Chapter 15 Historical Background and Specificity of the Kaliningrad Region in Europe – a Local Perspective Outlook

In: The Kaliningrad Region
Author: Benon Gaziński

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Abstract

The initial assumption of this Chapter was an insight into the relations of the Kaliningrad Region and the European Union from a local perspective focused on former East Prussian territory, currently being part of Poland, Russia and Lithuania. The author is convinced that the historical legacy of these lands is an important factor of understanding contemporary political, economic and social realities of the Region.

In the first part, some aspects of the past civilization of native Prussians are discussed – those affecting the formation of the identity of contemporary residents. Long-term resistance to the conquests by the Teutonic Knights facilitated the formation of statehood structures in the areas of the present Baltic Republics.

In the second part, covering the periods of the Teutonic Knights and German Prussia, attention is paid to the European significance of Königsberg as a centre of Lutheran thought and later in the rise of Imperial Germany.

The last two parts cover the period of the Second World War and the post-war period – the destructions as a result of the war and the first post-war years are highlighted as well as the complexity of internal and international relations of the contemporary Kaliningrad Region.

The author’s personal thoughts and opinions have been formulated as “Concluding remarks”.

The Kaliningrad Region

A Specific Enclave in Contemporary Europe

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