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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The historical urban center of Western Pomerania - Szczecin (Stettin) at the mouth of the Oder river.
The Pomeranian Griffin
The historical urban center of Pomerelia - Gdańsk (Danzig) at the mouth of the Vistula river.

Pomerania (German: Pommern, Polish: Pomorze, Kashubian: Pòmòrze or Pòmòrskô, Latin: Pomerania or Pomorania) is a historical region on the south shore of the Baltic Sea. Divided between Germany and Poland, it stretches roughly from the Recknitz River near Stralsund in the West, via the Oder River delta near Szczecin, to the mouth of the Vistula River near Gdańsk in the East.[1] It is inhabited primarily by Poles, Germans and Kashubians. Pomerania was strongly affected by 20th century, post-World War I and II border and population shifts.

Pomerania belongs to the lowlands of the North European Plain. Outside the few urban centers, most notably the Szczecin and Tricity metropolitan areas, the poor soil is mostly used as farmland, dotted with numerous lakes, forests, and small towns. Primary agriculture consists of raising livestock, forestry, fishery and the cultivation of cereals, sugar beets, and potatoes. Since the late 19th century, tourism has become an important sector of the economy, primarily in the numerous seaside resorts along the coast. Of the limited industrial zones, the most important products are ships, metal products, refined sugar, and paper.[1]



Historical fishing boat ("Zeesenboot") in a Bodden.
Typical landing bridge and Baltic beach (Ahlbeck (Usedom))

Pomerania is the area along the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea between the rivers Recknitz in the west and Vistula in the east.[1][2] It formerly reached as far south as the Noteć (Netze) and Warta (Warthe) rivers, but since 1250 its southern boundary has been placed further north. Most of the region is coastal lowland of the North European Plain, its southern, hilly parts belong to the Baltic Ridge, a belt of terminal moraines formed during the Pleistocene. Within this ridge, a chain of moraine-dammed lakes constitutes the Pomeranian Lake District. The soil is generally poor, often sandy or marshy.[1] The western coastline is jagged, with lots of peninsulae (e.g., Darß-Zingst) and islands (Rügen, Usedom, Wolin and other, small isles) enclosing numerous bays (Bodden) and lagoons (e.g., the Lagoon of Szczecin).

The eastern coastline is smooth. The lakes Łebsko, Jamno and Gardno were formerly bays but have been cut off from the sea. The easternmost coastline along the Gdańsk Bay (with Bay of Puck) and Vistula Bay has the Hel peninsula and the Vistula peninsula jut out into the Baltic.


Pomerania in all languages is derived from Old Slavic po, meaning "by/next to/along", and more, meaning "sea", thus "Pomerania" is literally "seacoast", referring to its proximity to the Baltic Sea.[3]

Pomerania was first mentioned in an imperial document of 1046, referring to a Zemuzil dux Bomeranorum (Zemuzil, Duke of the Pomeranians).[4] Pomerania is mentioned repeatedly in the chronicles of Adam of Bremen (ca. 1070) and Gallus Anonymous (ca. 1113).


Current administrative division of Pomerania
Lower Oder Valley National Park (shared by Germany and Poland)

Pomerania is currently divided between the following main regions:

The bulk of historical Farther Pomerania is included within the modern West Pomeranian Voivodeship, its easternmost parts (Slupsk (Stolp) area) now constitute the northwestern Pomeranian Voivodeship. Farther Pomerania in turn comprised several other historical regions itself, most notably the Lands of Schlawe and Stolp, the Lauenburg and Bütow Land, the County of Naugard and the principality of the Cammin bishops. In the South, Farther Pomerania comprised historical Neumark regions, and former Grenzmark Posen-West Prussia was attached during World War II.

Parts of Pomerania and surrounding regions have constituted a euroregion since 1995. The Pomerania euroregion comprises Germany's Vorpommern and Uckermark, Poland's Zachodniopomorskie, and Scania in Sweden.



The term "West(ern) Pomerania" is potentially ambiguous, since it may refer to either Vorpommern (in historical[5] and German usage), to the Polish West Pomeranian Voivodeship, or both (in Polish usage).

The term Eastern Pomerania may similarly carry different meanings, referring either to historical Farther Pomerania (in historical[5] and German usage), or the Pomeranian Voivodeship (in Polish usage).

< West Pomerania East >
Stralsund Anklam Szczecin
Current regions Vorpommern
(West Pomeranian Voivodeship)
(Pomeranian Voivodeship)
German terminology
(corresponding English term)
Pomerellen, Pommerellen[1]
in modern usage excluding Szczecin
(Western Pomerania)
(Hither/Upper Pomerania)
(Farther/Further Pomerania)
(Eastern Pomerania)
Polish terminology
(corresponding English term)
Pomorze Zachodnie, Zachodniepomorskie
in historical usage including Slupsk
(Western Pomerania)
Pomorze Szczecińskie (Szczecin Pomerania)
Pomorze Nadodrzańskie (Oder Pomerania)
Pomorze,[1] Pomorskie
in historical usage excluding Slupsk
(Pomerelia,[1] literally Pomerania)
Pomorze Gdanskie
(Gdansk Pomerania)
Pomorze Wschodnie
(Eastern Pomerania)
Pomorze Przednie
(Hither/Upper Pomerania)
Pomorze Tylne
(Farther/Further Pomerania)
Kashubian terminology
(corresponding English term)
Zôpadnô Pòmòrskô
(Western Pomerania)
Pòrénkòwô Pòmòrskô
(Eastern Pomerania)


Prehistory and Early Middle Ages

Settlement in Pomerania started by the end of the Vistula Glacial Stage, some 13,000 years ago.[6] Archeological traces have been found of various cultures during the Stone and Bronze Age, Veneti and Germanic peoples during the Iron Age and, in the Middle Ages, Slavic tribes and Vikings.[7][8][9][6][10][11][12] Starting in the 10th century, early Polish dukes on several occasions subdued parts of the region from the southeast, while the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark augmented their territory from the west and north.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

High Middle Ages to Early Modern Age

Stralsund, one of several Hanseatic cities built in typical Brick Gothic style.
Fragment of ruin of Augustinians' cloister in Jasienica, Police (14th century)

In the High Middle Ages, the area became Christian and was ruled by local dukes of the House of Pomerania (Griffins) and the Samborides, at various times vassals of Denmark, the Holy Roman Empire and Poland.[20][21][22] From the late 12th century, the Griffin Duchy of Pomerania stayed with the Holy Roman Empire and the Principality of Rugia with Denmark, while Denmark, Brandenburg, Poland and the Teutonic Knights struggled for control in Samboride Pomerelia.[22][23][24] The Teutonic Knights succeeded in integrating Pomerelia into their monastic state in the early 14th century. Meanwhile the Ostsiedlung started to turn Pomerania into a German-settled area, the remaining Wends, who became known as Slovincians and Kashubians, continued to settle within the rural East.[25][26] In 1325 the line of the princes of Rugia (Rügen) died out, and the principality was inherited by the Griffins.[27] In 1466, with the Teutonic Order's defeat, Pomerelia became subject to the Polish Crown as a part of Royal Prussia.[28] While the Duchy of Pomerania adopted the Protestant reformation in 1534,[29][30][31] Kashubia remained with the Roman Catholic Church. The Thirty Years' and subsequent wars severely ravaged and depopulated most of Pomerania.[32] With the extinction of the Griffin house during the same period, the Duchy of Pomerania was divided between the Swedish Empire and Brandenburg-Prussia in 1648.

Modern Age

1980 strike at Gdańsk Shipyard, birthplace of Solidarnosc. This marked the beginning of the collapse of Communist rule in Pomerania.

Prussia gained the southern parts of Swedish Pomerania in 1720,[33] Pomerelia in 1772, and the remainder of Swedish Pomerania in 1815, when French occupation during the Napoleonic Wars was lifted.[34] The former Brandenburg-Prussian Pomerania and the former Swedish parts were reorganized into the Prussian Province of Pomerania,[35] while Pomerelia was made part of the Province of West Prussia. With Prussia, both provinces joined the newly constituted German Empire in 1871. Following the empire's defeat in World War I, Pomerelia was transformed into the Polish Corridor and the Free City of Danzig. Germany's Province of Pomerania was expanded in 1938 to include northern parts of the former Province of Posen–West Prussia, and in 1939 the annexed Polish Corridor became part of the wartime Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. The Nazis deported the Pomeranian Jews to a reservation near Lublin[36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45] and, in Pomerelia, mass murdered Jews, Poles and Kashubians following Nazi Germany's untermensch ideology.

After Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II, the German–Polish border was shifted west to the Oder–Neisse line and all of Pomerania was under Soviet military control.[46][47] The German population of the areas east of the line was expelled, and the area was resettled primarily with Poles (some themselves expellees from former eastern Poland) and some Ukrainians (resettled under Operation Wisła) and Jews.[48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56] Most of Western Pomerania (Vorpommern) remained in Germany and today forms the eastern part of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, while the Polish part of the region is divided between West Pomeranian Voivodeship and Pomeranian Voivodeship, with their capitals in Szczecin (Stettin) and Gdańsk (Danzig), respectively. During the 1980s, the Solidarność and Die Wende movements had overthrown the Communist regimes implemented during the post-war era, since, Pomerania is democratically governed.


Western Pomerania is inhabited by German Pomeranians. In the eastern parts, Poles are the dominating ethnic group since World War II. Kashubians, descendants of the medieval Slavic Pomeranians, are numerous in rural Pomerelia.

Polish Voivodeship/
German Landschaft
Capital Registration
Polish 31 December 1999
German 2001
Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship
(northernmost parts)
Bydgoszcz (Voivod office)
Toruń (Voivod council)
C 17,969.72 2,100,771 04
Pomeranian Voivodeship Gdańsk G 18,292.88 2,192,268 22
West Pomeranian Voivodeship Szczecin Z 22,901.48 1,732,838 32
Polish Pomerania and Kuyavia total 59,164.08 6,025,877
Nordvorpommern Grimmen NVP 2,168 117,722
Ostvorpommern Anklam OVP 1,910 113,623
Rügen Bergen auf Rügen RÜG 974 74,400
Uecker-Randow Pasewalk UER 1,624 83,459
Demmin (district) Demmin DM 1,921 93,700
Greifswald HGW 52.2 52,984
Stralsund HST 39.0 57,613
German Pomerania total 8,701 595,888

Cities and towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants

Kashubians in regional dress

(with population figures for 1999):

Languages and dialects

Section of a detailed map from Meyers Kleiner Hand-Atlas published by Julius Meyer in Leipzig, Germany and Wien, Austria in 1892.

In the German part of Pomerania, Standard German and the East Low German Pomeranian dialects Vorpommersch and Mittelpommersch are spoken, though Standard German dominates. Polish is the dominating language in the Polish part, Kashubian dialects are also spoken by the Kashubians in Pomerelia.

Ostpommersch, the East Low German dialect of Farther Pomerania and western Pomerelia, Low Prussian, the East Low German dialect of eastern Pomerelia, and Standard German were dominating in Pomerania east of the Oder-Neisse line before most of its speakers were expelled after World War II. Slovincian was spoken at the Farther Pomeranian-Pomerelian frontier, but is now extinct.

Kashubian or Low German Pomeranian dialects are also spoken by the descendants of emigrees, most notably in the Americas.


National Museum in Szczecin, Pałac Sejmu Stanów Pomorskich (Landeshaus)

The Pomeranian State Museum in Greifswald, dedicated to the history of Pomerania, has a variety of archeological findings and artefacts from the different periods covered in this article. At least 50 museums in Poland cover history of Pomerania, the most important of them The National Museum in Gdańsk, Central Pomerania Museum in Słupsk,[57] Darłowo Museum,[58] Koszalin Museum,[59] National Museum in Szczecin.[60]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001-07
  2. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000, Pomerania [1]
  3. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000, Pomerania [2]: "Pomerania is the medieval Latin form of German Pommern, itself a loanword in German from Slavic. The Polish word for Pomerania is Pomorze, composed of the preposition po, “along, by,” and morze, “sea.” The Slavic word for sea, more, which becomes morze in Polish, comes from the Indo-European noun *mori–, “sea,” the source of Latin mare, “sea,” and the mer- of English mermaid."
  4. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.23,24, ISBN 3886802728
  5. ^ a b e.g. here (Sheperd Atlas), or in old Enc Britannica
  6. ^ a b Johannes Hoops, Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde, Walter de Gruyter, p.422, ISBN 3110177331
  7. ^ From the First Humans to the Mesolithic Hunters in the Northern German Lowlands, Current Results and Trends - THOMAS TERBERGER. From: Across the western Baltic, edited by: Keld Møller Hansen & Kristoffer Buck Pedersen, 2006, ISBN 87-983097-5-7, Sydsjællands Museums Publikationer Vol. 1 [3]
  8. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, pp.18ff, ISBN 8390618486
  9. ^ Horst Wernicke, Greifswald, Geschichte der Stadt, Helms, 2000, pp.16ff, ISBN 3931185567
  10. ^ A. W. R. Whittle, Europe in the Neolithic: The Creation of New Worlds, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p.198, ISBN 0521449200
  11. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.22,23, ISBN 3886802728
  12. ^ Joachim Herrmann, Die Slawen in Deutschland, Akademie-Verlag Berlin, 1985, pp.pp.237ff,244ff
  13. ^ Joachim Herrmann, Die Slawen in Deutschland, Akademie-Verlag Berlin, 1985, pp.261,345ff
  14. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, p.32, ISBN 839061848:pagan reaction of 1005
  15. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.25, ISBN 3886802728: pagan uprising that also ended the Polish suzerainity in 1005
  16. ^ A. P. Vlasto, Entry of Slavs Christendom, CUP Archive, 1970, p.129, ISBN 0521074592: abandoned 1004 - 1005 in face of violent opposition
  17. ^ Nora Berend, Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' C. 900-1200, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p.293, ISBN 0521876168, 9780521876162
  18. ^ David Warner, Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, Manchester University Press, 2001, p.358, ISBN 0719049261, 9780719049262
  19. ^ Michael Borgolte, Benjamin Scheller, Polen und Deutschland vor 1000 Jahren: Die Berliner Tagung über den "Akt von Gnesen", Akademie Verlag, 2002, p.282, ISBN 3050037490, 9783050037493
  20. ^ James Thayer Addison, Medieval Missionary: A Study of the Conversion of Northern Europe Ad 500 to 1300, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, pp.57ff, ISBN 0766175677
  21. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, pp.35ff, ISBN 839061848
  22. ^ a b Gerhard Krause, Horst Robert Balz, Gerhard Müller, Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp.40ff, ISBN 3110154358
  23. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.34ff,87,103, ISBN 3886802728
  24. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, p.43, ISBN 839061848
  25. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, 1999, pp.77ff, ISBN 839061848
  26. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.45ff, ISBN 3886802728
  27. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.115,116, ISBN 3886802728
  28. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.186, ISBN 3886802728
  29. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.205–212, ISBN 3886802728
  30. ^ Richard du Moulin Eckart, Geschichte der deutschen Universitäten, Georg Olms Verlag, 1976, pp.111,112, ISBN 3487060787
  31. ^ Gerhard Krause, Horst Robert Balz, Gerhard Müller, Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Walter de Gruyter, 1997, pp.43ff, ISBN 3110154358
  32. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.263,332,341–343,352–354, ISBN 3886802728
  33. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.341-343, ISBN 3886802728
  34. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.363,364, ISBN 3886802728
  35. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.366, ISBN 3886802728
  36. ^ Lucie Adelsberger, Arthur Joseph Slavin, Susan H. Ray, Deborah E. Lipstadt, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Story, Northeastern University Press, 1995, ISBN 1555532330, p.138: February 12/13, 1940
  37. ^ Isaiah Trunk, Jacob Robinson, Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation, U of Nebraska Press, 1996, ISBN 080329428X, p.133: February 14, 1940; unheated wagons, elderly and sick suffered most, inhumane treatment
  38. ^ Leni Yahil, Ina Friedman, Haya Galai, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945, Oxford University Press US, 1991, ISBN 0195045238, p.138: February 12/13, 1940, 1,300 Jews of all sexes and ages, extreme cruelty, no food allowed to be taken along, cold, some died during deportation, cold and snow during resettlement, 230 dead by March 12, Lublin reservation chosen in winter, 30,000 Germans resettled before to make room [4]
  39. ^ Martin Gilbert, Eilert Herms, Alexandra Riebe, Geistliche als Retter - auch eine Lehre aus dem Holocaust: Auch eine Lehre aus dem Holocaust, Mohr Siebeck, 2003, ISBN 3161482298, pp.14 (English) and 15 (German): February 15, 1940, 1000 Jews deported
  40. ^ Jean-Claude Favez, John Fletcher, Beryl Fletcher, The Red Cross and the Holocaust, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 052141587X, p.33: February 12/13, 1,100 Jews deported, 300 died en route [5]
  41. ^ Yad Vashem Studies, Yad ṿa-shem, rashut ha-zikaron la-Shoʼah ṿela-gevurah, Yad Vashem Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, 1996 Notizen: v.12, p.69: 1,200 deported, 250 died during deportation
  42. ^ Nathan Stoltzfus, Resistance of the Heart: Intermarriage and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Nazi Germany, Rutgers University Press, 2001, ISBN 0813529093, p.130: February 11/12 from Stettin, soon thereafter from Schneidemühl, total of 1,260 Jews deported, among the deportees were intermarried non-Jewish women who had refused to divorce, eager Nazi Gauleiter Schwede-Coburg was the first to have his Gau "judenfrei", Eichmann's "RSHA" (Reich Security Main Office) ensured this was an isolated local incident to worried Eppstein of the Central Organization of Jews in Germany (Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland)
  43. ^ John Mendelsohn, Legalizing the Holocaust, the Later Phase, 1939-1943, Garland Pub., 1982, ISBN 0824048768, p.131: Stettin Jews' houses were sealed, belongings liquidated, funds to be held in blocked accounts
  44. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, ISBN 3886802728, p.506: Only very few [of the Pomeranian Jews] survived the Nazi era. p.510: Nearly all Jews from Stettin and all the province, about a thousand
  45. ^ Alicia Nitecki, Jack Terry, Jakub's World: A Boy's Story of Loss and Survival in the Holocaust, SUNY Press, 2005, ISBN 0791464075, pp.13ff: Stettin Jews to Belzyce in Lublin area, reservation purpose decline of Jews, terror command of Kurt Engels, shocking insights in life circumstances
  46. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, pp.512-515, ISBN 3886802728
  47. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, pp.373ff, ISBN 839061848
  48. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, pp.381ff, ISBN 839061848
  49. ^ Tomasz Kamusella in Prauser and Reeds (eds), The Expulsion of the German communities from Eastern Europe, p.28, EUI HEC 2004/1 [6]
  50. ^ Philipp Ther, Ana Siljak, Redrawing Nations: Ethnic Cleansing in East-Central Europe, 1944-1948, 2001, p.114, ISBN 0742510948, 9780742510944
  51. ^ Gregor Thum, Die fremde Stadt. Breslau nach 1945", 2006, pp.363, ISBN 3570550176, 9783570550175
  52. ^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.515, ISBN 3886802728
  53. ^ Dierk Hoffmann, Michael Schwartz, Geglückte Integration?, p142
  54. ^ Karl Cordell, Andrzej Antoszewski, Poland and the European Union, 2000, p.168, ISBN 0415238854
  55. ^ Jan M Piskorski, Pommern im Wandel der Zeit, p.406, ISBN 839061848
  56. ^ Selwyn Ilan Troen, Benjamin Pinkus, Merkaz le-moreshet Ben-Guryon, Organizing Rescue: National Jewish Solidarity in the Modern Period, pp.283-284, 1992, ISBN 0714634131, 9780714634135
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^
  60. ^

External links

Internet directories

Culture and history

Maps of Pomerania

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Central Europe : Pomerania

Pomerania - historical region in Poland and Germany.

Cities and towns:

See also

Pomerania is politically divided into three units/provinces:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

POMERANIA (German, Pommern), a territory of Germany and a maritime province of Prussia, bounded on the N. by the Baltic, on the W. by Mecklenburg, on the S. by Brandenburg, and on the E. by West Prussia. Its area is 11,630 sq. m., and the population in 1905 was 1,684,125, showing a density of 145 inhabitants to the square mile. The province is officially divided into the three districts of Stralsund, Stettin and Koslin, but more historical interest attaches to the names of Vorpommern and Hinterpommern, or Hither and Farther Pomerania, the former being applied to the territory to the west, and the latter to that to the east of the Oder. Pomerania is one of the flattest parts of Germany, although east of the Oder it '.s traversed by a range of low hills, and there are also a few isolated eminences to the west. Off the west coast, which is very irregular, lie the islands of Riigen, Usedom and Wollin; the coast of Farther Pomerania is smooth in outline and is bordered with dunes, or sandbanks. Besides the Oder and its affluents, the chief of which are the Peene, the Ucker and the Ihna, there are several smaller rivers flowing into the Baltic; a few of these are navigable for ships, but the greater number only carry rafts. Many of them end in small lakes, which are separated from the sea by narrow strips of land, through which the water escapes by one or more outlets. The interior of the province is also thickly sprinkled with lakes, the combined area of which is equal to about one-twentieth of the entire surface.

The soil of Pomerania is for the most part thin and sandy, but patches of good land are found here and there. About 55% of the whole is under tillage, while 16% consists of meadow and pasture and 21% is covered by forests. The principal crops are potatoes, rye and oats, but wheat and barley are grown in the more fertile districts; tobacco, flax, hops and beetroot are also cultivated. Agriculture is still carried on in a somewhat primitive fashion, and as a rule the livestock is of an inferior quality, though the breed of horses, of a heavy build and mostly used in agriculture, is held in high esteem. Large flocks of sheep are kept, both for their flesh and their wool, and there are in the province large numbers of horned cattle and of pigs, Geese and goose feathers form lucrative articles of export. Owing to the long line of coast and the numerous lakes, fishing forms an important industry, and large quantities of herrings, eels and lampreys are sent from Pomerania to other parts of Germany. With the exception of the almost inexhaustible layers of peat, the mineral wealth of the province is insignificant. Its industrial activity is not great, but there are manufactures of machinery, chemicals, paper, tobacco and sugar; these are made chiefly in or near the large towns, while linen-weaving is practised as a domestic industry. Ship-building is carried on at Stettin and at several places along the coast. The commerce of Pomerania is in a flourishing condition, its principal ports being Stettin, Stralsund and Swinemiinde. Education is provided for by a university at Greifswald and by numerous schools. The province sends 14 members to the German Reichstag, and 26 to the Prussian house of representatives. The heir to the Prussian crown bears the title of governor of Pomerania.


In prehistoric times the southern coast of the Baltic seems to have been occupied by Celts, who afterwards made way for tribes of Teutonic stock. These in their turn migrated to other settlements and were replaced, about the end of the 5th century of our era, by Slavonic tribes, the Wilzi and the Pomerani. The name of Pomore, or Pommern, meaning "on the sea," was given to the district by the latter of the tribes about the time of Charlemagne, and it has often changed its political and geographical significance. Originally it seems to have denoted the coast district between the Oder and the Vistula, a territory which was at first more or less dependent on Poland, but which, towards the end of the 12th century, was ruled by two native princes, who took the title of duke about 1170 and admitted the authority of the German king in 1181. Afterwards Pomerania extended much farther to the west, while being correspondingly curtailed on the east, and a distinction was made between Slavinia, or modern Pomerania, and Pomerellen. The latter, corresponding substantially to the present province of West Prussia, remained subject to Poland until 1309, when it was divided between Brandenburg and the Teutonic Order. Christianity was introduced in the 12, th century, a bishopric. being founded in the Island of Wollin, and its advance went rapidly hand in hand with the Germanizing of the district.

The history of Pomerania, as distinct from that of Pomerellen, consists mainly of an almost endless succession of divisions of territory among the different lines of the ducal house, and of numerous expansions and contractions of territory through constant hostilities with the elector of Brandenburg, who claimed to be the immediate feudal superior of Pomerania, and with other neighbouring rulers. The names of Vorpommern and Hinterpommern were at first synonymous with Pomerania proper, or Slavinia and Pomerellen, but towards the close of the 14th century they were transferred to the. two duchies into which the former was divided. In 1625 the whole of Pomerania became united under the sway of Duke Bogislaus XIV., and on his death without issue, in 1637, Brandenburg claimed the duchy by virtue of a compact made in 1571.. In the meantime, however, Pomerania had been devastated by the Thirty Years' War and occupied by the Swedes, who had taken possession of its towns and fortresses. At the peace of Westphalia they claimed the duchy, in opposition to the elector of Brandenburg, and the result was that the latter was obliged to content himself with eastern Pomerania (Hinterpommern), and to see the western part (Vorpommern) awarded to Sweden. In 1720, by the peace of Stockholm, Swedish Pomerania was curtailed by extensive concessions to Prussia, but the district to the west of the Peene remained in the possession of Sweden until the general European settlement of 1815. Then Sweden assigned her German possessions to Denmark in exchange for Norway, whereupon Prussia, partly by purchase and partly by the cession 4 r of the duchy of Lauenburg, finally succeeded in uniting the whole of Pomerania under her rule.

For the history, see J. Bugenhagen, Pomerania, edited by O. Heinemann (Stettin, 1900); von Bohlen, Die Erwerbung Pommerns durch die Hohenzollern (Berlin, 1865); H. Berghaus, Landbuch des Herzogtums Pommern (Berlin, 1865-1876); the Codex Pomeraniae diplomaticus, edited by K. F. W. Hasselbach and J. G. L. Kosegarten (Greifswald, 1862); the Pommersches Urkundenbuch, edited by R. Klempin and others (Stettin, 1868-1896); W. von Sommerfeld, Geschichte der Germanisierung des Herzogtums Pommern (Leipzig, 1896); F. W. Barthold, Geschichte von Rugen and Pommern (Hamburg, 1839-1845); K. Mass, Pommersche Geschichte (Stettin, 1899); M. Wehrmann, Geschichte von Pommern (Gotha, 1904-1906); and Uecker, Pommern in Wort and Bild (Stettin, 1904). See also the publications of the Gesellschaft fir pommersche Geschichte and Altertumskunde.

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Proper noun




  1. A region of Europe on the southern shores of the Baltic Sea, now split between Germany and Poland. It was formerly a duchy, and later a province of Prussia.

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Simple English

[[File:|thumb|Map of Pomerania. Poland and Germany are seen, Pomerania is marked by a yellow line.]] Pomerania (Pommern in German) is a region on the Baltic Sea. It is now part of two countries, Germany and Poland.

= Prehistoric times, Germanic and Slavic tribes


20,000 years ago the territory of present-day Pomerania was covered with ice, which did not start to recede until the late period of the Old Stone Age or Paleolithic some 10,000 years BC, when the Scandinavian glacier receded to the north. Various archaeological cultures developed in the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age.

Initially at least part of Pomerania was dominated by Baltic tribes. Since around 500BC and before 500 AD Pomerania was dominated by East Germanic tribes including several tribes of Goths, who according to archeological evidence and their own tradition have come from Scandinavia. Goths and Rugians are recorded by Roman historians in the areas of Pomerania in 98 AD. The Veneti, non-Germanic tribe, which later assimilated with Slavs, are recorded by Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder around Vistula in first century AD. By the 7th century Slavic tribes (Wends) such as the Pomeranians settled the area.

See also: Balts, East Germanic tribes, Lusatian culture, Pomeranian culture, Wielbark Culture, Goths, Rugians, and Kashubians

Pomerania as a part of Poland, Denmark and Germany; German settlement

Pomerania was first conquered by the Polish duke Mieszko I in the second half of the 10th century. Pagan uprisings in 1005 and 1038 resulted in independancy for Western Pomerania and Pomerelia, respectively. Regained by Poland in 1116/1121, the Polish could not hold the Pomeranian duchy longer than 1135, whereas Pomerelia after the 1138 partition of Poland among the sons of Boleslaus Wrymouth became a part of the Polish seniorat (see Map of Poland before the fragmentation period) which was declared fief of the Holy Roman Empire in 1156.

The Western part, the Duchy of Pomerania, was declared part of the Holy Roman Empire (1181). After a brief period of Danish rule (1168/1186-1227), it remained part of Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until 1806.

1000 years of history of the areas between Elbe, the Oder and Vistula File:West slavs 9th-10th c..png File:Border changes in history of


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