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FOLLOWING THE TRACES OF THE SALZBURG EMIGRANTS FROM BAVARIA TO THE FORMER KINGDOM OF POLAND (and further on to EAST PRUSSIA)

The 2. wave of expulsion for the Salzburger Emigranten to Germany followed in the winter of 1731/32, however with great sympathy by the (Lutheran) population along their way. In contrast to the emigration of the central Austrian exiles some decades before (as mentioned, the state of Salzburg was independent until 1805), the trek was now well organised and was accompanied by German transportation officers to East Prussia. King Frederick William I. of Prussia had offered the Salzburgers to give them a new home in his territories. Their final destination was the area around Gumbinnen in Prussian-Lithuania, a region which belongs to Lithuania and Russia today. The majority of this very north-eastern tip of Germany was lost after WW 1 in 1918, the remaining and much bigger part of East Prussia was lost to Russia and Poland after the end of the Second World War in 1945.

The map above is showing the Salzburger´s way to their new homes in East Prussia (and to Cadzand Island in the Netherlands), taking today´s state borders into account.

The city of Augsburg in Bavaria (left) was the first interim stop of the exiles on their way to East Prussia. To the right, a photo of Nuremberg, where the Exulanten could visit their former leader Joseph Schaitberger, as they were passing through..

The Exiles reached Berlin (above) and moved further on to Posen (right) in the Kingdom of Poland, whose King had allowed them to pass through.

Above left: In Schwetz (Swiecie) the refugees had to cross the Vistula River by boat. Poland´s most historical and longest stream. The old castle of the Teutonic Order looks much better today than it did in the 18th. century. Above right: A typical farm house in this area of Poland, built by Dutch Mennonites. It is located in Christfelde (Chrystkowo) in the district of Swiecie.

So these brave people went on their way by foot, horse coach or by ship to an unknown land which they had not seen before and which would be so different to the mountain landscape they had left behind in the Salzburger Land. Before they left, the routes of the refugees were carefully planned by the Prussian authorities, in order to ease the pressure on the areas they passed through. The photos on this page give an impression of the cities and landscapes that the emigrants saw on their journey. These places in Germany and Poland still look very much the same today as in 1731/32.

The view that the Salzburgers had before crossing the Vistula River in 1732: The medieval city of Kulm (Chelmno) in the Kingdom of Poland on the other side of the river.

The next bigger settlement along the Vistula River was the Polish city of Graudenz (Grudziadz). Above: the view from Grudziadz castle.

These buildings face the Vistula River and are warehouses. They were built to protect Grudziadz from enemies attacking the city from the river. The Salzburgers passed along here as they followed the stream northbound to East Prussia.

The Protestant cathedral of Marienwerder (Kwidzyn) was built in the 15th. century. Right: The Teutonic Order´s castle at Mewe (Gniew) is located further north high above the Vistula River. The castle is a hotel for young people today.

Left: Rehden Castle (Radzyn Chelminski) is one of the most beautiful castles of the Teutonic Order in Eastern Europe. Although having been a ruin for centuries, it showed the Salzburgers the way northeastbound to East Prussia. Right: Golau Castle in Gollub (Golup-Dobrzyn) was built between 1293 and 1310. Gollub was the German border town to Russia between 1772 and 1918. The former building of the Teutonic Knights lies high above Drewenz River (Drweca).

Danzig (Gdansk) on the Baltic Sea. From 1466 to 1793 the city was under Polish rule and was the last major town at the seafront before arriving at East Prussia.

EAST PRUSSIA WAS REACHED !

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