Place:Wilhelmshaven, Hannover, Preußen, Germany

TypeIndependent City
Coordinates53.533°N 8.117°E
Located inHannover, Preußen, Germany
Also located inWeser-Ems, Niedersachsen, Germany     (1800 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Wilhelmshaven (Wilhelm's Harbour) is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of the Jade Bight, a bay of the North Sea, and has a population of 76,089. Wilhelmshaven is the centre of the "Jade Bay" business region (which has around 330,000 inhabitants) and is Germany's main military port.

The adjacent Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park (part of the Wattenmeer UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site) provides the basis for the major tourism industry in the region.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The , built before 1383, operated as a pirate stronghold; the Hanseatic League destroyed it in 1433. Four centuries later, the Kingdom of Prussia planned a fleet and a harbour on the North Sea. In 1853, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, a cousin of the Prussian King Frederick William IV, arranged the Jade Treaty (Jade-Vertrag) with the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, in which Prussia and the Grand Duchy entered into a contract whereby Oldenburg ceded of its territory at the Jade Bight to Prussia. In 1869 King William I of Prussia (later also German Emperor) founded the town as an exclave of the Province of Hanover and a naval base for Prussia's developing fleet. All the hinterland of the city remained as part of the Duchy of Oldenburg.

A shipbuilding yard developed at Wilhelmshaven, the Kaiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven (Wilhelmshaven Imperial Shipyard). On 30 June 1934 the "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee was launched at Wilhelmshaven.

In 1937 Wilhelmshaven and the adjacent village Rüstringen merged and the united city, named Wilhelmshaven, became a part of the Free State of Oldenburg.

World War II

In World War II (1939–1945), Allied bombing destroyed two thirds of the town's buildings while the main target, the Naval Shipyard Wilhelmshaven, remained operational despite serious damage. A major attack on residential areas of Wilhelmshaven was carried out on 15 October 1944. Various churches, hospitals, schools and many residential buildings were destroyed or severely damaged. On 28 April 1945, the Canadian First Army captured Emden and the Polish First Armored Division captured Wilhelmshaven, and took the surrender of the entire garrison, including some 200 ships of the Kriegsmarine. The Poles remained as part of the Allied occupation forces until 1947. During the war, Alter Banter Weg (No. 1582 Wilhelmshaven), functioned as a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp.

Since 1945

In 1947 the city council decided to seek a new emblem for the city. After the Control Commission for Germany – British Element (CCG/BE) had rejected several designs, Wilhelmshaven selected the image of a Frisian warrior (Rüstringer Friese), designed after a nail man erected in the city during the First World War to collect war donations.

Between 1947 and 1972 Wilhelmshaven was the home of Prince Rupert School, a comprehensive boarding school for children of British Army of the Rhine and Royal Air Force Germany personnel serving in West Germany. The school relocated to Rinteln in Lower Saxony in 1972, and closed in 2014. There is an active association of former Wilhelmshaven pupils called The Wilhelmshaven Association. After World War II the shipyard was totally disarmed under the British Commander in Chief, and of course many military buildings were damaged or vacant. While it was prohibited to establish any kind of military-linked businesses, Wilhelmshaven took the opportunity to provide a convenient location for the Olympia Werke, which became one of the most popular quality typewriter factories in the world. A workforce of 7,000 worker was employed there in 1953.

Largest groups of foreign residents (as of 31 December 2018)


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