Eastern Prussia’s border with Poland in the years 1919–1922
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Instytut Północny im. Wojciecha Kętrzyńskiego w Olsztynie
Online publication date: 2020-08-10
Publication date: 2020-08-10
Corresponding author
Tomasz Wyżlic
KMW 2020;308(2):190-216
Signed on 28 June 1919 in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles, this peace treaty established a new political order in Europe. Poland gained the Poznań lands, excluding Wschowa, Babimost, Międzyrzecz and Skwierzyna, and a larger part of the Royal Prussia (a total of 45 463 km2 and a little over three million inhabitants). Determining Polish borders was a process largely affected by the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, who was reluctant in his attitude towards Poland. He opposed any solution that would increase the role of France in Europe. The final shape of the borders was to be a task of the Allied and Associated Powers. After a heated debate, the Legislative Sejm of Poland ratified a peace treaty with Germany on 31 July 1919. It took effect on 10 January 1920. The peace treaty also arranged a plebiscite in parts of Eastern and Western Prussia, which was to determine the Polish or German affiliation of Warmia, Masuria and Powiśle. Only after that event the Boundary Commission began its delimitation works. The results of the plebiscite were unfavourable for Poland as it gained only small territories. The commission in the field focused on establishing the borders in the light of the peace treaty, so along the former German-Russian border until the Vistula river and then along it up to the Free City of Danzig.
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