Place:Bochum, Westfalen, Preußen, Germany

Watchers
NameBochum
TypeIndependent City
Coordinates51.467°N 7.183°E
Located inWestfalen, Preußen, Germany
Also located inArnsberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany     (950 - )
Contained Places
Inhabited place
Laer
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Bochum (; (Westphalian) Low German: Baukem) is the sixth largest city of the most populous German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg, and its 364,920 (2016) inhabitants make it the 16th largest city of Germany. On the Ruhr Heights (Ruhrhöhen) hill chain, between the rivers Ruhr to the south and Emscher to the north (tributaries of the Rhine), it is the second largest city of Westphalia after Dortmund, and the fourth largest city of the Ruhr after Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg. It lies at the centre of the Ruhr, Germany's largest urban area, in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, and belongs to the region of Arnsberg. It is surrounded by the cities of (in clockwise direction) Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten, Hattingen, Essen and Gelsenkirchen. Bochum is the sixth largest and one of the southernmost cities in the Low German dialect area. There are nine institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), one of the ten largest universities in Germany, and Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule Bochum).

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Largest groups of foreign residents
Nationality Population (31.12.2018)
8,852
8,075
3,779
2,021
1,902
1,600
1,413
1,260
1,209
1,010
987
983
961
850
850
748
719
699

Bochum dates from the 9th century, when Charlemagne set up a royal court at the junction of two important trade routes. It was first officially mentioned in 1041 as Cofbuokheim in a document of the archbishops of Cologne. In 1321, Count Engelbert II von der Marck granted Bochum a town charter, but the town remained insignificant until the 19th century, when the coal mining and steel industries emerged in the Ruhr area, leading to the growth of the entire region. The population of Bochum increased from about 4,500 in 1850 to 100,000 in 1904. Bochum acquired city status, incorporating neighbouring towns and villages. Additional population gains came from immigration, primarily from Poland.

After the war, the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established, consisting of the Rhineland and Westphalia. Bochum is located in that state.

In the postwar period, Bochum began developing as a cultural centre of the Ruhr area. In 1965, the Ruhr University was opened, the first modern university in the Ruhr area and the first to be founded in Germany since World War II. Since the seventies, Bochum's industry has moved from heavy industry to the service sector. Between 1960 and 1980, the coal mines all closed. Other industries, such as automotive, compensated for the loss of jobs. The Opel Astra is assembled at the Opel Bochum plant; however, by 2009, the factory was in serious financial difficulties and in December 2012, Opel announced that it would stop vehicle production at the Bochum plant in 2016.

In the course of a comprehensive community reform in 1975, Wattenscheid, a formerly independent city, was integrated into the city of Bochum. A local referendum against the integration failed. In 2007, the new synagogue of the Jewish community of Bochum, Herne und Hattingen was opened. In 2008, Nokia closed down its production plant, causing the loss of thousands of jobs, both at the plant and at local suppliers. 20,000 people showed up to protest against the closing. Within months, the Canadian high-tech company, Research in Motion, announced plans to open a research facility, its first outside Canada, adding several hundred jobs.


The Nazi era and World War II

On 9 November 1938, Kristallnacht, the Jewish citizens of Bochum were attacked. The synagogue was set on fire and there was rioting against Jewish citizens. The first Jews from Bochum were deported to Nazi concentration camps and many Jewish institutions and homes were destroyed. Some 500 Jewish citizens are known by name to have been killed in the Holocaust, including 19 who were younger than 16 years old. Joseph Klirsfeld was Bochum's rabbi at this time. He and his wife fled to Palestine. In December 1938, the Jewish elementary school teacher Else Hirsch began organising groups of children and adolescents to be sent to the Netherlands and England, sending ten groups in all. Many Jewish children and those from other persecuted groups were taken in by Dutch families and thereby saved from abduction or deportation and death.

Because the Ruhr region was an area of high residential density and a centre for the manufacture of weapons, it was a major target in the war. Women with young children, school children and the homeless fled or were evacuated to safer areas, leaving cities largely deserted to the arms industry, coal mines and steel plants and those unable to leave.

Bochum was first bombed heavily in May and June 1943. On 13 May 1943, the city hall was hit, destroying the top floor, and leaving the next two floors in flames. On 4 November 1944, in an attack involving 700 British bombers, the steel plant, Bochumer Verein, was hit. One of the largest steel plants in Germany, more than 10,000 high-explosive and 130,000 incendiary bombs were stored there, setting off a conflagration that destroyed the surrounding neighbourhoods. An aerial photo shows the devastation.

The town centre of Bochum was a strategic target during the Oil Campaign. In 150 air raids on Bochum, over 1,300 bombs were dropped on Bochum and Gelsenkirchen. By the end of the war, 38% of Bochum had been destroyed. 70,000 citizens were homeless and at least 4,095 dead.[1] Of Bochum's more than 90,000 homes, only 25,000 remained for the 170,000 citizens who survived the war, many by fleeing to other areas. Most of the remaining buildings were damaged, many with only one usable room. Only 1,000 houses in Bochum remained undamaged after the war. Only two of 122 schools remained unscathed; others were totally destroyed. Hunger was rampant. A resident of neighbouring Essen was quoted on 23 April 1945 as saying, "Today, I used up my last potato... it will be a difficult time till the new [autumn] potatoes are ready to be picked – if they're not stolen."

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Bochum in April 1945. Encountering desultory resistance, the US 79th Infantry Division captured the city on 10 April 1945.

After the war, Bochum was occupied by the British, who established two camps to house people displaced by the war. The majority of them were former Polish Zwangsarbeiter, forced labourers, many of them from the Bochumer Verein.

Allied bombing destroyed 83% of the built up area of Bochum during World War II. More than sixty years after the war, bombs continue to be found in the region, usually by construction workers. One found in October 2008 in Bochum town centre led to the evacuation of 400 and involved hundreds of emergency workers. A month earlier, a buried bomb exploded in neighbouring Hattingen, injuring 17 people.

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