National Geographic : 1949 Jun
The Society's New Map of Europe and the Near East By ATHOS D. GRAZZINI National Geographic Society Research Cartographer A SASERVICE to its 1,800,000 members the National Geographic Society has 1Aredrawn its Map of Europe and the Near East in the light of the five World War 11 treaties signed thus far (page 827). Because a peace treaty with Germany has not yet been possible, the map can show only the actual or de facto boundaries which exist, as of April 1, 1949, on Germany's east ern borders, with Soviet Russia and its satel lite Poland in possession of thousands of square miles of former German territory.* These acquisitions have not been recognized by the United States, and this country has publicly disapproved Russia's absorption of the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. Not until peace treaties with Germany and Austria are signed by the United States and our Allies in World War 11 will the boundaries of those countries be officially fixed. In spite of the fact that some boundaries shown in eastern Europe are not official, this map has great permanent value as a record of the dis organized situation, the confusion, still exist ing four years after Germany surrendered. Map Shows Actual Boundaries Thus The Society's new map, which reaches its members as a supplement to this June issue of their MAGAZINE, shows the actual though unrecognized boundaries of territory administered as part of Russia and Poland and guarded by their troops. Other boundaries and territorial changes shown are results of treaties concluded with Italy, Finland, Hungary, Romania, and Bul garia. The map also shows clearly the four occu pation zones-United States, British, French, and Soviet Russia-into which Germany and Austria are divided. Since 1938 Russia has taken over 182,500 square miles of territory-an area about equivalent to California, Maryland, New Hampshire, and Delaware. This territory has been acquired in three ways: by unauthorized absorption of the Baltic States, occupation of northern East Prussia pending a German peace treaty, and accessions of land ceded by Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania by treaty. That is only a small part of the story of Russian expansion, since the figure does not include Soviet-occupied Germany and the still nominally independent countries under Russian influence and behind its Iron Curtain: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and, to a less extent, Yugo slavia. In all these countries except Albania, the United States maintains diplomatic rep resentation. Need for Frequent Revision of Map Shifting sovereignties and boundaries in Europe illustrate the need for constant re visions of the National Geographic Society's map supplements. Every area changing sovereignty has im mediately made a major revision of its place names. This map shows 300 new place names in the Soviet and Polish territories. In Russia and Poland ~many cities and towns have been re named entirely since World War 11. These new names are essential for the proper addressing of letters to those places. Letters not addressed by the new designations already have come back with the notation "No such place." This information is also essential to students of geography and inter national affairs. In all the new Soviet territory old place names have been Russianized or swept from the map and new ones substituted. On the new map these now conform to the latest Russian maps. For example, in northern East Prussia Kdnigsberg is now Kaliningrad, named for the late president of the U. S. S. R., Mikhail Kalinin. Tilsit and Insterburg have been renamed Sovetsk and Chernyakhovsk. Even those familiar with the region will have to start anew to learn the cities of the former Prussian State. The name of Rybinsk, a city of major im portance 165 miles north of Moscow, has been changed to Shcherbakov after another promi * Members may obtain additional copies of the new Map of Europe and the Near East (and of all stand ard maps published by The Society) by writing to the National Geographic Society, Washington 6, D. C. Prices, in United States and Possessions, 500 on paper; $1 on linen; Index, 250. Outside United States and Possessions, 750 on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 500. All remittances payable in U. S. funds. Postage pre paid.