Kaliningrad, Russian bridgehead in Europe

REPORTAGE – Wedged between Poland and Lithuania, this piece of Russia, taken over from Germany by the Red Army in 1945, has known all the upheavals of history since the Napoleonic era and remains, for Moscow, a strategic region facing to the Baltic Sea.

From our special envoys Alain Barluet (text) and Elena Chernyshova (photos)

Immanuel Kant spent his entire life there. During the eighty years of his long existence (1724-1804), the philosopher never left his native town, which was then called Königsberg, – “Mount Real” -, in East Prussia. His days were regulated like music paper, punctuated by study, teaching and constant walks – so intangible that people set their clocks on time when they saw him go by. However, thanks to the newspapers and his numerous contacts, the father of modern critical thought was never cut off from the great events of his time, in the first place the French Revolution. Three centuries ago, he gave of his hometown, renamed Kaliningrad, an idealized definition of the enclave it has become: “A place made for the expansion of human knowledge as well as knowledge of the world, and where one can acquire the latter without traveling”,

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