Baltic accent

2017 Vol. 8 №2

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Workers’ settlements in the Kaliningrad region and their subsequent renaming in 1946—1947



Part of East Prussia was ceded to the Soviet Union after the defeat of Nazi Germany. As a result, the local toponymy changed completely. The author analyses the documents from the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archives of Socio- Political History, and the State Archive of the Kaliningrad Region to trace the Russianisation of German toponyms. The decision to establish workers’ settlements in the Kaliningrad region was discussed in September 1946 — July 1947. Local authorities sought to create more settlements of the kind. However, the RSFSR leadership insisted on the establishment of one resort settlement and four workers’ villages. Numerous toponyms were proposed, many of them were changed several times. The only geographic name that was approved immediately by the Government of the RSFSR was Znamensk, since it incorporated the semantic root znamya (banner). The ideologically laden Komsomolsk was replaced with Zheleznodorozhny as a reference to the fact that most residents worked at the railway station. Another settlement was named Tchaikovsky but then was given the ideologically laden name Pionersky.


1. The Kaliningrad Regional Council of People's Deputies and its executive committee. Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Kaliningradskoi oblasti (GAKO) [State Archive of the Kaliningrad region], F. R-297.
2. Office of Civil Affairs of the Kaliningrad Region. GAKO [State Archive of the Kaliningrad region], F. R-298.
3. Council of Ministers of the RSFSR. Gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii (GARF) [State Archive of the Russian Federation], F. A-259.
4. The Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. GARF [State Archive of the Russian Federation], F. A-385.
5. O rabochikh poselkakh: Postanovlenie VTsIK i SNK RSFSR ot 27 sentyabrya 1926 g. [On the workers' settlements: Resolution All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR of September 27, 1926]. Available at:[Accessed 10 April 2015].
6. Central Committee of the CPSU (1898, 1903—1991). Rossiiskii gosudarstvennyi arkhiv sotsial'no-politicheskoi istorii (RGASPI) [Russian State Archive of Social and Political History], F. 17.