Free State of DanzigThe City of Danzig over 773 Years (1224 1997)
Recently the West Prussian State Museum opened an exhibition in Wolbeck Castle, near Muenster/Westphalia, Germany, entitled: From Gothiscandze to Danzig, 1000 years of history?
The exhibition demonstrated a clear desire to tell the truth of Danzig and brought into the limelight the most important facts from the Gothic past of Danzigs history.
By using the word Gothiscandze (earliest settlement of the Danzig area) it acknowledged the Gothic settlement and rejected as pure humbug the now so common and fashionable belief in Germany, Europe and the rest of the World, that the City of Danzig has celebrated in the year of 1997, one-thousand (1000) years of absolute Polish history!
By focussing onto the factual and true history of Danzig from its checkered past into the present, it brings to light the amazing and seemingly forgotten fate of the still existing 300,000 people of Danzig and that of their descendents.
All of a sudden the web of falsehood, distortion and propaganda myth is swept away, and we are forced to look at the very truth of the matter, the historical reality.
We should therefore not be swayed by false and wishful thinking, nor should we are taken in by propaganda, expediency or opportunistic political correctness, as seems to be the case in todays Germany.
"Truth must prevail, but before truth can prevail, truth must first be spoken"
So let us be honest and truthful, let us tell to the world the truth about Danzig, and let us take the falsehood, the deceit, misrepresentation and lies by the scruff of the neck and unravel them.
2) 1000 years of Danzig, a Polish Anniversary?
In regard to truth in history, of our Danzig history, we always have, and have had, many, many problems with the Polish State, in the past, and ongoing.
We therefore must struggle in our world of difficult and unreal, but painful realities to unearth the truth, and must try to counteract the mass of Polish misinformation, deceit, lies and distortions, as is presented, and as propagated by Poland, and now by Germany (our blood-relations), and which has been maliciously spread throughout Europe and elsewhere; Polish Propaganda and justification of the " Robbery of the Century and Crime of the Century" and Propaganda in regards to a so called: 1000 year Anniversary of the City of Danzig!
Who knows the facts of this alleged Polish settlement of Danzig, around the year of 997 AD?
The first references to Gyddanyzc were made 2 years after Bishop Adalbert, the German educated Bishop of Prague, unsuccessfully visited the are as a missionary in 997 AD.
This seems to be the only theory on which the Poles base their "proof" of an original Polish settlement.
Poland is trying very hard to create the impression that from the year 997 AD to the year of 1997 AD, there is an unbroken line of continuity of 1000 years of Polish ownership of Danzig, and that now, in 1997, Danzig has rightfully come back into the fold of the Polish fatherland!
What the Poles conveniently forget to mention however is that in Adalberts time there was not yet a sizeable or permanent settlement, and that the area around Danzig and to the north-east, was under the control of a Pommeranian Prince (Prince vom Burgplatz). It was certainly not controlled by Poland as claimed, the Poles, lived much further to the south.
In the year of 997 AD there was no Polish settlement, no Polish City was in the making
The very short and unsuccessful missionary trip of Bishop Adalbert, (who was believed to be killed by the Prussians on that occasion) and the alleged founding of Danzig as a City, are events, very much unconnected to each other. True to say however, Boreslaw Chrobny, King of Poland, had given his blessing to Adalberts Mission in the hope to get relief from the heathens, the very aggressive Prussians, bothering him much on Poland s north-eastern borders.
In spite of repeated forays by Poland carried to the Gates of Danzig, when later it became a City, despite the many attempts by Polish nobility to conquer, Poland failed, every time!
This very fact the Poles conveniently fail to remember or to mention, fail to mention that in the long history of Danzig there was never any period when Danzig was conquered, never any period when Danzig was under the Polish Crown. Such claims are a fallacy.
Danzig was never a Polish City, not in 997AD, or at any time thereafter.
Even events after 1945, did not and do not alter the fact, every stone there speaks of Danzigs heritage and past, a past which is not Polish at all.
The celebration in 1997 should not have been about 1,000 years of Danzigs history, but more to the point, about some 3,800 of human settlement in that area around the Delta of the River Vistula. This according to archeological excavation, dating back to about 1,800B.C.
For more than 2,300 years have Scandinavian tribes, on their way down south, camped there before the finally had to make room to wandering tribes from the east.
The eastern tribes were then followed, were followed by the Burgundians, the Rugier and the Vandals, and then the Goths.
The all lived in and around that area until 600B.C. It was the Goths who named the place
Danzig, or Gothiscandze. (Goths from Scandinavia/Gotenland)
So wrote a historian named Jordanes around 550 AD
In the 7th Century then we find that Slavic tribes came to Pomerellia, right up to the River Vistula.
They developed into the tribe of Kaschuben, a mixture of Baltic tribes, (Prussians) Goths and remnants of other tribes who had remained there.
Further south the Poles had settled around the year 1200 but had started to spread north from early in the 12th to late 13th Century, without much success.
Their many forays also took them to Danzig, indeed Polish nobility had tried to conquer Danzig on several occasions but every time had to give up in the end.
The Polish version of events goes along the line that Pomerellia, and the Slavic tribes who had lived there, are identical to Poland and the Poles, and therefore it must follow, or so the Polish argument goes; Polish ownership over Danzig is more or less established.
German colonization of the East, at around the turn of the Century, and the Foundation of Danzig, as a City in 1224.
Among the first evidence of German settlement we find the Nunnery at Oliva. (1184/85)
More and more German settlers were encouraged and invited by the Pommeranien Nobles to develop the empty spaces in the East. So it came about that by the year 1224/25, the new settler in Danzig were given rights and privileges, and City status was given to Danzig under the laws of Luebeck, as documented!
( In the year 1997 therefore, there should have been a celebration of Danzigs 773rd Anniversary)
It was the Polish Duke of Masovia who called upon the German Order, the Knights of the Cross, to help him against the marauding Prussians (Balts) from the north.
Once the Order of German Knights had been given a free hand in colonizing, christianizing, and to keep, any Territory not under Polish control and possession. This they did, they conquered, christianized and subdued, all before them and incorporated Pommeralia into their Realm.
Their land-possession then, was agreed upon by Poland and sanctioned by the German Emperor as well as the Pope.
Under the treaty of Solin, September 13, 1309, Danzig then came under the Rule of the German Order of Knights.
The first Free City of Danzig, and relations with the Crown of Poland.
By the year 1361 had the Hanse-City of Danzig developed into an important, rich and prosperous center of commerce and trade.
The apparent prosperity caught the interest of Polish Kings who had fought many battles with the Knights of the Cross, some of which they had lost, others which they had won, or had come to a stalemate, started to woe Danzig away from the stifling dominance of the Knights of the Cross. Around that time more and more Towns and Cities within the Realm of the Order of the Knights tried to break away from the iron rule of Christianity.
In the battle of Tannenberg in 1410, the Knights of the Cross then suffered defeat at the hands of Poles and Lithuanians.
Danzig actually had provided assistance to Poland in this battle and was offered protection by Poland ever since then.
Danzig however was reluctant to accept Polish proposals, instead they turned to the German Emperor, Friedrich III and other German Princes, but found only frustration and rejection in regard to protecting their interest. Danzig then was more than willing to listen to Polish offers of freedom and independence, and safeguard of commercial and other interest, in exchange for security.
Th Pope and the German Emperor as well as the Prussian Bund, had tried to forbid Danzig to enter into any security arrangements with Poland, but after very long and drawn-out negotiations lasting over several years, the wise and prudent Counselors of Danzig concluded a mutual beneficial security alliance with the Crown of Poland in 1454.
In no way did Danzig compromise her status as a free and self-reliant Hanse-City and it cannot be said that the Polish Crown did exercise or had intended to exercise, any suzerainty at any given time over Danzig. Simply, what happened in 1454 was that practical and farseeing City fathers had seen to it that Danzig continued to prosper within the agreement, which suited both sides very well.
Thus, Danzig became the first Free City of Danzig. And might have provided the model for Napoleon and later on for the victorious Allies of the First World War, to subsequently establish the second (1807-1814) Free State of Danzig and then the third (1919-1939)
Any Polish suggestion therefore that Danzig was part of the Polish State and Crown, must be utterly rejected as what it is: nothing but a figment of fertile imagination by ardent Polish nationalists sucking at straws!
Danzig continued to be a prominent Member and part of the Hanseatic League and played a most vital key role in economy and trade within the League, which controlled economical traffic far beyond the Baltic and North Seas.
Poland, on the other hand was never a maritime power or sea-going country, that was always to Danzigs Business..
Any talk therefore that Poland had political, social, economical, or any other dominance over Danzig is plain humbug.
Indeed, the question of whether Danzig was or is Polish or German is quite irrelevant, is only important to stir up trouble and unhealthy and damaging nasty nationalistic fervor, hatred and incitements as it was most evident from the 18th and 19th Century onwards.
It is a historical fact that in pre-napoleonic times the languages spoken around the area were less of a barrier then, than after the tribes formed into national states.
Indeed it was the German language, which had become the link that bound the different identities together. Danzig actually became a Hanseatic City, called Hansestadt, a League of Cities: Bremen, Hamburg, Luebeck, Danzig and Riga.
In her book: " Danzig, a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic City, Sophia Klein argues that Danzig was really not quite a pure German City, but was more or less cosmopolitan in character and composition than anything else.
Such an assessment is not far of the mark, it is true to say; the majority of inhabitants of Danzig can trace their roots to Countries from around the Baltic and North Sea borders
The pretence then by Poland, past and present that Danzig was always a Polish City and had finally fallen in 1945 back into the Polish fold for good, is ridiculous, as it is devious, absurd, obscene and extremely untrue!
Yet, the Poles had the world fooled already in 1918/19, and had nearly gotten away with such an enormous lie; if it wouldnt have been for the timely intervention of the British Prime Minister of the Day, Lloyd George, who managed to convince the Allies; "handing over to a nascent Polish State a pure German speaking City would be a grave mistake"
Danzigs Union with the Prussian Kingdom in 1793
From the beginning of the 16th Century there was a steady decline and weakness of the Polish nobility and Crown, which lead to decay, corruption and feud among the groups of nobles.
Very soon the Country could not govern and administrate itself, this in turn resulted in complete breakdown of law and order.
Total corruption and debasement among the Polish aristocracy set in. Moral perversion came first and ended in financial bankruptcy of the entire nobility and country.
For a song the Polish nobility would sell Land to anyone with little money.
Russia and also Prussia, meanwhile had risen to heights of military Powers, and were looking at the Polish situation with increasing interest and desire.
Russia, in particular, was pushing westward eager for expansion and had made clear her intention and appetite for Danzig.
So, Danzigs City fathers again stood alone, this time stood in the way of central European Politics and intrigue, and were hard pressed to hold their balance.
Trying very hard, as has been the case so often, to keep Danzig prosperous and independent, was not easy at that time.
On August 28, 1704, the City of Danzig signed a secret pact with Prussia, as Prussia had given assurances as to the Citys security and protection.
At the same time however, the City accepted the same kind of promises from Great Britain, Denmark and Holland.
Danzig wanted to make double sure of her existence, but in the end the security convention with Great Britain, Denmark and Holland fell through, became null and void, because of the rapidly deteriorating political demise of Poland.
And when Poland then completely fell apart, it was the Prussian King, Frederick the Great, who crossed the intention of Austria and Russia to have the Kingdom of Poland divided among themselves, he managed, by way of peaceful and skilled negotiations, to gain extensive areas of territory for Prussia.
It was clear to Danzig from which side the wind was blowing now, independence was no longer possible and under the circumstances then, it was agreed to join in Union with Prussia on May 5, 1793.
French occupation of Danzig, the second Free City of Danzig (1807 1814)
It was Napoleon, conquering Europe and on the way to establish a united Europe, who was responsible for the rebirth of Danzig as a Free City, for the second time in its history.
Again, Danzigs security and protections was tied up, this time tied up with defeated Prussian Crown and that of the Kingdom of Saxony.
French troops however remained in Danzig as occupants and Napoleon ransacked the finances of the City until nothing much was left in the end.
A state of normality returned when Napoleon was defeated, and the State of Prussia was restored in 1814, and Danzig was back again as part of Prussia on February 14, 1814.
Free City of Danzig (1920)
For more than 100 years then belonged Danzig to Prussia, since 1871 also to the German Empire.
With the signing of the Versailles Treaty, however, all this changed dramatically and Danzig came under the control of the victorious Allies of WW I.
The Allies held condominium over Danzig for more than 10 month after Peace negotiations, until finally establishing sovereignty of the Free City of Danzig, with adjacent territories, in accordance with international law on November 15, 1920.
This kind of solution was forced onto the German (to 97.6%) speaking Danzig population, in disregard to the principles of self-determination for all nations and races; as advocated by, American President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1919), Wood-row Wilson.
The third Free City of Danzig, nevertheless, was born and again Danzig was guaranteed: "territorial integrity, safety and security under the term of international law!"
The Geneva League of Nations then was entrusted to carry out and maintain, said responsibilities in regard to the new Mandate State, the Free City of Danzig.
Whereas; those guarantees as given cannot be repudiated, and as the international status of the Free City of Danzig "is" established by treaty, by the Treaty of Versailles, and as such can never be repudiated: the, Free City of Danzig is legally existing to this very day.
Equally, guarantees as given towards the safety and security in accordance with international law, designed to protect civilians, especially civilians of a neutral State, are still in force.
From the very beginning of her existence had the Free City of Danzig watch her shoulder and resist aggression coming from a Polish military under Marshall Pilsudski, having territorial expansion dreams of grandeur.
It was the nascent Polish Republic seeking to establish a Polish Empire, and so they carried warfare into Lithuania and Soviet Russia, and for good measure threatened Danzig.
Constant chicanery and economical suppression followed, a peaceful co-existence was made impossible.
More and more was the Free City of Danzig forced into a position of defense and isolation.
The attack by Hitler then on Poland and the subsequent illegal annexation of Danzig, made the Free City of Danzig again a geo-political football to be kicked around to the liking of ambitious great Powers.
Provisional Polish Administration: since March/April 1945.
A decision was made at the Yalta Conference, in which Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin had taken part, that the territory of the Free City of Danzig, pending a Peace Conference over Germany, is to be left to Poland under terms of; provisional Administration.
The City of Danzig initially had suffered only minor damage at the time of occupation by Soviet Military and Polish Militia, but was willfully and nearly totally destroyed by arson, thereafter.
Ethnic cleansing, better known as, Genocide followed.
The whole of the Danzig population was driven- out, was brutally expelled.
Total loss of population (400,000 inhabitants) amounted to 25-27%, or more.
The deported people of Danzig were stripped of all and every earthly possession, of dignity and human rights and banned from returning to their rightful homeland as free people for all times. Their private properties, houses and estates, was taken and confiscated as bounty of war by the provisional Polish Administration and declared: property of the Polish State.
Why was it necessary to carry out the "atrocious ethnic cleansing, the genocide, the total destruction of the Danzig population?
Was there a conspiracy, an international conspiracy?
Why did the US State Department, being aware of the many atrocities going on in that part of the world from March/April of 1945 onwards, only made a token protest and kept quiet ever since?
Why did the Geneva League of Nation, with responsibilities to the Free City of Danzig and people, existing until April of 1946, keep quiet?
Why did the Allies violate international law and conventions?
Why did the Allies ignore the term of the Treaty of Versailles under which the Free City of Danzig is established in the first place?
In the case of the Free City of Danzig, and in regard to provisions of the Treaty of Versailles: has international law been disregarded, manipulated, bent, distorted or violated?
Poland, in defense, and seeking much needed justification to the "ethnic cleansing, genocide, their Holocaust",: the most brutal expulsion of the entire Danzig population: is always fond of referring to: "doing nothing worse by throwing out the German speaking Danzig population than; complying and keeping strictly to the letter of international law"
Therefore, and if Poland is to be taken seriously, and above, if Poland is correct in her defense, then; there is no escape from the logical conclusion, that a pre-meditated international conspiracy and plan was in existence to punish and wipe out an ethnic people from the face of this earth!
What happened to the defenseless civilian population of the Free City of Danzig, the "ethnic cleansing" which has its origin in Danzig, carried out to extremes by a then, Communist Poland, is for ever a blight on the conscience of the whole world.
Yet, the Genocide suffered, by the people of Danzig, is worse than the subsequent "ethnic cleansing", combined which happened later in: Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia, Yugoslavia and Palestine, and which so bothered the conscience of the "free world", that they bombed the living day- lights out of the Serbs; but, the case of the people of Danzig has not stirred anybody, nobody, not even one soul breathes a word about it.
On the contrary: the surviving people of the Free City of Danzig, who have been scattered to all corners of the Globe, where they live in abstract poverty under most trying socio-economical conditions, are even condemned and ridiculed!
Their memory has been besmirched and disgraced, their State has been wiped off the map, off all maps of the world, the name of Danzig is not to be found in modern dictionaries anymore!
Their monetary properties, their Gold and other securities, can be found in the vaults of the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States of America, in Swiss Banks, or in pockets of profiteers of war, or in the hands of Poland.
As a further disgrace and adding to the total destruction of an ethnic people: the attitude of the United Nations Organization must be mentioned.
Just like Pontius Pilate, the UNO is washing her hands, has denied all and every responsibility in regard to the Mandate State, the Free City of Danzig.
By resorting to inaction has the UNO rejected and denied to the people of Danzig a place among the Family of Nations. Furthermore and as it is apparent: the people of Danzig, are not even regarded as belonging to the human race anymore, and therefore must be denied even the most basic, fundamental and inviolable rights, rights which have been proclaimed with much fanfare and as has been laid down by the UNO, in the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", so common to all and every other human beings.
Rejected also is their right to raise their voices, individually and collectively. The people of Danzig, again, individually as an ethnic minority, have also been denied to have their Day in Court, their Day before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands.
In the case of the Free City of Danzig, therefore; the UNO must be charged with violation of its own principles and with the crime of " betrayal of an ethnic people" who, according to the silent action of the UNO, are an anachronism and therefore have no right to exist as an identity.
Poland seeks admission to the European Union.
Whereas: it is not customary among the Nations of Europe to steal of each other; Poland, on the other hand, want to have the book closed, wants to hold onto property illegally stolen from the people of Danzig, including their land and all of their rightful territory.
Does not even want to talk.
A major dilemma is therefore looming for the European Nations.
The contradiction: Human Rights and Democracy in United Europe, is mandatory.
A solution however must be found to correct the many wrongs, wrongs inflicted onto the innocent people of Danzig.
If no solution is to be found, be it out of sheer malice or the desire to further leave the stinking mess under the carpet, then: the whole world stands accused of gross injustice and human rights violations committed against the people of Danzig, and that the gross injustice has not yet been corrected, but has been permitted to linger, and rankle for so long.
Something must be done, and must be done quickly. In a United Europe there should not be any room for nationalistic sentiments, sentiments dividing common people.
Yet it would be impossible to think that Poles are occupying land which does not belong to them, occupying houses and homes which belong to the people of Danzig, that is just not right, and is intolerable.
The people of Danzig have lost everything, all their belongings, their homes, estates, houses, way of life, their customs and culture, their occupation, their identity, their wealth, their art treasures, their prospects and their future, and they have lost their peace of mind! They are ruined now and live a life of nightmarish trauma.
Where in United Europe can a Danziger find a place he can call a home?
He is not a German, in Germany he is only tolerated because he can easily speak the language and has assimilated. But Germany is not by any stretch of the imagination a substitute for a proper ancestral homeland, for a heritage, that goes back at least a couple of milleniums.
It must be possible for common people to live in peace. Even if Poland, in muddled vindictiveness, with paranoia and still on a witch-hunt, is still insisting that there is a 1,000 year old Polish claim on Danzig , and that Poland can re-write her history at her convenience at any time and opportunity, and re-write the history of Danzig as well in the process, and for this reason does not like to be more conciliatory : Danziger have proved that they can live in peace and harmony with anyone. Indeed they have much to offer to prosperity and wellbeing of everyone concerned, and like to point out that they have co-existed with Poland in the past, and had never any quarrel with the common human being, be it a Pole or any other people.
Only with Politicians and Diplomats the common people of Danzig have had trouble with, Politicians and Diplomats, stubborn, reckless and recalcitrant as they are; Politicians who have messed up their lives and have inflicted deep-seating and lasting wounds.
The wounds of the people of Danzig however must be healed.
Its time, therefore, time to move on, time to correct the wrongs of the past, It is high noon for justice, and high time for peace.
Truth must prevail however, and Truth must be spoken!
There is no other way, but honesty and integrity.
In the words of the US Secretary of State, Dr. Madeleine Albright, and also in the words of the US Under-Secretary of State, Stuart Eizenstat":
"We must dig deep to find the truth. Only by knowing and being honest about the past can we gain peace in the present and confidence in the future."
"As painful as it may sometimes be, we must not sweep these issues under the rug out of embarrassment, silence and indifference"
" .it is vital to secure the most (economic) restitution possible after the passage of 54 years .
as well as gain moral accountability"Amen!