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Sosnowiec (pronounced: Missing image

[sɔs:nɔvȋεʦ]) is a city located in the south of Poland, in a tributary of the Wisla (Vistula) river. It is a county capital neighbouring Katowice, a mining and industrial region, and one of the largest cities in the Silesian Voivodship. Its estimated population as of 1993 was 258,500.

Sosnowiec is a mother-town to subculture called 'burdziarze' for.ex. Franz, Rumun.

It is sometimes known as Sosnowietz, Sosnowitz, Sosnovitz(Yidish), Sosnovyts, Sosnowyts, Sosnovytz, Sosnowytz, Sosnovets(Russian), Sosnovetz. There are 5 other smaller towns in Poland also called Sosnowiec. They are located in the regions of Bydgoszcz, Kielce, Lodz, Lomza, Opole.



  • 1890: There were 2,600 Jews living in Sosnowiec (29.8% of the total population), who earned their livelihood mainly in the clothing, food, building, and machine industries, and bookkeeping.
  • 1896: A Jewish cemetery was opened.
  • 1905-1906: In the early 20th century a Jewish labor movement was organized through the Bund and Po'alei Zion. Some Jewish workers of Sosnowiec took part in "revolutionary activities", and 30 were imprisoned and exiled to the Russian interior.
  • 1908: A Jewish "talmud torah" was opened.
  • 1919: The city reverted to Poland, after the Russian retreat in World War I.
  • 1920: A mine owed by H. Priwer produced 25,000 tones of coal.
  • 1921: The Jewish population reached 13,646 (16% of the total), from which about a third engaged in light and medium industry (including the manufacture of shoes and clothing), crafts and trade, coal mining, and manufacture of iron coke. Around 2,000 Jews were employed as clerks or laborers in business or industry, and an important number engaged became profeesionals.
  • 1922: A mine owned by B. Meyer produced 32,000 of coal.
  • 1931: The Jewish population reached 20,805.
  • 1931-1939: Many Jews came mainly from Kielce province attracted to Sosnowiec by more favorable work opportunities. A Jewish hospital was established, as well as secondary schools for boys and girls. Associations of merchants, industrialists and artisans were formed.
  • Sep 1, 1939: Nazi German forces invaded Poland. German planes bombed Polish cities, Warsaw, the capital. German tanks, infantry and cavalry penetrated Polish territory on several fronts with five armies, a total of 1.5 million troops. The attack comes without any warning or declaration of war. Britain and France started preparing to wage war on Germany.
  • Sep 3, 1939: Britain and France declared war on Germany.
  • Sep 4, 1939: The German army entered Sosnowiec and on that day it organized an attack on the Jewish population, in which 13 Jews were killed. At the time, the Jewish population was estimated at 28,000(22% of the total).
  • Sep 9, 1939: The Great Synagogue on Dekert Street was set on fire.
  • October, 1939: In Czeladź, a separate Jewish Council was formed, and included some the most respected citizens of the town. A local Jewish Constabulary (police) was also formed.
  • 1940: The Jewish population of Sosnowiec, estimated to be 22407, became part of the central Judenrat (Zentrale der Judischen Altestenrate in Ostoberschlesien, or Central Office of the Jewish Councils of Elders in Eastern Upper Silesia), together with other 45 communities with Jewish populations. It was headed by Moshe Merin, who hoped to mitigate German policy by obedience. The Jewish Council became a branch of the Central Judenrat.
  • May-August, 1942: Thousands of Jews from the large cities were sent to the Auschwitz death camp. 1,500 on May 10-12; 2,000 in June; Over 8,000 (about 25 percent of the Jews of Sosnowiec) on August 12-18. After the last deportation the Germans established a ghetto in the suburb of Srodula. The survivors remained under the authority of Organisation Schmelt.
  • Spring of 1943: The Germans completed the concentration of the Sosnowiec Jews in the Srodula ghetto in Zaglebie. The Germans planed to exploit the Jews as a labor, but soon a decision was made to liquidate the ghettos.
  • March 10, 1943: The Srodula the ghetto was sealed off.
  • June 21, 1943: Moshe Merin and several of his close aides were deported to Auschwitz.
  • June 22, 1943: Thousands of Jews were deported from Sosnowiec ghetto to Auschwitz.
  • August 1-16, 1943: The Sosnowiec ghetto was finally liquidated almost all remaining Jews (around 15,000) were deported to Auschwitz, were they perished. Some Jews presented resistance. Many had gone into hiding in bunkers and on three occasions Jews opened fire on Germans. The Nazis had set up several liquidation camps in the district, using 1,300 Jews to sort out the possessions of the deported Jews.
  • Dec 1943-Jan 1944: The last 1,000-1,300 Jews in Sosnowiec were either murdered or also sent to Auschwitz to die. Previously there had been considerable underground activity among the Jews, mostly organized by the youth organizations Ha-No'ar ha-Ziyyoni, Gordonia, and Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir, whose main leader was Zevi Dunski.
  • 1945-1946: After the war about 700 Jews resettled in Sosnowiec, but almost all of them emigrated shortly afterward.
  • For Sosnowiec's 100th birthday, the downtown area was thoroughly rebuilt, to harmonise its architectural layout and give the city a more modern image.
  • 2004: Sosnowiec authorities and designers were awarded the Grand Prix for the rebuilding of the downtown area in a competition for the best public space in the Śląskie Province. This investment had been accompanied by a program designed to improve the esthetic qualities of the city, under which a comprehensive program for unifying the colors of the elevations, and advertisements entitled “rainbow city” were introduced.


It is characterized by its dynamism, economic activity and care for its cultural heritage and natural environment. In recent years, Sosnowiec has been transformed from and industrial center with mainly mining and heavy industries into a trade and service processing hub. However, it still has several important coal mines, steel factories and other heavy industrial plants.

Its Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which was established in Sosnowiec thanks to the efforts of local authorities, has played a major role in the establishment of new businesses in the area. As a result, several companies with Polish and foreign capital have decided to place their businesses in the city. Companies operating on the local market have easily adopted their technologies to market requirements and global standards. A large number of them have introduced quality assurance systems compatible with the international standards ISO 9000, while others have been awarded the ISO 14000 quality certificate. This year Sosnowiec City Office was awarded the ISO 9001 2001 quality certificate for its management system for providing services for the local community. Modern Image of a 100 - Year – old City.

Points of interest

  • The city has a 17th-century castle.


Education and Science

As well as industry, services and trade, Sosnowiec is an academic centre with a well-developed research and educational infrastructure. The University of Silesia (schools of modern languages, natural science, technology and a language teacher training college), the Silesian Medical Academy, whose Faculty of Pharmacy is seated in Sosnowiec, and the private School of Marketing and Management operate in the City. The Silesian Technical University also plans to open a campus in Sosnowiec.

  • Wyższa Szkoła Ekologii
  • Wyższa Szkoła Zarządzania i Marketingu


Members of Parliament (Sejm) elected from this constituency

  • Bolek Elżbieta, SLD-UP
  • Dolniak Grzegorz, PO
  • Figlus Michał, Samoobrona
  • Gajecka-Bożek Maria, SLD-UP
  • Jędrusik Wiesław, SLD-UP
  • Pasternak Agnieszka, SLD-UP
  • Podraza Zbigniew, SLD-UP
  • Potępa Maria, SLD-UP
  • Szarawarski Andrzej, SLD-UP

External links


Flag of Poland
Voivodships of Poland
Greater Poland | Kuyavia-Pomerania | Lesser Poland | Łdź | Lower Silesia | Lublin | Lubusz | Masovia | Opole | Podlachia | Pomerania | Świętokrzyskie | Silesia | Subcarpathia | Warmia and Masuria | West Pomerania
Principal cities
Warsaw | Łdź | Krakw | Wrocław | Poznań | Gdańsk | Szczecin | Bydgoszcz | Lublin | Katowice | Białystok | Częstochowa | Gdynia | Gorzw Wlkp. | Toruń | Radom | Kielce | Rzeszw | Olsztyn

de:Sosnowiec fr:Sosnowiec lv:Sosnoveca nds:Sosnowiec pl:Sosnowiec


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