Marienwerder (region)
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Marienwerder Region
Administrative regions of West Prussia:
  Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder

The Marienwerder Region (Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder) was a government region (Regierungsbezirk), of Prussia from 1815 until 1945. The regional capital was Marienwerder in West Prussia (now Kwidzyn). The Marienwerder Region was part of the Province of West Prussia from 1815-1829, and again 1878-1920, belonging to the Province of Prussia in the intervening years. The Marienwerder Region was then placed under an inter-Allied commission from 1920-1922 and was eventually divided, with the western districts included within the newly established Polish Republic as part of the so-called Polish Corridor. The eastern part of Marienwerder that voted to be incorporated within the Weimar Republic was named the Region of West Prussia (Regierungsbezirk Westpreußen) while it was joined to the Province of East Prussia from 1922 to 1939, after which its original name was restored until its dissolution in 1945.


Most of Polish Royal Prussia was annexed by King Frederick the Great of Prussia in the 1772 First Partition of Poland. The town of Marienwerder, previously in Ducal Prussia, became an administrative capital of the newly acquired territory, which became the Province of West Prussia on 31 January 1773.

West Prussia was divided into the regions of Danzig and Marienwerder in 1815, following the Napoleonic Wars. While the governor and provincial authorities were based in Danzig (Gda?sk), the provincial supreme court of Marienwerder [de] (1772-1943) was in the homonymous town.

From 1815-18, West Prussia was reorganised into districts (or Kreise), within each government region. The Marienwerder Region included the rural districts (Kreise) of Culm [de] (1818-1920), Briesen [de] (1887-1920), Deutsch-Krone [de] (1772-1945), Flatow (1818-1945), Graudenz-Land [de] (1818-1920), Konitz [de] (1772-1920), Löbau in West Prussia [de] (1818-1920), Marienwerder (1752-1945), Rosenberg in West Prussia [de] (1818-1945), Schlochau (1818-1945), Schwetz [de] (1818-1920), Strasburg in West Prussia [de] (1818-1920), Stuhm [de] (1818-1945), Thorn-Land [de] (1818-1920), and Tuchel [de] (1875-1920).

Up until 1920, the Marienwerder Region comprised the urban districts (Stadtkreise) of Graudenz (Grudzi?dz) and Thorn (Toru?), both established on 1 January 1900.

As a result of the Treaty of Versailles following World War I, most of West Prussia, including much of the Marienwerder Region, was allocated to the Second Polish Republic. Parts of the territory east of the river Vistula took part in the East Prussian plebiscite and remained in the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany. These parts of the Marienwerder Region were officially incorporated into the Province of East Prussia in 1922, and renamed from Marienwerder Region to Region of West Prussia. This smaller region consisted of the rural districts of Elbing-Land [de], Marienburg in West Prussia [de], Marienwerder, Rosenberg in West Prussia, Stuhm, and the city of Elbing (Elbl?g); the districts of Elbing and Marienburg and the city of Elbing had previously been part of the Danzig Region. The districts of Deutsch-Krone, Flatow, and Schlochau became part of the new Prussian Frontier March of Posen-West Prussia. The districts of Graudenz, Konitz, Culm, Löbau, Schwetz, Strasburg in West Prussia, and Thorn became part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland.

On 26 October 1939, following the Wehrmacht's conquest of the Polish Corridor at the beginning of World War II, the Region of West Prussia was transferred from East Prussia to the newly created Reichsgau Danzig-West Prussia. It was also given back its original name of Marienwerder Region and included besides of German districts also occupational district authorities on Polish territory.

The Marienwerder Region was dissolved in 1945 following Nazi Germany's defeat in the war. The Soviet conquerors handed the region's territory to Poland in March 1945. Since that time it has been part of Poland. At the Potsdam Conference, the three Allies assigned the region to Polish administration in August 1945, and the German-Polish Border Treaty confirmed the annexation in 1990.


Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder had a majority German speaking population, with a large Polish speaking minority.[1]

Ethnolinguistic structure of Regierungsbezirk Marienwerder[1]
1849 1855 1858
German 372,642 60.81% 405,012 62.01% 422,695 62.47%
Polish1 240,174 39.19% 248,162 37.99% 253,973 37.53%
Total 612,816 653,174 676,668

1 includes Kashubian speakers

Districts 1818 to 1920

Urban districts

  1. Thorn (1900-1920), disentangled from Thorn District
  2. Graudenz (1900-1920), disentangled from Graudenz District

Rural districts

  1. Culm [de] (1818-1920), based in Culm upon Vistula[2]
  2. Briesen [de] (1887-1920), based in Briesen in West Prussia
  3. Deutsch-Krone [de] (1772-1945), based in Deutsch-Krone[3]
  4. Flatow (1818-1945), based in Flatow[4]
  5. Graudenz[-Land (as of 1900)] [de] (1818-1920), based in Graudenz[5]
  6. Konitz [de] (1772-1920), based in Konitz[6]
  7. Löbau in West Prussia [de] (1818-1920), based in Löbau in West Prussia[7]
  8. Marienwerder (1752-1945), based in Marienwerder in West Prussia[8]
  9. Rosenberg in West Prussia [de] (1818-1945), based in Rosenberg in West Prussia[9]
  10. Schlochau (1818-1945), based in Schlochau[10]
  11. Schwetz [de] (1818-1920), based in Schwetz[11]
  12. Strasburg in West Prussia [de] (1818-1920), based in Strasburg in West Prussia[12]
  13. Stuhm [de] (1818-1945), based in Stuhm[13]
  14. Thorn[-Land (as of 1900)] [de] (1818-1920), based in Thorn[14]
  15. Tuchel [de] (1875-1920), based in Tuchel

Districts in 1937

West Prussia, as the region was called from 1922 to 1939, then within the Province of East Prussia

Districts in the Region of West Prussia, based in Marienwerder, as of 31 December 1937

Urban districts

  1. Elbing (1874-1945), disentangled from rural Elbing District

Rural districts

  1. Elbing-Land [de] (1818-1945), based in Elbing[15]
  2. Marienburg in West Prussia [de] (1772-1945), based in Marienburg in West Prussia[16]
  3. Marienwerder (1752-1945), based in Marienwerder in West Prussia
  4. Rosenberg in West Prussia [de] (1818-1945), based in Rosenberg in West Prussia
  5. Stuhm [de] (1818-1945), based in Stuhm

Regional presidents

Each of the nineteen Regierungsbezirke featured a non-legislative governing body called a Regierungspräsidium or Bezirksregierung (regional government) headed by a Regierungspräsident (regional president), concerned mostly with applying state law to administrative decisions on municipalities within their jurisdiction and their umbrella organisations (the districts).[17]



  1. ^ a b Belzyt, Leszek (1998). Sprachliche Minderheiten im preussischen Staat: 1815 - 1914 ; die preußische Sprachenstatistik in Bearbeitung und Kommentar. Marburg: Herder-Inst. ISBN 978-3-87969-267-5.
  2. ^ The city of Culm is known as Che?mno between 1466-1772, and since 1920.
  3. ^ The city of Deutsch-Krone is known as Wa?cz between 1466-1772 and since 1945.
  4. ^ The city of Flatow is known as Z?otów between 1370-1722 and since 1945, most of the original district area was part of Poland since 1920, and the rest remaining with Germany became Polish in 1945.
  5. ^ The city of Graudenz is known as Grudzi?dz between 1466-1772 and since 1920.
  6. ^ The city of Konitz is known as Chojnice between 1370-1722 and since 1920
  7. ^ The city of Löbau in West Prussia is known as Lubawa between 1466-1772, 1807-1815, and since 1920.
  8. ^ The city of Marienwerder in West Prussia is known as Kwidzyn today.
  9. ^ The city of Rosenberg in West Prussia is known as Susz today.
  10. ^ The city of Schlochau is known as Cz?uchów between 1466-1772 and since 1945.
  11. ^ The city of Schwetz is known as ?wiecie between 1466-1772 and since 1920.
  12. ^ The city of Strasburg in West Prussia is known as Brodnica before 1772 and since 1920.
  13. ^ The city of Stuhm is known as Sztum between 1466-1772 and since 1945.
  14. ^ The city of Thorn is known as Toru? today.
  15. ^ The city of Elbl?g is known as Elbl?g since 1945, also between 1466-1772.
  16. ^ The city of Marienburg in West Prussia is known as Malbork since 1945, also between 1466-1772.
  17. ^ Regional Governments in France, Germany, Poland and The Netherlands (HTML version of PowerPoint presentation) - Cachet, A (coordinator), Erasmus University, Rotterdam[dead link]

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