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1685 Edict of Potsdam
8th November 2020 - 335th anniversary.

Edict of Potsdam (German: Edikt von Potsdam),
proclamation issued by Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, in Potsdam on 29th October 1685, meant to encourage Protestants to relocate to Brandenburg.

As a result of the Thirty Years'War, Brandenburg-Prussia was badly depopulated and the territory faced a desperate labour shortage during the second half of the seventeenth century.

The edict ruled out any customs duties or other taxes on assets that the migrants had been able to bring with them. Migrants would be accommodated in abandoned and dilapidated properties which their owners had lacked the means to make habitable. They would receive their properties free of mortgages or other debts or obligations, and they would be provided at no cost to themselves with the necessary timber and other building materials.

After King Louis XIV of France issued the Edict of Fontainebleau, which was part of a program of persecution that closed Huguenot churches and schools, approximately 20,000 Huguenot refugees relocated to Brandenburg-Prussia in response to the Edict of Potsdam.
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Mythos Preußen
Frederick William Receives Hugenots Fleeing France at Potsdam Palace / Wood Engraving, 1885
Frederick William,
1620 – 1688,
Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia, from 1640 until his death in 1688.

Frederick William...
Frederick William receiving the Huguenots
Refugees Ask the Great Electors for Help
Brandenburg Welcomes Huguenot Refugees
Refugees ask the Great Elector for Help
Huguenots in Brandenburg
General Schomberg presents the Refugee to the Great Elector
Huguenots on the road to Brandenburg
The Great Elector and the Emigrants