Migration processes in the Kaliningrad region, Klaipeda region, Warmia and Mazuria in 1945—1950: a comparative study
The change in borders as a result of World War II spawned massive displacements of millions of people that affected East Prussia, ceded to the USSR and Poland. The article examines the migration processes caused by these changes in the territory of the former German province, i. e. in the Kaliningrad region of the RSFSR, the Klaipeda region of the Lithuanian SSR and the Olsztyn voivodship of Poland. The purpose of the study is to compare the conditions, course and results of the deportation of Germans to Germany and the settlement of the region with new people in 1945—1950, to identify common features and characteristics.
It was established that the eviction of Germans took place on the general principles approved by the decisions of the Potsdam Conference, however, deportation in the Kaliningrad region was carried out on the basis of German citizenship, while exceptions were made for Poles and Lithuanians from the original population in the Klaipeda region, Warmia and Mazury. The population formed as a result of the resettlement action in all three regions turned out to be very diverse, with different historical and cultural experiences. Though the majority of population of the Kaliningrad region, more than two-thirds, was made up of Russians, migrants from Belarus, Ukraine and other republics of the USSR were also represented there. The countryside in the Klaipeda region was settled by peasants from Lithuania, and the Russian-s peaking population, mainly from the three Slavic republics, prevailed in the cities. Poles absolutely dominated (over 90 %) in the Olsztyn Voivodeship, but they were represented by very different groups: a fifth were indigenous people, some came from the USSR, and the rest were immigrants from the central voivodeships of Poland. In general, post-war migrations in the Southeastern Baltic significantly affected the development of three specific types of regional identities.