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Polish Corridor,strip of German territory awarded to newly independent Poland by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The strip, 20 to 70 mi (32–112 km) wide, gave Poland access to the Baltic Sea. It contained the lower course of the Vistula, except the area constituting the Free City of Danzig (see GdańskGdańsk
, formerly Danzig
, city (1993 est. pop. 466,700), capital of Pomorskie prov., N Poland, on a branch of the Vistula and on the Gulf of Gdańsk. One of the chief Polish ports on the Baltic Sea, it is a leading industrial and communications center.
..... Click the link for more information. ) and the towns of Toruń, Grudziąz, and Bydogoszcz. Gdynia was developed as Poland's chief port and came to rival the port of Danzig. Free German transit was permitted across the corridor, which separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany. Although the territory had once formed part of Polish PomeraniaPomerania
, region of N central Europe, extending along the Baltic Sea from a line W of Stralsund, Germany, to the Vistula River in Poland. From 1919 to 1939, Pomerania was divided among Germany, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig (Gdańsk).
..... Click the link for more information. , a large minority of the population was German-speaking. The arrangement caused chronic friction between Poland and Germany. In Mar., 1939, Germany demanded the cession of Danzig and the creation of an extraterritorial German corridor across the Polish Corridor. Poland rejected these demands and obtained a French and British guarantee against aggression. On Sept. 1, 1939, the Polish-German crisis culminated in the German invasion of Poland and World War II.
(the Danzig Corridor), a term used in historiography between 1919 and 1945 to designate a strip of land that was obtained by Poland under the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 and that gave it access to the Baltic Sea. It ended in a narrow strip of seacoast and was only 71 km long; the width of the corridor did not exceed 200 km and was 30 km in the narrowest place.
By retaining under its authority Polish lands east and west of the corridor, Germany controlled Poland’s outlet to the sea. In 1938 the government of fascist Germany outlined a plan whereby Germany would annex Gdańsk (the “Free City of Danzig” under the administration of the League of Nations) and be granted east-west extraterritorial transportation routes through the corridor. Under pressure from the popular masses, the Polish government refused to give in to the pretensions of the German imperialists, which served as a pretext for fascist Germany’s attack on Poland on Sept. 1, 1939.