Demmin is a town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 in the Mecklenburgische Seenplatte
Mecklenburgische Seenplatte (district)
Mecklenburgische Seenplatte is a district in the southeast of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is bounded by the districts Ludwigslust-Parchim, Rostock , Vorpommern-Rügen, Vorpommern-Greifswald, and the state Brandenburg to the south...

 district, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a federal state in northern Germany. The capital city is Schwerin...

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It was the capital of the former district Demmin
Demmin (district)
Demmin was a district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. The district was established in 1994 by merging the former districts of Demmin, Altentreptow and Malchin. On 4 September 2011, the bulk of the district was merged to Mecklenburgische Seenplatte, while the northeastern Ämter...



The name possibly originates from the Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 term "timänie", which translates as "swampy area". Another possible origin for the name of Demmin could be from Old Polabian
Polabian language
The Polabian language is an extinct West Slavic language that was spoken by the Polabian Slavs in present-day North-Eastern Germany around the Elbe river, from which derives its name...

 "dym" (plural; dyminy) for smoke, referring to fire clearances that made a settlement possible. In 1075, Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen was a German medieval chronicler. He lived and worked in the second half of the eleventh century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum .-Background:Little is known of his life other than hints from his own chronicles...

  reported of a fought over castle Dimine. In the course of history, the name changed, and sources refer to Dymine and Dimin, Latinized to Dyminium, finally Demmyn, and from 1320 on, the town was known under its present spelling Demmin.

The folk etymology is as follows: Two princesses, who built castle "Haus Demmin", promised each other in the Low German
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

 language spoken in Demmin, "Dat Hus is din und min" which translates "That house is yours (din) and mine (min)". Thus, the name of the castle and of the city is said to have developed.


As early as 5500 - 4900 BC, the Neolithic Linear Pottery culture
Linear Pottery culture
The Linear Pottery culture is a major archaeological horizon of the European Neolithic, flourishing ca. 5500–4500 BC.It is abbreviated as LBK , is also known as the Linear Band Ware, Linear Ware, Linear Ceramics or Incised Ware culture, and falls within the Danubian I culture of V...

 spread from the East, and from the Oder river into the area east of Demmin. The great dolmen near Upost is classified as the eastern most great dolmen. As an evidence of the Funnelbeaker culture
Funnelbeaker culture
The Funnelbeaker culture, short TRB from Trichterbecherkultur is the principal north central European megalithic culture of late Neolithic Europe.- Predecessor and successor cultures :...

, 119 Megalith
A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic describes structures made of such large stones, utilizing an interlocking system without the use of mortar or cement.The word 'megalith' comes from the Ancient...

 constructions bear witness around the county of Demmin. Of these, 56 are partially preserved. The majority of these constructions are 37 Dolmen
A dolmen—also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, dolmain , cromlech , anta , Hünengrab/Hünenbett , Adamra , Ispun , Hunebed , dös , goindol or quoit—is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of...

 The fact that there are also six simple dolmen preserved, makes Demmin and its surrounding area one of those regions in which the construction of such facilities had its roots. The later period is characterized by 12 preserved in the district of Demmin Tumulus and basin stones. From about 1800 BC on, the settlement of the area by Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...


Saxon Wars to 10th century

Slavic settlements of the Veleti
The Veleti or Wilzi were a group of medieval Lechites tribes within the territory of modern northeastern Germany; see Polabian Slavs. In common with other Slavic groups between the Elbe and Oder Rivers, they were often described by Germanic sources as Wends. In the late 10th century, they were...

 in the forests surrounding Demmin can be traced back to the 8th century. In 789, during the Saxon wars
Saxon Wars
The Saxon Wars were the campaigns and insurrections of the more than thirty years from 772, when Charlemagne first entered Saxony with the intent to conquer, to 804, when the last rebellion of disaffected tribesmen was crushed. In all, eighteen battles were fought in what is now northwestern Germany...

, Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 led his troops to the Peene river, against the Veleti who were allies of the Saxons. Dragovit
Dragovit was a king of the Wiltzes . It is thought that Dragovit began his rule ca. 740.Because of their constant hatred and hostility toward the Franks, in the late 8th century, Frankish king Charlemagne organised campaigns against the Veleti, and fellow Slavic tribe of the Linonen...

, king of the Veleti, whose castle, civitas Dragowiti was said to most likely have been located at Vorwerk (Demmin), submitted to Charlemagne and swore fealty. During the struggle of Veleti and Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 over this very suitable for a settlement region which was important due to its location at the crossing of rivers and trade roads of times to come, a border castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 was erected by Lutici
The Lutici were a federation of West Slavic Polabian tribes, who between the 10th and 12th centuries lived in what is now northeastern Germany. Four tribes made up the core of the federation: the Redarians , Circipanians , Kessinians and Tollensians...

 Circipanians at the dawn of the 10th century. That castle was later called “Haus Demmin”. It controlled the Eastern parts of Circipania, a territory that stretched to Güstrow
Güstrow is a town in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany the capital of the district of Güstrow. It has a population of 30,500 and is the seventh largest town in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Since 2006 Güstrow has the official suffix Barlachstadt.-Geography:The town of Güstrow is located...

 in the west. Its main castle was Teterow
Teterow is a town of Germany, in the district of Rostock, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Population: 9,535 .The Teterower See is to the north-east of the town.-History:The Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul Teterow is a town of Germany, in the district of Rostock, in Mecklenburg-Western...


Middle Ages

Demmin was a stronghold of the West Slav Circipanes during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. Due to its strategical importance, burghs were erected (and often attacked and destroyed) at the Vorwerk and Haus Demmin sites, named Dimin or Dymin. A Saxon
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

 army unsuccessfully besieged the settlement during the 1147 Wendish Crusade
Wendish Crusade
The Wendish Crusade was an 1147 campaign, one of the Northern Crusades and also a part of the Second Crusade, led primarily by the Kingdom of Germany inside the Holy Roman Empire and directed against the Polabian Slavs ....

. Yet, the armed conflicts with their neighbors and invasion troops from Germany and Denmark devastated the Circipanes land badly. It was resettled
Ostsiedlung , also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia...

 by Germans and Flames by the 12th to 14th centuries. Circipania was split between Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern...

 and Pommern, with Demmin on the Pomeranian side becoming a residence town for Pomeranian dukes
Dukes of Pomerania
- 10th and 11th century – Dukes of the Slavic Pomeranian tribes :* 1046 mention of Zemuzil * 1113 Gallus Anonymus mentions several dukes of Pomerania: Swantibor, Gniewomir, and an unnamed duke besieged in Kołobrzeg.-Duchy of Pomerania:*1121–1135 Wartislaw I*1135–1155 Ratibor I, ancestor of the...

Teilherzogtum is a German term denoting a part of a duchy after the duchy had been internally partitioned among members of the respective ducal family. Teilherzogtum does not have an English cognate.-Bavaria:*Bavaria-Ingolstadt*Bavaria-Landshut...


Modern Age

Like most of Pomeranian areas aside the larger coastal Hanse cities, the character of Demmin and its surrounding areas remained rural and dominated by agriculture until today, even though Demmin had been a member of the Hanse league because of the rivers (e.g. the Peene
The Peene is a river in Germany. The Westpeene, Kleine Peene and Ostpeene flow into the Kummerower See, and from there as Peene proper to Anklam and into the Oder Lagoon....

 River) connecting this area to the Baltic coast.

During the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, Demmin was occupied by imperial forces
Capitulation of Franzburg
The Capitulation of Franzburg was a treaty providing for the capitulation of the Duchy of Pomerania to the forces of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War...

 from 1627 to 1630, and thereafter by Swedish forces
Treaty of Stettin (1630)
The Treaty of Stettin or Alliance of Stettin was the legal framework for the occupation of the Duchy of Pomerania by the Swedish Empire during the Thirty Years' War...


In the Weimar Republic Demmin was a stronghold of the nationalistic organisations DNVP and the Stahlhelm
Stahlhelm is German for "steel helmet". The Imperial German Army began to replace the traditional boiled-leather Pickelhaube with the Stahlhelm during World War I in 1916...

. Even before 1933 there were boycotts of Jewish businesses, which drove away most of the Jews and the synagogue was sold in June 1938 at a furniture company, which is why it survived as a building today. On 11 November 1938 thousands gathered in the square in anti-Semitic demonstration. In the last free national elections to the Reichstag on 5 March 1933 the National Socialist Party won 53.7 percent of votes in Demmin

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Poles, Russians, as well as POWs from France and Belgium were used as forced labour in the town.

German troops
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 destroyed the bridges over the Peene
The Peene is a river in Germany. The Westpeene, Kleine Peene and Ostpeene flow into the Kummerower See, and from there as Peene proper to Anklam and into the Oder Lagoon....

 while retreating from Demmin during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. This way, the advance of the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 was slowed down when they arrived in Demmin on 30 April 1945. During that night and the following morning, Demmin was handed over to the Red Army largely without fighting, similar to other cities like Greifswald
Greifswald , officially, the University and Hanseatic City of Greifswald is a town in northeastern Germany. It is situated in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, at an equal distance of about from Germany's two largest cities, Berlin and Hamburg. The town borders the Baltic Sea, and is crossed...

. Rapes, pillage and executions committed by Red Army soldiers triggered a mass suicide of hundreds of people
Mass suicide in Demmin
On May 1, 1945, hundreds of people committed mass suicide in the town of Demmin, in the Province of Pomerania , Germany. The suicides occurred during a mass panic that was provoked by atrocities committed by soldiers of the Soviet Red Army, who had sacked the town the day before...

, nearly all of the Old Town was burned down.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 of Demmin displays:
  • a red fortress with three open gates
  • the two towers are topped by a silver lily
  • a leaned to the right silver shield displaying a
  • red griffin
    The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle...

     is the heraldic animal of Pomerania
  • On top of the shield there is a crowned, blue helmet with green peacock feathers
  • The red fortress symbolizes the city's history as the residency of Pomeranian princes
  • The lily crowning both towers symbolizes the city flower used in the 18th century.

Famous residents

  • Joachim Lütkemann
    Joachim Lütkemann
    Joachim Lütkemann was a German theologian and writer of devotional literature.-Life:...

     (1608–1655), preacher and author
  • Heinrich Carl von Schimmelmann
    Heinrich Carl von Schimmelmann
    Heinrich Carl von Schimmelmann was a German-born Danish nobleman, merchant and statesman.-Early life and career:...

     (1724–1782), merchant and politician
  • Julius Friedrich Cohnheim (1839–1884), pathologist
  • Willy Schulz-Demmin (1892–1974), painter
  • Hans-Adolf Asbach (1904–1976), politician
  • Willi Laatsch (1905–1997), pedologist
  • Paul von Maltzahn (born 1945), diplomat
  • Andy Glandt, banjo player


  • Norbert Buske, Das Kriegsende in Demmin 1945 (German) - The End of the War in Demmin 1945

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.