Stolen Land: Köslin

03491-Köslin-1903-Oberpostdirektion, Kriegerdenkmal-Brück & Sohn Kunstverlag.jpg

Before and after.

From Wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt.

According to the Medieval Chronicle of Greater Poland (Kronika Wielkopolska) Koszalin was one of the Pomeranian cities captured and subjugated by Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth of Poland in 1107 (other towns included KołobrzegKamień and Wolin). Afterwards, in the 12th century the area became part of the Griffin-ruled Duchy of Pomerania, a vassal state of Poland, which separated from Poland after the fragmentation of Poland into smaller duchies, and became a vassal of Denmark in 1185 and a part of the multi-ethnic Holy Roman Empire from 1227 to 1806.Gothic Koszalin Cathedral

In 1214, Bogislaw IIDuke of Pomerania, made a donation of a village known as Koszalice/Cossalitz by Chełmska Hill in Kołobrzeg Land to the Norbertine monastery in Białoboki near Trzebiatów. New, mostly German, settlers from outside of Pomerania were invited to settle the territory. In 1248, the eastern part of Kołobrzeg Land, including the village, was transferred by Duke Barnim I to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kammin.

On 23 May 1266, Kammin bishop Hermann von Gleichen granted a charter to the village, granting it Lübeck law, local government, autonomy and multiple privileges to attract German settlers from the west. When in 1276 the bishops became the sovereign in neighboring Kołobrzeg, they moved their residence there, while the administration of the diocese was done from Koszalin. In 1278 a Cistercian monastery was established, which took care of the local parish church and St. Mary chapel on Chełmska Hill.

The city obtained direct access to the Baltic Sea when it gained the village of Jamno (1331), parts of Lake Jamno, a spit between the lake and the sea and the castle of Unieście in 1353. Thence, it participated in the Baltic Sea trade as a member of the Hanseatic League (from 1386), which led to several conflicts with the competing seaports of at Kołobrzeg and Darłowo. From 1356 until 1417/1422, the city was part of the Duchy of Pomerania-Wolgast. In 1446 Koszalin fought a victorious battle against the nearby rival city of Kołobrzeg. In 1475 a conflict between the city of Koszalin and the Pomeranian duke Bogislaw X broke out, resulting in the kidnapping and temporary imprisonment of the duke in Koszalin.

As a result of German colonization, the town became German-speaking, putting Slavic speakers at disadvantage. In 1516 local Germans enforced a ban on buying goods from Slavic speakers. It was also forbidden to accept native Slavs to craft guilds, which indicates ethnic discrimination.

In 1531 riots took place between supporters and opponents of the Protestant Reformation. In 1534 the city became mostly Lutheran under the influence of Johannes Bugenhagen. In 1568, John Frederick, Duke of Pomerania and bishop of Cammin, started constructing a residence, finished by his successor Casimir VI of Pomerania in 1582. After the 1637 death of the last Pomeranian duke, Bogislaw XIV, the city passed to his cousin, Bishop Ernst Bogislaw von Croÿ of Kammin. Occupied by Swedish troops during the Thirty Years’ War in 1637, some of the city’s inhabitants sought refuge in nearby Poland. The city was granted to Brandenburg-Prussia after the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) and the Treaty of Stettin (1653), and with all of Farther Pomerania became part of the Brandenburgian Pomerania.

As part of the Kingdom of Prussia, “Cöslin” was heavily damaged by a fire in 1718, but was rebuilt in the following years. In 1764 on the Chełmska Hill, now located within the city limits, a Pole Jan Gelczewski founded a paper mill that supplied numerous city offices. The city was occupied by French troops in 1807 after the War of the Fourth Coalition. Following the Napoleonic wars, it became the capital of Fürstenthum District (county) and Regierungsbezirk Cöslin (government region) within the Province of Pomerania. The Fürstenthum District was dissolved on 1 September 1872 and replaced with the Cöslin District on December 13. Between 1829 and 1845, a road connecting Koszalin with Szczecin and Gdańsk was built. Part of this road, from Koszalin to the nearby town of Sianów, was built in 1833 by around one hundred former Polish insurgents.[7]Coat of arms from 1800 to 1939

The town became part of the German Empire in 1871 during the unification of Germany. The railroad from Stettin (Szczecin) through “Cöslin” and Stolp (Słupsk) to Danzig (Gdańsk) was constructed from 1858 to 1878. A military cadet school created by Frederick the Great in 1776 was moved from Kulm (Chełmno) to the city in 1890.

After the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) took power in Germany in 1933, a Gestapo station was established in the city and mass arrests of (NSDAP) opponents were carried out. After the (NSDAP) had closed down Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s seminar in Finkenwalde (a suburb of Stettin, now Szczecin) in 1937, Bonhoeffer chose the town as one of the sites where he illegally continued to educate vicars of the Confessing Church. During the Second World War Köslin was the site of the first school for the “rocket troops” created on orders of Walter Dornberger, the Wehrmacht‘s head of the V-2 design and development program. The (NSDAP) brought many prisoners of war and forced labourers to the city, mainly Poles, but also Italians and French. A labour camp of the Stalag II-B POW camp was located in the city. After crushing the Warsaw Uprising, the Germans brought several transports of Poles from Warsaw to the city, mainly women and children.

On 4 March 1945, the city was captured by the Red Army. Under the border changes forced by the Soviet Union in the post-war Potsdam Agreement, Koszalin became part of Poland as part of the so-called Recovered Territories. The city’s German population that had not yet fled was expelled to the remainder of post-war Germany in accordance to the Potsdam Agreement. The city was resettled by Poles and Kashubians, many of whom had been expelled from Polish territory annexed by the Soviets.

As early as March 1945 a Polish police unit was established, consisting of former forced labourers and prisoners of war, however, the Soviets, still present in the city, plundered local industrial factories in April. From May 1945, life in the destroyed city was being organized, the first post-war schools, shops and service premises were established. In 1946, the first public library was opened, whose director was later Maria Pilecka, the sister of Polish national hero Witold Pilecki. In March 1946, the anti-communist Home Army 5th Wilno Brigade was active in Koszalin. In July 1947, the last units of the Soviet Army left Koszalin, and from that time only Polish troops were stationed in the city. In 1953 a local radio station was founded in Koszalin. The Victory Square with the statue of Józef Piłsudski and the former Koszalin Voivodeship Office in the background

Initially, Koszalin was the first post-war regional capital of Polish Western Pomerania, before the administration finally moved to Szczecin in February 1946, after which the region was named the Szczecin Voivodeship. In 1950 this voivodeship was divided into a truncated Szczecin Voivodeship and Koszalin Voivodeship. In years 1950-75 Koszalin was the capital of the enlarged Koszalin Voivodeship sometimes called Middle Pomerania due to becoming the fastest growing city in Poland. In years 1975-98 it was the capital of the smaller Koszalin Voivodeship. As a result of the Local Government Reorganization Act (1998) Koszalin became part of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship (effective 1 January 1999) regardless of an earlier proposal for a new Middle Pomeranian Voivodeship covering approximately the area of former Koszalin Voivodeship (1950–75).

In 1991, Koszalin was visited by Pope John Paul II. On the fifth anniversary of his visit, his monument was unveiled in the city center.

Notable people

Wikipedia

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