Jump to: navigation, search
Free City of Danzig (1920-1939)
Source: Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 8

Danzig, a government district (Regierungsbezirk) of the province of West Prussia, before the partition in 1918 containing nearly one-third of the Mennonites living in Germany, most of them in the triangle formed by Danzig (city), Elbing and Marienburg. Whereas in the townships of Marienburg and rural Elbing the number of Mennonites decreased after World War I, it rose in the townships of Danzig-City, Danzig-Lowland, Danzig-Heights, and Elbing-City. Also in the township of Neustadt, particularly in Zoppot, more and more Mennonites settled.

The district contained the following congregations up to the evacuation of all Germans under the Polish occupation: Fürstenwerder with 561 souls (in 1921), Heubuden 1,623, Ladekopp with Orlofferfelde 1,150, Tiegenhagen 823, and Thiensdorf-Markushof 1,083, Elbing-City 400, Elbing-Ellerwald 736, Rosenort 718, Danzig City 1,360, and Danzig-Lowland-Quadendorf 50. Parts of Fürstenwerder and Tiegenhagen also belonged to Danzig-Lowland.

From 20 January 1920 to August 1939 the old district of Danzig was displaced in part by the Free City of Danzig, a politically independent state under the League of Nations. In 1939-1945 it was called "Regierungsbezirk Danzig," and was part of the "Reichsgau Danzig-Westpreussen." With the conquest of Germany by the Allied powers in 1945 and the reconstitution of Poland, the area was incorporated into the Polish governmental system, with the Polish name Gdansk.

In 1947 the Mennonite Central Committee established a relief program in the Danzig area, to which it had been directed by the Polish government, with headquarters in Tczew (Dirschau). It conducted relief there until the fall of 1948, when the Polish government in effect compelled the transfer of the work to Nasielsk near Warsaw. During the 1947-1948 period many Mennonites were aided together with the general population. In 1947 there were still over 200 Mennonites in this region, nearly all of whom were permitted to go to Germany in 1947-1949. A few individuals and one or two families of Mennonites have remained in the city or its environs.

Census figures show the following Mennonite populations in the various parts of the district:

Name 1861 1871 1880 1890 1900 1910 
Elbing City 2,075 405 535 477 591 606
Elbing Rural   1,491 1,387 1,329 1,172 953
Marienburg 5,343 5,420 4,999 5,014 4,928 4,767
Danzig City 459 486 582 617 626 639
Danzig-Lowland       283 275 403
Danzig-Lowlands / Danzig Heights 544 428 397      
Danzig-Heights       72 87 138
Dirschau       99 62 73
Dirschau / Stargard 52 69 65      
Stargard       13 20 29
Berent 12 1 1 11 6 1
Karthaus 3 7 5 5
Neustadt       13 88 161
Neustadt / Putzig     10      
Putzig       2 3 6
Totals 8,485 8,300 7,979 7,937  7,863 7,781

[edit] Bibliography

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 390.

Author(s) Christian Hege
Harold S. Bender
Date Published 1957

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Hege, Christian and Harold S. Bender. "Danzig (Poland)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 24 May 2016.

APA style

Hege, Christian and Harold S. Bender. (1957). Danzig (Poland). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol 2, p. 7. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

©1996-2016 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.