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Rügen is Germany's largest island. It is located in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Mecklenburg in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
Rügen Island Edit
Rügen (54o31' North, 13o30' East) is located in northeastern Germany in the Baltic Sea. It is Germany's largest island measuring 935 square kilometers and with a prewar population of 73,000. Bergen auf Rugen is the islands largest town and is located in the centre of island. The Rügendamm bridge, which connects the island by road and rail with the city of Stralsund on the mainland, crosses over the Strelasund.
Rügen was a part of Swedish Pomerania from 1648 to 1815. After 1815, it became a part of the Prussian Province of Pomerania. The first bathing resort was founded at the town of Potbus in 1816 and many more resorts followed during thr 19th century. Rügen remained Germany's most famous holiday destination until World War Two. In 1936, the first bridge connecting Rügen to the mainland was constructed, ending dependence on ferry boats. The Nazis added a large resort on the island: Prora, planned by the "Strength Through Joy" (Kraft durch Freude) organization, the state controlled leisure organization. The resort was never fully completed due to the interruption of World War Two, and in post-WW2 years was used as a military barracks by the East German state.
Military garrison Edit
The island was "liberated" by Soviet naval infantry in 1999 and it remains a Soviet garrison. Loyalist units of the East German military - the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA) - also comprise the Rügen Island garrison and the NVA High Command - the Kommando Landstreitkräfte (KdoLaSK) is located on the island at the Prora barracks. The East German military is using Rügen as a place to rebuild and reorgnize.
- Soviet Naval Infantry
- GDR 40th Airborne Battalion
- GDR 1st Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment
- GDR 2nd Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment
- GDR 29th Naval Infantry Regiment
- GDR MfS Wachregiment Feliks E. Dzierzynski
- GDR 6th Naval Flotilla
East German government Edit
In early 2000, the government of the GDR established its provisional capital at the Jagdschloss Granitz near the town of Binz. The infamous East German security service - the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS) - was the first government ministry to establish itself on the island and the "Stasi" has a significant presence, with units of its elite Felix Dzerzhinsky regiment guarding government facilities, and plainclothes security police and informers in every Rügen Island community.
- Erich Beck - Assistant Director, Ministry of State Security
- Egon Weineck - ferry boat captain