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Koenigsberg -> Kaliningrad -> why still Russian ?

Discussion in 'World History' started by kiwitt, Sep 2, 2010.

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  1. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Yes, that's basically what I meant.
    Except that "now-independent RSFSR" sounds a bit strange for me, it was rather remainder of USSR which was later reformed as the RF. Russia inherited many things from USSR, such as membership in international organizations (UN SC for example), foreign debt and many others.
     
  2. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    It's great to see that trolling Poland still has currency in international affairs.

    Wasn't there also a push for the area to become independent as a fourth Baltic Republic at some point during Yelstin's rule? I know nothing came of it, obviously, but does anyone know what the feelings of the locals are on that topic?
     
  3. Echse

    Echse Warlord

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    Not that long ago i read somewhere that the russians offered the area to Germany in the reunification negotiations but Germany declined the offer because it would have been much too expensive to bring it to western standards.
     
  4. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    That sounds reasonable ... any sources to this offer.
     
  5. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    Because after 70 years of most enlightened Soviet/Russian rule, nobody else wants that unfortunate piece of land and its one million Russian inhabitants.
    However, they apparently have some sort of a minor perestroika going on for themselves. I have a tiny hope something good might come out of it. Maybe a good example for the rest of Russia?
     
  6. Echse

    Echse Warlord

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  7. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I read somewhere once that the oblast was offered to Poland during perestroika (or after?) but then the offer was rescinded when it became clear that Poland had ambitions to join NATO.

    I'm not sure where I read it, or how true that is, though...
     
  8. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    I heard Poland turned the offer down because they didn't want to end up like Latvia (probably a good idea).
     
  9. Hawe Hawe

    Hawe Hawe Warlord

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    The Kaliningrad-Oblast / Königsberg-Area is probably one of the strangest places in europe, but fascinating too. The city and East-Prussia were influenced by positive cultural exchange of baltic, polish and german inhabitants and history for hundreds of years. Königsberg was the german capital of enlightment and prussian culture. Obviously history was also full of conflicts between those cultures and involved nations, thats, why even today the discussion about Königsberg an the former german territories in the east is still crucial and sensible. After WW2 there was a total break, because nearly all the historic traditions were eradicated and a russian history of the area was not existent.
    This place even today seems like region without history, while the eastprussian history for the germans is somehow like ancient babylon: A huge but totally dissappeared culture. but the Russians are beginning to explore the pre-soviet history of Kaliningrad and today are also recognising positive aspects of foreign history.
    The question "why still russian" is best answered with: Because it is a fact. This region is absolutely russian today.
    Nations with historic connections to this region, mainly the germans an the lithuanians (the ancient baltic tribe of the "Pruzzen" merged with them and the polish people through the years), won't have any realistic perspective to do something useful with this area. So there is no serious interest, at least in Germany to reestablish any kind of german influence there. But the history of this area is its big hidden potential, today it is still difficult to travel there.
     
  10. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton King, Warrior, Prophet, Magician, Lover

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    Nice post above me.

    I must say when I think about what Königsberg was and what it is today, it hurts my heart, but what's done is done.
     
  11. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    Thanks for your feebdack. It does explain a lot about this forgotten piece of history and city.
     
  12. Lithuanian!

    Lithuanian! Chieftain

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  13. jagdtigerciv

    jagdtigerciv Prince

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    Simply put: Geopolitics.

    Geopolitics trumps all cultural boundaries.
     
  14. Squonk

    Squonk Deity

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    Why shouldn't it be russian? there's no real alternative. What was done, was done. There was no way it could stay german after ww2. It could be given either to Poland or USSR, and the decision about it rested in USSR's hands, so it was given to USSR. Polish historical claim to it was not something very strong anyway. Lithuanian SSR would be the obvious recipient (although its claim to this territory is even weaker than polish), but it already got another territorial prise, and anyway, there were too little Lithuanians to actually settle this area. Giving it to Russia was an obvious choice, then, and it's the only territorial gain of russian SSR from ww2. So it became russian, and what was done was done. Nowdays people there try to find their new regional identity. Some explore the german past, some even try to evoke long gone, pre-german, baltic prussian tradition.
     
  15. say1988

    say1988 Deity

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    Lets not forget what they took from Finland.
    And really, is there any reason for someone, at the time, to distinguish between RSFSR and, say, BSSR gains? It didn't really make a difference which SSR controlled an area until much later.
     
  16. Squonk

    Squonk Deity

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    Oh yes, but I believe most was won in the Finnish war, while the direct ww2 gain was Pieczynga (Petsamo?). I'd have to check that.

    In a practical sense not, but I think I read somewhere Stalin gave this explenation. Still, I don't remember the source, so it doesn't count.
     
  17. kronic

    kronic Deity

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    Well, if Echse's article contains any truth, there was a simple way to regain the city in 1989/90. Strange thing that it wasn't even considered.
     
  18. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    I recall reading something similar, how Stalin merely wanted to annex some German territory as a) an ego trip, or b) a way to satisfy some of the Party who wanted Germany treated even more harshly. The latter seems believable, but both theories seem suspect to me.
     
  19. Squonk

    Squonk Deity

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    Well, during Teheran conference it was established that Poland should get entire Prussia (but Memel / Klajpeda) and Opole / Oppeln Silesia. Later, Stalin moved Poland even further west, but cut it more in the east, including Prussia.

    Stalin was actually more benevolent towards Poland than western allies at this time, arguing for entire Lower Silesia being part of Poland, while Churchill was remarked one should not stuff polish goose so much or it may explode. I think it is because he already knew Poland shall he "his", while the fate of Germany was not sure. So it was most wise of him to move Poland as far west as he could. And the more he cut from Poland in the east, the more excuse he had for giving it recompensation in the west :)
     
  20. Lord Baal

    Lord Baal Deity

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    I think Stalin was kind of hedging his bets on Poland. He wanted to make it a satellite, which meant strengthening it was good for him, but at the same time he was afraid he might not be able to keep it, and so he didn't want it to have too much power. Pushing it west, making it more of a buffer between Russia and Germany - which he had to still consider a potential future threat, even after it was beaten - served both purposes admirably.

    I think Churchill was pissed with the Polish government-in-exile in London, which was causing him problems with both Russia and the US. They were foolishly insisting on full territorial integrity in the east, when they should have been concerned more with an independent government. If they had been able to assure Stalin of their neutrality and willingness to appease Russia, Stalin may have let them remain independent. unlikely, but possible. It would certainly have made the US and UK friendlier towards them, increasing their chances.
     
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