Place:Duisburg, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany

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NameDuisburg
Alt namesCastrum Deutonissource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) IV, 261
Diuspargumsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) IV, 261
Duisburg Hambornsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 255
Duisburg-Hambornsource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984); Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 345
Ruhrgebietsource: Wikipedia
TypeIndependent City
Coordinates51.433°N 6.75°E
Located inRheinland, Preußen, Germany
Also located inDüsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany    
Contained Places
Unknown
Homburg
Inhabited place
Ruhrort
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Duisburg is a German city in the western part of the Ruhr Area (Ruhrgebiet) in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is an independent metropolitan borough within Regierungsbezirk Düsseldorf. With the world's biggest inland harbor and its proximity to Düsseldorf International Airport, Duisburg has become an important venue for commerce and steel production. In the early Middle Ages it was a royal court of the Franks, first mentioned in writing in 883.

Like many other cities, today's Duisburg is a result of numerous incorporations of surrounding towns and smaller cities. It is the fifteenth-largest city in Germany and the fifth-largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia with 486,855 residents at the end of 2013. The city is renowned for its steel industry. The last remaining coal mine closed down in the summer of 2009, but Duisburg has never been a coal-mining center to the same extent as other places in the Ruhr region. All blast furnaces in the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg. In 2000 49% of all hot metal and 34.4% of all pig iron in Germany was produced here. It also has a large brewery, the König Brauerei, located in Duisburg-Beeck, which makes the König Pilsener brand. The University of Duisburg-Essen, with 39,000 students, ranks among the 10 largest German universities.

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History

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

A legend recorded by Johannes Aventinus (fl. 1525) holds that Duisburg, (along with Deutz, Cologne, Duisdorf in Bonn, and Doesburg in the Netherlands, all on the Rhine's right bank) was built by the namesake Tuisto, mythical progenitor of Germans, ca. 2395 BC. There is nothing to establish any historical basis for such an early founding of Duisburg, which would make it among the earliest cities in Europe.

Roman period

Latest archaeological studies show that the present-day market-place was already in use in the first century. It has been the major central trading place of the city since the 5th century. The city itself was located at the "Hellweg", an important medieval trade route, and at a ford across the River Rhine. The Romans already guarded the ford.

  • 420 The Franks usurp the Roman settlement and recolonize the old part of the town.
  • 883 The Normans conquer Duisburg and stay for the winter. First historic document mentioning Duisburg.


Middle Ages

Due to the town's favorable geographic position a palatinate was built and the town was soon granted the royal charter of a free city. Duisburg became a member of the Hanseatic League. Around 1000 the river Rhine moved westward from the city. This put an end to the city's development as a trading town and it soon grew into a quiet rural city. The productions of cartographer Gerardus Mercator and the foundation of a university in 1655 established the city's renown as "Educated Duisburg" ("Duisburgum Doctum").

Industrial revolution

The rise of tobacco and textile industries in the 18th century made Duisburg an industrial center. Big industrial companies such as iron and steel producing firms (Thyssen and Krupp) influenced the development of the city within the Prussian Rhine Province. Large housing areas near production sites were being built as workers and their families moved in.

World War II

A major logistical center in the Ruhr and location of chemical, steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied bombers. As such, it is considered by some historians to be the single most heavily bombed German city by the Allies during World War II, with industrial areas and residential blocks targeted by Allied incendiary bombs.

On the night of 12–13 June 1941, British bombers dropped a total of 445 tons of bombs in and around Duisburg. As part of the Battle of the Ruhr, another British raid of 577 bombers destroyed the old city between 12–13 May 1943 with 1,599 tons of bombs. During the bombing raids, 96,000 people were made homeless with countless lives lost.

In 1944 the city was again badly damaged as a total of 2,000 tons of bombs were dropped on 22 May. On 14 October, the tonnage was doubled to 2,018 tons when Halifax, Lancaster, and Mosquito bombers appeared over Duisburg as part of Operation Hurricane. This daylight raid was followed by a night attack; over 24 hours about 9,000 tons of HE and incendiaries had been dropped on Duisburg. Numerous similar attacks followed until the end of 1944.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Duisburg in April 1945. The US 17th Airborne Division, acting as regular infantry and not in a parachute role, met only scattered resistance in the vicinity and captured the city on 12 April 1945.

On 8 May 1945 the ADSEC Engineer Group A, led by Col. Helmer Swenholt, commanding officer of the 332nd Engineer General Service Regiment, constructed a railway bridge between Duisburg and Rheinhausen across the Rhine. This bridge was 860 meters long, and constructed in six days, fifteen hours and twenty minutes, a record time. This Bridge was named the "Victory Bridge".

Post war period

A total of 299 bombing raids had almost completely destroyed the historic cityscape. 80% of all residential buildings had been destroyed or partly damaged. Almost the whole of the city had to be rebuilt, and most historic landmarks had been lost.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, the decline of Duisburg's steel and mining industry caused a significant loss of residents. While in 1975 approximately 590,000 people were living in Duisburg, the number has shrunk to 518,000 in 1985. Duisburg celebrated its 1100th anniversary in 1983. The city's population recovered a little in the following years, up to 537,000 in 1992. It declined to 488,000 in 2011. On 19 July 2004, it was hit by a tornado. The municipal theater and parts of the city center were damaged. The city hosted the 7th World Games in 2005. In 2010, 21 people died because of a mass panic at the Love Parade; over 500 people were injured.

Links to the September 11 attacks

In 2007, evidence surfaced that linked a mosque in the city with the Hamburg cell, and also with ringleader Mohammed Atta. Also, the police uncovered calendars owned by people who attended the mosque, with the dates April 15, 2001 (the date when many hijackers slipped into the US to finalize preparations for the attacks) inscribed with 'The program begins' and September 11, 2001 inscribed with 'The program ends' in Arabic. Further investigation revealed that Guantanamo Bay inmate Mohamed Ould Slahi was a frequent visitor to the mosque, and had helped Atta recruit conspirators for the attacks. It was also believed that Ould Slahi was present in the city on September 10 discussing the attacks with other unidentified extremists.[1] This evidence arose at around the same time as news broke of German Islamists being trained in Pakistani terrorist camps.[2]

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