Siege of Breslau
The Siege of Breslau known as the Battle of Breslau, was a three-month-long siege of the city of Breslau in Lower Silesia, lasting to the end of World War II in Europe. From 13 February 1945 to 6 May 1945, German troops in Breslau were besieged by the Soviet forces which encircled the city as part of the Lower Silesian Offensive Operation; the German garrison's surrender on 6 May was followed by the surrender of all German forces two days after the battle. In August 1944, Adolf Hitler declared the city of Breslau to be a fortress, ordering that it must be defended at all costs, he named Karl Hanke to be the city's "Battle Commander". On 19 January 1945, the civilian population was forced to leave (many thousands died in the bitter cold of the makeshift evacuation; the German Army, aided by the Home Guard and slave labourers turned the city into a military fortress: Breslau was to be capable of a lengthy defense against the advancing Soviets. A large area of the city center was turned into an airfield.
Late in January, a regiment of Hitler Youth was sent to reinforce the garrison of Festung Breslau. SS regiment "Besslein" took part. On 2 February 1945, Hanke presented colors to the newly formed Home Guard units in Breslau. On the same day, Major General Hans von Ahlfen became the garrison commander of Fortress Breslau. Ahlfen, who commanded for only three weeks, had been selected by the Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Center, Ferdinand Schörner; the capture of a bridgehead on the west bank of the Oder by the 1st Ukrainian Front during the Vistula–Oder Offensive allowed the Soviet forces to encircle Breslau. Breslau fell in the sector of the Soviet 6th Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Vladimir Gluzdovsky. Gluzdovsky, relieved of his army command for his performance in positional fighting in eastern Belarus during the winter of 1943–1944, commanded the 6th Army on a secondary attack axis during the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev, commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front, in a 31 January directive, ordered the 6th Army to attack the rear of the German forces defending Breslau, to capture the city within four days of the beginning of the attack, part of the Lower Silesian Offensive.
The Breslau attack was not a priority for Konev, as the same directive tasked his troops with reaching the Elbe and capturing Berlin. However, the capture of Breslau would secure a crucial road junction, ensuing uninterrupted supply of the front; the start of the attack of the 6th Army was delayed for two days, from 6 to 8 February, by the overstretched supply lines of the front, which resulted from the advances it made during the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Due to a lack of rail transport and ammunition had to be transported from right bank of the Vistula to the Oder bridgeheads by road. Despite securing vehicles from the units defending the bridgehead, the 6th Army scraped together just 170 vehicles to transport 350 tons of ammunition and 180 tons of fuel. By the morning of 8 February and mortar units had enough ammunition for between two and five units of fire and infantry guns enough for between one and a half and two units of fire; the only tank support for the army was provided by the 7th Guards Mechanized Corps of Lieutenant General Ivan Korchagin, which late on 7 February fielded 186 T-34 tanks, 21 each of the ISU-122 and SU-76 self-propelled gun, the SU-85 tank destroyer – at its authorized strength.
Only six T-34s were listed as under repair. Nearly an hour of artillery bombardment, begun at 08:35 on 8 February, preceded the start of the 6th Army attack. Elements of the 7th Guards Mechanized Corps crossed to the bridgehead, accompanied by the artillery bombardment, by 12:00 its first echelon, which consisted of the 24th Guards Mechanized and 57th Guards Tank Brigades, outran their infantry support and advanced into the rear of the German defenses; the two forward brigades ran into fierce German resistance on the railway line from Breslau to the southwest on 10 and 11 February, with the 25th Guards Mechanized Brigade and 57th Guards bogged down at the Domslau station and Koberwitz village and station, respectively. They suffered heavy losses in tanks and men to German tanks and artillery, as well as panzerfausts fired from house basements. Combining their attacks, the 25th and 57th Guards broke through between Domslau and Koberwitz, but were stopped. During the same days, the corps' 24th and 26th Guards Mechanized Brigades, holding defensive positions, were struck by a German tank counterattack between Gross-Baudis and Kostenblut.
The 24th and 26th Guards Brigades were relieved by the 309th Rifle Division, fresh from the fighting at Liegnitz, early on 12 February. The bringing up of infantry units strengthened the Soviet defense on the outer edge of the partial encirclement. Another German counterattack, involving the 8th and 19th Panzer Divisions as well as Volkssturm and flak units, began at 18:20 on that day, lasting until 13 February, it achieved temporary success with the capture of Gross Peterwitz, but was soon pushed back to its jumping-off positions by a Soviet counterattack on its flank. The German situation further det
In Germanic mythology, a dwarf is a human-shaped entity that dwells in mountains and in the earth, is variously associated with wisdom, smithing and crafting. Dwarfs are sometimes described as short and ugly, although some scholars have questioned whether this is a development stemming from comical portrayals of the beings. Dwarfs continue to be depicted in modern popular culture in a variety of media; the modern English noun dwarf descends from the Old English dweorg. It has a variety of cognates in other Germanic languages, including Old Norse dvergr and Old High German twerg. According to Vladimir Orel, the English noun and its cognates descend from Proto-Germanic *đwerȝaz. A different etymology of dwarf traces it to Proto-Germanic *dwezgaz, with r being the product of Verner's Law. Anatoly Liberman connects the Germanic word with Modern English dizzy: dwarfs inflicted mental diseases on humans, in this respect did not differ from elves and several other supernatural beings. Beyond the Proto-Germanic reconstruction, the etymology of the word dwarf is contested.
Scholars have proposed theories about the origins of the being by way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, including that dwarfs may have originated as nature spirits, as beings associated with death, or as a mixture of concepts. Competing etymologies include a basis in the Indo-European root *dheur-, the Indo-European root *dhreugh, comparisons have been made with Sanskrit dhvaras. Modern English has two plurals for the word dwarf: dwarves. Dwarfs remains the most employed plural; the minority plural dwarves was recorded as early as 1818, but it was popularized by the fiction of philologist and author J. R. R. Tolkien, originating as a mistake and employed by Tolkien since some time before 1917. Regarding the plural, Tolkien wrote in 1937, "I am afraid it is just a piece of private bad grammar, rather shocking in a philologist. Norse mythology provides different origins for the beings, as recorded in the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda; the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá details that the dwarfs were the product of the primordial blood of the being Brimir and the bones of Bláinn.
The Prose Edda, describes dwarfs as beings similar to maggots that festered in the flesh of Ymir before being gifted with reason by the gods. The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda contain over 100 dwarf names, while the Prose Edda gives the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri a cosmological role: they hold up the sky. In addition, scholars have noted that the Svartálfar appear to be the same beings as dwarfs, given that both are described in the Prose Edda as the denizens of Svartálfaheimr. Few beings explicitly identifiable as dwarfs appear in the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, they have quite diverse roles: murderous creators who create the mead of poetry,'reluctant donors' of important artifacts with magical qualities, or sexual predators who lust after goddesses, they are associated with metalsmithing, with death, as in the story of King Sveigðir in Ynglinga saga, the first segment of the Heimskringla — the doorways in the mountains that they guard may be regarded as doors between worlds.
One dwarf named Alvíss claimed the hand of Thor's daughter Þrúðr in marriage, but he was kept talking until daybreak and turned to stone, much like some accounts of trolls. After the Christianization of the Germanic peoples, tales of dwarfs continued to be told in the folklore of areas of Europe where Germanic languages were spoken. In the late legendary sagas, dwarfs demonstrate skill in healing as well as in smithing. In the early Norse sources, there is no mention of their being short. Anatoly Liberman suggests that dwarfs may have been thought of as lesser supernatural beings, which became literal smallness after Christianization. Old Norse dwarf names include Fullangr and Hár, whereas Anglo-Saxon glosses use dweorg to render Latin terms such as nanus and pygmaeus. Dwarfs in folklore are described as old men with long beards. Female dwarfs are hardly mentioned. Dvalinn the dwarf has daughters, the 14th-century romantic saga Þjalar Jóns saga gives the feminine form of Old Norse dyrgja, but the few folklore examples cited by Grimm in Teutonic Mythology may be identified as other beings.
However, in the Swedish ballad "Herr Peder och Dvärgens Dotter", the role of supernatural temptress is played by a dwarf's daughter. The Anglo-Saxon charm Wið Dweorh appears to relate to sleep disturbances; this may indicate that the dwarf antagonist is similar to the oppressive supernatural figure the mare, the etymological source of the word "nightmare", or that the word had come to be used to mean "fever". In the Old English Herbal, it translates warts. In Middle High German heroic poetry, most dwarfs are portrayed as having long beards, but some may have a childish appearance. In some stories, the dwarf takes on the attributes of a knight, he is most separated from normal humans by his small size, in some cases only reaching up to the knees. Despite their small size, dwarfs have superhuman strength, either by nature or through magical means
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Łódź is the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial hub. Located in the central part of the country, it has a population of 687,702, it is the capital of Łódź Voivodeship, is 120 kilometres south-west of Warsaw. The city's coat of arms is an example of canting, as it depicts a boat, which alludes to the city's name. Łódź was once a small settlement that first appeared in written records in around 1332. In the early 15th century it was granted city rights, but remained a rather small and insubstantial town, it was the property of Kuyavian bishops and clergy until the end of the 18th century, when Łódź was annexed by Prussia as a result of the second partition of Poland. Following the collapse of the independent Duchy of Warsaw, the city became part of Congress Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire, it was that Łódź experienced rapid growth in the cloth industry and in population due to the inflow of migrants, most notably Germans and Jews. Since the industrialization of the area, the city has struggled with many difficulties such as multinationalism and social inequality, which were vividly documented in the novel The Promised Land written by Polish Nobel Prize-winning author Władysław Reymont.
The contrasts reflected on the architecture of the city, where luxurious mansions coexisted with redbrick factories and old tenement houses. After Poland regained its independence in 1918, Łódź grew to be one of the largest Polish cities and one of the most multicultural and industrial centers in Europe; the interbellum period saw rapid development in healthcare. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the German Army captured the city and renamed it Litzmannstadt in honour of the German general Karl Litzmann, victorious near the area during World War I; the city's large Jewish population was forced into a walled zone known as the Łódź Ghetto, from which they were sent to German concentration and extermination camps. Following the occupation of the city by the Soviet Army, Łódź, which sustained insignificant damage during the war, became part of the newly established Polish People's Republic. After years of prosperity during the socialist era, Łódź experienced decline after the fall of communism throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
The city is internationally known for its National Film School, a cradle for the most renowned Polish actors and directors, including Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski, in 2017 was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and named UNESCO City of Film. Łódź first appears in the written record in a 1332 document giving the village of Łodzia to the bishops of Włocławek. In 1423 King Władysław II Jagiełło granted city rights to the village of Łódź. From until the 18th century the town remained a small settlement on a trade route between the provinces of Masovia and Silesia. In the 16th century the town had fewer than 800 inhabitants working on the surrounding grain farms. With the second partition of Poland in 1793, Łódź became part of the Kingdom of Prussia's province of South Prussia, was known in German as Lodsch. In 1798 the Prussians nationalised the town, it lost its status as a town of the bishops of Kuyavia. In 1806 Łódź joined the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and in 1810 it had 190 inhabitants.
After the 1815 Congress of Vienna treaty it became part of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire. In the 1815 treaty, it was planned to renew the dilapidated town and with the 1816 decree by the Czar a number of German immigrants received territory deeds for them to clear the land and to build factories and housing. In 1820 Stanisław Staszic aided in changing the small town into a modern industrial centre; the immigrants came to the Promised Land from all over Europe. They arrived from Saxony and Bohemia, but from countries as far away as Portugal, England and Ireland; the first cotton mill opened in 1825, 14 years the first steam-powered factory in both Poland and the Russian Empire commenced operations. In 1839, over 78% of the population was German, German schools and churches were established. A constant influx of workers and craftsmen from all over Europe transformed Łódź into the main textile production centre of the mighty Russian Empire spanning from East-Central Europe all the way to Alaska.
Three groups dominated the city's population and contributed the most to the city's development: Poles and Jews, who started to arrive from 1848. Many of the Łódź craftspeople were weavers from Lower Silesia. In 1850, Russia abolished the customs barrier between Congress Poland and Russia proper and therefore industry in Łódź could now develop with a huge Russian market not far away; the city became the second-largest city of Congress Poland. In 1865 the first railroad line opened, soon the city had rail links with Warsaw and Białystok. One of the most important industrialists of Łódź was Karl Wilhelm Scheibler. In 1852 he came to Łódź and with Julius Schwarz together started buying property and building several factories. Scheibler bought out Schwarz's share and thus became sole owner of a large business. After he died in 1881 his widow and other members of the family decided to pay homage to his memory by erecting a chapel, intended as a mausoleum with family crypt, in the Lutheran part of the Łódź cemetery on ulica Ogrodowa.
Between 1823 and 1873, the city's population doubled every ten years. The years 1870–1890 marked the pe
Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The period is sometimes called the Fall of Nations or the Autumn of Nations, a play on the term Spring of Nations, sometimes used to describe the Revolutions of 1848; the events of the full-blown revolution first began in Poland in 1989 and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria and Romania. One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of campaigns of civil resistance, demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of one-party rule and contributing to the pressure for change. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country. Protests in Tiananmen Square failed to stimulate major political changes in China, but influential images of courageous defiance during that protest helped to precipitate events in other parts of the globe. On 4 June 1989, the trade union Solidarity won an overwhelming victory in a free election in Poland, leading to the peaceful fall of Communism in that country in the summer of 1989.
In June 1989, Hungary began dismantling its section of the physical Iron Curtain, leading to an exodus of East Germans through Hungary, which destabilised East Germany. This led to mass demonstrations in cities such as Leipzig and subsequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990; the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries, which had declared their independence from the Soviet Union in the course of the year, while the Baltic states regained their independence in September 1991. The rest of the Soviet Union, which constituted the bulk of the area, became the Russian Federation in December 1991. Albania and Yugoslavia abandoned Communism between 1990 and 1992. By 1992, Yugoslavia had split into five successor states, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and split in 2006 into two states and Montenegro.
Serbia was further split with the breakaway of the recognised state of Kosovo in 2008. Czechoslovakia dissolved three years after the end of Communist rule, splitting peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992; the impact of these events was felt in many Socialist countries. Communism was abandoned in countries such as Cambodia, Ethiopia and South Yemen. During the adoption of varying forms of market economy, there was a general decline in living standards for many former Communist countries. Political reforms were varied, but in only four countries were Communist parties able to retain a monopoly on power, namely China, Cuba and Vietnam. Many communist and socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy and democratic socialism. Communist parties in Italy and San Marino suffered and the reformation of the Italian political class took place in the early 1990s. In South America, the Pink tide swept through the early 2000s; the European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and the European Union, resulting in stronger economic and social integration with Western Europe and the United States.
Socialism had been gaining momentum among working class citizens of the world since the 19th century. These culminated in the early 20th century when several states and colonies formed their own communist parties. Many of the countries involved had hierarchical structures with monarchic governments and aristocratic social structures with an established nobility. Socialism was undesirable within the circles of the ruling classes in the late 19th/early 20th century states, its champions suffered persecution. This had been the practice in states which identified as exercising a multi-party system; the Russian Revolution of 1917 saw the first communist state in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, when the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government. During the period between the world wars, communism had been on the rise in many parts of the world in towns and cities; this led to a series of purges in many countries to stifle the movement. Violent resistance to this repression led to an increase in support for communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
In the early stages of World War II, both Nazi Germany and the USSR invaded and occupied the countries of Eastern Europe after the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germany turned against and invaded the USSR: the battles of this Eastern Front were the largest in history; the USSR joined with the Allies and in conferences at Tehran and Yalta, the Allies agreed that Central and Eastern Europe would be in the "Soviet sphere of political influence.". The USSR fought the Germans to a standstill and began driving them back, reaching Berlin before the end of the war. Nazi ideology was violently anti-communist, the Nazis brutally suppressed communist movements in the countries it occupied. Communists played a large part in the resist
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast. With a population of 464,254, Gdańsk is the capital and largest city of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the capital of Kashubia, it is the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area. The city is located on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay, in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the Tricity, with a population approaching 1.4 million. Gdańsk is the largest city of Kashubia. With its origins as a Polish stronghold erected in the 980s by Mieszko I of Poland, the city's history is complex, with periods of Polish rule, periods of Prussian or German rule, periods of autonomy or self-rule as a "free city". In the early-modern age Gdańsk was a royal city of Poland, it was considered the wealthiest and the largest city of Poland, prior to the 18th century rapid growth of Warsaw. Between the world wars, the Free City of Danzig, having a majority of German population, was in a customs union with Poland and was situated between German East Prussia and the so-called Polish Corridor.
Gdańsk lies at the mouth of the Motława River, connected to the Leniwka, a branch in the delta of the nearby Vistula River, which drains 60 percent of Poland and connects Gdańsk with the Polish capital, Warsaw. Together with the nearby port of Gdynia, Gdańsk is a notable industrial center. In the late Middle Ages it was an important seaport and shipbuilding town and, in the 14th and 15th centuries, a member of the Hanseatic League. In the interwar period, owing to its multi-ethnic make-up and history, Gdańsk lay in a disputed region between Poland and the Weimar Republic, which became Nazi Germany; the city's ambiguous political status was exploited, furthering tension between the two countries, which would culminate in the Invasion of Poland and the first clash of the Second World War just outside the city limits. In the 1980s it would become the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule in Poland and helped precipitate the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Gdańsk is home to the University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk University of Technology, the National Museum, the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, the Museum of the Second World War, Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the European Solidarity Centre. The city hosts St. Dominic's Fair, which dates back to 1260, is regarded as one of the biggest trade and cultural events in Europe; the city's name is thought to originate from the Gdania River, the original name of the Motława branch on which the city is situated. The name of a settlement was recorded after St. Adalbert's death in AD 997 as urbs Gyddanyzc and was written as Kdanzk in 1148, Gdanzc in 1188, Danceke in 1228, Gdansk in 1236, Danzc in 1263, Danczk in 1311, Danczik in 1399, Danczig in 1414, Gdąnsk in 1656. In Polish the modern name of the city is pronounced. In English the usual pronunciation is or; the German name, "Danzig", is pronounced as. The city's Latin name may be given as either Gedanum or Dantiscum. Other former spellings of the name include Dantzig and Dantzic.
On special occasions the city is referred to as "The Royal Polish City of Gdańsk". In the Kashubian language the city is called Gduńsk. Kashubians use the name "Our Capital City Gduńsk" or "The Kashubian Capital City Gduńsk"; the first written record thought to refer to Gdańsk is the vita of Saint Adalbert. Written in 999, it describes how in 997 Saint Adalbert of Prague baptised the inhabitants of urbs Gyddannyzc, "which separated the great realm of the duke from the sea." No further written sources exist for the 11th centuries. Based on the date in Adalbert's vita, the city celebrated its millennial anniversary in 1997. Archaeological evidence for the origins of the town was retrieved after World War II had laid 90 percent of the city center in ruins, enabling excavations; the oldest seventeen settlement levels were dated to between 980 and 1308. It is thought that Mieszko I of Poland erected a stronghold on the site in the 980s, thereby connecting the Polish state ruled by the Piast dynasty with the trade routes of the Baltic Sea.
Traces of buildings and housing from 10th century have been found in archaeological excavations of the city. The site was ruled as a duchy of Poland by the Samborides, it consisted of a settlement at the modern Long Market, settlements of craftsmen along the Old Ditch, German merchant settlements around St Nicholas's church and the old Piast stronghold. In 1186, a Cistercian monastery was set up in nearby Oliwa, now within the city limits. In 1215, the ducal stronghold became the centre of a Pomerelian splinter duchy. At that time the area of the city included various villages. From at least 1224/25 a German market settlement with merchants from Lübeck existed in the area of today's Long Market. In 1224/25, merchants from Lübeck were invited as "hospites" but were soon forced to leave by Swantopolk II of the Samborides during a war between Swantopolk and the Teutonic Knights, during which Lübeck supported the latter. Migrat