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Polish Corridor

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 Gdańsk) 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 Pomerania, 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.

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Polish Corridor

Polish Corridor Strip of land along the River Vistula, dividing East Prussia from the rest of Germany, and providing Poland with access (1919–39) to the Baltic Sea. It was created by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, when Poland became independent. The city of Gdańsk, near the mouth of the Vistula, was made a free city but, dominated by Germans, excluded Polish enterprise. The arrangement caused disputes between Germany and Poland, exploited by Hitler to justify his invasion of Poland in 1939.

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