Currently, an interesting experiment in cultural and linguistic revival is underway in Lithuania, exploring the modern Lithuanians connections with the old ethnic Prussians from the same Baltic family.
The first mention of the Old Prussians in historical sources is in connection with Adalbert of Prague who was slain in 997 during a crusade to Christianise the Prussians. By the late 13th century, the German knights, especially the Teutonic Knights had converted them under arms to Christianity. Most of the native Prussians remaining after the bloody conquest were settled to Sambia. The Prussians organized frequent uprisings, the most famous in 1286 and the last in 1525. Before the end of 17th century, the Prussian language had become extinct. The culture of the Old Prussians was Germanicised, or Polonised, depending on the part of Prussia in which they lived. They converted either to Protestantism or to Catholicism (in Warmia).
Prussia was a dependency of the Kingdom of Poland until the 17th century, but Prussia as a political entity belonged to German-speaking Central Europe in the same sense as Austria: being a fusion of the local Baltic and Slavic elements with a later overlay of German colonisation.
Prussia greatly expanded its territories to the east during the Partitions of Poland between 1772 and 1795.
Prussia's democratic constitution was suspended in 1932, marking the effective end of German democracy, and in 1933 Hermann Goering became Minister-President of Prussia, a position he used to suppress all democratic opposition.
The Old Prussians or Baltic Prussians (German: Pruzzen or Prußen; Latin: Pruteni; Lithuanian: Prūsai; Polish: Prusowie) were an ethnic group consisting of medieval Baltic tribes inhabiting the lands of the southeastern Baltic Sea, roughly around the Vistula and Curonian Lagoons.
The former state of Prussia took its name from the Baltic Prussians, although that state was led by Germans, not by the extinct Old Prussians.
The land of the Old Prussians approximately consisted of the present-day Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship in Poland, the Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia, and the Klaipėda Region in Lithuania.
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