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Gliwice

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  Summary  

Gliwice is a city in Upper Silesia in southern Poland, near Katowice. Gliwice is the west district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union – a metropolis with a population of 2 million. The city is located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Kłodnica river .

Situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since its formation in 1999, Gliwice was previously in Katowice Voivodeship. Gliwice is one of the cities of a 2.7 million conurbation known as the Katowice urban area and is within the larger Silesian metropolitan area, which has a population of about 5,294,000 people. The population of the city is 196,361 .

  History  

  Late Middle Ages
In Slavic languages, the root gliw or gliv suggests terrain characterized by loam or wetland. In South Slavic languages, glive or gljive refers to mushrooms, with gljivice meaning little mushrooms.

Gliwice was first mentioned as a town in 1276 and was ruled during the Middle Ages by the Silesian Piast dukes. During the reign of Mieszko I Tanglefoot, the town was part of a duchy centered on Opole-Racibórz, and became a separate duchy in 1289. According to 14th century writers, the town seemed defensive in character and was ruled by Siemowit of Bytom. The town became a possession of the Bohemia crown in 1335, passing with that crown to the Austrian Habsburgs as Gleiwitz in 1526.

  Early Modern Age
Because of the vast expenses incurred by the Habsburg Monarchy during their 16 century wars against the Ottoman Empire, Gleiwitz was leased to Friedrich Zettritz for the meager amount of 14,000 thalers. Although the original lease was for a duration of 18 years, it was renewed in 1580 for 10 years and in 1589 for an additional 18 years.

During the mid 18th century Silesian Wars, Gleiwitz was taken from the Habsburg Monarchy by the Kingdom of Prussia along with the majority of Silesia. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Gleiwitz was administered in the Prussian district of Tost-Gleiwitz within the Province of Silesia in 1816. The city was incorporated with Prussia into the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. In 1897 Gleiwitz became its own Stadtkreis, or urban district.

  Industrialization
Gleiwitz began to develop into a major city through industrialization during the 19th century. The town's ironworks fostered the growth of other industrial fields in the area. During the late 19th century Gleiwitz had: 14 distilleries, 2 breweries, 5 mills, 7 brick factories, 3 sawmills, a shingle factory, 8 chalk factories and 2 glassworks.

Other features of the 19th century industrialized Gleiwitz were a gasworks, a furnace factory, a beer bottling company, and a plant for asphalt and paste. Economically, Gleiwitz opened several banks, Savings and loan associations, and bond centers. Its tram system was completed in 1892, while its theater was opened in 1899; until World War II, Gleiwitz' theatre featured actors from through Europe and was one of the most famous theatres of entire Germany. The city's population in 1875 was 14,156.

  20th century


According to the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Gleiwitz's population in 1905 was 61,324. By 1911 it had two Protestant and four Roman Catholic churches, a synagogue, a mining school, a convent, a hospital, two orphanages, and a barracks. Gleiwitz was the center of the mining industry of Upper Silesia. It possessed a royal foundry, with which were connected machine factories and boilerworks. Other industrialized areas of the city had other foundries, meal mills, and factories producing wire, gas pipes, cement, and paper.

After the end of World War I, clashes between Poles and Germans occurred during the Silesian Uprisings. Ethnically Polish inhabitants of Upper Silesia wanted to incorporate the city into the Second Polish Republic. The differences between Germans and Poles led to the First & Second Silesian Uprisings, and German resistance against them. Seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, the League of Nations held a plebiscite on March 20, 1921 to determine which country the city should belong to. In Gleiwitz, 32,029 votes (78.7% of given votes) were for remaining in Germany, Poland received 8,558 (21.0%) votes, and 113 (0.3%) votes were declared invalid. The total voter turnout was listed as 97.0%. This prompted the Third Silesian Uprising, which then forced the League of Nations to arbitrate. It determined that three Silesian towns: Gleiwitz, Hindenburg and Beuthen would remain in Germany, and the eastern part of Upper Silesia with its main town of Katowice would join restored Poland.

An attack on a radio station in Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939, staged by the German secret police, served as a pretext for Nazi Germany to invade Poland, which marked the start of the Second World War. From July 1944 to January 1945, Gliwice was the location for one of the many sub-camps of the Auschwitz concentration camp

The city was placed under Polish administration according to the 1945 Potsdam Conference and thus part of the Silesian-Dabrowa Voivodeship. Most of the German population was forcibly expelled as stated by the Potsdam Conference and replaced with Poles.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Gliwice", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.