Historic Background
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Due to the very nature of the eastern provinces, different types of villages or small towns developed. In most cases raw land ( Hauland,  Land which was gehauen, gerodet out of the thick forest of the regions)  was developed and a German town name was given to this settlement. But often  the German towns and villages are named after the original name village or town. Sometimes it is only slight germanized version for example the endings of ..wiece or ...wice  change to the ending of ... witz.  The names below do not reflect on the locations of the listed towns , but  is rather an explanation of some of  the origins of the names.

   Name                       German             English                   Polish

Lesenik, Borrin           Wald                  Forest

Sassnitz                       Kiefer                 Fir

Zisser Wiese                Eibe                   Yew-Tree

Pressnitz, Bressin         Birke                  Birch

Rocknick                     Weide                Willow

Lieper Hörn                Linde                  Lindentree

Stubnitz                       Pfosten, Pfahl      Post

Grabow                       Hainbuche          Grove Beechtree

Thiessow                     Eibenort              Yew-Tree Hamlet

Göhren                       Berg                   Hill

Weltzin                        Wolf                   Wolf

Gansewitz                    Gans                   Goose

Gellen                          Hirsch                 Elk

Lunvitz                         Falke                  Falcon

Patzig                          Sandort               Sandy Hamlet

Putgarten                     Unter der Burg    Below the Castle 


                                         Natural disasters and epidemics.

 Any society will be affected by disasters and epidemics. They will strike without warning and spread rapidly. It lead  to widespread denuding of whole areas. For example the Cholera epidemic of 1709 to 1710 wiped out most of the population of over 10800 villages and towns. They became Wüstendörfer - wüst. ( abandoned, deserted). Especially the area around Gumbinnen and Pillkallen (Schlossberg) was effected. 

Last Update: January 19, 2003
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