Elbing before and after 1945
During the Middle Ages, the Old Prussian settlement of Truso was located near the current site of
Elbing. Elbing was founded by German tradesmen in the 13th century and the Teutonic Knights who
conquered the region populated it with more Germans. After the defeat of the Teutonic Knights, the
city successively passed under the control of Poland, the Kingdom of Prussia, and Germany. Elbing,
thirty five miles east of Danzig was a German settlement with a German majority for more than 700
years. Today, only part of the medieval city wall still stands. Elbing was another victim to brutal
Allied bombing, and the beautiful old German Hanseatic League city was 70 to 90% destroyed by the
bombing and the fires started afterwards by the Red Army in an effort to burn the whole city down.

The communist army then went on another bloody rampage, torturing and murdering civilians,
including women and children, just as they did in nearby Danzig. Elbing remained predominantly
German as an Independent Free City State until it was handed over to Poland at the end of World
War Two for "preliminary administration" which still continues. 98% of the new inhabitants were
Poles trucked in from elsewhere. It was renamed Elbląg, and its new history rewritten to remove all
"Germanism". There has been no restitution for stolen homes, property and businesses. Almost the
entire German population was murdered, enslaved or expelled by the communists. Even the
cemeteries were bulldozed to hide traces of the city's German heritage and most are now only a pile
of rubble. Only since the fall of communism in the 1990's can the tiny surviving remnant of German
citizenry speak their native language without fear of imprisonment.  
Elbing