Nidzica

Nidzica [ɲiˈd͡ʑit͡sa] (former Polish: Nibork; German: Neidenburg ) is a town in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship of Poland, lying between Olsztyn and Mława, in Masuria. The capital of Nidzica County, it had a population in 2017 of 13,872.[1]

Nidzica
Neidenburg

Coat of arms
Nidzica
Nidzica
Coordinates: 53°21′30″N 20°25′30″E
Country Poland
Voivodeship Warmian-Masurian
CountyNidzica County
GminaGmina Nidzica
Town rights1381
Government
  MayorJacek Kosmala
Area
  Total6.86 km2 (2.65 sq mi)
Population
 (2017)
  Total13,872
  Density2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
13-100
Area code(s)+48 89
Car platesNNI
Websitehttp://www.nidzica.pl/

History

The settlement was founded in 1355 by the Teutonic Knights and received town privileges in 1381 from Winrich von Kniprode. Since the foundation the local population was almost entirely Polish.[2] After the victorious Battle of Grunwald (1410) the town remained in Polish hands for three months.[3] It was again captured by the Poles in 1414.[3]

From 1444 Nibork, as the town was called by its Polish population back then, was a member of the Prussian Confederation, at which request in 1454 Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon signed the act of incorporation of the region to the Kingdom of Poland.[3] The Polish army then peacefully entered the town and Adam Wilkanowski became the commander in the castle.[4] In 1455 a Teutonic attack was repulsed[4] and Nibork remained within Poland for the rest of the war.[3] The incorporation of Nibork to Poland was confirmed in the peace treaty signed in Toruń in 1466, but two years later the town came under Teutonic rule, remaining under Polish suzerainty as a fief. It then became part of the Duchy of Prussia, also a vassal state of Poland, after the secularization of the Order's Prussian territories in 1525. After 1525, Nibork was capital of the county, whose first administrator was Piotr Kobierzycki, a local Polish nobleman.[3] In 1549 the Czech Brethren settled in Nibork.[3] In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Polish pastors from Nibork published their works and translations in both Nibork and Königsberg (Królewiec).[2] In 1656 the town was unsuccessfully besieged during the Northern Wars. The city suffered from fires in 1656, 1664, 1784 and 1804.[5]

Nibork/Neidenburg became part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701. Half of Neidenburg's inhabitants died from plague from 1708-1711. In 1758 the town was under Russian control.[3] In the 18th century, the Polish school in Nibork was one of the leading in the region.[3] Even youth from as far as Gdańsk, Elbląg and Königsberg studied here.[3] During the Napoleonic Wars, French and Polish troops were stationed in the town.[6] In 1831 a cholera epidemic broke out, which killed 218 people.[5]

Just like all of Masuria the Neidenburg/Nibork county in the 19th century was still inhabited mainly by Poles (93% in 1825, 75% in 1880).[3] In 1825 the county (including the town) had 29617 inhabitants, including (by mother tongue): 27467 (~93%) Polish and 2149 (~7%) German.[7][8][9] In 1856 the town's Lutheran parish had 4,470 people, of which 3,150 were Poles.[10]

The town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany.

20th century

At the beginning of World War I in 1914, Neidenburg was heavily damaged by invading Imperial Russian troops; 167 residential and agricultural houses, 8 public and 58 business buildings were destroyed by artillery fire on 22 August 1914. The town was reconquered and rebuilt by the Germans after the Battle of Tannenberg later in August 1914. The reconstruction was originally based on plans by Bodo Ebhardt, however, his neo-gothic style was not carried out; instead, a neoclassicist style was preferred.[11] As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, the East Prussian plebiscite was organized under the control of the League of Nations on 11 July 1920. The votes were 3,156 for remaining in Prussia and 17 for joining Poland.[12]

During the Kristallnacht riots in November 1938, the synagogue was destroyed and two Jewish inhabitants, Julius Naftali and Minna Zack, were killed by Nazi SA members, while several others were injured. The surviving members of the Jewish congregation were deported and killed in the Holocaust during World War II.

During the war, in October 1944, the city was bombed by the Soviets. Neidenburg was the seat of a district in East Prussia until 1945; in that year the Red Army entered and occupied the town while pursuing the retreating Wehrmacht. While many, if not most, German civilians had fled the area, many of those who remained experienced atrocities at the hands of Soviet soldiers, who found themselves on German soil for the first time. Lev Kopelev, a Soviet officer and later dissident, described how he was appalled by the acts of murder and looting against those who remained.[13] In accordance to the Potsdam Agreement, Neidenburg along with the southern part of the former province of East Prussia (including most of historic Masuria) was granted to Poland, and the remaining German population was expelled. Rather than being renamed to the traditional Polish name Nibork, the town received a new name, Nidzica. The town was significantly damaged during the war.[6]

Heritage monuments

Historic sights of Nidzica (examples)
Immaculate Conception and Saint Adalbert church
Town Hall
State Archives
19th-century brewery
  • Nidzica Castle from 1370s
  • Medieval building of the State Archives
  • Medieval town walls
  • Immaculate Conception and Saint Adalbert church (Gothic and Renaissance Revival)
  • Holy Cross Church (Gothic Revival)
  • 19th-century buildings, including the Town Hall (Ratusz), post office and old brewery
  • Old granary
  • Police station building
  • Two Jewish cemeteries (19th-20th centuries)

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nidzica is twinned with:

Notable residents

References

  1. "Nidzica (warmińsko-mazurskie)". Polska w liczbach (in Polish). Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  2. Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, Tom VII, Warsaw, 1886, p. 32 (in Polish)
  3. Słownik geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, Tom VII, Warsaw, 1886, p. 31 (in Polish)
  4. Nidzica. Z dziejów miasta i okolic, Pojezierze, Olsztyn, 1976, p. 68 (in Polish)
  5. "Słów kilka o historii Nidzicy". Nasza Gazeta Nidzicka (in Polish). Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  6. "Historia Nidzicy" (in Polish). Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  7. von Haxthausen, August (1839). Die ländliche verfassung in den einzelnen provinzen der Preussischen Monarchie (in German). Königsberg: Gebrüder Borntraeger Verlagsbuchhandlung. pp. 78–81.
  8. Jasiński, Grzegorz (2009). "Statystyki językowe powiatów mazurskich z pierwszej połowy XIX wieku (do 1862 roku)" (PDF). Komunikaty Mazursko-Warmińskie (in Polish). 1: 97–130 via BazHum.
  9. Belzyt, Leszek (1996). "Zur Frage des nationalen Bewußtseins der Masuren im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (auf der Basis statistischer Angaben)". Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung (in German). Bd. 45, Nr. 1: 35–71 via zfo-online.
  10. Nidzica. Z dziejów miasta i okolic, Pojezierze, Olsztyn, 1976, p. 86 (in Polish)
  11. Salm, Jan (2012). Ostpreußische Städte im Ersten Weltkrieg – Wiederaufbau und Neuerfindung (in German). Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag. pp. 151 ff. ISBN 978-3-486-71209-4.
  12. Marzian, Herbert; Kenez, Csaba (1970). Selbstbestimmung für Ostdeutschland – Eine Dokumentation zum 50 Jahrestag der ost- und westpreussischen Volksabstimmung am 11. Juli 1920 (in German). p. 91.
  13. Kopelev, Lev (1977). No Jail For Thought. London: Secker & Warburg. pp. 39–41. ISBN 0-436-23640-0.

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