Welcome to Elbing/West Prussia


What is this homepage all about?

This homepage offers some basic (I'd even say rudimentary) information referring to the city of Elbing. Elbing is situated about 35 miles east of Danzig in the former German province of West Prussia near the Baltic Sea. 
It used to be a German settlement for more than 700 years until nearly all of its inhabitants have been expelled by the Polish authorities. Elbing is the place where my mother Rosmarie Schulz was born in 1938. 
You'll find a brief survey of the city's history and may make a quick tour through the city centre with photos of its once beautiful buildings.

Many former citizens of Elbing gathered together in order to keep up contact and to preserve Elbing traditions and share their experiences. If you're looking for specific information about Elbing institutions (e.g. schools, sports clubs) or about the villages of Elbing county, it might be helpful to contact those communities/initiatives in Germany.

The Kurier section comprises articles taken from 'Pangritz-Kurier', a German journal made by former inhabitants of the Elbing district named 'Pangritz-Kolonie'. Just search them through for certain family names or topics.    

Thanks for visiting my homepage! 
Yours truly - Ingo Mecke




A brief chronicle of Elbing



890  Wulfstan the Viking visits Truso at Lake Drausen, an early Prussian-Viking 
centre of commerce. Truso is supposed to be the ancient predecessor of Elbing.
1237  Foundation of the city of Elbing by Hermann Balk (member of the German Order) and former citizens of Lübeck.
1358  Elbing becomes founding member of the Hanse.
1457  Elbing becomes an independent city-state under the sovereignity of the king of Poland.
1535  Establishment of the first Protestant Prussian secondary school at Elbing.
1579  Elbing grants free trade to England and goes through a time of revival.
1618  Elbing leaves the Hanse.
1772  End of the independent city-state status because of the reunification of Prussia by Frederic the Great.
1837  Foundation of a mechanical engineering facility by the industrial pioneer Ferdinand Schichau. In course of time it develops into a world-renowned shipyard and a locomotive factory.
1878  Foundation of the largest cigar factory of continental Europe by Loeser & Wolff.
1889  Foundation of the largest East German dairy by Heinrich Schroeter, Elbing.
1922  Elbing becomes part of the governmental district of West Prussia (Westpreußen).
1943  Elbing has got  97,370 inhabitants, its surrounding county has got 29,903 inhabitants.
1945  Defence of the city against the rush of the Red Army from Jan 23rd to Feb 10th. Nearly all of the historical buildings are destroyed. The rest of the German population is expelled by Polish authorities. Elbing is handed over to Poland for preliminary administration which still continues. 
1990  45 years after the end of WWII and the expulsion the few remaining Germans establish a socio-cultural society, predecessor of the "Society of the German Minority at the City and County of Elbing".

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Copyright © 1997-2006 Ingo Mecke 
Last update: 8/18/98