Place:Łódź, Łódź, Poland

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NameŁódź
Alt namesLitzmannstadtsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1989) I-101
Lodschsource: Rand McNally Atlas (1989) I-102
Lodzsource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 348
Łódźsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
TypeCity
Coordinates51.817°N 19.467°E
Located inŁódź, Poland     (1300 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Łódź (; also written in English as Lodz) is the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial hub. Located in the central part of the country, it has a population of 687,702 (2018). It is the capital of Łódź Voivodeship, and is approximately south-west of Warsaw. The city's coat of arms is an example of canting, as it depicts a boat (łódź), which alludes to the city's name.

Łódź was once a small settlement that first appeared in written records in around 1332. In the early 15th century it was granted city rights, but remained a rather small and insubstantial town. It was the property of Kuyavian bishops and clergy until the end of the 18th century, when Łódź was annexed by Prussia as a result of the second partition of Poland. Following the collapse of the independent Duchy of Warsaw, the city became part of Congress Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire. It was then that Łódź experienced rapid growth in the cloth industry and in population due to the inflow of migrants, most notably Germans and Jews. Ever since the industrialization of the area, the city has struggled with many difficulties such as multinationalism and social inequality, which were vividly documented in the novel The Promised Land written by Polish Nobel Prize-winning author Władysław Reymont. The contrasts greatly reflected on the architecture of the city, where luxurious mansions coexisted with redbrick factories and old tenement houses.

After Poland regained its independence in 1918, Łódź grew to be one of the largest Polish cities and one of the most multicultural and industrial centers in Europe. The interbellum period saw rapid development in education and healthcare. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the German Army captured the city and renamed it Litzmannstadt in honour of the German general Karl Litzmann, who was victorious near the area during World War I. The city's large Jewish population was forced into a walled zone known as the Łódź Ghetto, from which they were sent to German concentration and extermination camps. Following the occupation of the city by the Soviet Army, Łódź, which sustained insignificant damage during the war, became part of the newly established Polish People's Republic.

After years of prosperity during the socialist era, Łódź experienced decline after the fall of communism throughout Central and Eastern Europe; however, it is currently experiencing revitalization of its downtown area.[1] The city is also internationally known for its National Film School, a cradle for the most renowned Polish actors and directors, including Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski,[2] and in 2017 was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and named UNESCO City of Film.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Łódź first appears in the written record in a 1332 document giving the village of Łodzia to the bishops of Włocławek. In 1423 King Władysław II Jagiełło officially granted city rights to the village of Łódź. From then until the 18th century the town remained a small settlement on a trade route between the provinces of Masovia and Silesia. In the 16th century the town had fewer than 800 inhabitants, mostly working on the surrounding grain farms.

With the second partition of Poland in 1793, Łódź became part of the Kingdom of Prussia's province of South Prussia, and was known in German as Lodsch. In 1798 the Prussians nationalised the town, and it lost its status as a town of the bishops of Kuyavia. In 1806 Łódź joined the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and in 1810 it had approximately 190 inhabitants. After the 1815 Congress of Vienna treaty it became part of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire.

Century of partitions: 1815 Congress of Vienna

In the 1815 treaty, it was planned to renew the dilapidated town and with the 1816 decree by the Czar a number of German immigrants received territory deeds for them to clear the land and to build factories and housing. In 1820 Stanisław Staszic aided in changing the small town into a modern industrial centre. The immigrants came to the Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, the city's nickname) from all over Europe. Mostly they arrived from Saxony, Silesia and Bohemia, but also from countries as far away as Portugal, England, France and Ireland. The first cotton mill opened in 1825, and 14 years later the very first steam-powered factory in both Poland and the Russian Empire commenced operations. In 1839, over 78% of the population was German, and German schools and churches were established.

A constant influx of workers, businessmen and craftsmen from all over Europe transformed Łódź into the main textile production centre of the mighty Russian Empire spanning from East-Central Europe all the way to Alaska. Three groups dominated the city's population and contributed the most to the city's development: Poles, Germans and Jews, who started to arrive from 1848. Many of the Łódź craftspeople were weavers from Upper and Lower Silesia.

In 1850, Russia abolished the customs barrier between Congress Poland and Russia proper and therefore industry in Łódź could now develop freely with a huge Russian market not far away. Eventually the city became the second-largest city of Congress Poland. In 1865 the first railroad line opened (to Koluszki, branch line of the Warsaw–Vienna railway), and soon the city had rail links with Warsaw and Białystok.


One of the most important industrialists of Łódź was Karl Wilhelm Scheibler. In 1852 he came to Łódź and with Julius Schwarz together started buying property and building several factories. Scheibler later bought out Schwarz's share and thus became sole owner of a large business. After he died in 1881 his widow and other members of the family decided to pay homage to his memory by erecting a chapel, intended as a mausoleum with family crypt, in the Lutheran part of the Łódź cemetery on ulica Ogrodowa (later known as The Old Cemetery).

Between 1823 and 1873, the city's population doubled every ten years. The years 1870–1890 marked the period of most intense industrial development in the city's modern history. Many of the industrialists were of Jewish ethnicity. Łódź also soon became a major centre of the socialist movement. In 1892 a huge strike paralyzed most of the factories and manufacturing plants. According to the Russian census of 1897, in which Łódź figured as the fifth-largest city of the Russian Empire, out of the total population of 315,000, Jews constituted 99,000 (around 31% percent). During the 1905 Revolution, in what became known as the June Days or Łódź insurrection, Tsarist police killed hundreds of workers. By 1913, the Poles constituted almost half of the population (49.7%), the German minority had fallen to 14.8%, and the Jews made up 34%, out of some 506,000 inhabitants.[3]

Historical population
Year Inhabitants
1793 190
1806 767
1830 4,300
1850 15,800
1880 77,600
1905 343,900
1925 538,600
1988 854,261
2003 781,900
2007 753,192
2009 742,387
2013 715,360
2016 698,688

Despite the air of impending crisis preceding World War I, the city grew constantly until 1914. By that year it had become one of the most densely populated as well as one of the most polluted industrial cities in the world—. A major battle was fought near the city in late 1914, and as a result the city came under German occupation after 6 December but with Polish independence restored in November 1918 the local population liberated the city and disarmed the German troops. In the aftermath of World War I, Łódź lost approximately 40% of its inhabitants, mostly owing to draft, diseases, pollution and primarily because of the mass expulsion of the city's German population back to Germany.

Restored Poland after the First World War

In 1922, following the establishment of the Second Polish Republic, Łódź became the capital of the Łódź Voivodeship, but the period of rapid growth had ceased. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the Customs war with Germany closed western markets to Polish textiles while the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) and the Civil War in Russia (1918–1922) put an end to the most profitable trade with the East. The city became a scene of a series of huge workers' protests and riots in the interbellum.

On 13 September 1925 a new airport, Lublinek Airport, began operations on the outskirts of the city. In the interwar years Łódź continued to be a diverse and multicultural city, with the 1931 Polish census showing that the total population of roughly 604,000 included 375,000 (59%) Poles, 192,000 (32%) Jews and 54,000 (9%) Germans (determined from the main language used). By 1939, the Jewish minority had grown to well over 200,000.

Occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany

During the invasion of Poland, the Polish forces of General Juliusz Rómmel's Łódź Army defended the city against initial German attacks. The Wehrmacht nevertheless captured the city on 8 September.[4] Despite plans for the city to become a Polish enclave attached to the General Government, the Nazi hierarchy respected the wishes of many ethnically German residents and of the Reichsgau Wartheland governor Arthur Greiser by annexing the city to the Reich in November 1939. Many Germans in the city, however, refused to sign the Volksliste and become Volksdeutsche; they were deported by the General Government. The city was given the new name of "Litzmannstadt" after Karl Litzmann, the German general who had captured it during World War I.


The Nazi authorities soon established the Łódź Ghetto (Ghetto Litzmannstadt) in the city and populated it with more than 200,000 Jews from the Łódź area. As Jews were deported from Litzmannstadt for extermination, others were brought in.[5][6] Several concentration camps and death camps arose in the city's vicinity for the non-Jewish inhabitants of the regions, among them the infamous Radogoszcz prison and several minor camps for the Romani people and for Polish children.[7][5][6] Due to the value of the goods that the ghetto population produced for the German military and various civilian contractors, it was the last major ghetto to be liquidated, in August 1944.[6]

While occupied, thousands of new ethnic German Volksdeutsche came to Łódź from all across Europe, many of whom were repatriated from Russia during the time of Hitler's alliance with the Soviet Union before Operation "Barbarossa". In January 1945, most of the German population fled the city for fear of the Red Army. The city also suffered tremendous losses due to the German policy of requisition of all factories and machines and transporting them to Germany. Thus, despite relatively small losses due to fighting and aerial bombardment, Łódź was deprived of most of its industrial infrastructure.

Prior to World War II, Łódź's Jewish community numbered around 233,000 and accounted for one-third of the city's total population.[8] The community was almost entirely wiped out in the Holocaust.[8][9] By the end of the war, the city and its environs had lost approximately 420,000 of its pre-war inhabitants, including approximately 300,000 Polish Jews and 120,000 Poles.[8][9]


On 1 August 1944 the Warsaw Uprising erupted, and the fate of the remaining inhabitants of the Łódź Ghetto was sealed. During the last phase of its existence, some 25,000 inmates were murdered at Chełmno; their bodies burned immediately after death. As the front approached, German officials decided to deport the remaining Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau aboard Holocaust trains. A handful of people were left alive in the ghetto to clean it up. Others remained in hiding with the Polish rescuers. When the Soviet army entered Łódź on 19 January 1945, only 877 Jews were still alive, 12 of whom were children.[10] Of the 223,000 Jews in Łódź before the invasion, only 10,000 survived the Holocaust in other places.[9]

The Soviet Red Army entered the city on 18 January 1945. According to Marshal Katukov, whose forces participated in the operation, the Germans retreated so suddenly that they had no time to evacuate or destroy any of the factories, as they had in other cities. Łódź subsequently became part of the Polish People's Republic.

After World War II in the Polish People's Republic

At the end of World War II, Łódź had fewer than 300,000 inhabitants. However the number began to grow as refugees from Warsaw and territories annexed by the Soviet Union migrated. Until 1948 the city served as a de facto capital of Poland, since events during and after the Warsaw Uprising had thoroughly destroyed Warsaw, and most of the government and country administration resided in Łódź. Some planned moving the capital there permanently; however, this idea did not gain popular support and in 1948 the reconstruction of Warsaw began.

Under the Polish Communist regime many of the rich industrialist and business magnate families lost their wealth when the authorities nationalised private companies. Once again the city became a major centre of industry. A number of extensive panel block housing estates (including Retkinia, Teofilów, Widzew, Radogoszcz and Chojny) were constructed between 1960 and 1990, covering an area of almost and accommodating a large part of the city's population. In mid-1981 Łódź became famous for its massive hunger demonstration of local mothers and their children. In 1988 the population of the city peaked to 854,261, gradually dropping ever since. After the period of economic transition during the 1990s, most enterprises were again privatised.

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