Place:Świnoujście, Szczecin, Poland

Alt namesSwinemündesource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-170
Swinoujściesource: Family History Library Catalog
Świnoujściesource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Coordinates53.883°N 14.233°E
Located inSzczecin, Poland
Also located inZachodniopomorskie, Poland     (1400 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Świnoujście (;  ; ; all three meaning "Świna [river] mouth"; ) is a city in Western Pomerania and seaport on the Baltic Sea and Szczecin Lagoon, located in the extreme north-west of Poland. Situated mainly on the islands of Usedom and Wolin, it also occupies smaller islands. The largest is Karsibór island, once part of Usedom, now separated by the Piast Canal, formerly the Kaiserfahrt, dug in the late 19th century to facilitate ship access to Szczecin.

Świnoujście directly borders the German seaside resort of Ahlbeck on Usedom, connected by a street and of beach promenade.

Since 1999, Świnoujście has been a city with powiat rights, within West Pomeranian Voivodeship. It was previously part of Szczecin Voivodeship (1975–1998). The city lies in the geographic region of Pomerania and had a population of 41,516 in 2012. Świnoujście is one of the most important areas of the Szczecin metropolitan area. The Świnoujście LNG terminal, opened in 2015, is located in the city.

Despite its relatively small population, Świnoujście is Poland's ninth-largest city by area.


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

The first human settlements in areas that are now Świnoujście appeared five thousand years ago, as confirmed by archaeological findings. For a thousand years, the estuary of the river was part of the state of the Świnoujście, included in the emerging Polish state in the 10th century by first Polish ruler Mieszko I.

In the early 12th century, the island became part of the Duchy of Pomerania, founded as a vassal duchy of Poland. In later centuries, local Pomeranian princes ruled the area, and on both sides of the river, they built fortified castles, which were destroyed several times by the Danish invasions in the 12th century, in 1170 and 1173. Between 1185 and 1227, the settlement was part of a Danish fief.

During the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) the city became part of the Swedish Empire.

The strait Świna was formerly flanked by the fishing villages of Westswine and Ostswine. Towards the beginning of the 17th century, it was made navigable for large ships. The Kingdom of Prussia gained the area in 1720 from Sweden, and included it in her Pomeranian province. Świnoujście (Swinemünde) was founded on the site of Westswine in 1748, fortified, and received town privileges from King Frederick II of Prussia in 1765. It served as the outer port of Stettin (Szczecin) and was administered within the Province of Pomerania. Swinemünde became part of the German Empire after the Kingdom of Prussia completed the unification of Germany in 1871.

The town had broad, unpaved streets and one-story houses built in the Dutch style, which gave it an almost rustic appearance. Its industries, beyond some fishing, were entirely connected with its shipping. The river mouth, which was the entrance to the harbor and regarded as the best on the Prussian Baltic coast, was then protected by two curving long breakwaters, and was strongly fortified. On the island of Wolin, on the other side of the narrow Świna, a great lighthouse was erected. In 1897 the canal of the Kaiserfahrt was opened to navigation, and this waterway between the Stettin harbour and the Baltic Sea was deepened between 1900 and 1901. From then on Stettin could be reached directly by ships, and Swinemünde's importance diminished somewhat.

During World War II, Germany operated a forced labour subcamp of the Stalag II-D prisoner-of-war camp in the city. In February 1945, a German-conducted death march of Allied prisoners of war from the Stalag Luft IV prisoner-of-war camp passed through the city. On 12 March 1945 during World War II, refugee-crowded Swinemünde suffered heavy destruction by the USAAF, an estimated 5,000 to 23,000 were killed, most of whom are buried on the Golm War Cemetery west of the town, on the German side of the border. The city and port were also destroyed during the Allied air raids on 12 March and 16 April 1945. On 16 April 1945, a British heavy bomber of the No. 617 Squadron RAF was shot down by the Germans, and is now commemorated with a memorial on the Karsibór island within the city limits. The unfinished was scuttled in the harbor in an attempt to prevent its capture by the advancing Red Army (it was nevertheless refloated by the Soviets later). The German battleship had also participated in the defence of the city, before it too was scuttled. After the German forces defending the city were evacuated, Soviet forces occupied the city on the night of 4–5 May 1945.

After Germany's defeat in the war, the Allied Nations imposed new borders in Central and Eastern Europe at the Potsdam Conference, which made the area, including Świnoujście, again part of Poland, although with a Soviet-installed communist regime, which stayed in power until the Fall of Communism in the 1980s. The entire population was expelled in accordance to the Potsdam Agreement and replaced by ethnic Poles. The Treaty of Zgorzelec signed between the People's Republic of Poland and the German Democratic Republic affirmed the new border, and the German–Polish Border Treaty of 1990 officially affirmed the existing borders after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

In the winter of 1945, some members of the communist Polish Security Forces who had been victims of German concentration camps carried out atrocities against local Germans. An investigation in 2008 estimated that over 40 German civilians were killed. Nine men were charged with the murder and maltreatment of Germans, and in 1947, after one escaped and one hanged himself, seven of them stood trial. The harshest sentence given in that trial was a mere 4 years' imprisonment, for theft. In another trial, the town's chief of police, Jan Zientara, was sentenced to eight years, for organizing robberies of German civilians.

In 1948, the reconstruction of the port of Świnoujście from martial to commercial and fishing began. The construction of a large fish farm began, a huge swimming pool and industrial buildings were built, and 3 years later the Fisheries Base was commissioned. Within three years, a large fish factory was established, managed by the independent Przedsiębiorstwo Usług Rybackie Odra in Świnoujście.[1]

The port of Świnoujście was one of the three Polish ports through which Greeks and Macedonians, refugees of the Greek Civil War, reached Poland. The refugees were then transported to new homes in Poland, while wounded ones were sent to a nearby hospital on the Wolin island.[2]

It was not until 27 November 1950, that the GDR government agreed to transfer to Poland the water intake for the city of Świnoujście, located at Lake Wolgastsee and demarcating the border there again. In June 1951, an area of 76.5 ha was incorporated into Poland together with a water treatment station, creating a characteristic promontory protruding into the German area (the so-called Worek, (53 54 49.11 N 14 11′11.18 E). In return, Germany was granted a similar area between the water intake and the Pomeranian Bay.

The spa part of the city was occupied by the Soviet Armed Forces until 1957, and until the turn of the 1980s and 1990s, there was a base of Soviet warships with facilities in Świnoujście. Until 1972, the city belonged to the Wolin poviat. In 1959, the "Uzdrowisko Świnoujście" State Enterprise was established. Currently Uzdrowisko Świnoujście S.A. belongs to the largest and most modern in Poland, and its greatest asset is still bromide-iodide-sodium brine discovered a hundred years ago.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a seaport was created, which together with Szczecin created a complex of ports Szczecin-Świnoujście. In 1964, ferry shipping to Scandinavia was resumed.

In 2015 the Świnoujście LNG terminal was opened, named after the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński, during whose presidency its construction was initiated.

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