Are there any other towns that were renamed as Berlin was?

The city of Berlin, Ontario, Canada changed its name to Kitchener by referendum in May and June 1916. Named in 1833 after the capital of Prussia and later the German Empire, the name Berlin became unsavoury for residents after Great Britain and Canada’s entry into the First World War.
The area largly settled by peoples of German heritage.

Stll today there are many Germans and Menonites who live there. Put on your lederhosen in October and celebrate Octoberfest.

I dont know if people really wanted to rename it or if it was done because local Germans didnt want reprisals out of fear of not being patriotic to Britton. Canada being strongly British at this time. Anyway out of several choices they choose a strongly Btitish “Kitchener”. After British general Horatio Herbert Kitchener. Today it’s still called Kitchener.

So after such a long winded intro, i wonder what other cities in your part of the world were renamed in ww1 or ww2 out of pariotism ???


Berlin, Massachusetts wasn’t renamed, but during WW1 the pronunciation was changed to BERlin.

Unlike a proper name change, an alteration of pronunciation costs nothing, endearing it to traditional New England skinflints.


Fascinating. A less costly solution.
My guess is that :
A. Maybe they didnt think of that ??
B. Canada which is a little closser to British roots, and had lost considerable soldiers could not stomach such a remedy.
C. Canadian City’s are run a little differently than US cities. How much things cost are not generally high on the list of priorities, whereas my reading of US cities particularly small ones, that is very important.
Just my thoughts.


In northern Ontario the town of Swastika was pressured to change its name.
this is from wikipedia " During World War II, the provincial government removed the Swastika sign and replaced it with a sign renaming the town “Winston.” The residents removed the Winston sign and replaced it with a Swastika sign with the message “To hell with Hitler, we came up with our name first.”[6]


Berlin, New Hampshire is pronounced the same way too.


A lot of cities were renamed in Eastern Europe after WW2. Not because of patriotism though, mostly because of the ‘friendly suggestion’ by the USSR.

Some examples of renamed Bulgarian cities:

  • Varna - renamed to Stalin (lasted only a couple of years)
  • Shumen - renamed to Kolarovgrad (named after famous Bulgarian communist born in that region, changed back after a decade)
  • Dobrich - renamed to Tolbuhin (after famous Soviet marshal. Name stuck until the fall of communism. This is the reason Dobrich registered vehicles have the TX initials)
  • Gorna Dzhumaya - renamed to Blagoevgrad (named after another famous Bulgarian communist. Name remains to this day)
  • Ferdinand - renamed to Mihaylovgrad (another famous communist from the region replaces the name of the old Tsar. After the fall of communism, the town was renamed Montana)

My grandmother was christened Eileen Wilhelmina, changed her name during WWI to Eileen Elizabeth.

1 Like