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Lodz

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Lodz

For other uses, see Łódź (disambiguation).

Łódź
Medical University in Lodz,
Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz,
The White Factory

Coat of arms
Motto: Ex navicula navis (From a boat, a ship)
Łódź
Łódź

Coordinates: 51°47′N 19°28′E / 51.783°N 19.467°E / 51.783; 19.467Coordinates: 51°47′N 19°28′E / 51.783°N 19.467°E / 51.783; 19.467

Country  Poland
Voivodeship Łódź
County city county
City Rights 1423
Government
 • Mayor Hanna Zdanowska
Area
 • City 293.25 km2 (113.22 sq mi)
Highest elevation 278 m (912 ft)
Lowest elevation 162 m (531 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City 728 892
 • Metro 1,428,600
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 90-001 to 94–413
Area code(s) +48 42
Car plates EL
Website http://www.uml.lodz.pl/

Łódź (Polish pronunciation: [wut͡ɕ]; Yiddish: לאדזש, Lodzh; English pronunciation: /l/ or /lɒdz/[1]) is the third-largest city in Poland. Located in the central part of the country, it had a population of 742,387 in December 2009. It is the capital of Łódź Voivodeship, and is approximately 135 kilometres (84 mi) south-west of Warsaw. The city's coat of arms is an example of canting: depicting a boat, it alludes to the city's name which translates literally as "boat".

History

Łódź first appears in the written record in a 1332 document giving the village of Łodzia to the bishops of Włocławek. In 1423 King Władysław Jagiełło granted city rights to the village of Łódź. From then until the 18th century the town remained a small settlement on a trade route between Masovia and Silesia. In the 16th century the town had fewer than 800 inhabitants, mostly working on the nearby grain farms.

With the second partition of Poland in 1793, Łódź became part of the Kingdom of Prussia's province of South Prussia, and was known in German as Lodsch. In 1798 the Prussians nationalised the town, and it lost its status as a town of the bishops of Kuyavia. In 1806 Łódź joined the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and in 1810 it had 190 inhabitants. In the 1815 Congress of Vienna treaty it became part of Congress Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire.

Century of partitions


In the 1815 treaty, it was planned to renew the dilapidated town and with the 1816 decree by the Czar a number of German immigrants received territory deeds for them to clear the land and to build factories and housing. In 1820 Stanisław Staszic aided in changing the small town into a modern industrial centre. The immigrants came to the Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, the city's nickname) from all over Europe. Mostly they arrived from Southern Germany, Silesia and Bohemia, but also from countries as far away as Portugal, England, France and Ireland. The first cotton mill opened in 1825, and 14 years later the first steam-powered factory in both Poland and Russia commenced operations. In 1839, 78% of the population was German,[2] and German schools and churches were established.

A constant influx of workers, businessmen and craftsmen from all over Europe transformed Łódź into the main textile production centre of the Russian Empire. Three groups dominated the city's population and contributed the most to the city's development: Poles, Germans and Jews, who started to arrive since 1848. Many of the Łódź craftspeople were weavers from Silesia.

In 1850, Russia abolished the customs barrier between Congress Poland and Russia proper; industry in Łódź could now develop freely with a huge Russian market not far away. Soon the city became the second-largest city of Congress Poland. In 1865 the first railroad line opened (to Koluszki, branch line of the Warsaw-Vienna Railway), and soon the city had rail links with Warsaw and Białystok.

One of the most important industrialists of Łódź was Karl Wilhelm Scheibler.[3] In 1852 he came to Łódź and with Julius Schwarz together started buying property and building several factories. Scheibler later bought out Schwarz's share and thus became sole owner of a large business. After he died in 1881 his widow and other members of the family decided to pay homage to his memory by erecting a chapel, intended as a mausoleum with family crypt, in the Lutheran part of the Łódź cemetery in ulica Ogrodowa (later known as The Old Cemetery).[4]

Historical population
   Year       Inhabitants   
1793 190  
1806 767  
1830 4,300  
1850 15,800  
1880 77,600  
1905 343,900  
1925 538,600  
1990 850,000  
2003 781,900  
2007 753,192  
2009 742,387  

In the 1823–1873, the city's population doubled every ten years. The years 1870–1890 marked the period of most intense industrial development in the city's history. Many of the industrialists were Jewish. Łódź soon became a major centre of the socialist movement. In 1892 a huge strike paralysed most of the factories. According to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 315,000, Jews constituted 99,000 (around 31% percent).[5] During the 1905 Revolution, in what became known as the June Days or Łódź insurrection, Tsarist police killed hundreds of workers.[6] By 1913, the Poles constituted almost half of the population (49.7%), the German minority had fallen to 14.8%, and the Jews made up 34%, out of some 506,000 inhabitants.[2]

Despite the air of impending crisis preceding World War I, the city grew constantly until 1914. By that year it had become one of the most densely-populated industrial cities in the world—13,280 inhabitants per square kilometre (34,400 /sq mi). A major battle was fought near the city in late 1914, and as a result the city came under German occupation after 6 December but with Polish independence restored in November 1918 the local population liberated the city and disarmed the German troops. In the aftermath of World War I, Łódź lost approximately 40% of its inhabitants, mostly owing to draft, diseases and because a huge part of the German population was forced to move to Germany.

In sovereign Poland

In 1922, Łódź became the capital of the Łódź Voivodeship, but the period of rapid growth had ceased. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the Customs War with Germany closed western markets to Polish textiles while the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) and the Civil War in Russia (1918–1922) put an end to the most profitable trade with the East. The city became a scene of a series of huge workers' protests and riots in the interbellum.

On 13 September 1925 a new airport, Lublinek Airport, began operations on the outskirts of the city. In the interwar years Łódź continued to be a diverse and multicultural city, with the 1931 Polish census showing that the total population of roughly 604,000 included 375,000 (59%) Poles, 192,000 (32%) Jews and 54,000 (9%) Germans (determined from the main language used). By 1939, the Jewish minority had grown to well over 200,000.[7]

Occupation by Nazi Germany

During the Invasion of Poland the Polish forces of the Łódź Army of General Juliusz Rómmel defended the city against initial German attacks. Nevertheless, the Wehrmacht captured the city on 8 September. Despite plans for the city to become a Polish enclave attached to the General Government, the Nazi hierarchy respected the wishes of the local governor of Reichsgau Wartheland, Arthur Greiser and many ethnic German residents, and annexed the city to the Reich in November 1939. The city received the new name of Litzmannstadt after the German general Karl Litzmann, who had captured it during World War I. Nevertheless, many Łódź Germans refused to sign Volksliste to become Volksdeutsche, and were instead deported to the General Government.

Soon the Nazi authorities set up the Łódź Ghetto in the city and populated it with more than 200,000 Jews from the Łódź area.[8] As Jews were deported from Litzmannstadt for extermination others were brought in. Due to the value of the goods that the ghetto population produced for the German military and various civilian contractors it was the last major ghetto to be "liquidated" (destroyed); approximately 900 people survived the liquidation of the ghetto in August 1944. Several concentration camps and death camps arose in the city's vicinity for the non-Jewish inhabitants of the regions, among them the infamous Radogoszcz prison and several minor camps for the Romani people and for Polish children.

Thousands of new ethnic-German Volksdeutsche came to Łódź from across Eastern Europe, many of whom were repatriated from Russia during the time of Hitler's alliance with the Soviet Union, especially after Operation Barbarossa. In January 1945 most of the German population fled the city for fear of the Red Army. The city also suffered tremendous losses due to the German policy of requisition of all factories and machines and transporting them to Germany. Thus, despite relatively small losses due to aerial bombardment and fighting, Łódź was deprived of most of its infrastructure.

Prior to World War II, the Jewish population of Łódź numbered about 233,000, accounting for one-third of the city’s population. The community was wiped out in the Holocaust. By the end of World War II, Łódź had lost approximately 420,000 of its pre-war inhabitants including 300,000 Polish Jews from Łódź and its vicinity and approximately 120,000 other Poles.[9]

The Soviet Red Army entered the city on 18 January 1945. According to Marshal Katukov, whose forces participated in the operation, the Germans retreated so suddenly that they had no time to evacuate or destroy the Łódź factories, as they did in other cities.[10] In time, Łódź became part of the People's Republic of Poland.

After World War II



At the end of World War II, Łódź had fewer than 300,000 inhabitants. However the number began to grow as refugees from Warsaw and territories annexed by the Soviet Union immigrated. Until 1948 the city served as a de facto capital of Poland, since events during and after the Warsaw uprising had thoroughly destroyed Warsaw, and most of the government and country administration resided in Łódź. Some planned moving the capital there permanently, however this idea did not gain popular support and in 1948 the reconstruction of Warsaw began. Under the Polish Communist regime many of the industrialist families lost their wealth when the authorities nationalised private companies. Once again the city became a major centre of industry. In mid-1981 Łódź became famous for its massive, 50,000 hunger demonstration of local mothers and their children (see: Summer 1981 hunger demonstrations in Poland). After the period of economic transition during the 1990s, most enterprises were again privatised.

Economy

Before 1990, Łódź's economy focused on the textile industry, which in the nineteenth century had developed in the city owing to the favourable chemical composition of its water. Because of the growth in this industry, the city has sometimes been called the "Polish Manchester". As a result, Łódź grew from a population of 13,000 in 1840 to over 500,000 in 1913. By the time right before World War I Łódź had become one of the most densely populated industrial cities in the world, with 13,280 inhabitants per km2. The textile industry declined dramatically in 1990 and 1991, and no major textile company survives in Łódź today. However, countless small companies still provide a significant output of textiles, mostly for export to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

The city benefits from its central location in Poland. A number of firms have located their logistics centres in the vicinity. Two motorways, A1 spanning from the north to the south of Poland, and A2 going from the east to the west intersect northeast of the city. As of 2012, A2 is complete towards Warsaw, while the northern section A1 is largely completed. With these connections, the advantages due to the city's central location should increase even further. Work has also begun on upgrading the railway connection with Warsaw, which reduces the 2 hour travel time to make the 137 km (85 mi) journey to 1.5 hours in 2009. In the next few years much of the track will be modified to handle trains moving at 160 km/h (99 mph), cutting the travel time to about 75 minutes.

Recent years has seen many foreign companies opening offices in Łódź. Indian IT company Infosys has one of its centres in Łódź. Despite the fact that Łódź is regarded to be the poorest among Polish cities with population over 500,000, the GDP per capita in Łódź was 123,9% of Poland's average (2008).

In January 2009 Dell announced that it will shift production from its plant in Limerick, Ireland to its plant in Łódź, largely because the labour costs in Poland are a fraction of those in Ireland.[11] The city's investor friendly policies have attracted 980 foreign investors by January 2009.[11] Foreign investment was one of the factors which decreased the unemployment rate in Łódź to 6.5 percent in December 2008, from 20 percent four years earlier.[11]

Tourism

Piotrkowska Street is the main artery and attraction stretching north to south for a little over five kilometres (3.1 miles), making it (one of) the longest commercial streets in the world. A few of the building fronts have been renovated and date back to the 19th century.

Although Łódź does not have any hills nor any large body of water, one can still get close to nature in one of the city's many parks, most notably Łagiewniki (the largest city park in Europe). Łódź has one of the best museums of modern art in Poland, Muzeum Sztuki on Więckowskiego Street, which displays art by all important contemporary Polish artists. Despite insufficient exhibition space (many very impressive paintings and sculptures lie in storage in the basement), there are plans to move the museum to a larger space in the near future. There is also a branch of Muzeum Sztuki called MS2 located in the area of Łódź largest mall "Manufaktura".

Another popular source of recreation is the Lunapark, an amusement park featuring about two dozen attractions including an 18 metre tall roller coaster and two dozen other rides and features, located near the city's zoo and its botanical gardens.

The largest 19th Century textile factory complex which was built by Izrael Poznanski has been turned into a shopping centre called "Manufaktura" which is an example of a modern business which operates in restored nineteenth-century buildings.

The Jewish cemetery at the Bracka Street in Lodz, the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe, was established in 1892. After the German occupation in 1939, the cemetery became part of the eastern section of the enclosed Łódź ghetto. Between 1940 and 1944, approximately 43,000 burials took place in the spare part of the cemetery that became known as the Ghetto Field. In 1956, a monument in memory of the victims of the Łódź ghetto by Muszko was erected at the cemetery. It features a smooth obelisk, a menorah, and a broken oak tree with leaves stemming from the tree (symbolizing death, especially death at a young age). Today the Cemetery has an area of 39,6 hectare, and it contains approximately 180,000 graves, marked by approximately 65,000 tombstones, ohels and mausoleums, many of which are of architectural significance. One hundred of these have been declared historical monuments and are in various stages of restoration. The mausoleum of Izrael and Eleanora Poznanski is perhaps the largest Jewish tombstone in the world and the only one decorated with mosaics.[12][13] On 20 November 2012, more than 20 gravestones, some were from the 19th century, were destroyed at the Jewish cemetery, as what seems to be an anti-Semitic act.[14]

Education

Main article: Education in Łódź

Łódź is a thriving center of academic life. Currently Łódź hosts three major state-owned universities, six higher education establishments operating for more than a half of the century, and a number of smaller schools of higher education. The tertiary institutes with the most students in Łódź include:

There are also dozens of other schools and academies, but for the last four years the best students in Łódź (according to the prestigious contest "Studencki Nobel") have been studying at the University of Łódź — in 2009 the regional laureate was Piotr Pawlikowski, in 2010 - Joanna Dziuba, in 2011 and 2012 - Paweł Rogaliński.[15][16] In recent years, an estimated number of 15 private higher education establishments were created, which gives students better educational opportunities than before.

National Film School in Łódź

The Leon Schiller's National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź (Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. Leona Schillera w Łodzi) is the most notable academy for future actors, directors, photographers, camera operators and TV staff in Poland. It was founded on 8 March 1948 and was initially planned to be moved to Warsaw as soon as the city was rebuilt following the Warsaw Uprising. However, in the end the school remained in Łódź and today is one of the best-known institutions of higher education in that town.

At the end of the Second World War Łódź remained the only large Polish town besides Kraków which war had not destroyed. The creation of the National Film School gave the town a role of greater importance from a cultural viewpoint, which before the war had belonged exclusively to Warsaw and Kraków. Early students of the School include the directors Andrzej Munk, Andrzej Wajda, Kazimierz Karabasz (one of the founders of the so-called Black Series of Polish Documentary) and Janusz Morgenstern, who at the end of the Fifties became famous as one of the founders of the Polish Film School of Cinematography.

Immediately after the war, Jerzy Bossak, Wanda Jakubowska, Stanisław Wohl, Antoni Bohdziewicz and Jerzy Toeplitz worked as the first teachers. The internationally renowned film director Roman Polański was among the many talented students who attended the School in the 1950s. Łódź's cinematic involvement and its Hollywood-style star walk on Piotrkowska Street have earned it the nickname "Holly-Łódź". The school is also associated with the Camerimage Film Festival, which occurs annually in late November and early December. Founded in Toruń in 1993, the festival was specifically organised to focus on the art of cinematography and is well-attended every year by world-renowned cinematographers, many of whom also participate in seminars, workshops, retrospectives and Q&A sessions. Because of both subject matter and attendee composition, it is considered a key event for industry exhibitors, who often make European debuts of their products here.

Łódź in literature and cinema

Three major novels depict the development of industrial Łódź: Władysław Reymont's The Promised Land (1898), Joseph Roth's Hotel Savoy (1924) and Israel Joshua Singer's The Brothers Ashkenazi (1937). Roth's novel depicts the city on the eve of a workers' riot in 1919. Reymont's novel was made into a film by Andrzej Wajda in 1975: see The Promised Land. In the 1990 film Europa Europa, Solomon Perel's family flees pre-WWII Berlin and settles in Łódź. Scenes of David Lynch's 2006 film Inland Empire were shot in Łódź. Sections of Harry Turtledove's Worldwar alternate history series take place in Łódź.

Sports


  • BBRC Łódź[17] – rugby union (youth, men, women)- 3rd place in Polish Rugby7 League in 2009/2010
  • Budowlani Łódź- winner of Polish Rugby League in 1982/1983, 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2009/2010
  • ŁKS Łódź – men's football team (established in 1908), (Polish Champion 1958, 1998; Polish Cup winner 1957; First League
  • ŁKS Łódź – women's basketball team, 6th place in Sharp Torell Basket Liga in 2003–2004 season
  • KS Społem Łódź – leading youth road and track cycling team in Poland
  • Klub Żużlowy Orzeł Łódź – speedway team (established in present form in 2005)
  • Torpedy Łódź – American football team made to the Final of the 2nd League play-offs in 2008
  • Widzew Łódź – men's football team (established in 1910), (Polish Champion 1981, 1982, 1996, 1997; Polish Cup winner: 1985; Polish SuperCup winner: 1996;T-Mobile Ekstraklasa

Government


Mayor

  • Waldemar Bohdanowicz, Solidarity (November 1989 – 1990) – appointed by Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki.
  • Grzegorz Palka (1990–1994)
  • Marek Czekalski, Freedom Union (1994–1998)
  • Tadeusz Matusiak, SLD (1998–2001)
  • Krzysztof Panas, SLD (2001–2002)
  • Krzysztof Jagiełło, SLD (2002)
  • Jerzy Kropiwnicki, Christian-National Union (ZChN) (2002–2010)
  • Tomasz Sadzyński, Platforma Obywatelska / Civic Platform (temporary in 2010)
  • Hanna Zdanowska, Platforma Obywatelska / Civic Platform

Consulates

Łódź is home to nine foreign consulates, all of which are Honorary. They are subordinate to the following states main representation in Poland: French, Danish, German, Austrian, British, Belgian, Latvian, Hungarian and Moldavian.

International relations

Twin towns – sister cities

Łódź is twinned with:[18][19]

Łódź belongs also to the Eurocities network.

Notable residents

Notable descendants of Łódź residents

Other buildings

References

  • Stefański, Krzysztof (2000). Gmachy użyteczności publicznej dawnej Łodzi, Łódź 2000 ISBN 83-86699-45-0.
  • Stefański, Krzysztof (2009). Ludzie którzy zbudowali Łódź Leksykon architektów i budowniczych miasta (do 1939 roku), Łódź 2009 ISBN 978-83-61253-44-0.

Bibliography

  • Ghettostadt: Łódź and the Making of a Nazi City, Gordon H Horwitz, Harvard University Press, 2009
  • "A Stairwell in Lodz," Constance Cappel, 2004, Xlibris, (in English).
  • "Lodz – The Last Ghetto in Poland," Michal Unger, Yad Vashem, 600 pages (in Hebrew)

External links

  • Public Transport Official Site
  • City map of Łódź
  • Historic images of Łódź
  • Photo Gallery of Łódź
  • Łódź Special Economic Zone
  • Łódź-Lublinek Airport
  • The Łódź English language newspaper
  • The Łódź Ghetto
  • Promo website of Łódź (RU)
  • Łódź 2016 – Official site of candidate for European Capital of Culture
  • Unofficial site of links to site with inform about Lodz
  • Youth Groups in the Łódź Ghetto – Online Exhibition from Yad Vashem

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