October 11, 2004

Gdansk – German frontier of a lost northern imagination 22–25 Oct 04

"Danzig, Preslau und Stettin deutsche Städte wie Berlin"
There is something very painful on this right wing sentence. Painful on the meaning that it expose the historic disaster that the II World War was. First of all it calls the fact that after the recapitulation of the German III Reich Germany lost more than 1/3 of its previous territory. And this of course brings out all the most regretful and negative feelings about Germany and Germans on a kind of water falls of degust and dishonour.
Danzig was probably founded by the Teutonic knights. It was latter a healthy Hansa state Town, and was some time under Swedish rule, I believe. Fredrick the I after acquiring the city with the East Prussian Territory nowadays Kaliningrad (Köningsberg), use it to become King of Prussia and get free of the hierarchy of the Roman German Empire.
One can easily comprehend that Danzig is a strong part of the German unification process a part of German integrity as a construction state. Emmanuel Kant the most celebrated Philosopher was born and lived all his live in Köningsberg.
On the XIX century Danzig was no longer just an important port on the Baltic see it was a beach station for the healthy German bourgeoisie. Some of the most beautiful buildings are summer residences and belle époque hotels on the calm waters of long white sand beaches.
The First World War gave Danzig to Poland, opening Poland to the see on the expectation to give economical viability to the new country supported by the victorious nations. This brook the connection between west and East Prussia. Such facts were used by the Nazis for propaganda issues, and probably this was on the base of the nature of the Hitlers-Stallin's Pact.
On the end of the II world war, Russia didn't gave back polish the territories it got from the Soviet-German Pact, and Poland and other countries used territory annexation as war compensations. Germany lost Schlesiger, East Brandenburg, and many other east provinces to Poland. East Prussia was divided between Lithuania, Russia and Poland. The main heart of that territory is nowadays the problematic enclave of Kaliningrad. But Kaliningrad shouldn't be seen as just a problematic tumor, its potential as a powerful link between what most probably will be the gap between Far East agonising states and the progressive Europe. Kaliningrad means exactly that that it can not happens and needs to be avoid, very much could be said from the Leningrad oblast, Carelian Republic, the Murmansk Oblast or the big Russian communities in the Baltic countries.
Danzig/Gdansk are evocation of my German proximity and from my almost forced existence as a European citizen (much could be told about how an Atlantic Portuguese from one day to another turns European, in rights and duties!)

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  1. This blog is cool, fran, Because I learnt a lot about you and portugal! Is sociology difficult? we should go out together some time soon in coventry.

    16 Oct 2004, 22:44

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