National Geographic : 1925 Mar
LOOKB,G DO\;VN ON EUROPE 317 Photograph from Lieutenant J. Parker Yan Za1ll1t A PLANE ARRIVING AT KONIGSBERG FROM MOSCOW WITH SOVIET DIPLOMATIC MAIL The landing of this plane marked the inauguration of the joint German and Russian passenger and freight air line between Moscow and Konigsberg, Prussia. The Soviet Govern- ment owns SO per cent of the stock of the Deruluft Air Company, which operates a daily service connecting Konigsberg with Kovno, Smolensk, and Moscow. monocle, had inadvertently crossed the line, and the English High Commissioner appointed by the League put an end to firearms. The horrors of this guerrilla warfare were duly impressed on my mind one savage rainy night while traveling by train between Danzig and Konigsberg. Under the circumstances of this article I hesitate to confess my presence on a train, but it really wasn't my fault. Three days before I had wired from \iVarsaw to reserve a place on the air line, only to be informed that all seats between Danzig and Konigsberg were booked for more than a week. This heavy traffic had seemed a little surprising, but the explanation was not long in forthcoming. The main railway artery, which reaches Danzig from Stet- tin and continues into East Prussia, passes through the little city of Dirschau at the bridgehead across the Vistula, some 40 minutes out uf Danzig. And Dirschau is Polish. A glance at a map of Europe * reveals the territory of the Free City imbedded like a third molar in the Baltic jaw repre- sented by the Gulf of Danzig, while be- tween its roots lies Dirschau, the strategic railhead for all east-west rail traffic. Each time a citizen of Danzig wishes to visit his cousins, let us say, in IVr arien- burg, East Prussia, not much more than an hour's train journey away, he must pay $10 for a Polish vise for the privilege of riding five minutes through the narrow apex of land in which Dirschau lies: and in all probability he will have his baggage opened by four different customs offi- cers-that is, unless he circumvents the whole nagging system by traveling by air. There is an air taxi service at Danzig advertising "Zwanzig l\Iinuten nach Mar- ienburg" (Twenty Minutes to l\/larien- burg), for which, needless to remark. Dirschau is not an intermediate stop; and * See the National Geographic Society's Ne\o\' Map of Europe, published as a supplement with its Magazine for February, 1921.