Bytom Synagogue or Beuthen Synagogue was a synagogue in Beuthen, in the Prussian Province of Silesia, a border–town between Germany and the Second Polish Republic prior to German invasion of Poland in World War II. Since the plebiscite of 1922 the border passed just east of Beuthen, so that neighboring Katowice were in Poland. Beuthen Synagogue was built in 1869 in place of an older one; the cornerstone was set on May 25, 1868, construction finished on July 2, 1869. Max Kopfstein from Bad Ems became rabbi and religion teacher there in 1889. Chief Rabbi from 1919, he participated in the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles as an expert in matters concerning the Jewish population in Upper Silesia; the synagogue was burned down by Nazi German SS and SA troopers during the Kristallnacht on 9–10 November 1938. On November 7, 1938 Joseph Goebbels had delivered a fiery antisemitic tirade in Beuthen with a call for vengeance against Jews, they were made to stand for hours in front of their burning Moorish synagogue.
Beuthen Jewish Community became the first Holocaust transport to be gassed inside "Bunker I" at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, all murdered on February 15, 1942 at the onset of the Nazi German Holocaust in Poland. A memorial plaque at the site was erected on November 9, 2007. Beuthen Jewish Community Bytom Synagogue at Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Virtual Shtetl
House of Hohenzollern
The House of Hohenzollern is a German dynasty of former princes, electors and emperors of Hohenzollern, Prussia, the German Empire, Romania. The family arose in the area around the town of Hechingen in Swabia during the 11th century and took their name from Hohenzollern Castle; the first ancestors of the Hohenzollerns were mentioned in 1061. The Hohenzollern family split into two branches, the Catholic Swabian branch and the Protestant Franconian branch, which became the Brandenburg-Prussian branch; the Swabian branch ruled the principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen until 1849, ruled Romania from 1866 to 1947. Members of the Franconian branch became Margrave of Brandenburg in 1415 and Duke of Prussia in 1525; the Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia were ruled in personal union after 1618 and were called Brandenburg-Prussia. The Kingdom of Prussia was created in 1701 leading to the unification of Germany and the creation of the German Empire in 1871, with the Hohenzollerns as hereditary German Emperors and Kings of Prussia.
Germany's defeat in World War I in 1918 led to the German Revolution. The Hohenzollerns were overthrown and the Weimar Republic was established, thus bringing an end to the German monarchy. Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia is the current head of the royal Prussian line, while Karl Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern is the head of the princely Swabian line. Zollern, from 1218 Hohenzollern, was a county of the Holy Roman Empire, its capital was Hechingen. The Hohenzollerns named their estates after Hohenzollern Castle in the Swabian Alps; the Hohenzollern Castle lies on an 855 meters high mountain called Hohenzollern. It still belongs to the family today; the dynasty was first mentioned in 1061. According to the medieval chronicler Berthold of Reichenau, Burkhard I, Count of Zollern was born before 1025 and died in 1061. In 1095 Count Adalbert of Zollern founded the Benedictine monastery of Alpirsbach, situated in the Black Forest; the Zollerns received the comital title from Emperor Henry V in 1111.
As loyal vassals of the Swabian Hohenstaufen dynasty, they were able to enlarge their territory. Count Frederick III accompanied Emperor Frederick Barbarossa against Henry the Lion in 1180, through his marriage was granted the Burgraviate of Nuremberg by Emperor Henry VI in 1192. In about 1185 he married the daughter of Conrad II, Burgrave of Nuremberg. After the death of Conrad II who left no male heirs, Frederick III was granted Nuremberg as Burgrave Frederick I. In 1218 the burgraviate passed to Frederick's elder son Conrad I, he thereby became the ancestor of the Franconian Hohenzollern branch, which acquired the Electorate of Brandenburg in 1415; until 1061: Burkhard I before 1125: Frederick I between ca. 1125 and 1142: Frederick II, eldest son of Frederick I between ca. 1143 and 1150–1155: Burkhard II, 2nd oldest son of Frederick I between ca. 1150–1155 and 1160: Gotfried of Zimmern, 4th oldest son of Frederick I before 1171 – c. 1200: Frederick III/I After Frederick's death, his sons partitioned the family lands between themselves: Conrad I received the county of Zollern and exchanged it for the burgraviate of Nuremberg with his younger brother Frederick IV in 1218, thereby founding the Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern.
Members of the Franconian line became the Brandenburg-Prussia branch. The Franconian line converted to Protestantism. Frederick IV received the burgraviate of Nuremberg in 1200 from his father and exchanged it for the county of Zollern in 1218 with his brother, thereby founding the Swabian branch of the House of Hohenzollern; the Swabian line remains Catholic. The senior Franconian branch of the House of Hohenzollern was founded by Conrad I, Burgrave of Nuremberg; the family supported the Hohenstaufen and Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire during the 12th to 15th centuries, being rewarded with several territorial grants. Beginning in the 16th century, this branch of the family became Protestant and decided on expansion through marriage and the purchase of surrounding lands. In the first phase, the family added to their lands, at first with many small acquisitions in the Franconian region of Germany: Ansbach in 1331 Kulmbach in 1340In the second phase, the family expanded their lands further with large acquisitions in the Brandenburg and Prussian regions of Germany and current Poland: Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1417 Duchy of Prussia in 1618These acquisitions transformed the Franconian Hohenzollerns from a minor German princely family into one of the most important dynasties in Europe.
1192–1200/1204: Frederick I 1204–1218: Frederick II 1218–1261/1262: Conrad I/III 1262–1297: Frederick III, son of 1297–1300: John I, son of 1300–1332: Frederick IV, brother of 1332–1357: John II, son of 1357–1397: Frederick V, son ofAt Frederick V's death on 21 January 1398, his lands were partitioned between his two sons: 1397–1420: John III/I 1397–1427: Frederick VI/I/I, After John III/I's death on 11 June 1420, the margraviates of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Brandenburg-Kulmbach were reunited under Frederick VI/I/I. He ruled the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach after 1398. From 1420, he became Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. From 1411 Frederick VI became governor of Brandenburg and Elector and M
Silesian Opera in Bytom is an opera company in Bytom, Poland, founded in 1945. Its home is the former City Theatre, built between 1898-1901. Adamo Didur was the first artistic director. Opera Śląska w Bytomiu
Kraków spelled Cracow or Krakow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the city has grown from a Stone Age settlement to Poland's second most important city. It began as a hamlet on Wawel Hill and was being reported as a busy trading centre of Central Europe in 965. With the establishment of new universities and cultural venues at the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918 and throughout the 20th century, Kraków reaffirmed its role as a major national academic and artistic centre; the city has a population of about 770,000, with 8 million additional people living within a 100 km radius of its main square. After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany at the start of World War II, the newly defined Distrikt Krakau became the capital of Germany's General Government.
The Jewish population of the city was forced into a walled zone known as the Kraków Ghetto, from which they were sent to German extermination camps such as the nearby Auschwitz never to return, the Nazi concentration camps like Płaszów. In 1978, Karol Wojtyła, archbishop of Kraków, was elevated to the papacy as Pope John Paul II—the first Slavic pope and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years; that year, UNESCO approved the first sites for its new World Heritage List, including the entire Old Town in inscribing Kraków's Historic Centre. Kraków is classified as a global city with the ranking of high sufficiency by GaWC, its extensive cultural heritage across the epochs of Gothic and Baroque architecture includes the Wawel Cathedral and the Royal Castle on the banks of the Vistula, the St. Mary's Basilica, Saints Peter and Paul Church and the largest medieval market square in Europe, the Rynek Główny. Kraków is home to Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world and traditionally Poland's most reputable institution of higher learning.
In 2000, Kraków was named European Capital of Culture. In 2013 Kraków was approved as a UNESCO City of Literature; the city hosted the World Youth Day in July 2016. The name of Kraków is traditionally derived from Krakus, the legendary founder of Kraków and a ruler of the tribe of Lechitians. In Polish, Kraków is an archaic possessive form of Krak and means "Krak's". Krakus's name may derive from "krakula", a Proto-Slavic word meaning a judge's staff, or a Proto-Slavic word "krak" meaning an oak, once a sacred tree most associated with the concept of genealogy; the first mention of Prince Krakus dates back to 1190, although the town existed as early as the 7th century, inhabited by the tribe of Vistulans. The city's full official name is Stołeczne Królewskie Miasto Kraków, which can be translated as "Royal Capital City of Kraków". In English, a person born or living in Kraków is a Cracovian. While in the 1990s the English version of the name was written Cracow, the most widespread modern English version is Krakow.
Kraków's early history begins with evidence of a Stone Age settlement on the present site of the Wawel Hill. A legend attributes Kraków's founding to the mythical ruler Krakus, who built it above a cave occupied by a dragon, Smok Wawelski; the first written record of the city's name dates back to 965, when Kraków was described as a notable commercial centre controlled first by Moravia, but captured by a Bohemian duke Boleslaus I in 955. The first acclaimed ruler of Poland, Mieszko I, took Kraków from the Bohemians and incorporated it into the holdings of the Piast dynasty towards the end of his reign. In 1038, Kraków became the seat of the Polish government. By the end of the 10th century, the city was a leading centre of trade. Brick buildings were constructed, including the Royal Wawel Castle with St. Felix and Adaukt Rotunda, Romanesque churches such as St. Adalbert's, a cathedral, a basilica; the city was sacked and burned during the Mongol invasion of 1241. It was rebuilt identical, based on new location act and incorporated in 1257 by the high duke Bolesław V the Chaste who following the example of Wrocław, introduced city rights modelled on the Magdeburg law allowing for tax benefits and new trade privileges for the citizens.
In 1259, the city was again ravaged by the Mongols. A third attack in 1287 was repelled thanks in part to the new built fortifications. In 1335, King Casimir III of Poland declared the two western suburbs to be a new city named after him, Kazimierz; the defensive walls were erected around the central section of Kazimierz in 1362, a plot was set aside for the Augustinian order next to Skałka. The city rose to prominence in 1364, when Casimir III of Poland founded the University of Kraków, the second oldest university in central Europe after the Charles University in Prague. King Casimir began work on a campus for the Academy in Kazimierz, but he died in 1370 and the campus was never completed; the city continued to grow under the joint Lithuanian-Polish Jagiellon dynasty. As the capital of the Kingdom of Poland and a member of the Hanseatic League, the city attracted many craftsmen and guilds as science and the arts began to flourish; the royal chancery and the University ensured a first flourishing of Polish literary culture in the city.
The 15th and 16th centuries were known as Poland's Złoty Golden Age. Many works of Pol
Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko was a Polish-Lithuanian military engineer and military leader who became a national hero in Poland, Lithuania and the United States. He fought in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth's struggles against Russia and Prussia, on the U. S. side in the American Revolutionary War. As Supreme Commander of the Polish National Armed Forces, he led the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising. Kościuszko was born in February 1746, in a manor house on the Mereczowszczyzna estate in Brest Litovsk Voivodeship, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. At age 20, he graduated from the Corps of Cadets in Poland. After the start of civil war in the Bar Confederation in 1768, Kościuszko moved to France in 1769 to study, he returned to Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1774, two years after its First Partition, took a position as tutor in Józef Sylwester Sosnowski's household. After Kościuszko attempted to elope with his employer's daughter and was beaten by the father's retainers, he returned to France.
In 1776, Kościuszko moved to North America, where he took part in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army. An accomplished military architect, he designed and oversaw the construction of state-of-the-art fortifications, including those at West Point, New York. In 1783, in recognition of his services, the Continental Congress promoted him to brigadier general. Upon returning to Poland in 1784, Kościuszko was commissioned as a major general in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Army in 1789. After the Polish–Russian War of 1792 resulted in the Second Partition of Poland, he organized an uprising against Russia in March 1794, serving as its Naczelnik. Russian forces captured him at the Battle of Maciejowice in October 1794; the defeat of the Kościuszko Uprising that November led to Poland's Third Partition in 1795, which ended the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth's independent existence for 123 years. In 1796, following the death of Tsaritsa Catherine the Great, Kościuszko was pardoned by her successor, Tsar Paul I, he emigrated to the United States.
A close friend of Thomas Jefferson's, with whom he shared ideals of human rights, Kościuszko wrote a will in 1798 dedicating his U. S. assets to the education and freedom of U. S. slaves. He returned to Europe and lived in Switzerland until his death in 1817; the execution of his will proved difficult, the funds were never used for the purpose he had intended. Kościuszko was born in February 1746 in a manor house on the estate called "Mereczowszczyzna" near Kosów, in Nowogródek Voivodeship, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, his exact birthdate is unknown. Kościuszko was the youngest son of a member of the szlachta, Ludwik Tadeusz Kościuszko, an officer in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Army, his wife Tekla, née Ratomska; the Kościuszkos held the Polish Roch III coat of arms. At the time of Tadeusz Kościuszko's birth, the family possessed modest landholdings in the Grand Duchy, which were worked by 31 peasant families. Tadeusz was baptized by the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Church, thereby receiving the names Andrzej and Bonawentura.
His paternal family was ethnically Lithuanian–Ruthenian and traced their ancestry to Konstanty Fiodorowicz Kostiuszko, a courtier of Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund I the Old. Kościuszko's maternal family, the Ratomskis, were Ruthenian. Modern Belarusian writers interpret his Lithuanian heritage as Belarusian, he once described himself as a Litvin, a term that denoted inhabitants, of whatever ethnicity, of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Modern Belarusian writers interpret Litvin as designating a Belarusian, before the word "Belarusian" had come into use. Kościuszko, did not speak the Belarusian language. Like most Polish–Lithuanian nobility of the time, the Kościuszkos spoke Polish and identified with Polish culture. In 1755, Kościuszko began attending school in Lyubeshiv, but never finished due to his family's financial straits after his father's death in 1758. Poland's King Stanisław August Poniatowski established a Corps of Cadets in 1765, at what is now Warsaw University, to educate military officers and government officials.
Kościuszko enrolled in the Corps on December 18, 1765 thanks to the patronage of the Czartoryski family. The school emphasized military subjects and the liberal arts, after graduating on December 20, 1766, Kościuszko was promoted to chorąży. In 1768, civil war broke out in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, when the Bar Confederation sought to depose King Stanisław August Poniatowski. One of Kościuszko's brothers, Józef, fought on the side of the insurgents. Faced with a difficult choice between the rebels and his sponsors—the King and the Czartoryski family, who favored a gradualist approach to shedding Russian domination—Kościuszko chose to leave Poland. In late 1769, he and a colleague, the noted artist Aleksander Orłowski, were granted royal scholarships, on October 5 they set off for Paris, they wanted to further their military education, but as foreigners they were barred from enrolling in French military academies, so they enrolled instead in the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.
There Kościuszko pursued his interest in drawing and painting and took private lessons in architecture fr
The Silesian Piasts were the elder of four lines of the Polish Piast dynasty beginning with Władysław II the Exile, eldest son of Duke Bolesław III of Poland. By Bolesław's testament, Władysław was granted Silesia as his hereditary province and the Lesser Polish Seniorate Province at Kraków according to the principle of agnatic seniority; the history of the Silesian Piasts began with the feudal fragmentation of Poland in 1138 following the death of the Polish duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. While the Silesian province and the Kraków seniorate were assigned to Władysław II the Exile, his three younger half–brothers Bolesław IV the Curly, Mieszko III the Old, Henry of Sandomierz received Masovia, Greater Poland and Sandomierz according to the Testament of Boleslaw III. Władysław soon entered into fierce conflicts with the Polish nobility; when in 1146 he attempted to take control of the whole of Poland, he was excommunicated by Archbishop Jakub ze Żnina of Gniezno and his brothers drove him into exile.
He was received by King Conrad III of Germany, his brother-in-law by Władysław's consort Agnes of Babenberg, at the imperial palace of Altenburg. Silesia and the Seniorate Province came under the control of second-born Bolesław IV the Curly, Duke of Masovia. In the same year King Conrad III failed. Not until 1157 Duke Bolesław IV the Curly was defeated in a campaign by Konrads successor Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, the "Silesian issue" was not mentioned in the treaty concluded by the rulers, so Władysław remained in exile, he died in 1159 without returning to Poland. In 1163, Bolesław the Curly was pressed by Frederick Barbarossa to return the hereditary Silesian province to Władysław's sons Bolesław the Tall, Konrad Spindleshanks and Mieszko Tanglefoot, though he retained the Seniorate Province and the Polish throne at Kraków; the Duchy of Silesia remained within the Polish seniorate constitution, but Władysław's sons were obliged to pay a yearly tribute to the Holy Roman Emperor. High Duke Bolesław the Curly retained control of the most important Silesian cities such as Wrocław, Opole, Głogów, Racibórz and Legnica until 1166, when the Silesian dukes took control of these parts.
Władysław's sons ruled Silesia together until 1172, when they divided their territory: Bolesław the Tall, eldest brother, received the large area from Legnica up the Oder River to Wroclaw and created the Duchy of Opole for his eldest son Jarosław. Mieszko Tanglefoot the smaller Duchy of Racibórz around Racibórz and Cieszyn, their minor brother Konrad Spindleshanks received Żagań, Głogów and Krosno from the hands of Bolesław the Tall. As Konrad prepared himself for a clerical career at the Fulda monastery, his brother Bolesław administered his possessions until Konrad's early death, when he incorporated Konrad's part into his own duchy. Mieszko at the same time was able to expand his duchy with the former Lesser Polish territories of Bytom and Oświęcim, given to him by High Duke Casimir II the Just, with the Duchy of Opole, which he received after the death of Duke Jarosław and his father Bolesław in 1201. One year Bolesław's heir, Duke Henry I the Bearded, his uncle Mieszko moreover specified to rule out the right of succession among their branches, an arrangement, responsible for the special position of what would become Upper Silesia.
In the same year, Poland abolished the seniorate and the Silesian duchies became independent entities. Henry I the Bearded took part in the inner-Polish conflicts and expanded his dominion with determination. Henry, before securing in 1229 the sovereignty in Kraków, had made no less persevering efforts to bring Greater Poland under his dominion. From the beginning of the thirteenth century he had not ceased to intervene in the disputes which were carried on between the descendants of Mieszko the Old. At last in 1234, a good half of that province was formally ceded to him; as a guardian of minor dukes, Henry moreover ruled over Sandomierz. But, he aimed higher; this Silesian prince not only intended to enlarge his possessions. He became duke of Kraków in 1232. Henry expanded his realm outside Poland ruling over Barnim, Teltow as well as parts of Lower Lusatia. Despite his efforts, he never gained the Polish crown; the royal crown forgotten since the fall of Bolesław II, was destined by him for his eldest son, whom he associated in his rule towards the end of his life.
This Henry II the Pious, who succeeded his father in 1238, was, in fact worthy of the heritage of the first Piasts. Pursuing the able policy of Henry the Bearded, his son was moreover able to obtain the support of the clergy, with whom his father had had frequent disagreements. In a close alliance with his brother-in-law, Bohemian king Wenceslaus, he consolidated his position in Greater Poland against Barnim I of Pomerania and repelled an attack on castle Lubusz by the margrave of Brandenburg and the archbishop of Magdeburg. Following an old tradition of his dynasty, he placed himself under the protection of the Holy See, with which he allied himself against Frederick II. In spite of all his German connections, Henry the Pious would, assuredly have maintained the independence and prestige of the kingdom if all his plan had not been annihilated by an unforeseen catastrophe. In 1241, he died as a Christian hero in the Battle of Legnica, in which he was attempting to arrest the Mongolian invasion.
His death left the Silesian Piast dynasty shaken. After Henry's death in 1