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The historical region of Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze, German: Pommern) comprised the areas at the southern coast of the Baltic Sea between the estuaries of the Oder and Vistula Rivers. During the Middle Ages it was mostly inhabited by Slavonic peoples akin to the Poles. The eastern portion of this region then became part of Royal Prussia and since that time the name Pomerania has been limited to the western and central parts of the region (except for Poland, where the old usage of the term "Pomerania" has been retained).


Until the 17th century, the Province of Pomerania was ruled by native princes but under the dependence on Poland (up to the 12th century), and later on Brandenburg and Sweden. Its inhabitants accepted Protestantism and were influenced by the German culture. More and more Germans settled there and the original Slavonic inhabitants gradually lost their original language. In the early 1600's Pomerania was annexed by Sweden. During the next century most of it was incorporated into Brandenburg, therefore becoming part of Prussia.


In 1815 northern portions of historical Brandenburg, so-called Neumark, (marked green on the map below) were added to Pomerania together with former fiefs (shown in yellow) of the Kingdom of Poland, which were already taken by Brandenburg in the second half of the 17th century (see map below). The Prussian province of Pomerania in this point was practically entirely German-speaking and Protestant, except for the easternmost districts (once Polish) where a Polish-speaking, partially Catholic minority remained.


This province remained in Germany after WWI. Minor adjustments were made on the Polish border in 1920.


After WWII, the greater part of Pomerania was incorporated into Poland. German inhabitants of the province escaped or were expelled and Poles from the formerly Polish regions in the East settled in Pomerania. Only the western districts (German: Vorpommern) remained part of post-WWII Germany.


 The map shows the province of Pomerania at the beginning of the 20th century. Polish and German names of cities are provided. The colored regions are explained above. The pink line is the post-WWII border between Poland and Germany.




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