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HISTORY OF ŁÓDŹ
The village of Łódź first appeared in written records in 1332. 1423 was one of the most important years for Łódź — Wladyslaw Jagiello officially granted town rights to the village of Łódź. Partitions brought enormous changes — Łódź changed its dependence; first it became a part of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1806 Łódź joined the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and then it became a part of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire. It was then decided that Łódź was an ideal place for industry. Industrialists from abroad were coming to Łódź to develop it as the centre of the textile industry. In 1827 the first cotton spinning mill was opened by Krystian Wendisch. Ludwik Geyer came to Łódź one year later. Soon Traugott Grohmann arrived and in 1845 Karol Scheibler settled in Łódź. In 1872 Izrael Poznański started to build his factory complex. Industry development required cheap workers. People from all over Europe were coming to Łódź in search of work. Łódź was to be “the promised land” for them — they wanted to find work, shelter, welfare and happiness for their families there. Instead, districts of poverty started to appear. This was depicted by the Nobel prize winner Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont in his novel “The Promised Land”, which was made into a movie by Andrzej Wajda, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1975. 1914 – 1918 were the years of the Ger-man occupation of Łódź. German soldiers destroyed factories, confiscated their equipment, raw materials and finished goods. Poland regained independence in 1918, but Łódź was never to achieve its former position. In August 1919 Łódź voivodship was established with its capital in Łódź. On the 8th September 1939 the German army captured Łódź and another grisly occupation started. In 1940 Germans established a ghetto for Jews (Litzmannstadt Ghetto) — the first ghetto on Polish territory annexed by Nazi Germany. The Łódź Ghetto was closed on the 30th April 1940. Although Łódź was not destroyed during the war, the city still bears the imprint of this period. After the Second World War, from 1945 till 1948 Łódź served as a de facto capital of Poland. History has led to Łódź being called the City of Four Cultures: Polish, Jewish, German and Russian.
FOTO | PHOTO ŁÓDŹ – Paweł Augustyniak, Tymoteusz Lekler, GRAPHIC DESIGN – Aleksandra Kasjańska