich), spoke German.
Most of the western border areas were populated by Germans, while the center and east were mostly Polish. There the German share in the cities was usually higher than in the surrounding area, but only Bromberg had a German majority. The smaller a community, the more likely it was either purely Polish or purely German. Larger cities besides the eponymous capital Posen were Bromberg, Schneidemühl , Gnesen and Inowrazlaw , Germanised to Hohensalza in 1904 . The biological reproduction speed of the two ethnic groups had been unequal in the past.
After Germany's defeat in World War I , there was a successful Polish uprising in 1918 . Except for the clearly predominantly German-speaking peripheral areas, the province came to the newly established Republic of Poland in 1919/1920 as a result of the Treaty of Versailles .
The landscape is mostly flat, drained by two large rivers, the Netze in the north and the Warta in the center. The glaciers of the Ice Age left moraine deposits behind; There are numerous small lakes scattered across the country, through which tributaries of the two large rivers flow. The main industry was agriculture .
coat of arms
Individual peripheral areas of the Kingdom of Poland , such as Fraustadt , Meseritz , Schwerin an der Warthe and the land north of the Netze were controversial compared to the neighboring territories of Silesia , Brandenburg and Pomerania . German farmers settled here in the 13th century, just as many cities in the core area experienced German immigration. In the 14th century these areas also came to Poland. Most of the later province was one of the provinces Posen and Province Kalisz .
Prussian period until 1867
After the collapse of Napoleonic supremacy , Prussia received the western part of the South Prussian province, which had been lost in 1807, back as the Grand Duchy of Posen at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and formed it into the Province of Posen in 1816. The north-west of the former network district around Deutsch Krone and Flatow remained with the province of West Prussia, into which it was reclassified in 1807. In terms of administration, the two administrative districts of Poznan and Bromberg existed until 1920 , which were further subdivided into urban and rural districts .
The province, like the provinces of East and West Prussia, was outside the borders of the German Confederation . In the final act of the Congress of Vienna, Prussia had undertaken to secure the preservation of the nationality of the Polish subjects and to grant the province some economic advantages on a reciprocal basis with the Kingdom of Poland . In elections for the municipal self-government of the cities and municipalities and the provincial parliament and other provincial organs, there were no statutory provisions regarding the language of the elected representatives.
Initially, the Prussian state officially treated its residents equally. The Polish speakers did not experience any formal restrictions compared to the German speakers. Polish was first used in schools and authorities. Prussian policy also initially appeared to be accommodating towards the Polish upper class, for whom the memory of the Polish state it supported was still alive. The example of Anton Radziwiłł , who was appointed governor of the province, shows that parts of the Polish national movement were ready to come to terms with the Prussian state.
After the November uprising in Congress Poland against the rule of the Russian Tsar in 1830, the special position of the Grand Duchy within the Prussian state was largely eliminated. The politically leading conservative circles in Prussia feared that Poland could become the starting point for a liberal revolutionary liberation movement in Europe - which would have meant the end of the system of the Holy Alliance . Under the Prussian President Eduard von Flottwell , the systematic displacement of Poles from public offices and the Polish language from education intensified. This procedure should also strengthen Prussian friendship with Russia.
In 1846 a planned uprising of Polish nationalists in the province of Poznan in the wake of the Cracow uprising was uncovered. The so-called Poland Trial took place against those involved in 1847 .
After the beginning of the revolution of 1848, an uprising broke out. This was soon put down. As a result, the last vestiges of special privileges of the Grand Duchy were removed and the area was organized like any other province. The German speakers in the province addressed themselves to the Bundestag, which in April included German-speaking parts of the province in the German Confederation. The Frankfurt National Assembly decided to divide the province; in the rest the Poles should organize themselves. During the treatment of this question of Poznan, however, the area for the Poles became smaller and smaller.
After Prussia had to give up the establishment of an Erfurt Union in the Olomouc puncture at the end of 1850, it temporarily came to terms with Austria again. In 1851 the German Confederation was completely restored. On this occasion, Prussia had the inclusion of the Poznan territories in the Federation reversed: It derived its great power position from the existence of state territory outside the federal territory.
Attempts at Germanization in the North German Confederation and in the German Empire
Prussia and with it the province of Posen became part of the North German Confederation in 1867 and of the German Empire in 1871 . The Polish speakers were no longer just citizens of Prussia, which was at least nominally neutral in national terms, but a linguistic minority within a state that understood itself to be German and soon found themselves exposed to targeted state exclusion in a number of ways. Now the province developed into a battleground between the Polish national movement and the Prussian authorities.
On the one hand, the Prussian government tried to force the Polish language out of school, Sunday catechesis and administration for good, which reached its symbolic - and later romanticized - climax in the Wreschen school strike in 1901. The refusal of Polish children from Wreschen - despite several hours of corporal punishment by the teachers - to answer in German led to the sentencing of 25 people to prison terms totaling over 17 years. This triggered a wave of solidarity protests that, by 1904, included around 75,000 children in 800 schools in the Poznan province.
The discrimination against Catholicism, to which most of the Poles belonged (while the Germans in the province of Posen were predominantly Protestant), in the course of the Kulturkampf, weighed heavily . This drove the long politically passive Polish rural population to Polish nationalism, who now longed for the establishment of an independent Poland, including Poznan.
There was also a change in the balance of power between the language groups. While the German-speaking proportion had grown from under 30% to almost 38% through assimilation, especially of most of the originally quite a few Polish Protestants, by 1890, this development has now declined. This was due, on the one hand, to the higher birth rate of the Poles, and on the other hand, the Germans were more subject to the so-called eastward flight , the emigration to the industrial areas of the empire. Measures to increase their share, especially the establishment of the Prussian Settlement Commission , which was supposed to buy land from Poland and only offered foreign Germans to buy for the purpose of settlement, could hardly compensate for these developments, but intensified the national political conflict. Nevertheless, the everyday coexistence of the language groups was consistently peaceful. The dissatisfaction of the Poles was directed against the German authorities, but not against the German housemates.
Poznan uprising 1918/1919
The Armistice of Compiègne on November 11, 1918 did not mention Poland, but the 14-point program of US President Woodrow Wilson provided for the "establishment of a Polish state, independent of Germany or Russia, with access to the sea".
The Poznan Uprising began on December 27, 1918 after the arrival of Ignacy Paderewski at the Poznan train station. The well-known pianist was a representative of the Polish National Committee between 1917 and 1919 in the USA and later became Polish Prime Minister. A day later, an uprising by Polish separatists broke out in the province of Posen, which led to open fighting between Germans and Poles. The aim of the separatists was to separate the province of Posen from the German Empire and to join this area to a newly founded Polish nation state. The actual uprising only lasted until February 16, 1919, when, due to Allied pressure, an armistice was enforced and a demarcation line was established before German border troops could regain control of the province. In practice, however, there were repeated shootings and skirmishes in large parts of the province of Poznan. This state of affairs lasted until the regular Polish military under General Haller took over the area , which took place in accordance with the provisions of the Versailles Treaty in January 1920.
The predominantly German-speaking peripheral areas in the west remained largely within the newly formed Prussian province Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia in Germany. Some predominantly German-speaking areas in the south and northeast, including the city of Bromberg, on the other hand, had to be ceded to Poland.
In the new Polish state
Between 1920 and 1929 , the Polish government expropriated many local Germans who were not granted Polish citizenship under Article 297 b) of the Versailles Treaty . From 1925 onwards, an agrarian reform law resulted in many German-speaking farmers - including those to whom the Prussian state had sold arable land - had to forcibly sell their land.
Warthegau in the Third Reich
After the attack on Poland, Nazi Germany annexed the Posen Voivodeship, in violation of international law, and formed the Reichsgau Wartheland with Posen as its capital , somewhat similar to the former province, but with the inclusion of other Polish areas . The area around Bromberg was added to the Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia .
After the Second World War
In 1945 the entire area of the former province of Posen was returned to Poland and the German minority was expelled. After the territorial reform in 1999, it is now largely identical to the Greater Poland Voivodeship . However, some circles of the former province are among the provinces Kujawy and Lebus .
Administrative division 1914
When the administration was divided up after 1815, 17 districts were formed in the Posen district and 9 districts in the Bromberg district. Then there was the city of Poznan and - in 1875 - the city of Bromberg. By law of June 6, 1887, 11 districts were divided into two new ones each and the two new districts Znin and Jarotschin were formed by separating areas from a further 6, otherwise existing districts. In 1914 the town of Schneidemühl left the Kolmar district. The following list shows the administrative structure otherwise unchanged from 1887 to 1919 in 40 rural and 3 urban districts.
- Poznan City District
- Adelnau district
- Circle pear tree
- District bomb
- Fraustadt district
- Gostyn district (formed in 1887 from the northern part of the Kröben district and some places in the Schrimm district)
- District of Grätz (formed in 1887 from the division of the district of Buk)
- District of Jarotschin (1898 from parts of the districts of Pleschen, Wreschen and Schrimm)
- Kempen district (separated from Schildberg district in 1887)
- Koschmin district (separated from Krotoschin district in 1887)
- Circle cost
- Krotoschin district
- District of Lissa (separated from the district of Fraustadt in 1887)
- Meseritz district
- Neutomischel district (formed in 1887 from division of the Buk district)
- Obornik district
- Ostrowo district (separated from Adelnau district in 1887)
- Pleschen district
- Posen-East District (formed in 1887 from the division of the Posen District)
- Posen-West District (formed in 1887 from the division of the Posen District)
- Rawitsch district (formed in 1887 from the division of the Kröben district)
- Samter district
- Schildberg district
- District Schmiegel (separated from District Costs in 1887)
- Schrimm district
- Schroda district
- Schwerin an der Warthe district (separated from Birnbaum district in 1887)
- Wreschen district
- Borough of Bromberg (since 1875)
- City district of Schneidemühl (since 1914)
- District of Bromberg
- Czarnikau district
- Filehne district (separated from Czarnikau district in 1887)
- Gnesen district
- District of Hohensalza (until 1904 District of Inowrazlaw )
- Kolmar i. Poznan (until 1878 Chodziesen district )
- Mogilno district
- Schubin district
- Strelno district
- District Wirsitz
- Witkowo district (separated from Gnesen district in 1887)
- Wongrowitz district
- Znin district (formed in 1887 from parts of the Mogilno, Schubin and Wongrowitz districts)
- 1815–1824: Joseph von Zerboni di Sposetti
- 1825–1830: Theodor von Baumann
- 1830–1840: Eduard von Flottwell
- 1840–1842: Adolf Heinrich von Arnim-Boitzenburg
- 1843–1850: Carl Moritz von Beurmann
- 1850–1851: Gustav von Bonin (1st term of office)
- 1851–1860: Eugen von Puttkamer
- 1860–1862: Gustav von Bonin (2nd term)
- 1862–1869: Karl von Horn
- 1869–1873: Otto von Königsmarck
- 1873–1886: William Barstow von Guenther
- 1886–1890: Robert von Zedlitz-Trützschler
- 1890–1899: Hugo von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff
- 1899–1903: Rudolf von Bitter the Younger
- 1903–1911: Wilhelm von Waldow
- 1911–1914: Philipp Schwartzkopff
- 1914–1918: Hans von Eisenhart-Rothe
State governors (state directors)
- 1885–1893: Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner
- 1893–1911: Sigismund von Dziembowski
- 1911–1919: Ernst von Heyking
- from 1919: State Director of Brandenburg in Berlin (provisional)
Around 1900 the province had almost 1.9 million inhabitants (901,853 male, 985,422 female). According to the creed, 1,280,172 were Catholics, 569,564 Protestants, 2,135 other Christians and 35,327 Israelites. According to nationality, 1,882,090 were Reich citizens, 5,184 Reich foreigners and 1 other. According to the mother tongue, 718,000 were Germans, the rest were Poles , Masurians and Kashubians .
|Share in Prussia||?||8.0% (1817)||?||?||6.4%||6.2%||5.8%||5.5%||5.2%|
|Bromberg administrative district||762.947||379,488||49.7%||378.831||49.7%||4,929||0.6%|
|Kolmar in Poznan||76.020||61,600||81.0%||13,957||18.4%||422||0.6%|
|We are seated||67.219||34,235||50.9%||32,446||48.3%||494||0.7%|
|Schwerin a. W.||21,620||19,729||91.3%||1,722||8.0%||142||0.7%|
- Bibliography East Central Europe (Herder Institute Marburg)
- Helmut Neubach : Contributions to a biographical lexicon of Germans from the region of the province of Posen. Based on the “Posen Biographies” published by Joachim Heinrich Balde in the magazine “Der Kulturwart” from 1978–1998. Martin Opitz Library , Herne 2003, ISBN 3-923371-26-8 .
- Manfred Raether: Poland's German Past. Schöneck 2004, ISBN 3-00-012451-9 . (Updated new edition as an e-book).
- Martin Sprungala: The history of the Poznan districts and independent cities. Bad Bevensen 2007.
- Martin Sprungala: Historical Directory of the Province of Poznan and the Poznań Voivodeship (Poznan). Bad Bevensen 2007.
- Friedrich August Vossberg (ed.): Book of arms of the cities of the Grand Duchy of Posen . JA Stargardt, Berlin 1866 ( e-copy )
- Bernhard Breslauer: The emigration of the Jews from the province of Posen. Memorandum on behalf of the Association of German Jews. Berthold Levy, Berlin 1909. (With statistical appendix.) Online (PDF; 1.6 MB)
- Paul Krische and Carl Riemann: The Province of Posen. Their history and culture with special attention to their agriculture . Weicke, Stassfurt 1907 [reprint: Melchior, Wolfenbüttel 2011, ISBN 978-3-942562-64-5 ].
- Heinrich Wuttke : City book of the country Posen. Codex diplomaticus: General history of the cities in the region of Poznan. Historical news from 149 individual cities . Leipzig 1864 ( e-copy ).
- Georg Hassel Complete and most recent description of the earth of the Prussian monarchy and the Free State of Krakow . Weimar 1819, pp. 598-630.
- Communications on the Grand Duchy of Poznan . In: Prussian provincial sheets . Volume 17, Königsberg 1837, pp. 455-469 and pp. 537-550 , Volume 18, Königsberg 1837, pp. 73-86 and pp. 166 ff.
- A. Bäck: The province or the Grand Duchy of Poznan in geographical, statistical and topographical relation. According to the latest, mostly official news . Berlin, Posen and Bromberg 1847 ( e-copy ),
- Johann Gottfried Hoffmann : The population of the Prussian state according to the results of the news officially recorded at the end of 1837 , Berlin 1839 ( e-copy ).
- Royal Statistical Bureau: The municipalities and manor districts of the Prussian state and their population. Edited and compiled from the original materials of the general census of December 1, 1871. Part IV: The Province of Posen , Berlin 1874 ( e-copy ).
- ACA Friedrich: Historical-geographical representation of old and new Poland . Berlin 1839, pp. 558-593.
- Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to reunification in 1990. The Prussian province of Posen until 1922. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
- Collection of historical maps on German-Polish history ( Memento from June 16, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- Polish digitization project with a small number of German-language titles and a. Poznan Provincial Dictionary
- Copy of the community dictionary from 1905 and maps of the districts.
- Language map of the province of Posen from Andrees Handatlas 1914 (after the 1905 census)
- Poznan Province Poznan -L Mailing List ( Wiki Division )
- Poznan Province (Genealogy.net)
- Poznan Province (counties, municipalities and manor districts) 1910
- Poses . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 13, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 268.
- Prussian Provinces 1910
- Johann Gottfried Hoffmann : The population of the Prussian state according to the results of the news officially recorded at the end of 1837 , Berlin 1839, p. 2 ( online ).
- Bernhard Breslauer: The emigration of the Jews from the province of Posen. Association of German Jews, Berlin 1909, esp. P. 3 (PDF; 1.7 MB); not Yiddish , see Jechiel Bin-Nun: Yiddish and the German dialects. Niemeyer, Tübingen 1973, ISBN 3-484-10170-9 , p. 86 f.
- Preuss. GS. 1887 pp. 197-207
- A more or less large part of the district area remained in 1920 within the newly formed border region Posen-West Prussia with the German Empire.
- According to territorial.de
- Brockhaus Enzyklopädie , 14th edition (1903), 13th volume, p. 310.
- For 1816:?; for 1831, 1861, 1890: Leszek Belzyt : Linguistic minorities in the Prussian state 1815–1914. Marburg 1998, p. 17; for 1871, 1880, 1900, 1910:
- Georg Hassel : Statistical outline of the entire European and the most distinguished non-European states, with regard to their development, size, population, financial and military constitution, presented in tabular form; First issue: Which represents the two great powers Austria and Prussia and the German Confederation; National Diversity 1819: Poland - 680,100; Germans - 155,000; Jews - 48,700 ; Verlag des Geographisches Institut Weimar (1823), p. 43
- Michael Rademacher: German administrative history from the unification of the empire in 1871 to the reunification in 1990. Prussian province of Posen until 1922. (Online material for the dissertation, Osnabrück 2006).
- Leszek Belzyt: Linguistic minorities in the Prussian state from 1815 to 1914 . Marburg 1998, p. 17 f. ISBN 3-87969-267-X
- Dietrich Schäfer: Language map of the German east brands. Designed by Dietrich Schäfer . Publisher by Karl Curtius ( bibliotekacyfrowa.pl [accessed on March 13, 2017]).