Talk:Gdańsk/Archive 7

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Archive 1 Archive 5 Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10

Headline proposal

My proposal for the headline is still:

Gdansk (Polish: Gdańsk, Kashubian/Pomeranian: Gduńsk, Latin Gedania, Dantiscum, German Danzig) is the 6th largest city in Poland, its principal seaport, and the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodship.

Is it something wrong with it ?? Mestwin of Gdansk 03:30, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Alright, I've agreed to a fairly substantial modification of my position, and you're completely unwilling to compromise at all. You've also both implicitly accused me of being a Nazi. Needless to say, I have absolutely no interest in pushing a pro-German POV, and certainly not a Nazi one. You both completely ignore any evidence I submit that the city is still called "Danzig" in English when discussing its earlier history. (A further example: The Blackwell Classic Histories of Europe series, revised edition, uses "Danzig" in all references to the city in the Early Modern Period.) I am convinced that neither of you is at all interested in coming to an agreement, just in pushing your POV. I am deeply disillusioned with this whole situation, and sick of individuals whose command of English is questionable at best telling native English speakers how we refer to a city. So, game on, buddies. john 04:56, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

  • Dear john, thanks for all your hard work on this subject and this article! I don't have much to add, since you're doing an excellent job tracking down usage and working out a reasonable comrpomise (even if some of the parties involved aren't interested in compromise). I can vouch for the fact that some people continue to refer to the city as "Danzig" today, especially people who grew up during the war, or during the post-war occupation (the war ended in 1945, but we didn't stop calling the city "Danzig" for a good while after that). I think the fact that you and Yeti have reached some kind of agreement is important. And I think there should be a footnote to a multi-paragraph discussion of issues surrounding the name today (including the possibility of offending certain people by referring to the city as "Danzig", early-20th-century and late-15th-century issues, etc). If you need broad support for implementing a compromise, I think you can get it from many people who only occasionally drop in on pages like this one (drop a note at the village pump, on Ed Poor's talk page or on the mailing list). +sj+ 19:52, 2004 Mar 25 (UTC)
Re:"(including the possibility of offending certain people by referring to the city as "Danzig""
Then it should also be noted that the name Gdansk may be offensive to the displaced inhabitants of Danzig as well as other expellees. Nico 20:22, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think the headline should give some more explanation:
Gdańsk is the 6th largest city in Poland, its principal seaport, and the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodship. From 1793 till 1945 it was in German hands and was better known by its German name, Danzig and this is what it is referred to as in Wikipedia when talking about that period. Other names of the city include Kashubian/Pomeranian Gduńsk, and Latin Gedania.
Kpalion 11:28, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Hmm...That would be okay with me, except that it's a bit awkward. Another issue is that it's still mostly known as Danzig before 1793 - I think that's starting to change, and use of Gdansk for discussions of that period is increasing, but it's not quite there yet. How about for the second sentence,
For the earlier part of its history, and especially during the period from 1793-1945 when it was under German control, it is better known in English by its German name, Danzig.
Then we can also avoid the awkward mention of Wikipedia. john 17:52, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The importance of the Hanseatic League in the Baltics was profound. The city was one of the more important members.
--Ruhrjung 21:14, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

How about:

Gdańsk is the 6th largest city in Poland, its principal seaport, and the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodship. A prominent member of the Hanseatic League, for the earlier part of its history, and especially during the period from 1793-1945 when it was under German control, it is better known in English by its German name, Danzig. Other names of the city include Kashubian/Pomeranian Gduńsk, and Latin Gedania.

Still seems a bit off, though. john 21:27, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

That needs to be at least two paragraphs: now (including other name "Danzig" early on) and history. Think like a newspaper article: present facts in inverted-pyramid order. If I saw that paragraph in any other article, I'd untangle it.
Suggested alternate:
Gdańsk (German name, Danzig, Kashubian/Pomeranian Gduńsk) is the 6th largest city in Poland, its principal seaport, and the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodship.
That's the first para: what it is, alternate names. Remember that "Danzig" still redirects to this article. Second para should be other important current facts. Third would probably be suitable for important history. Fourth for other relevant facts about the present. Something like that.
Think of the intro as being suitable as a very concise article on whatever subject all on its own. Summary lead, then inverted pyramid.
The important point is that the conflicting nationalist interests must not be allowed to force a badly and clumsily-written article just to satisfy POVs. That way lies unreadable rubbish.
If it's any comfort, this is probably easier to sort out than the Linux article's intro was - firm devotees of trying to shove the whole damn article and every conflict on the subject into the first sentence. - David Gerard 21:40, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)
The main problem is not "to sort it out" - the problem is how to get people stop trying to enforce their own political agenda — or maybe how to strengthen their wikispirit. You propose, basically, that we should hold on to the wording we have tried to keep during this last month, and which maybe incidentially is the protected version right now, but as we all remember, it was not commonly accepted[1][2][3].
--Ruhrjung 22:25, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You mean, can we come up with a technical solution to a social problem? Remember that the problem is not just to come up with wording to satisfy the current crop of uncompromising advocates, but something good enough to satisfy future ones and people who see plain bad writing and think it's something to be fixed - which, of course, it is. All the rabid partisans can vote, but everyone else who didn't vote still has edit rights - David Gerard 22:29, Mar 20, 2004 (UTC)
Well, to sort it out, I mean two different things:
In the long run, maybe a technical solution is of need, but for the time being, if we don't want all these Poland-connected pages to remain protected, which I hope we do not, I see only two alternatives: 1/ either there exists a body of wikipedians who care enough to jump on partisans from both the wing User:Nico now represents and from that wing User:Gdansk represents; or 2/ we must improve our understanding and accomodation of both warring sides aswell as their understanding of NPOV.
I would like to assert strongly that neither of the involved wikipedians are, in my view, problem users. As you point out, they are just representatives for strongly held points of views, and (in my personal opinion) one of the many adverse effects of the Iron Curtain. These issues represents a real challenge of our Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial.
And I believe the most important problem to be solved is how to combine NPOV with the inverted-pyramid concept; since if that fails, controversial articles will continue to flip between good readable text and bland, careful politically correct NPOV.
Yes, your approach is sensible, but to me it looks like the same road as we tried a month ago, and that was obviously not enough.
Is that any clearer.
--Ruhrjung 00:14, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
My position regarding this article is not different from the position of most native English speakers. I haven't tried to move the article to Danzig or remove all references to the Polish name, unlike User:Gdansk/AntiNaziWatch etc. So it makes no sense to compare my position with the position of this User:Gdansk (who btw. now is blocked for the next 24 hours by Adam Bishop). Nico 00:29, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I would prefer to say that you have learned a lot more of wikipedia basics during your time here – but you can't reasonably deny to be a prominent representative for one of the sides in the dispute, can you? ;-)
--Ruhrjung 00:36, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Which sounds like what I said from a different view - I think we're agreeing. The worst thing is not that an article ends up "bland", it's that it ends up with every sentence dangling subclauses and qualifications to fit EVERY NOISY AND STUPID PARTISAN INTEREST and the result is unreadable. We're writing an encyclopedia here. There's a reason this very debate is listed on Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars ever. This is a Lame Edit War. - David Gerard 00:49, Mar 21, 2004 (UTC)

I have to say that I at least partially agree that Nico has not been comparable to User:Gdansk on this issue. I would agree that Nico (as well as Polish contributors like Cautious and Yeti and probably Space Cadet, although I'm still pissed off that he joked that I was a Nazi right after I suggested a pretty substantial concession towards his position on the article) is not a problem user, but a very strong advocate of rather unattractive POVs...see, for instance, his attempt to rename the East Germany article because East Germany is not the eastern part of what was traditionally Germany. User:Gdansk, on the other hand, is pretty damned close to a problem user. He constantly resorts to ad hominem, he's engaged in obnoxious edit wars over essentially vandalizing talk pages (See the contributions of User:Caius2ga, who is, I believe, the same as Gdansk, on the history to Talk:Silesia). He's tried to mess about with pages on German cities in "retribution" for his dissatisfaction with the question of Polish cities. He has never once shown any sign that he has listened to anything that anybody else says in opposition to his viewpoint. If this is not a problem user, I'm confused as to who would qualify. john 00:41, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Concerning East Germany: It was not an attempt, but a proposal on the talk page to move the article dealing with DDR to German Democratic Republic (its official name). I didn't expect that anyone would support me, btw., I just wanted to express my opinion. Nico 00:59, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes, you're right, that was unfair, you just made a comment on a talk page, which is not the same as an attempt. However, I do think it's fair to say that you have a strong POV that frequently comes out in talk pages, and which tends to antagonize, especially, those who are sensitive about the issue of the German presence in Central Europe before 1945. john 01:11, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have said before that I admit to have opinions on these issues, and I'm certainly not a perfectly neutral person. I've never claimed to be either. Nico 01:19, 21 Mar 2004 (UTC)

John! Please do not praise Nico vandal. He tries to remove any references to Nazi attrocities against Poles. The best example, Polish Post Office in FSD. Polish postman were executed just after the fight. Recently, German tribunal decided about compensation for Juridical murder. However, Nico removed reference to it from Gdansk article. The same happened to Pomerania and other places. Nico is falsyfing history, not expressing his POV. By the way his POV is not German from Imperial Germany. His version of history was written between 1933 and 1945. Cautious 10:47, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't think I need to comment on this. Nico 17:31, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Let's use Warszawa for Warsaw!

Let's decree that all references to Warsaw be eliminated in favor of Warszawa, since nobody in Poland – I mean Polska – refers to it as Warsaw. -- sca

Warsaw is English name which happens to be also accepted English translation of the name. Nobody seriously would claim Warschau as English name, isn't it? Szopen
Yes, this is a completely bogus argument. john 18:57, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Today it is, but if we had been speaking before 1945 about Gdansk, the parallel would have been valid -- hence my suggestion that referring to a city known both to itself and to nearly all the world (outside Poland) by its German name, until it was conquered by Stalin and transferred to Poland, is historically mendacious. It would be consistent and intellectually honest to refer to the city by the name by which it was known to its inhabitants at given points in history. Today it's known as Gdansk; then it was known as Danzig. It's that simple. I'm quite aware that Gdansk is the modern Polish version of the original Slavonic settlement's name, but that doesn't change the fact that its develpment was primarily and increasingly as an ethnically German city from the 14th century until WWII. To obscure this development by referring to it by its present-day Polish name when speaking of times when it was known by it German name is to falsify history. A very minor and incomplete parallel may be seen in the early history of New York, when it was known as Niuwe Amsterdam. No historian today would refer to the city during its early Dutch period as New York because that simply was not its name during that time. Of course, this same argument applies to all the former German cities and towns that became Polish after 1945, including Szczecin/Stettin and Wroclaw/Breslau. There are tens of thousands of them. Poland is a fascinating country with a great culture and indeed a tragic history, but pretending that these places always were Polish adds nothing to its stature. The truth should be told.
-- User:Sca 21:43, 26 Mar 2004

If using "Slavonic" for early Polish city, why you use "German" instead of "Germanic" ?! Szopen
Well, I think I can answer that. By Germanic you include the Goths, all the Scandinavians and so on. The adjective "German" has a much wider meaning than "Polish". To boil it down (very much): The former is associated with language and culture, the latter with states and dynasties. And it is when some people use "German" in another, much more restricted sence, closely associated with "Germany" after the split off of Austria instead of with Germanhood (...Germanness, German law, German language or German culture), that many seemingly factual conflicts arise.
--Ruhrjung 10:07, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

When the page is unprotected please remember to add to the famous people section, a link to a new article about Alfons Flisykowski a commander of Polish Post Office in Gdansk murdered in 1939. -- Mestwin of Gdansk 06:00, 20 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Voting 2 on proposal

(please do not change the proposal body text as it may change the voting results).

NOTE: This vote is irrelevant, since we already have voted over this, and since the English community cannot dictate usage on other Wikimedia projects, like the German and Polish Wikipedias. -- Nico 14:47, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

May I suggest a compromise solution, which is consistent with the Wikipedia naming convention:

  • English Wikipedia - English name of the city Gdansk is used in ALL references to the city: historical and modern. Alternative language names, inluding German Danzig, Kashubian Gduńsk and Latin Gedania are mentioned ONCE in the headline.
  • German Wikipedia - German name of the city Danzig is used in ALL references to the city: historical and modern. Alternative language names, inluding Polish Gdańsk, Kashubian Gduńsk and Latin Gedania are mentioned ONCE in the headline.
  • Polish Wikipedia - Polish name of the city Gdańsk is used in ALL references to the city: historical and modern. Alternative language names, inluding German Danzig, Kashubian Gduńsk and Latin Gedania are mentioned ONCE in the headline.
  • Kashubian Wikipedia - Kashubian name of the city Gduńsk is used in ALL references to the city: historical and modern. Alternative language names, inluding German Danzig, Polish Gdańsk and Latin Gedania are mentioned ONCE in the headline.
  • Latin Wikipedia - Latin name of the city Gedania is used in ALL references to the city: historical and modern. Alternative language names, inluding German Danzig, Polish Gdańsk and Kashubian Gduńsk are mentioned ONCE in the headline.
The Polish Wikipedia already uses the Polish name in all references, and the German Wikipedia uses the German name in all references. The English Wikipedia should use the English name in all references as well, but the pre 1945 English name is Danzig and nothing else. Nico 20:09, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Are you in favour of the proposed naming compromise?


  • Yes Mestwin of Gdansk 20:32, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Halibutt (although with some serious doubts that "other wikipedians" will respect the cease-fire)
  • Yes Yeti 11:16, 19 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Yes. Official English name throughout for Gdansk, L'viv, Vilnius, Hrodna etc., with as many mentions on other names as necessary, with appropriate explanations on the prevalent language spoken by the population with respect of the historical epoch Rübezahl.
  • Yes Space Cadet 18:22, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)


  • Jamesday 20:23, 17 Mar 2004 (UTC) The English place names at the time of the events should be used in the English language Wikipedia, even if those names are offensive to the current occupants of the place. That is, Gdansk should be used for recent events and Danzig in articles while the place was under German control. That includes in the article Gdansk when discussing the period under German control.
  • David Gerard 11:50, Mar 19, 2004 (UTC) Other English-language reference works do it the other way, so we would be doing it this way to push a blatant POV. Doing so sets a bad precedent for other contentious articles.
  • +sj+ 18:44, 2004 Mar 25 (UTC) The standard of comparison should be a city like Istanbul, which has gone through so many name changes over the millennia. It is clearly unacceptable to use only one name to refer to a place whose name (in a given language) has changed over time. Each language 'pedia should use the city-name that was prevalent in that language at the time being referred to. When usage is split, with people using both new and old names (such as in the case of Gdansk/Danzig in english), some explicit note of this should be made the first time the name arises (perhaps a link to a footnote, which gives a paragraph or so on the subject).
Sj, you used bad example. Istanbul is totally different case: Gdansk and Danzig are names which were used in parallel for maybe even millenium until now: Germans used Danzig or similar, Poles used Gdansk or similar. Local population used the name depending on their nationality. Szopen
Actually, the exact same thing is true of Istanbul, a name which was used for several centuries by the local Turkish population before becoming the official name in 1930. Further, just like with Gdansk, the name "Istanbul" is a derivative of "Constantinople". john 07:43, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Now that's a contradiction. If "Istanbul" became an official name only in 1930 and now it's used in reference to all city history since the fall of Bizantine Empire, then the name "Gdansk", which became an official English name some time after 1918 should be used retroactively also. Besides, the comparison is poor, because for many historians the fall of Konstantinopol marks the end of Middle Ages, it is the end of one epoch and start of another. One Empire fell forever to give way to another. Therefore, perhaps this ancient city deserves two different articles. It's not a case in the "Danzig" issue. Rübezahl 13:34, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
"Istanbul", so far as I am aware, is generally only used to refer to the city from 1930. For 1453-1930, "Constantinople" is used more commonly. john 18:06, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  • Ruhrjung 21:14, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)
    — No, since I think a limited (or very limited) use of "Gdansk (then Danzig)" or equivalents is warranted for;
    — furthermore, I do strongly advice against names irrelevant to English speakers. The Kashubian does probably merit to be mentioned, but I doubt this is the right place, and Latin has even less to do in the introductory paragraph.
    — Finally there is above talk of "headlines" which is quite another issue than what we have discussed the most.
    — I call for comparisons with Helsingfors, Christiania, Reval, Petrograd, Wiburg, Flensborg, Dorpat, Pressburg, Strassburg ...and of course Lvov!
  • I think what we really need to do is to determine a policy on all cities that have changed names, and how they are to be named a) in the article on that city; and b) in other articles mentioning said city at different times. In the latter case, I think it's pretty obvious that the more commonly used name in English to refer to the city at that time should be used. In the former case, I would argue the same. Since there is, as far as I am aware, no clear policy that this is not what should be done at the moment, I would vote for doing the same thing in this article, pending the determination of a general policy. If the general policy agreed to is that we simply use one name throughout, I would, of course, abide by such a policy. But, so far as I am aware, there is no such policy currently in place. Can anyone point me to any page saying that the current wikipedia policy in general is to use the current name, whatever the name most currently used in English for describing it at a given period is? If this is not the case, I see absolutely no reason why we should accept the current treatment of Pressburg and Vilna, (both the most common names used to refer to those cities before 1919 and 1945, respectively), say, as anything more than an error, rather than as an example to be imitated. john 06:19, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)


  • ?

Comments on the voting

I'm not going to participate in this vote. We already have voted. Besides, this vote is initiated by a vandal. If you do not respect the outcome of the other vote, I will change my position to insist on using the Germanic name in all references on this Germanic Wikipedia as well. "Danzig" gives more total Google hits than "Gdansk". Nico 20:06, 25 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This is to establish a consistent naming system for English wiki, smilar to those used by other wikis.
Which better could be done at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (disputed place names).
--Ruhrjung 08:58, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Examples from other wikis are but a reference.
--Halibutt 16:57, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, Nico, it's not irrelevant due to us having already voted. In particular not since the previous voting ended in a stalemate. However, the result on this page is of course irrelevant in respect to other wikipedias and its relevance for other articles in this wikipedia is highly questionable.--Ruhrjung 08:02, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)

just like in: (NOTE: this sentence was inserted by User:Halibutt, not User:Gdansk)

Mestwin, do you agree with my interpretation?Halibutt

Another vote

Since many Polish contributors again are trying to enforce the name Gdansk used when referring to Danzig (before 1945), I start a new vote. I propose we use the Germanic name at this Germanic Wikipedia in all references to the city, in accordance with our anglicization policy (see Cologne). Note that the name Danzig gives a lot more total Google hits than Gdansk. However, I will withdraw this proposal if the Polish contributors also end their hostilities above. Nico 19:13, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)


  1. Nico 19:13, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  2. — Jor (Talk) 19:30, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC) — very sensible policy.
  3. Space Cadet 05:11, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC) Yes, let's end the Polish hostilities once and for all! And let's consistently change this to a GERMANIC encylopedia, the way it was intended in the first place! Actually let's change this whole world back into MAGNA GERMANIA!


  1. Yeti - My comment: is Cologne a Germanic name? It is definitelly the most stupid proposal on this page ever.
Cologne is the most common English name for Köln, from Latin Colonia just like Danzig is the most common English name for the city this article discusses (probably from urbs Gyddanyzc which led to Danzig in Germanic languages and Gdansk in Slavic). — Jor (Talk) 20:09, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  1. This is unspeakable stupidity, Nico. I certainly have no intention of respecting such an obviously flawed proposition even if you do achieve numbers. You may or may not have noticed that the goal here is to write an encyclopedia, not to be wilfully stupid to make a point - David Gerard 20:12, Mar 27, 2004 (UTC)
This is not more stupid than the other vote (it's still stupid, though). And it is the result of the disrespect of the outcome of the original vote from certain contributors. Nico 20:28, 27 Mar 2004 (UTC)
If it's not stupidity, then its extremely unmature.--Ruhrjung 07:54, 28 Mar 2004 (UTC)
  1. NO. Which germanic names are better? Swedish? German? Old Saxon? Norse?Halibutt


To imply that the city was German only from 1871 to 1919, as the history section now does, is the height of idiocy. Six hundred-plus years of history won't go away, no matter what some self-appointed ultra-chauvinistic Polish blowhard scribbles in Wikipedia. No one with half a brain will take this seriously.

-- Do Widzenie! User:sca 11may04