KöNIGSBERG is the historical name for the present-day city of
Kaliningrad . Originally a
Old Prussian city, it later
belonged to the monastic state of the
Teutonic Knights , the Duchy of
Prussia , the
Kingdom of Prussia , the
Russian Empire and Germany
until 1946. After being largely destroyed in
World War II
World War II by Soviet
forces and annexed by the
Soviet Union thereafter, the city was
Kaliningrad . Few traces of the former
The literal meaning of
Königsberg is 'King’s Mountain'. In the
Low German dialect, spoken by many of its German former
inhabitants, the name was _Kenigsbarg_ (pronounced ). Further names
included Russian : Кёнигсберг, Королевец, tr.
Old Prussian : _Kunnegsgarbs, Knigsberg_,
Lithuanian : _Karaliaučius_ and Polish : _Królewiec_.
Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old
Prussian settlement _Twangste_ by the
Teutonic Knights during the
Northern Crusades , and was named in honour of King Ottokar II of
Bohemia . A Baltic port city, it successively became the capital of
their monastic state , the
Duchy of Prussia (1525-1701) and East
Königsberg remained the coronation city of the Prussian
monarchy, though the capital was moved to
Berlin in 1701. It was the
easternmost large city in
Germany until it was captured by the Soviet
Union on 9 April 1945, near the end of
World War II
World War II . After the fall
Soviet Union in 1991, is it the only notable Russian city which
still is named after a
Mikhail Kalinin .
A university city, home of the
Albertina University (founded in
Königsberg developed into an important German intellectual and
cultural centre, being the residence of
Simon Dach ,
Immanuel Kant ,
Käthe Kollwitz ,
E. T. A. Hoffmann ,
David Hilbert ,
Agnes Miegel ,
Hannah Arendt ,
Michael Wieck and others.
Between the thirteenth and the twentieth centuries, the inhabitants
spoke predominantly German, but the multicultural city also had a
profound influence on the Lithuanian and Polish cultures. The city
was a publishing centre of Lutheran literature, including the first
Polish translation of the
New Testament , printed in the city in 1551,
the first book in
Lithuanian language and the first Lutheran
catechism, both printed in
Königsberg in 1547.
During World War II,
Königsberg was heavily damaged by Allied
bombing in 1944 and during its siege in 1945. The city was captured
and occupied by the
Soviet Union . Its German population was expelled
, and the city was repopulated with
Russians and others from the
Soviet Union. Briefly Russified as Kyonigsberg (Кёнигсберг),
it was renamed "Kaliningrad" in 1946 in honour of Soviet leader
Mikhail Kalinin .
It is now the capital of
Kaliningrad Oblast , an exclave
bordered in the north by
Lithuania and in the south by
The territory's current legal status is unclear. The Potsdam
Agreement placed it provisionally under Soviet administration, but did
not mention an explicit right of annexation. In the Final Settlement
Germany renounced all claim to it, but without specifically
transferring its former title to any other party.
* 1 History
* 1.2 Teutonic Order
Duchy of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
* 1.9 Nazi
* 1.9.1 Destruction in
World War II
World War II
* 1.10 Soviet Russian
* 2 Demographics
* 3 Culture and society of
* 3.1 Sports
* 3.2 Cuisine
* 5 Notable people
* 5.1 Writers
* 5.2 Scientists
* 5.3 Others
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
See also: Timeline of
Königsberg was preceded by a
Sambian , or
Old Prussian , fort known
as _Twangste_ (_Tuwangste_, _Tvankste_), meaning Oak Forest, as well
Old Prussian settlements, including the fishing village and
port Lipnick , and the farming villages Sakkeim and Trakkeim .
During the conquest of the Prussian
Sambians by the Teutonic Knights
in 1255, Twangste was destroyed and replaced with a new fortress known
as _Conigsberg_. This name meant "King’s Barrow" (Latin : _castrum
Koningsberg, Mons Regius, Regiomontium_), honoring King Ottokar II of
Bohemia , who paid for the erection of the first fortress there during
Prussian Crusade . Northwest of this new
arose an initial settlement, later known as Steindamm , roughly 4.5
miles (7 km) from the
Vistula Lagoon .
The Teutonic Order used
Königsberg to fortify their conquests in
Samland and as a base for campaigns against pagan
Lithuania . Under
siege during the
Prussian uprisings in 1262–63,
was relieved by the Master of the
Livonian Order . Because the
initial northwestern settlement was destroyed by the Prussians during
the rebellion, rebuilding occurred in the southern valley between the
castle hill and the Pregel River . This new settlement, Altstadt ,
received Culm rights in 1286.
Löbenicht , a new town directly east of
Altstadt between the Pregel and the
Schlossteich , received its own
rights in 1300. Medieval Königsberg's third town was
Kneiphof , which
received town rights in 1327 and was located on an island of the same
name in the Pregel south of Altstadt.
Within the state of the Teutonic Order ,
Königsberg was the
residence of the marshal, one of the chief administrators of the
military order. The city was also the seat of the Bishopric of
Samland , one of the four dioceses into which Prussia had been divided
in 1243 by the papal legate ,
William of Modena . Adalbert of Prague
became the main patron saint of
Königsberg Cathedral , a landmark of
the city located in Kneiphof.
Königsberg joined the
Hanseatic League in 1340 and developed into an
important port for the south-eastern Baltic region, trading goods
throughout Prussia, the Kingdom of
Poland , and the Grand Duchy of
Lithuania . The chronicler
Peter of Dusburg probably wrote his
_Chronicon terrae Prussiae_ in
Königsberg from 1324–1330. After
the Teutonic Order's victory over pagan
Lithuanians in the 1348 Battle
of Strawen , Grand Master
Winrich von Kniprode established a
Cistercian nunnery in the city. Aspiring students were educated in
Königsberg before continuing on to higher education elsewhere, such
as Prague or Leipzig .
Although the knights suffered a crippling defeat in the Battle of
Grunwald (Tannenberg) ,
Königsberg remained under the control of the
Teutonic Knights throughout the
Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War .
Livonian knights replaced the Prussian branch's garrison at
Königsberg, allowing them to participate in the recovery of towns
Władysław II Jagiełło
Władysław II Jagiełło 's troops. Prussian
Confederation offered to incorporate Prussia into the Crown of the
Poland , 1454,
Central Archives of Historical Records ,
In 1454 the
Prussian Confederation rebelled against the Teutonic
Knights and formally asked the Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon, to
incorporate Prussia into the Kingdom of
Poland as a fief. This marked
the beginning of the Thirteen Years\' War (1454-66) between the State
of the Teutonic Order and the Crown of the Kingdom of
Poland . While
Königsberg's three towns initially joined the rebellion, Altstadt and
Löbenicht soon rejoined the
Teutonic Knights and defeated
1455. Grand Master
Ludwig von Erlichshausen fled from the crusaders'
Castle Marienburg to
Königsberg in 1457; the city's
magistrate presented Erlichshausen with a barrel of beer out of
compassion. When western Prussia was transferred to victorious Poland
Second Peace of Thorn (1466) , which ended the Thirteen Years\'
Königsberg became the new capital of the reduced monastic
state, which became a fief of the
Crown of the Polish Kingdom . The
grand masters took over the quarters of the marshal. During the
Polish-Teutonic War (1519–1521) ,
Königsberg was unsuccessfully
besieged by Polish forces led by Grand Crown Hetman Mikołaj Firlej .
DUCHY OF PRUSSIA
Through the preachings of the Bishop of Samland ,
Georg von Polenz ,
Königsberg became predominantly Lutheran during the Protestant
Reformation . After summoning a quorum of the Knights to Königsberg,
Albert of Brandenburg
Albert of Brandenburg (a member of the House of
Hohenzollern ) secularised the Teutonic Knights' remaining territories
in Prussia in 1525 and converted to Lutheranism. By paying feudal
homage to his uncle, King Sigismund I of
Poland , Albert became the
first duke of the new
Duchy of Prussia , a fief of Poland. _
Prussian Homage _:
Albert of Brandenburg
Albert of Brandenburg and his brothers receive the
Duchy of Prussia as a fief from Polish King
Sigismund I the Old ,
1525. Painting by
Jan Matejko , 1882.
While the Prussian estates quickly allied with the duke, the Prussian
peasantry would only swear allegiance to Albert in person at
Königsberg, seeking the duke's support against oppressive nobility.
After convincing the rebels to lay down their arms, Albert had several
of their leaders executed.
Königsberg, the capital, became one of the biggest cities and ports
of ducal Prussia, having considerable autonomy, a separate parliament
and currency, and with German as its dominant language. The city
flourished through the export of wheat , timber , hemp , and furs ,
as well as pitch , tar , and ash .
Königsberg was one of the few
Baltic ports regularly visited by more than one hundred ships annually
in the latter 16th century, along with
Riga . The
University of Königsberg , founded by Albert in 1544, became a centre
of Protestant teaching.
The capable Duke Albert was succeeded by his feeble minded son,
Albert Frederick . Anna, daughter of Albert Frederick, married Elector
John Sigismund of Brandenburg , who was granted the right of
succession to Prussia on Albert Frederick's death in 1618. From this
time the Electors of Brandenburg , the rulers of
Duchy of Prussia and Königsberg.
Königsberg from 1651. Old engraving showing
When Imperial and then Swedish armies overran Brandenburg during the
Thirty Years\' War of 1618-1648, the Hohenzollern court fled to
Königsberg. On 1 November 1641, Elector Frederick William persuaded
the Prussian diet to accept an excise tax . In the Treaty of
Königsberg of January 1656, the elector recognized his Duchy of
Prussia as a fief of Sweden. In the
Treaty of Wehlau in 1657, however,
he negotiated the release of Prussia from Polish sovereignty in return
for an alliance with Poland. The 1660
Treaty of Oliva confirmed
Prussian independence from both
Poland and Sweden.
In 1661 Frederick William informed the Prussian diet that he
possessed _jus supremi et absoluti domini_, and that the Prussian
Landtag could convene with his permission. The
Hieronymus Roth of Kneiphof, opposed "the Great Elector's"
absolutist claims, and actively rejected the Treaties of Wehlau and
Oliva, seeing Prussia as "indisputably contained within the territory
of the Polish Crown". Delegations from the city's burghers went to
the Polish king,
Jan Kazimierz , who initially promised aid, but then
failed to follow through. The townspeople attacked the elector's
troops while local Lutheran priests held masses for the Polish king
and for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, Frederick
William succeeded in imposing his authority after arriving with 3,000
troops in October 1662 and training his artillery on the town.
Refusing to request mercy, Roth went to prison in
Peitz until his
death in 1678.
The Prussian estates which swore fealty to Frederick William in
Königsberg on 18 October 1663 refused the elector's requests for
military funding, and Colonel
Christian Ludwig von Kalckstein sought
assistance from neighboring Poland. After the elector's agents had
abducted Kalckstein, he was executed in 1672. The Prussian estates'
submission to Frederick William followed; in 1673 and 1674 the elector
received taxes not granted by the estates and
Königsberg received a
garrison without the estates' consent. The economic and political
Königsberg strengthened the power of the
Königsberg long remained a centre of Lutheran resistance to
Brandenburg-Prussia ; Frederick William forced the
city to accept Calvinist citizens and property-holders in 1668.
KINGDOM OF PRUSSIA
Coronation of Frederick I ,
King in Prussia , in 1701.
By the act of coronation in
Königsberg Castle on 18 January 1701,
Frederick William's son, Elector Frederick III, became Frederick I ,
King in Prussia . The elevation of the
Duchy of Prussia to the Kingdom
of Prussia was possible because the Hohenzollerns' authority in
Prussia was independent of
Poland and the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire . Since
"Kingdom of Prussia" was increasingly used to designate all of the
Hohenzollern lands, former ducal Prussia became known as the Province
of Prussia (1701–1773), with
Königsberg as its capital. However,
Potsdam in Brandenburg were the main residences of the
The city was wracked by plague and other illnesses from September
1709 to April 1710, losing 9,368 people, or roughly a quarter of its
populace. On 13 June 1724, Altstadt ,
Kneiphof , and Löbenicht
amalgamated to formally create the larger city Königsberg. Suburbs
that subsequently were annexed to
Königsberg include Sackheim,
Rossgarten, and Tragheim. Newly restored
During the Seven Years\' War Imperial Russian troops occupied eastern
Prussia at the beginning of 1758 . On 31 December 1757, Empress
Elizabeth I of
Russia issued an _ukase _ about the incorporation of
Königsberg into Russia. On 24 January 1758, the leading burghers of
Königsberg submitted to Elizabeth. Five Imperial Russian
general-governors administered the city during the war from 1758–62;
William Fermor and Nikolaus Friedrich von Korff . With
the end of the
Seven Years' War the Russian army abandoned the town in
KINGDOM OF PRUSSIA
After the First Partition of
Poland in 1772,
Königsberg became the
capital of the province of
East Prussia in 1773, which replaced the
Province of Prussia in 1773. By 1800 the city was approximately five
miles (8.0 km) in circumference and had 60,000 inhabitants, including
a military garrison of 7,000, making it one of the most populous
German cities of the time. _ Meeting of the Prussian Army
reformers (Heeresreform_) in
Königsberg in 1807, lithograph by Carl
After Prussia's defeat at the hands of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806
War of the Fourth Coalition
War of the Fourth Coalition , King Frederick William III of
Prussia fled with his court from
Berlin to Königsberg. The city was
a centre for political resistance to Napoleon. In order to foster
liberalism and nationalism among the Prussian middle class, the
"League of Virtue" was founded in
Königsberg in April 1808. The
French forced its dissolution in December 1809, but its ideals were
continued by the _Turnbewegung _ of
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn in Berlin.
Königsberg officials, such as Johann Gottfried Frey , formulated much
of Stein 's 1808 _Städteordnung_, or new order for urban communities,
which emphasized self-administration for Prussian towns. The East
Landwehr _ was organized from the city after the Convention
of Tauroggen .
Königsberg had a population of 63,800. It served as the
capital of the united
Province of Prussia from 1824–1878, when East
Prussia was merged with
West Prussia . It was also the seat of the
Königsberg , an administrative subdivision.
Led by the provincial president
Theodor von Schön and the
_Königsberger Volkszeitung _ newspaper,
Königsberg was a stronghold
of liberalism against the conservative government of King Frederick
William IV . During the revolution of 1848 , there were 21 episodes
of public unrest in the city; major demonstrations were suppressed.
Königsberg became part of the
German Empire in 1871 during the
Prussian-led unification of
Germany . A sophisticated for its time
series of fortifications around the city that included fifteen forts
was completed in 1888.
Prussian Eastern Railway linked the city to
Tilsit , and
Pillau . In 1860 the
Berlin with St. Petersburg was completed and
increased Königsberg's commerce. Extensive electric tramways were in
operation by 1900; and regular steamers plied to Memel ,
Labiau , Cranz , Tilsit, and
Danzig . The completion of a canal to
Pillau in 1901 increased the trade of Russian grain in Königsberg,
but, like much of eastern Germany, the city's economy was generally in
decline. By 1900 the city's population had grown to 188,000, with a
9,000-strong military garrison. By 1914
Königsberg had a population
Jews flourished in the culturally pluralistic city.
Königsberg within the borders of
East Prussia from 1919 to
Following the defeat of the
Central Powers in
World War I
World War I , Imperial
Germany was replaced with the democratic
Weimar Republic . The Kingdom
of Prussia ended with the abdication of the Hohenzollern monarch,
William , and the kingdom was succeeded by the
Free State of Prussia .
East Prussia , however, were separated from the rest
Germany by the creation of the
Polish Corridor .
In 1925, Josef Nadler became professor at
Nazis confiscated Jewish shops and, as in the rest of
Germany, a public book burning was organized accompanied by
anti-Semitic speeches in May 1933 at the Trommelplatz square. Street
names and monuments of Jewish origin were removed, and signs such as
Jews are not welcomed in hotels" started appearing. As part of the
statewide "aryanization" of the civil service Jewish academics were
thrown out of the university.
In 1932 the local paramilitary SA had already started to terrorise
their political opponents. On the night of 31 July 1932 there was a
bomb attack on the headquarters of the Social Democrats in
Königsberg, the Otto-Braun-House . The Communist politician Gustav
Sauf was killed, the executive editor of the Social Democrat
_"Königsberger Volkszeitung"_, Otto Wyrgatsch, and the German
People\'s Party politician Max von Bahrfeldt were severely injured.
Members of the Reichsbanner were attacked and the local Reichsbanner
Lötzen , Kurt Kotzan, was murdered on 6 August 1932.
On July 1934 Adolf
Hitler made a speech in the city, gathering 25,000
supporters In 1933 NSDAP alone received 54% of votes in the city
Nazis took power in Germany, opposition politicians were
persecuted and newspapers were banned. The Otto-Braun-House was
requisitioned and became the headquarters of the SA, which used the
house to imprison and torture opponents.
Walter Schütz , a communist
member of the Reichstag was murdered here. Many who would not
cooperate with the rulers of Nazi
Germany were sent to concentration
camps and held prisoner there until their death or liberation.
In 1935, the
Königsberg as the Headquarters for
Wehrkreis I (under the command of General der Artillerie Albert Wodrig
), which took in all of
East Prussia . According to the census of May
Königsberg had a population of 372,164.
Prior to the Nazi era,
Königsberg was home to a third of East
Prussia's 13,000 Jews. Under Nazi rule, the Polish and Jewish
minorities were classified as _
Untermensch _ and persecuted by the
authorities. The city's Jewish population shrank from 3,200 in 1933 to
2,100 in October 1938. The New Synagogue of
Königsberg , constructed
in 1896, was destroyed during
Kristallnacht (9 November 1938); 500
Jews soon fled the city.
In 1941, in his _Literaturgeschichte des deutschen Volkes_ Prof.
Josef Nadler justified the removal of
Jews from the German
_Volksraum_. Shortly thereafter, the city of
Königsberg awarded him
with its _Kant Preis_.
Wannsee Conference of 20 January 1942, Königsberg's Jews
began to be deported to camps such as Maly Trostenets , Theresienstadt
, and Auschwitz .
Destruction In World War II
Main articles: Bombing of
World War II
World War II and Battle of
In September 1939 with the German invasion against
the Polish consulate in
Königsberg was attacked (which constituted a
violation of international law), its workers arrested and sent to
concentration camps where several of them died. Polish students at
the local university were captured, tortured and finally executed.
Other victims included local Polish civilians guillotined for petty
violations of Nazi law and regulations such as buying and selling
In September 1944 there were 69,000 slave labourers registered in the
city (not counting prisoners of war), with most of them working on the
outskirts; within the city itself 15,000 slave labourers were located.
All of them were denied freedom of movement, forced to wear "P" sign
if Poles, or "Ost" sign if they were from
Soviet Union and were
watched by special units of Gestapo and Wehrmacht. They were denied
basic spiritual and physical needs and food, and suffered from famine
and exhaustion. The conditions of the forced labour were described as
Poles and Russians, who were treated harshly by
their German overseers. Ordered to paint German ships with toxic
paints and chemicals, they were neither given gas-masks nor was there
any ventilation in facilities where they worked, in order to speed up
the construction of the ships, while the substances evaporated in
temperatures as low as 40 Celsius. As a result, there were cases of
sudden illness or death during the work.
Königsberg suffered heavy damage from British bombing
attacks and burned for several days. The historic city centre,
especially the original quarters Altstadt, Löbenicht, and Kneiphof,
was destroyed, including the cathedral, the castle, all churches of
the old city, the old and the new universities, and the old shipping
Königsberg in ruins after Allied bombings, 1945
Many people fled from
Königsberg ahead of the
Red Army 's advance
after October 1944, particularly after word spread of the Soviet
atrocities at Nemmersdorf . In early 1945, Soviet forces, under the
command of the Polish-born Soviet Marshal
Konstantin Rokossovsky ,
besieged the city that
Hitler had envisaged as the home for a museum
holding all the
Germans had 'found in Russia'. In Operation Samland ,
1st Baltic Front , now known as the Samland
Königsberg in April. Although
Hitler had declared
Königsberg an "invincible bastion of German spirit", the Soviets
captured the city after three-month-long siege. A temporary German
breakout had allowed some of the remaining civilians to escape via
train and naval evacuation from the nearby port of Pillau.
Königsberg, which had been declared a "fortress" (_Festung _) by the
Germans, was fanatically defended.
On 21 January, during the
Red Army 's
East Prussian Offensive ,
mostly Polish and Hungarian
Jews from Seerappen, Jesau, Heiligenbeil ,
Schippenbeil, and Gerdauen (subcamps of
Stutthof concentration camp )
were gathered in Königsberg. Up to 7,000 of them were forced on a
death march to
Sambia : those that survived being subsequently
executed at Palmnicken .
On 9 April – one month before the end of the war in Europe – the
German military commander of Königsberg, General
Otto Lasch ,
surrendered the remnants of his forces, following the three-month-long
siege by the
Red Army . For this act, Lasch was condemned to death, in
absentia, by Hitler. At the time of the surrender, military and
civilian dead in the city were estimated at 42,000, with the Red Army
claiming over 90,000 prisoners. Lasch's subterranean command bunker
was preserved as a museum in today's Kaliningrad. Refugees from
Königsberg fleeing to West
Germany before the advancing
Red Army in
About 120,000 survivors remained in the ruins of the devastated city.
These survivors, mainly women, children and the elderly, plus a few
others who had returned immediately after the fighting ended, were
held as slave labourers until 1949. The vast majority of the German
civilians left in
Königsberg after 1945, died from disease or
deliberate starvation, or in revenge-driven ethnic cleansing. The
remaining 20,000 German residents were expelled in 1949–50.
SOVIET RUSSIAN KALININGRAD
As agreed by the Allies at the
Potsdam Conference , northern Prussia,
including Königsberg, was annexed by the USSR, which attached it to
Russian SFSR . In 1946, the city's name was changed to Kaliningrad
. Northern Prussia remained part of the
Soviet Union until its
dissolution in 1991, and since then has been an exclave of the Russian
The vast majority of the population belonged to the Lutheran Church
and other Protestant denominations . Number of inhabitants, by year
* 1400: 10,000
* 1663: 40,000
* 1819: 63,869
* 1840: 70,839
* 1855: 83,593
* 1871: 112,092
* 1880: 140,909
* 1890: 172,796
* 1900: 189,483 (including the military), among whom were 8,465
Catholics and 3,975
* 1905: 223,770, among whom were 10,320 Roman
Catholics , 4,415 Jews
and 425 Poles.
* 1910: 245,994
* 1919: 260,895
* 1925: 279,930, among whom were 13,330 Catholics, 4,050
approximately 6,000 others.
* 1933: 315,794
* 1939: 372,164
* 1945: 73,000
New Synagogue Main article: History of the
The Jewish community in the city had its origins in the 16th century,
with the arrival of the first
Jews in 1538. The first synagogue was
built in 1756. A second, smaller synagogue which serviced Orthodox
Jews was constructed later, eventually becoming the New Synagogue .
The Jewish population of
Königsberg in the 18th century was fairly
low, although this changed as restrictions became relaxed over the
course of the 19th century. In 1756 there were 29 families of
"protected Jews" in Königsberg, which increased to 57 by 1789. The
total number of Jewish inhabitants was less than 500 in the middle of
the 18th century, and around 800 by the end of it, out of a total
population of almost 60,000 people.
The number of Jewish inhabitants peaked in 1880 at about 5,000, many
of whom were migrants escaping pogroms in the
Russian empire . This
number declined subsequently so that by 1933, when the
over, the city had about 3,200 Jews. As a result of anti-semitism and
persecution in the 1920s and 1930s two thirds of the city's Jews
emigrated, mostly to the US and Great Britain. Those who remained were
shipped by the
Germans to concentration camps in two waves; first in
1938 to various camps in Germany, and the second in 1942 to the
Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied
Kaiserwald concentration camp in occupied
Latvia , as well as camps in
Minsk in occupied
Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic .
University of Königsberg was an important center of Protestant
Lithuanian culture and studies.
Abraomas Kulvietis and Stanislovas
Rapalionis are also seen as important early Lithuanian scholars.
Daniel Klein published the first Lithuanian grammar book in
Königsberg in 1653.
Main article: History of
Königsberg Steindamm Church
, also known as the Polish Church, in 1908
Poles were among the first professors of the University of
Königsberg , which received the royal
Law of Privilege from king
Sigismund II Augustus of
Poland on 28 March 1560. University of
Königsberg lecturers included
Hieronim Malecki (theology), Maciej
Menius (astronomy ) and
Jan Mikulicz-Radecki (medicine ). Jan
Stanislaw Sarnicki were among the first students known
to be Polish, later
Florian Ceynowa ,
Wojciech Kętrzynski and
Julian Klaczko studied in Königsberg. For 24 years Celestyn
Myślenta (who first registered at the University as "Polonus") was a
seven time rector of the university, while Maciej Menius was a three
times rector. From 1728 there was a "Polish Seminar" at the seminary
of Protestant theology, which operated until the early 1930s and had
developed a number of pastors , including
Christoph Mrongovius and
August Grzybowski . Duke Albert of Prussia established a press in
Königsberg that issued thousands of Polish pamphlets and religious
books. During the Reformation
Königsberg became a place of refuge for
Polish Protestant adherents, a training ground for Polish Protestant
clergy and a source of Polish Protestant literature. In 1564 Jan
Mączyński issued his Polish-Latin lexicon at Königsberg.
According to historian
Janusz Jasiński , based on estimates obtained
from the records of St. Nicholas's Church, during the 1530s Lutheran
Poles constituted about one quarter of the city population. This does
not include Polish
Calvinists who did not have
centralized places of worship until the 17th century, hence records
that far back for these two groups are not available.
From the 16th to 20th centuries, the city was a publishing center of
Polish-language religious literature. In 1545 in
Königsberg a Polish
catechism was printed by
Jan Seklucjan . In 1551 the first
translation of the
New Testament in
Polish language came out, issued
Stanisław Murzynowski . Murzynowski's collections of sermons were
Eustachy Trepka and in 1574 by
Hieronim Malecki . The
Mikolaj Rej were printed here by Seklucjan. Maciej
Stryjkowski announced in
Königsberg the publication of his _Kronika
Polska, Litewska, Żmudzka, i wszystkiej Rusi_ ("A Chronicle of
Poland, Lithuania, Samogitia and all Rus").
Although formally the relationship of these lands with
at the end of the 17th century, in practice the Polish element in
Königsberg played a significant role for the next century, until the
outbreak of World War II. Before the second half of the 19th century
many municipal institutions (e.g. courts, magistrates) employed Polish
translators, and there was a course in the
Polish language at the
university. Polish books were issued as well as magazines with the
last one being the _Kalendarz Staropruski Ewangelicki_ (Old Prussian
Evangelical Calendar) issued between 1866 and 1931.
Protestant Reformation the oldest church in Königsberg,
St. Nicholas , was opened for non-Germans, especially
Poles. Services for
Lithuanians started in 1523, and by the mid-16th
century also included ones for Poles. By 1603 it had become a solely
Polish-language church as Lithuanian service was moved to St.
Elizabeth . In 1880 St. Nicholas was converted to a German-language
church; weekly Polish services remained only for Masurians in the
Prussian Army , although those were halted in 1901. The church was
bombed in 1944, further destroyed in 1945, and the remaining ruins
were dismantled after the war in 1950.
CULTURE AND SOCIETY OF KöNIGSBERG
List of people from Königsberg Statue of
Immanuel Kant (1990s replacement) in
Königsberg was the birthplace of the mathematician Christian
Goldbach and the writer
E.T.A. Hoffmann , as well as the home of the
Immanuel Kant , who lived there virtually all his life and
rarely travelled more than ten miles (16 km) away from the city. Kant
entered the university of
Königsberg at age 16 and was appointed to a
chair in metaphysics there in 1770 at the age of 46. While working
there he published his _
Critique of Pure Reason _ (arguing that
knowledge arises from the application of innate concepts to sensory
experience) and his _
Metaphysics of Morals _ which argues that virtue
is acquired by the performance of duty for its own sake. In 1736, the
Leonhard Euler used the arrangement of the city's
bridges and islands as the basis for the Seven Bridges of Königsberg
Problem , which led to the mathematical branches of topology and graph
theory . In the 19th century
Königsberg was the birthplace of the
David Hilbert .
The dialect spoken by most citizens was
Low Prussian , now a moribund
language as its refugee speakers are elderly and dying out. The
Königstor (King\'s Gate) in the 19th century
In the Königsstraße (King Street) stood the Academy of Art with a
collection of over 400 paintings. About 50 works were by Italian
masters; some early Dutch paintings were also to be found there. At
the Königstor (King\'s Gate) stood statues of King Ottakar I of
Bohemia , Albert of Prussia , and
Frederick I of Prussia . Königsberg
had a magnificent Exchange (completed in 1875) with fine views of the
harbor from the staircase. Along Bahnhofsstraße ("Station Street")
were the offices of the famous Royal Amber Works – Samland was
celebrated as the "
Amber Coast ". There was also an observatory fitted
up by the astronomer
Friedrich Bessel , a botanical garden, and a
zoological museum. The "Physikalisch", near the Heumarkt, contained
botanical and anthropological collections and prehistoric antiquities.
Two large theatres built during the
Wilhelmine era were the Stadt
(city) Theatre and the Appollo. Eastern side of Königsberg
Castle, ca. 1900.
Königsberg Castle was one of the city's most notable structures. The
former seat of the Grand Masters of the
Teutonic Knights and the Dukes
of Prussia , it contained the Schloßkirche , or palace church, where
Frederick I was crowned in 1701 and William I in 1861. It also
contained the spacious Moscowiter-Saal, one of the largest halls in
German Reich , and a museum of Prussian history.
Königsberg became a centre of education when the Albertina
University was founded by Duke Albert of Prussia in 1544. The
university was opposite the north and east side of the Königsberg
Cathedral . Lithuanian scholar
Stanislovas Rapalionis , one of
founding fathers of the university, was the first professor of
As a consequence of the
Protestant Reformation , the 1525 and
subsequent Prussian church orders called for providing religious
literature in the languages spoken by the recipients. Duke Albrecht
thus called in a
Danzig (Gdańsk) book printer,
Hans Weinreich , who
was soon joined by other book printers, to publish Lutheran literature
not only in German and (New) Latin, but also in Latvian, Lithuanian,
Old Prussian and Polish. The expected audience were inhabitants of
the duchy, religious refugees, Lutherans in neighboring Ermland
(Warmia), Lithuania, and
Poland as well as Lutheran priests from
Lithuania called in by the duke.
Königsberg thus became a
center of printing German- and other language books: In 1530, the
first Polish translation of Luther\'s Small Catechism was published by
Weinrich. In 1545, Weinreich published two
Old Prussian editions of
the catechism, which are the oldest printed and second-oldest books in
that language after the handwritten 14th century "Elbing dictionary".
The first Lithuanian-language book, _Catechismvsa prasty szadei,
makslas skaitima raschta yr giesmes_ by
Martynas Mažvydas , was also
printed in Königsberg, published by Weinreich in 1547. Further
Polish- and Lithuanian-language religious and non-religious prints
followed. One of the first newspapers in
Polish language was published
Königsberg in the years 1718-1720 _
Poczta Królewiecka _.
There was a
Bismarck tower just outside Königsberg, on the
Galtgarben, the highest point on the
Sambian peninsula. It was built
in 1906 and destroyed by German troops sometime in January 1945 as the
Russians approached .
Sports clubs which played in
VfB Königsberg and
SV Prussia-Samland Königsberg .
Lilli Henoch , the world record
holder in the discus , shot put , and
4 × 100 meters relay events who
was killed by the Nazis, was born in Königsberg, as was Eugen Sandow
, dubbed the "father of modern bodybuilding".
Segelclub RHE ,
Germany's oldest sailing club , was founded in
Königsberg in 1855.
The club still exists, and is now headquartered in
Königsberg was well-known within
Germany for its unique regional
cuisine. A popular dish from the city was
Königsberger Klopse , which
is still made today in some specialty restaurants in
Other food and drink native to the city included:
Kopskiekelwein , a wine made from blackcurrants or redcurrants
Ochsenblut , literally "ox blood", a champagne-burgundy cocktail
mixed at the popular Blutgericht pub, which no longer exists
Königsberg fortifications Dohna Tower, the last
to surrender after the Soviet storming of
Königsberg in 1945.
The fortifications of
Königsberg consist of numerous defensive walls
, forts, bastions and other structures. They make up the First and the
Second Defensive Belt, built in 1626–1634 and 1843–1859,
respectively. The 15 metre-thick First Belt was erected due to
Königsberg's vulnerability during the
Polish–Swedish wars . The
Second Belt was largely constructed on the place of the first one,
which was in a bad condition. The new belt included twelve bastions,
three ravelins , seven spoil banks and two fortresses, surrounded by
water moat . Ten brick gates served as entrances and passages through
defensive lines and were equipped with moveable bridges .
Stanisław Murzynowski (c.1527–53), Polish writer, translator
and Protestant religionist
Caspar Schütz (c.1540
Eisleben – 1594
Danzig ) German historian
Martynas Mažvydas (1510–63), Lithuanian-German writer,
translator and Protestant religionist
Johann Georg Hamann (1730–88), German philosopher
E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776–1822), German author
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), German philosopher
Ferdinand Nesselmann (1811 Fürstenau – 1881 Königsberg),
Fanny Lewald (1811–89), German feminist and author
Abraham Mapu (1808–67), German-Jewish novelist
Friedrich Radszuweit (1876–1932), German author and publisher
Agnes Miegel (1879–1964), German author
Max Colpet (1905–98), German-American songwriter
Leah Goldberg (1911–1970), Israeli poet
Christian Goldbach (1690–1764), German mathematician
Johann Bartsch (1709–1738), German physician and botanist
Karl Gottfried Hagen (1749–1829), German chemist
Gotthilf Heinrich Ludwig Hagen (1797–1884), German physicist
Ludwig Otto Hesse (1811–1874), German mathematician
Adolph Eduard Grube (1812–1880), German zoologist
* Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (1824–87), German physicist
Karl Rudolf König (1832–1901), German physicist
Carl Neumann (1832–1925), German mathematician
Rudolf Lipschitz (1832–1903), German mathematician
Alfred Clebsch (1833–1872), German mathematician
Franz Ernst Christian Neumann (1834–1918), German pathologist
Ernst Hugo Heinrich Pfitzer (1846–1906), German botanist
Otto Wallach (1847–1931), German chemist
David Hilbert (1862–1943), German mathematician
Hermann Minkowski (1864–1909), German-Jewish mathematician
Arnold Sommerfeld (1868–1951), German physicist
Hermann Eichhorst (1849–1921), German-Swiss physician
Max Wien (1866–1938), German physicist
Fritz Albert Lipmann (1899–1986), German biochemist
Stanislovas Rapalionis (1485–1545), Lithuanian-German Protestant
Abraomas Kulvietis (1509–45), Lithuanian-German jurist and
Anton Möller (c.1563–1611), German painter
August Kohn (1732–c.1801/2), German violinist and composer
Friedrich von der Trenck (1726–94), German officer and
Johann Jacoby (1805–77), German-Jewish politician
Carl Otto Nicolai (1810–49), German composer and conductor
Eduard von Simson (1810–99), German jurist and politician
Hermann August Hagen (1817–93)
Cambridge , USA, German-American
Walter Liebenthal (1886–1982), German sinologist and philosopher
Pavel Pabst (1854–97), German-Russian pianist and composer
Heinz Tiessen (1887–1971), German composer
Erich von Drygalski (1865–1949), German-Polish explorer
Käthe Kollwitz (1867–1945), German painter and sculptor
Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), German bodybuilder
Otto Braun , (1872–1955), German statesman and politician
Hans Feige , (1880–1953), German general
Bruno Taut (1880–1938), German architect
Max Taut (1884–1967), German architect
Carl Friedrich Goerdeler (1884–1945), German politician
Moshe Smoira (1888–1961), first President of the Supreme Court
Lilli Henoch (1899–1942), German-Jewish athlete
Hannah Arendt (1906–75), German-Jewish-American political
Josef Hirsch Dunner (1913–2007), chief rabbi of East Prussia
Gerhard Barkhorn (1919–83), German fighter pilot
Michael Wieck (born 1928), German musician and author
* de:Helmut Komp (born 1930), German writer and translator
Thomas Eichelbaum (born 1931), German-Jewish-New Zealander jurist
Witta Pohl (1937–2011), German actress
Heinrich August Winkler (born 1938), German historian
Veruschka von Lehndorff (born 1939), German model, actress and
Werner Ostendorff (1903–1945), German SS Major General
Gruppenführer ) of the
2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich
* Philipp Friedrich Alexander, Fürst zu Eulenburg und Hertefeld,
Graf von Sandels (1847-1921)
Seven Bridges of Königsberg
Kaliningrad (Königsberg) dispute
Königsberger Paukenhund , traditional kettle drum dog of the
* Baedeker, Karl (1904). _Baedeker's Northern Germany_. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 395.
* Biskup, Marian . _
Königsberg gegenüber Polen und dem Litauen der
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Polska Olsztyn 1993 (in German)
* Bötticher, Adolf (1897). _Die Bau- und Kunstdenkmäler der
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* Christiansen, Erik (1997). _The Northern Crusades_. London:
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* Clark, Christopher (2006). _Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of
Prussia 1600–1947_. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard. p. 776.
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* Clark, Peter B. (2013). _The Death of East Pussia - War and
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* Gause, Fritz : _Die Geschichte der Stadt
Königsberg in Preußen_.
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* Holborn, Hajo (1964). _A History of Modern Germany: 1648-1840_.
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* Holborn, Hajo (1982). _A History of Modern Germany: 1840-1945_.
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* Kirby, David (1990). _Northern Europe in the Early Modern Period:
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* Kirby, David (1999). _The Baltic World, 1772–1993: Europe’s
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* "Juden in Königsberg" (in German). Ostpreussen.net. 2006-12-12.
* Turnbull, Stephen (2003). _Crusader Castles of the Teutonic
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* ^ Biskup
* ^ Koch, Hannsjoachim Wolfgang (1978). A history of Prussia.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Baedeker, p. 174
* ^ Seward, p. 107
* ^ Turnbull, p. 13
* ^ Christiansen, p. 205
* ^ _A_ _B_ Christiansen, p. 224
* ^ Christiansen, p. 222
* ^ Urban, pp. 225–226
* ^ Koch, p. 19
* ^ Christiansen, p. 243
* ^ Urban, p. 254
* ^ Koch, p. 33
* ^ Christiansen, p. 247
* ^ Koch, p. 34
* ^ Koch, p. 44
* ^ Kirby, _Northern Europe_, p. 8
* ^ Kirby, _Northern Europe_, p. 13
* ^ Koch, p. 46
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* ^ Koch, p. 57
* ^ Holborn, _1648–1840_, p. 61
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Berlin ca. 170,000,
50,000 each, and
Munich ca. 30,000.
* ^ Koch, p. 160
* ^ Koch, p. 192
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* ^ Clark, p. 361
* ^ Holborn, _1840–1945_, p. 8
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* ^ Clark, p. 476
* ^ Holborn, _1840–1945_, p. 51
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* ^ Kirby, _The Baltic World_, p. 205
* ^ Clark, p. 584
* ^ Anna Rosmus _Hitlers Nibelungen_, Samples Grafenau 2015, pp.
* ^ Janusz Jasinski, Historia Krolewca, 1994, page 251-252
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* ^ Die aufrechten Roten von
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* ^ _A_ _B_ Janusz Jasinski, Historia Krolewca, 1994, page 249
* ^ Matull, page 357
* ^ GRC, p. 37
* ^ Anna Rosmus Hitlers Nibelungen, Samples Grafenau 2015, p. 171
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* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Janusz Jasinski, Historia Krolewca, 1994, page 256
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