It is true that Russia tried to sell Koenigsberg back to Germany?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Gukpard, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Gukpard 1884

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    I remember reading a rumour a few years ago that in the mid 90s during the harsh economical crisis that hit Russia, the Russian government tried to sell Kaliningrad back to Germany, but the german government refused, but I tried to search that on google and I didn't found anything
     
  2. David T Well-Known Member

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    You may be thinking of this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...alks-with-Russia-to-take-back-Konigsberg.html Notice that even this, dubious as it is, (1) does not claim that a formal sale was proposed, only de facto economic control, and (2) claims that it was *Germany* that proposed it, not Russia. Indeed, it would be politically absolutely impossible for any leader of Russia to give up Kaliningrad to the Germans for any price.
     
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  3. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Is correct the population there is all ethic Russian or Russian speaking?
     
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  4. Obergruppenführer Smith Chasing the Man in the High Castle

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    Yes. East Prussia was virtually "ethnic cleansed" of Germans by expulsion.
     
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  5. David T Well-Known Member

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    "According to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition of the oblast was as follows:[10]

    I would also note that Belarusians and Ukrainians who live in the Russian Federation tend to be Russified. So the area is no doubt overwhelmingly Russian-speaking.
     
  6. CaliGuy Well-Known Member

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    I am unsure about the mid-1990s, but an alleged offer was made in regards to this back in 1990:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/jul/31/kalingrad-kant-home-return-german

    Anyway, though, if this offer actually took place, I suspect that it would have failed due to opposition by Russian nationalists; frankly, I can't imagine that a majority of the Russian population would have been willing to sell or give up a territory which they gained after being bled dry during World War II.
     
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  7. Gukpard 1884

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    They even exploded the Koeningsberg castle

    And built this in the same place:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Remitonov Maki is Rabu Raibu. :3

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    Even if such a proposal was in the works, it would likely doom the career of any Russian politician that even gives the thumbs up to it. First, Kaliningrad is a warm water port, and the only one Russia still has to this day in the Baltics (dampened by the fact that it's cut off from the mainland). Second, it's effectively ethnic Russian, who wouldn't take kindly to being thrown under a bus. Third, the unified Germany has the not-so-easy task of bringing the economically impoverished East Germany up to speed, a process that is still ongoing despite the fact that East Germany was by far one of the most successful communist countries in terms of economy. Kaliningrad will only add to the burden. To even consider returning the land, Kaliningrad would have to have a lot less Russians and/or a lot more Germans. And that's not counting the reaction from Poland.
     
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  9. CaliGuy Well-Known Member

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    You forgot to mention that Kaliningrad is the only piece of territory that the Russian SFSR acquired from defeating Nazi Germany; in turn, this might very well mean that Russians would be unwilling to give up what their fathers and grandfathers had fought and often been killed for.
     
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  10. G.Washington_Fuckyeah Gay & French

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    Yes, but many Russians in East Prussia would agree to a regime change, because the region is quite underdeveloped since it was separated from Russia. Now this doesn't mean they would support an annexation to distant Germany either. The best solution for the region would be to open the border to Poland and the Baltic states.
     
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  11. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    I suspect the reason behind such a transfer would primarily be a way for Germany to help Russia out of its debt while limiting any opposition at home and getting rid of a Russian base. As for how it would develop, I think most Russian would migrate to Germany, with the German state buying up land and give it back to the former owners, in a attempt to redevelop the region. Many of the new owners would likely sell the land to other, and because it would function under German law, we would likely see farmers from Germany, but also Netherlands and Denmark buy land there.
     
  12. longsword14 Well-Known Member

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    You can buy the land, but buy the people inside it?
     
  13. Remitonov Maki is Rabu Raibu. :3

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    I don't think Russians would enjoy suddenly becoming second class citizens separated from their homeland, or having a new Junker-style class buying up their land. Perhaps I'm overestimating patriotic fervour, but it's not a good sign to the locals when lands are being bought up by the new masters.
     
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  14. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    I think most of them will move by their own will to Germany proper, and I don't expect the German state will force anybody to sell, who don't want to. The German state buying land will pretty much be a way to avoid the new territory turning into a empty wasteland.
     
  15. G.Washington_Fuckyeah Gay & French

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    The people inside are free to travel and move out, since you might remember that Germany allows its citizens the right to leave the country.
     
  16. G.Washington_Fuckyeah Gay & French

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    I can understand your point, but Germany in 1990 wasn't Prussia in 1890. Germany would have invested a lot in East Prussia, just like it did with the former GDR - if anything to prevent migration from Prussia to mainland Germany. Russians staying im East Prussia would have gained German citizenship and benefited not only from public money, but also from the right to travel trough the Schengen areas. Essentially they would have replaced their former corrupt dictatorship with the wealthiest democracy of Europe. Also, Russian would certainly have been recognized as a minority language in the new Land of Prussia.

    I don't see why the Russians would have become second class citizens.
     
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  17. longsword14 Well-Known Member

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    Why exactly is Germany going to take this burden for people not ethnically German?
     
  18. G.Washington_Fuckyeah Gay & French

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    Well, that's the problem. I don't see the German left and the liberal FDP supporting the purchase of a territory separated from Germany and populated by Russians. And this is not taking into consideration the billions needed to help the region develop an industry to create jobs and wealth.

    Also, buying East Prussia would have angered the neighbors of Germany. Especially Poland, Czechoslovakia and France would have feared that German reuinification and the purchase of East Prussia might ring in a new era of German expansionism. These fears alone might endager German reuinification itself.

    That's why I think it was a intelligent to decline the Soviet offer. The financial burden would have been too heavy, and the diplomatic impact catastrophic in the context of impending German reuinification. And this is ignoring the political consequences within Germany.
     
  19. Halagaz Well-Known Member

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    In OTL's, modern day, Germany? Maybe not.

    In this hypothetical not-OTL Germany that's so interested in getting back "Koenigsberg"...this state would be clearly under the influence of revisionism, and it's reasonable to suspect that these revisionist attitudes would also affect the treatment of the Russian population.

    And in either case, opposition among Russians would be quite massive, both inside the Kaliningrad province and in Russia proper. Even if we're talking about a Germany that is truly benevolent and trustworthy, the average Russian will not believe that's the case (and can hardly be blamed for not believing it). If the government in question is fiddling with democratization at all, they can kiss their careers goodbye as soon as the proposal is uttered - the leaders, the ministers, the affiliated deputies, the parliament janitors and waitresses...
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  20. G.Washington_Fuckyeah Gay & French

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    Such a Germany would never be allowed to reunite, because everyone would fear that they're next, so your point is bit moot.

    Also, it's Königsberg.:)