Western Pomerania

Historical Western Pomerania, also called Fore Pomerania, Front Pomerania or Hither Pomerania (German: Vorpommern), is the western extremity of the historic region of the Duchy, later Province of Pomerania, nowadays divided between the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg (Gartz and Mescherin only) in Germany and West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland.

Current (grey lines) and historical (coloured areas) administrative division of Vorpommern. Historically, the Oder formed the eastern border of Western Pomerania[citation needed]
Coat of arms of the region
Flag of the region
Stralsund (pictured) and Greifswald form the urban center of Western Pomerania

The name Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means "land by the sea".[1] The adjective for the region is (Western) Pomeranian (German: pommersch, Polish: pomorski), inhabitants are called (Western) Pomeranians (German: Pommern, Polish: Pomorzanie).

Forming part of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, Western Pomerania's boundaries have changed through the centuries as it belonged to various countries such as Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia. Before 1945, it embraced the whole area of Pomerania west of the Oder River, small bridgeheads east of the river, as well as the islands in the Szczecin Lagoon. Today, almost the entire region is part of Germany, with the cities of Stralsund (Polish: Strzałów) and Greifswald (Polish: Gryfia), as well as towns such as Ribnitz-Damgarten (Damgarten only), Bergen auf Rügen (Rügen Island), Anklam, Wolgast (Polish: Wołogoszcz), Demmin, Pasewalk, Grimmen, Sassnitz (Rügen Island), Ueckermünde (Polish: Wkryujście), Torgelow, Barth, and Gartz (Polish: Gardziec). The cities of Szczecin (German: Stettin) and Świnoujście (German: Swinemünde), as well as the towns of Police (German: Pölitz), Goleniów (German: Gollnow), Wolin (German: Wollin), Międzyzdroje (German: Misdroy), and Nowe Warpno (German: Neuwarp) are part of Poland (see Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II). The German part forms about one-third of the present-day north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, while the Polish part constitutes the westernmost border areas of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship.

German Western Pomerania had a population of about 470,000 in 2012 (districts of Vorpommern-Rügen and Vorpommern-Greifswald combined) – while the Polish districts of the region had a population of about 520,000 in 2012 (cities of Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police County combined). So overall, about 1 million people live in the historical region of Western Pomerania today.

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