Place:Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Sachsen, Germany


Alt namesKamjenicasource: Wikipedia
Karl-Marx-Stadtsource: Wikipedia
TypeIndependent City
Coordinates50.833°N 12.917°E
Located inChemnitz, Sachsen, Germany
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Chemnitz (; from 1953 to 1990: Karl-Marx-Stadt ) is the third-largest city in the German state of Saxony after Leipzig and Dresden. It is the 28th largest city of Germany as well as the fourth largest city in the area of former East Germany after (East) Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. The city is part of the Central German Metropolitan Region, and lies in the middle of a string of cities sitting in the densely populated northern foreland of the Elster and Ore Mountains, stretching from Plauen in the southwest via Zwickau, Chemnitz and Freiberg to Dresden in the northeast.

Located in the Ore Mountain Basin, the city is surrounded by the Ore Mountains to the south and the Central Saxon Hill Country to the north. The city stands on the Chemnitz River (progression: ), which is formed through the confluence of the rivers Zwönitz and Würschnitz in the borough of Altchemnitz.

The name of the city as well as the names of the rivers are of Slavic origin. Chemnitz is the third largest city in the Thuringian-Upper Saxon dialect area after Leipzig and Dresden. The city's economy is based on the service sector and manufacturing industry. Chemnitz University of Technology has around 10,000 students.

Chemnitz will be the European Capital of Culture of 2025.



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

Free imperial city

An early Slavic tribe's settlement was located at , and the first documented use of this name was in 1143, as the location of a Benedictine monastery around which a settlement grew. Around 1170, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor granted this the rights of a free imperial city. Kamienica was later Germanised as Chemnitz.

Meissen and Saxony

In 1307, the town became subordinate to the Margraviate of Meissen, the predecessor of the Saxon state. In medieval times, Chemnitz became a centre of textile production and trade. More than one third of the population worked in textile production. In 1356 the Margraviate was succeeded by the Electorate of Saxony.

Geologist Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), author of several significant works on mining and metallurgy including the landmark treatise De Re Metallica, became city physician of Chemnitz in 1533 and lived here until his death in 1555. In 1546 he was elected a Burgher of Chemnitz and in the same year also was appointed Burgomaster (lord mayor), serving again in 1547, 1551, and 1553. In spite of having been a leading citizen of the city, when Agricola died in 1555 the Protestant Duke denied him burial in the city's cathedral due to Agricola's allegiance to his Roman Catholic faith. Agricola's friends arranged for his remains to be buried in more sympathetic Zeitz, approximately 50 km away. Chemnitz became a famous trading and textile manufacturing town.

In 1806, with the end of the Holy Roman Empire, the Electorate was renamed as the Kingdom of Saxony, and this survived until the revolutions of 1918 which followed the Armistice ending the First World War.

By the early 19th century, Chemnitz had become an industrial centre (sometimes called "the Saxon Manchester",). Important industrial companies were founded by Richard Hartmann, Louis Schönherr and Johann von Zimmermann. Chemnitz became a centre of innovation in the kingdom of Saxony and later in Germany. In 1913, Chemnitz had a population of 320,000 and, like Leipzig and Dresden, was larger at that time than today. After losing inhabitants due to the First World War Chemnitz grew rapidly again and reached its all-time peak of 360,250 inhabitants in 1930. Thereafter, growth was stalled by the world economic crisis.

Weimar Republic

As a working-class industrial city, Chemnitz was a powerful center of socialist political organization after the First World War. At the foundation of the German Communist Party the local Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany voted by 1,000 votes to three to break from the party and join the Communist Party behind their local leaders, Fritz Heckert and Heinrich Brandler. In March 1919 the German Communist Party had over 10,000 members in the city of Chemnitz. Chemnitz was one of the big German industrial centers. Due to the export traffic a modern marshalling yard was erected 1929 in Chemnitz-Hilbersdorf. At that time it was a leading city in the European textile market. Auto Union (today Audi) was founded 1932 in Chemnitz.

World War II

Allied bombing destroyed 41 per cent of the built-up area of Chemnitz during the Second World War. Chemnitz contained factories that produced military hardware and a Flossenbürg forced labor subcamp (500 female inmates) for Astra-Werke AG. The oil refinery was a target for bombers during the Oil Campaign of World War II, and Operation Thunderclap attacks included the following raids:

  • 14/15 February 1945: The first major raid on Chemnitz used 717 RAF bombers, but due to cloud cover most bombs fell over open countryside.
  • 2/3–5 March: USAAF bombers attacked the marshalling yards.
  • 5 March: 760 RAF bombers attacked.

The headquarters of the auto manufacturer Auto Union was based in Chemnitz from 1932 and its buildings were badly damaged. At the end of the war, the company's executives fled and relocated the company in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, where it evolved into Audi, now a brand within the Volkswagen group.

The World War II bombings left most of the city in ruins and post-war, the East German reconstruction included large low rise (and later high-rise ) housing. Some tourist sites were reconstructed during the East German era and after German reunification. The city was occupied by Soviet troops on 8 May 1945.


After the dissolution of the Länder (states) in the GDR in 1952, Chemnitz became seat of a district. On 10 May 1953, the city was renamed by decision of the East German government to after Karl Marx, in recognition of its industrial heritage and the Karl Marx Year marking the 135th anniversary of his birth and the 70th anniversary of his death. GDR Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl said:

After the city centre was destroyed in World War II, the East German authorities attempted to rebuild it to symbolise the conceptions of urban development of a socialist city. The layout of the city centre at that time was rejected in favour of a new road network. However, the original plans were not completed. In addition, the rapid development of housing took priority over the preservation of old buildings. So in the 1960s and 1970s, both in the centre as well as the periphery, large areas were built in apartment-block style, for example . The old buildings of the period, which still existed in the Kassberg, and especially, were neglected and fell increasingly into dereliction.

After reunification

On 23 April 1990, a referendum on the future name of the city was held: 76% of the voters voted for the old name "". On 1 June 1990, the city was officially renamed.

After the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990, the city of Chemnitz faced several difficult tasks. Many inhabitants migrated to the former West Germany and unemployment in the region increased sharply; in addition Chemnitz did not have adequate shopping facilities, but this was increasingly demanded. Large shopping centers were constructed on the city periphery to the early 1990s.

Chemnitz is the only major German city whose centre was re-planned after 1990, similar to the reconstruction of several other German cities in the immediate post-war years. Plans for the recovery of a compressed city centre around the historic town hall in 1991 led to an urban design competition. This was announced internationally by the city and carried out with the help of the partner city of . The mooted project on an essentially unused area of the former city would be comparable in circumference with the in Berlin.[1]

Numerous internationally renowned architects such as , and provided designs for a new city centre. The mid-1990s began the development of the inner city brownfields around the town hall to a new town. In Chemnitz city more than 66,000 square meters of retail space have emerged. With the construction of office and commercial building on the construction site "B3" at the court, the last gap in 2010 was closed in city centre image. The intensive development included demolition of partially historically valuable buildings from the period and was controversial. Between 1990 and 2007 more than 250 buildings were leveled.

In late August 2018 the city was the site of a series of protests that attracted at least 8,000 people. The protests were attended by far-right and Neo-Nazi groups. News outlets reported about mob violence and riots. The protests started after two immigrants from the Middle East were arrested in connection with the murder of Daniel H., a 35 year old German man, the son of a German mother and a Cuban father, which had happened on 26 August. Violent clashes occurred between far-right protesters and far-left counter protesters, leading to injuries. The mobs outnumbered the local police presence. There were reports that rightist protesters chased down dark skinned bystanders and those that appeared to be foreigners on the streets before more police arrived and intervened. The riots were widely condemned by media outlets and politicians throughout Germany, and were "described as reminiscent of civil war and Nazi pogroms."

The reports of mob violence and riots were criticized as incorrect later on. The German language Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung corrected its earlier reports, stating that there had evidently been no mob violence but there have been sporadic encroachments. Minister President of Saxony Michael Kretschmer came to the same conclusion: "there were no mobs and man hunts".

One week after the protests, a free "Concert against the Right" under the motto "We are more" (#wirsindmehr) attracted an audience of some 65,000 people. A one-minute silence commemorated the murdered Daniel H., the son of a German mother and a Cuban father. The concert itself has been criticized for far-left activities and violent song texts of some of the participating bands.

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