Königsberg Castle with the Kaiser Wilhelm Statue is pictured here in sharp detail, along with the routine comings and goings around the castle in 1895. This stone castle was constructed in 1257 as the fortress residence of the Grandmasters of the Teutonic Order and later became a residence for Prussian rulers.
The people captured in this photo, walking along or riding in the horse drawn trolley …could they possibly foresee that only 50 years later their world would violently come to an end? … that everything in this scene would be gone, with only piles of rubble remaining? It is eerie that all of the people would also be gone… no one who lived here would remain here. All who lived in East Prussia as well as those who lived in the other farthest eastern parts of Germany would either die or flee. In 1945 two million residents died and 15 million others were forced to permanently flee their homeland.
After WWII ended, the victorious Allies agreed to confiscate the lands of Ostpreussen, Westpreussen, Pommern, Posen, Schlesien and Sudetenland. This large part of Germany was split up, partitioned between Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia.