Where there was the first battle of World War II? The free city of Danzig ofwill Very soon be executed 100 years since the beginning of World War I. This war put end under so-called “long 19 - m a century“, begun with Great French revolution in 1789. In nearly 125 years of this long century Europe sharply changed. There were cars and industrial production, there were new forms of association of people, the nations, the consciousness of Europeans changed. What, however, did not rescue the continent from the beginning of terrible four years` war.
Many historians consider that World War I programmed World War II which burst in 21 year after the termination of the First. Programmed the fact that many of problems of Europe were not solved, and other attempts of the solution of these problems caused new contradictions.
Four empires which began war during this war fell. When winners in Versailles in 1919 defined the map of post-war Europe, nobody, of course, thought these empires to restore. On the contrary, the principle of self-determination of the nations strenuously moved ahead. All nations which were Avstro`s part - Hungary, Turkey and Russia, declared desire to form the independent state, had to receive such state. From - for it on the map of Europe there were essential changes.
There were separately Austria and separately Hungary, there were Czechoslovakia, the Baltic republics and unexpectedly big Poland. You remember V. V. Mayakovsky`s poem on the Soviet passport? In 1927 the police officers checking passports still did not get used to the passport of the Polish republic existing only 9 years.
look at Polish,
as in the poster a goat.
On Polish -
of a police slonovost -
from where supposedly
geographical news are?
Krom of the big territory, Poland received an exit to the Baltic Sea. For this purpose to it killed the lands which are taken away from East Prussia and from the German state of Pomerania. This peculiar corridor in Poland was called the Pomor voivodeship, and on a narrow strip of the Baltic coast of 71 kilometers began to build the Polish port Gdynia as opposed to the German Danzig.
The ancient German port city of Danzig of the power - winners decided not to return Germany. It was one of measures as which, was considered, it was necessary to humiliate and weaken the won Germany. But also winners did not wish to include this almost German city in Poland. An exit was found in revival of the medieval concept “free city“. In medieval Germany the cities subject to the emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire, but tribute to him not rendering so were called. However in case of wars or crusades the free cities brought together the army and were on fight on the side of the emperor. The status a little similar to the status of Cossacks in the Russian Empire.
It there was “geographical news“ too. Those years in Europe there were two more free cities, but was not planned to get others. Ah not, in the city of Chernomorsk which is thought up by I. Ilf and E. Petrov old men - the “pique vests“ liking to talk about world politics of that time sat. These old men sacredly believed that it is a little more - and their hometown will declare the free city too. Here then - that will return the Golden Age which they perfectly remembered and which - that is not surprising - fell on years of their youth.
It was supposed that the newly made free city of Danzig will be the independent city-state under the auspices of League of the Nations. Executive power in this city-state will be carried out by the senate, and legislative - people`s assembly. Citizens of Danzig had neither German, nor Polish nationality. They had passports of the free city. The territory of Danzig was declared by demilitarized. Any soldiers, only police. In the city even the currency, Danzig gulden went.
The European history developed so interestingly that about our day lived the so-called dwarfish states. Aggressive neighbors for one reason or another did not absorb them. And today they with pride store own peculiarity. Tell, for example, citizens San - Marino which speak in Italian, and practise Catholic religion, and work in the neighboring Italian cities that they are Italians, and they with great feeling will object: “No, we are sanmarinets! “ The most ridiculous that to obtain citizenship in these tiny states very hardly.
Residents of the free city of Danzig did not wish such liberties at all. The majority of them considered itself as Germans, spoke in German and wanted to live in Germany. However for obtaining the German nationality it was necessary to leave the city. Here it was also necessary to be reconciled with the Polish environment.
According to the decision of League of the Nations the free city had to carry out all external relations through Poland and at means of Poland. Since pre-war times to Danzig the railroad which was controlled now by Poland was paved. In 1921 in the city opened the Polish Mail with three offices: post office in the downtown, sorting knot at the railway station and post office in port. The Polish mail controlled city telegraph and telephone exchange.
The port submitted to the city senate of Danzig, but the Polish employees worked at customs there. In 1924 on Vesterplatte`s peninsula, on the river bank, opposite to port, Dead Vistula, flowing here into the Danzig gulf, the Polish transit military warehouse was constructed. The warehouse was constructed in order that the freights intended for the Polish army did not follow through the demilitarized Danzig port. Formally it was not the Polish territory in which, however, there was the Polish garrison.