East Prussia – a region very poorly associated today in the territories of northeastern Poland and the Kaliningrad District of the Russian Federation, was practically terminated in the autumn of 1944. It was the first region of German culture which the Soviet Red Army entered, the region which suffered the first retaliatory actions of regular units, as well as individual soldiers, carrying out “compensation of personal and national wrongs”. Remembered from personal experience, nurtured and fed by state propaganda, the desire for revenge found its outlet in the wave of urders, plunders, rapes, arsons, destruction of property … The centuries-old East German culture, diversified and having traces of regional culture, ceased to exist in reality. After the end of the Second World War, East Prussia functioned as a memory, a myth, a legend, as a part of uropean history. Let us add that the official memory of this area concerned only a part of the Germans living in the German Federal Republic, the rest of Europe and Russia did not seem to remember the problematic territory. Aptly named by the authors of the great Polish-German photo exhibition from the 1990s, it was the Atlantis of the North, the culture known from small indirect testimonies and destroyed by a violent cataclysm … One of the elements supporting the fragile memory of Prussia was a collection of glass negatives created under the supervision of a state institution which was the Provincial Conservator’s Office. Its first employee, Adolf Botticher from Königsberg, was appointed in 1893. Previously he worked on excavations in the Greek Olympia, the next one was dr Richard Dethlefsen, who was responsible for the rebuilding of the cathedral in Königsberg, and the third one – dr Berthold Conrades. Those enlightened Germans supported by professional photographers, often unrecognized and remaining anonymous, created over 8000 glass negatives that not only feature the material culture, but also, by the way and ften against the intentions of photographers, the overall picture of the province. The war activities ended the existence of this well-deserved institution in 1944. For 51 years, they were trying to draw attention to the value of historic buildings in Prussia. They certainly did not realize that the effect of their work would be documented life of the province. After the devastation of the war, the urban landscape suffered huge losses as a result of direct fighting and barbarian destruction by the Soviet army of the elements associated with German culture, followed by negligence lasting for decades caused by new administrators of the city. For a long time, the state and local authorities treated the existing architectural and urban situation as alien, and their presence as probably temporary, did not care for proper reconstruction or even an attempt to combine the preserved architecture with new buildings. A strange conglomerate of inconsistent spaces was created. This inconsistency was intensified by the exchange of nearly 100% of the inhabitants of East Prussian towns. The newcomers, deported from the eastern and southern territories of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, came mainly from the countryside, for whom the way of life of the previous owners seemed completely alien at first. The language heard in the markets and streets also changed. The structure of the society and the way the authorities functioned also flattened. Local governments, guilds, merchandise and private crafts with a centuries-old tradition went to the past. Almost everything changed … What is left then? Relics, memories, and a wonderful archive of glass plates currently stored at the Warsaw Institute of Art at PAN (National Academy of Sciences). It is on them that the image of the world that has gone away is preserved, which is more and more raising the interest of the third generation of post-war settlers and the third generation of refugees. Is there a chance that the images captured on the photographic plates will become common memory of people with different experiences living 70 years after the dramatic events? This selection of photographic vedutas showing dozens of market places in the towns of East Prussia certainly stimulates reflection on not only nostalgic history, but also the challenges and needs of the present times. For decades, unpublished materials have certainly contributed to a lively Polish-German discussion recently, which Russian-speaking users of the former lands of East Prussia are slowly joining up.