The East Prussian Republic (Ostpreußischen Republik) is an eastern European state created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920, from the former German province of the same name. Has part of the territorial compensations the Treaty of Versailles and due to the establishment of the Polish Corridor an independent German state is created. East Prussia is bordered by Free City of Danzig, Poland, Lithuania and Memel Territory.
The East Prussian Republic is to remain explicitly separated from the German State perpetually nor can it establish a customs union. Only an agreement of the Council of the League of Nations can approve a political, military or economical union. As a compensation to the restrictions as an independent state, it has a membership to the League of Nations.
The newly-formed state has its own citizenship, based on residency. German inhabitants lost their German Citizenship, but were given the right within the first two years of the state's existence to re-obtain it; however, if they did so they were required to leave their property and make their residence outside of the East Prussian Republic area in the remaining part of Germany.
The Junkers owned most of the arable land in East Prussian where the target for calls of land reform. The only policy enacted in the 1920s was the distribution of the property of absentee owners. A full land reform would have to wait until a coalition of left parties gains the government.
East Prussia is the preferred place of emigration and resettlement for Baltic Germans when the newly independent states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania expropriated their properties.
Government and Politics
Shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles France, UK and Italy organized the elections for a National Assembly that would write a constitution. The Constitution is partially based on the one of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The legislature is vested in the East Prussian Landtag, elected every 4 years. The Executive power is divided between the President and State Chancellor. The President, who is the Head of State, is elected by a joint assembly of the Landtag and delegates of Government Districts (German: Regierungsbezirk) for a mandate of six years. The State Chancellor is the Head of the Government. He is appointed by the President and names the Ministerial Council. The State Chancellor and Ministerial Council are politically responsible before the Landtag and can be dismissed by a vote of no confidence. The Supreme Court is in charge of the judiciary and administration of lower courts.
The main political parties are: Ostpreußischer Kommunistische Partei (OKP, communist), Ostpreußischer Sozialdemokratische Partei (OSDP, social democracy), Christliche Volkspartei (CVP, socialchristian), Ostpreußischer Volkspartei (OVP, liberal), Ostpreußischer Konservative Volkspartei (OKVP, conservative) Ostpreußischer Nationale Volkspartei (ONVP, conservative and nationalist) and Ostpreußischen Bauernpartei (OBP, agrarian).
The Polish minority is represented by the Polnische Nationaldemokratische Partei (PNDP, Polish National Democratic Party), a section of the Polish party of the same name), later renamed Polnische Volkspartei (PVP, Polish People's Party).
However the Masurians, considered a Polish group but strongly Germanized, in their majority voted to remain as part of East Prussia in the plebiscite organized in the regions Warmia (Ermland), Masuria (Mazury, Masuren) and Powiśle.
East Prussia is divided into Regierungsbezirk (Government District). Each District led by a Regierungspräsident (government president), named by the Government and Bezirksregierung (district government) integrated by delegates of the Stadtkreise (City Districts) and Landkreise (State Districts). Each Stadtkreise and Landkreise is divided into Gemeinden ("municipalities"). The Gemeide is the basic local authority elected by its inhabitants every 4 years.
Armed forces of East Prussia
The signing of the Armistice in 1920 produce a full retreat to East Prussia and Germany of what was left of the Imperial Army (Reichsheer). The retreat involved fighting with Polish forces that tried to seize all the territory they could in order to establish de facto Polish lands. Reichsheer was also fleeing from the Red Army that moved towards Warsaw. A large portion of manpower stayed in East Prussia checking on the advance of Polish forces.
The establishment of the East Prussian Republic by the LoN and the arrival of British, French and Italian forces marked the dissolution of the Reichsheer in the East. The previous Prussian State Police, railway, customs, and municipal police forces were organized in a central and military disciplined East Prussian Police (Ostpreußischen Polizei) and East Prussian Criminal Police (Ostpreußischen Kriminalpolizei).
In 1921, East Prussian decreed the creation of the East Prussian Land Forces (Ostpreußischen Landstreitkräfte). The following year mandatory conscription is established and the East Prussian Armed Forces (Ostpreußischen Streitkräfte) is organized. It is complemented with the creation of the East Prussian Air Force (Ostpreußischen Luftstreitkräfte) and East Prussian Maritime Force (Ostpreußischen Seestreitkraft).
Economy and Communications
Agriculture is the main economical activity, however land property is concentrated in large holdings that are property of the junkers. This has not stopped the development of and important industry of food processing and farm equipment manufacturing. Fishing is one of the important national industries, with big fishing ports in Königsberg and Neukuhren and lesser ones in Zimmerbude and Rossitten.
On the coast around Königsberg are the world's leading source of amber.
The main port and airport are in Königsberg. The main airline is Ostpreussischen Flug (OPF). The Seedienst Ostpreussen or Sea Service East Prussia is a ferry connection between the German provinces of Pomerania and, later, Schleswig-Holstein and Danzig. The railroad network (Preußische Ostbahn) serves mainly between Danzig and Königsberg. The secret naval rearmament of Germany facilitated the improvement and expansion of Prussian shipyards. Ostmarken Rundfunk AG (ORAG) is the public broadcaster.
With help of experts from the League of Nations, in 1922 it was established the Ostpreußischen Nationalbank has the central bank of East Prussia.
Education and culture
The school system of East Prussia is organized in the same way has the German one. The University of Königsberg became the national university of Prussia and a Technical Institute was created. The research facilities and personal of the former Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science in Prussia became the Prussian Society for the Advancement of Science.