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Challenge

Ostbalticum

The region which is the focus of Project Ostbalticum was ravaged not only by the war. In its wake came a planned and deliberate destruction designed to erase the character of the territory which after the war found itself within new borders. In would seem in retrospect that this post-war devastation was located in the northern fragment of former East Prussia which after 1945 became a province of USSR (and subsequently, of the Russian Federation).

The fate of Königsberg was sealed and its past is now only partly discernible in the townscape of the modern capital city of the Kaliningrad Oblast. The tragedy of Königsberg does not in any way detract from that of Warsaw or Lviv (Lwów) but it is an illustration of a wider phenomenon typical for the region under discussion: the city was bombed during the war and was plundered after the war, finally, it was remodelled according to a new blueprint. A similar scenario was put into effect at other locations where, as a result of consistent action, many elements of material culture and spiritual legacy were obliterated. This is demonstrated particularly well (on Prussian territory) by the fate of the Albertina (Albertus-Universität Königsberg) – famous university of Königsberg – and the equally renowned Prussia-Museum. Both these institutions had had a strong impact on the outlook of intellectual life, and the community developed around them helped to shape the outlook of elites everywhere in the region. But the war and its aftermath destroyed both the social tissue and (to a great extent) the material potential of this world.

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  • The university of Duke Albert in Königsberg – the Albertina (T. Nowakiewicz 2008, Fig. 10).
  • Emil Hollack’s map of archaeological sites in East Prussia (T. Nowakiewicz 2008, Fig. 13).
  • Artefacts from Waplitz, now Waplewo, distr. Szczytno, Poland, from the inventory books of the Prussia-Museum (A. Bitner-Wróblewska et alii 2008, Fig. 12).
  • Artefacts from Mingfen, now Miętkie, distr. Szczytno, Poland, from the inventory book of the Prussia-Museum (A. Bitner-Wróblewska et alii 2008, Fig. 20).
  • The castle of the Teutonic Knights at Balga before 1945. (A. Bitner-Wróblewska, T. Nowakiewicz, A. Rzeszotarska-Nowakiewicz 2011, 107).
  • The castle of the Teutonic Knights at Balga in 1990. (A. Bitner-Wróblewska, T. Nowakiewicz, A. Rzeszotarska-Nowakiewicz 2011, 107).
  • Artefacts from the cemetery at Ramutten, now Ramučiai, Lithuania. Originally in Prussia-Museum, now in Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte in Berlin (A. Bitner-Wróblewska, T. Nowakiewicz, A. Rzeszotarska-Nowakiewicz 2011, 391).
  • The parish church of Gerdauen, now Železnodorožny, Russia, 1992 (A. Rzempołuch 1996, Fig. 60).
  • German list of items seized during World War II from the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw (R. Matuszewski, J. Kozimor 2007, 244).

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