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  General and Old World HistoryGeneral HistoryWorld War I, 1914-1918
 
Danzig and the Polish CorridorDanzig and the Polish Corridor

Danzig was the natural port of Poland and of the Vistula River Basin, and had been for many centuries outside the political frontiers of Germany. The possession of the Marienwerder District was necessary in order that Poland might control the lower Vistula and the one direct railway between Danzig and the Polish capital, Warsaw.

Ultimately it was decided that in order to ensure Poland's economic interests in Danzig without actually annexing it to that republic, a district of about seven hundred square miles around the port should be established as a free city under the protection of the League of Nations. The executive of Danzig was to be a high commissioner appointed by the League.

Furthermore, Germany was compelled to recognize the independence of Poland and to renounce in the latter's favor about five sixths of the former province of Posen and the greater part of the former province of West Prussia. In East Prussia, two plebiscites were to be held in districts in the vicinity of Allenstein and Marienwerder, chiefly to determine whether Poland should control territory on both banks of the Vistula. Both districts later voted for union with Prussia and were retained practically intact.

In industrial Upper Silesia, a plebiscite was held which proved favorable to Poland. The larger part of the population and territory went to Germany, but Poland was given by far the greater proportion of the economic resources. Germany also surrendered a small section of Upper Silesia to Czechoslovakia.


F. Lee Benns Europe Since 1914 In Its World Setting New York: F.S. Crofts & Co., 1946

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