Tag Archives: Pommern

Roland War Memorial Mound

heldendenkmal labes lobez

An old picture postcard of the ‘Heldendenkmal’ war memorial and mound in Labes / Lobez, c.1937.

Information and archive images of the ‘Roland’ war memorial and mound in what was when it was construcyed Labes, Pommern, Germany; but since 1945, Lobez / Łobez, Zachodniopomorskie, (western Pomerania), Poland.

kriegerdenkmal labes lobez

The ‘Kriegerdenkmal’ and statue of Roland in Labes / Lobez / Łobez, Pommern, c.1937.

An artificial mound (or hill) of greater than 100 metres height was built in Labes / Lobez in 1922. It consisted of four artificial terraces. The top of the mound could be reached by way of a pair of stone stairs flanked by megaliths inscribed with runes and other Germanic symbols. A statue of the Germanic Knight Roland holding a sword was erected on top of the mound and stood more than ten metres high. In addition to the central statue, inscribed stones and mound itself, benches were put in place and trees were planted. The trees were chosen to symbolise different things. Pine trees symbolised sadness and loneliness, while spruces were connected to life and rebirth, and ash and hornbeam to longevity and pride. The purpose of this mound and its monuments was to commemorate and remember those who died in the 1914 – 1918 war.

The mound and monuments were built by the local community with the recorded help of more than 1,000 people. The whole project was financed by voluntary donations and required a total of 4,850 hours to complete.

The official unveiling of the statue of Roland, along with seven quadrangular columns, and boards inscribed with the names of the 200 or so men killed in the First World war from the immediate Labes / Lobez area was done by the President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg. This took place on 1 August 1926.

In 1931, Erich Puchstein filmed a silent 12-minute film ‘Die Stadt im Osten’ about the war memorial.

Labes lobez Roland

A front view of the Roland statue, ivy-covered columns, and war memorial in Labes / Lobez, c.1937.

Following the transfer of this part of what was Germany, to Poland, in 1945, the huge statue of Roland the Knight was blown up, and the war memorial as a whole has suffered greatly as a result of theft, vandalism and neglect. This process of decay, unfortunately, continues to the present-day.

war memorial lebes lobez

The War Memorial and Mound in Labes / Lobez photographed just after completion of the main structure in 1926.

Historical note: Roland was a Knight and nephew of Charlemagne. He was part of Charlemagne’s army fighting the Muslims in Spain and was killed at the Battle of Roncevaux. As a result of which Roland was immortalised in the medieval French epic poem ‘Song of Roland’ (La Chanson de Roland). Statues of Roland (Rolande) still exist throughout present-day Germany. Many dating back several hundred years. The most famous surviving monument to Roland is probably the 15th century five metre high limestone statue in Bremen.

Targ Drzewny in Gdansk

Danzig / Gdansk

danzig denkmal 1904

A selection of images featuring the war monument in Holzmarkt / Targ Drzewny / Market Square in Danzig / Gdansk. The photograph at the bottom was taken after the destruction in the fighting between German forces and the Soviet Red Army in early 1945.

danzig markt

The war monument in the centre of the square was dedicated to the soldiers of Danzig and the surrounding area who fought in the wars conducted by Prussia in the nineteenth century. The obelisk was 14 metres high and was built in 1904. It survived the war but due to its Germanic character was removed shortly after Danzig became Gdansk and part of Poland in 1945.

danzig 1939

Since 1965 a statue of King Jan III Sobieski has stood in the spot once occupied by the German monument.

danzig 1945

Related content on Polish Poland: more old images of Danzig / Gdansk.

Neustadt / Wejherowo

Neustadt / Wejherowo Through Time

Wejherowo neustadt

Part of a picture postcard dating back to 1899 of Neustadt / Wejherowo.

A selection of early images of Wejherowo (former Neustadt), Pomerania, Poland.

Wejherowo neustadt w.pr

A scan of an old lithographic picture postcard of Neustadt / Wejherowo, c.1901.

The current population of Wejherowo is around 47,000.

wejherowo neustadt pommern

A lovely old image of the water mill and mill pond in Wejherowo / Neustadt, Pommern, c.1903.

Related: more old images of Neustadt / Wejherowo, as it looked prior to 1945.

Gryfice Narrow Gauge Railway

gryfice railway

The Gryfice Narrow Gauge Railway (Nadmorska Kolej Wąskotorowa / Seaside Narrow Gauge Railway) is a 40 kilometre long narrow gauge railway which runs between Gryfice and along the Baltic Sea coast to Rewal, Niechorze and Pogorzelica in western Pomerania.

Gryfice narrow gauge railroad

More about the Narrow Gauge Railways of Poland.

gryfice narrow gauge railway

Trains run daily between the beginning of May until the end of September.

Offsite link to timetable and full details of the rather splendid Nadmorska Kolej Wąskotorowa.

Henkenhagen / Ustronie Morskie

Henkenhagen / Ustronie Morskie

ustronie morski

An old multiview picture postcard of Ostseebad Henkenhagen / Ustronie Morskie, Pommern, c.1930.

Continuing in our long-running series of images of Old Poland here we publish three pre-war images of the village of Ustronie Morskie (former Henkenhagen), near Kołobrzeg, in Western Pomerania (Pommern / zachodniopomorskie).

Ustronie Morskie

The railway station in Ustronie Morskie (Ostseebad Henkenhagen), c.1939.

Three interesting facts about Ustronie Morskie:

- the name Ustronie Morskie translates as ‘quiet little place by the sea’.
- the oldest oak-tree in Poland, known as ‘Boleslaw’, can be found just outside the village.
- Ustronie Morskie has a population of around 1,800.

Ustronie Morskie Henkenhagen Westpommern

A postcard of the beach and sea in Henkenhagen / Ustronie Morski, Westpommern. This one posted to Stettin / Szczecin in 1933.

Stettin / Szczecin

Three photographic postcards showing various locations in Stettin (Szczecin) before World War Two.

Stettin Szczecin

An old picture postcard of the river Oder (Odra) port area in Stettin (Szczecin) in around 1921. Click image to enlarge.

Stettin became an industrial city in the late 19th century and vastly increased in size and population, serving as a major port for Berlin. At the end of World War II Stettin’s status was in doubt, and the Soviet occupation authorities at first appointed officials from the city’s almost entirely German pre-war population. However, in July 1945, Polish authorities were permitted to take power. Stettin was renamed Szczecin and became part of Poland.

Stettin Pomerania Szczecin

A photograph featuring Berliner Tor in Stettin, Pomerania, in the 1910s.

Following on from this Stettin, now called Szczecin, was demographically transformed from a German into a Polish city. The German population were expelled and Poles took their place. Most of Stettin’s settlers coming from deprived areas of Central Poland with a smaller number of Poles and Ukrainians from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union such as eastern Galicia.

Stettin Szczecin Germany

The UFA Palast ‘Deutsches Familien Kaufhaus’ building in Stettin, c.1937.

Szczecin today

Szczecin (Stettin) is located on the Oder River, south of the Szczecin Lagoon and the Bay of Pomerania. It is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland. It is the Poland’s seventh-largest city and a major seaport in Poland. The population of Szczecin is currently more than 400,000.

See also our page about and images of ships and shipping in the river and port area of Stettin.

Treptow / Trzebiatów

treptow rega

A scan of an old picture postcard of Treptow / Trzebiatów, Western Pomerania, Prussia, c.1900.

Three old images of pre-war Trzebiatów (Treptow an der Rega) in Western Pomerania / Zachodniopomorskie, Poland.

Treptow an der Rega

An old image of the main square area in Treptow an der Rega / Trzebiatów, Pommern, c.1930.

Three things you may not know about Trzebiatow:
- Until 1945 Trzebiatow was called Treptow an der Rega and part of Prussia, Germany.
- Cars registered in Trzebiatow all have number plates which start with the letters ZGY.
- There are presently around 10,000 people living in Trzebiatów

treptow Trzebiatów

An elevated photographic view of Treptow / Trzebiatów, c.1941.

Related: Information on and photographs of nearby Gryfice / Greifenberg.

Neuwedell / Drawno

drawno poland

A selection of old images of pre-war Neuwedell, Pomerania, since 1945, Drawno, Zachodniopomorskie, Poland.

Drawno Neuwedell Pommern

Until the end of the Second World War the town was called Neuwedell. It was renamed Drawno when it and the whole of this part of Pomerania became part of Poland as a result of decisions made at the post-war Potsdam conference and the adoption of the Oder-Neisse border.

drawno neuwedell pl

Drawno is a town in the West Pomeranian (Zachodniopomorskie) Voivodeship of north-west Poland. Its current population is around 2,400.

Related content on Polish Poland: Information on the Drawa National Park.

Bresin / Brzezno Leborskie

Brzeźno leborskie bresin

A scan of an old picture postcard featuring three different views of Bresin / Brzeźno Lęborskie, c.1918.

Here are a couple more random images from our picture archive. Both picture the small village of Brzezno Leborskie (former Bresin), in the county of Wejherowo (Neustadt) in Pomerania, northern Poland.

bresin pomerania

Three more photographs on an old postcard of Bresin / Brzeźno Lęborskie. Mailed in 1919.

Brzeźno Lęborskie is approximately five kilometres north-west of the larger village of Łęczyce (Lanz) and 27 kilometres west of the town of Wejherowo (Neustadt). Brzeźno’s population is currently around 750.

Related: old images of the nearby town of Wejherowo (former Neustadt).