Friedrichsburg Gate in Kaliningrad, Russia, Source: Depositphotos

Latvia’s official language body proposes renaming Kaliningrad as well

Latvia’s official language body proposes renaming Kaliningrad as well

The countries near Russia’s Baltic exclave are doing some historical reckoning of their own

It seems that Poland’s example of renaming the Russian city of Kaliningrad for local purposes has struck an inspirational chord with other European nations. Yesterday, the Latvian State Language Center (VCC), the official institution regulating the use of the national language, proposed that the name for Kaliningrad should be changed to reflect local history.

The recommended options are the traditional Baltic name 'Karaļauči' or the German-derived 'Kēnigsberga' in Latvian instead of 'Kaļiņingrada' currently used when referring to the Russian exclave territory.

Lithuania will likely join that club

It seems that it’s not only Putin’s Russia that can do historical revisionism, which was used as a pretext for the invasion of Ukraine. Suddenly, in light of the current war, the nations bordering the southeastern part of the Baltic Sea have dusted off their history books and recalled the original story of Kaliningrad.

Poland recently decided that the city of Kaliningrad should henceforth be Królewiec. Królewiecka was recommended for Kaliningrad Oblast based on the same consideration. 

At the same time, neighbouring Lithuania is considering adopting the historical name Karaliaučiaus (also referring to the King’s status in the title). The proposal there was suggested by Conservative MPs who appealed to the State Commission for the Lithuanian Language to rename to initiate a renaming procedure.

The parliamentarians proposed to abandon the Soviet heritage and "not to pollute the state language with foreign bodies," according to Yahoo!News.

Kaliningrad, the capital of the Kaliningrad Oblast, is the only Baltic Sea port in Russia that is ice-free in winter. Kaliningrad Oblast shares a land border with Lithuania and Poland.

After World War II, the northeastern part of Prussia, together with the originally German-held Konigsberg, remained in the possession of the USSR. Kaliningrad was named after the formal USSR head of state, Mikhail Kalinin. 



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