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List of twin towns and sister cities in Poland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of places in Poland having standing links to local communities in other countries. In most cases, the association, especially when formalised by local government, is known as "town twinning" (though other terms, such as "partner towns" (miasta partnerskie) are sometimes used instead), and while most of the places included are towns, the list also comprises villages, cities, districts, counties, etc. with similar links.

Signpost of twin towns in Brzeg Dolny.
Signpost of twin towns in Brzeg Dolny.

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  • The Soldier Who Voluntarily Became a Prisoner in Auschwitz
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The Soldier Who Voluntarily Became a Prisoner in Auschwitz Nazi troops invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, despite the best efforts of Captain Witold Pilecki and his fellow Polish soldiers. On November 9th of that same year, Witold and Major Wlodarkiewicz founded the Tajna Armia Polska (TAP or Polish Secret Army), an underground organization that eventually became consolidated with other resistance forces into The Home Army. Not long after the formation of organized widespread Polish Resistance, its members began hearing reports of the conditions within the newly constructed Auschwitz Concentration Camp put into operation in the Spring of 1940. Those first reports originated with prisoners released from the camp and from civilians such as railroad employees and local residents. In order to cut through the very troubling rumors and figure out exactly what was going on there, Pilecki came up with a bold plan- become a prisoner at Auschwitz. With a little convincing, his superiors eventually agreed to allow him to go. In order to help protect his wife and children after he was captured, he took on the alias Tomasz Serafinski, much to the chagrin of the real Tomasz Serafinski who was thought to be dead at the time (hence why his papers and identity were chosen), but was not. Later, the real Tomasz had some trouble because of Pilecki using his papers and name (more on this in the Bonus Facts below). According to Eleonora Ostrowska, owner of an apartment Pilecki was at when he was taken, when a Nazi roundup began (lapanka, where a city block would suddenly be closed off and most of the civilians inside would be rounded up and sent to slave labor camps and sometimes even just mass-executed on the spot), a member of the resistance came to help Pilecki hide. Instead, Ostrowska said “Witold rejected those opportunities and didn’t even try to hide in my flat.” She reported that soon, a German soldier knocked at the door and Pilecki whispered to her “Report that I have fulfilled the order,” and then opened the door and was taken by the soldier along with about 2,000 other Poles in Warsaw on September 19, 1940. It is important to note here that he didn’t really know if he’d be sent to Auschwitz at this point. As Dr. Daniel Paliwoda noted of Pilecki’s capture, “Since the AB Aktion and roundups were still going on, the Nazis could have tortured and executed him in occupied Warsaw’s Pawiak, Mokotów, or any other Gestapo-run prison. They could have taken him to Palmiry to murder him in the forest. At the very least, they could have sent him to a forced labor colony somewhere in Germany.” While he was willingly surrendering with the hope of being sent to Auschwitz, Pilecki lamented the behavior of his fellow countrymen during the roundup. “What really annoyed me the most was the passivity of this group of Poles. All those picked up were already showing signs of crowd psychology, the result being that our whole crowd behaved like a herd of passive sheep. A simple thought kept nagging me: stir up everyone and get this mass of people moving.” As he had hoped (perhaps the only person to ever hope such a thing), he was sent to Auschwitz. He later described his experience upon arrival: Pilecki_ausch_f We gave everything away into bags, to which respective numbers were tied. Here our hair of head and body were cut off, and we were slightly sprinkled by cold water. I got a blow in my jaw with a heavy rod. I spat out my two teeth. Bleeding began. From that moment we became mere numbers – I wore the number 4859… We were struck over the head not only by SS rifle butts, but by something far greater. Our concepts of law and order and of what was normal, all those ideas to which we had become accustomed on this Earth, were given a brutal kicking. Pilecki also noted that one of the first indications that he observed that Auschwitz was not just a normal prison camp was the lack of food given to prisoners; in his estimate, the rations given to prisoners were “calculated in such a way that people would live for six weeks.” He also noted that a guard at the camp told him, “Whoever will live longer — it means he steals.” Assessing the conditions inside Auschwitz was only part of Pilecki’s mission. He also took on responsibility for organizing a resistance force within the camp, the Zwiazek Organizacji Wojskowej (ZOW). The goals of ZOW included- improving inmate morale, distributing any extra food and clothing, setting up an intelligence network within the camp, training prisoners to eventually rise up against their guards and liberate Auschwitz, and getting news in and out of Auschwitz. Ensuring secrecy of the ZOW led Pilecki to create cells within the organization. He trusted the leaders of each cell to withstand interrogation by the guards, but even so each leader only knew the names of the handful of people under his command. This limited the risk to the entire organization should an informant tip off a guard or if a member was caught. Pilecki’s first reports to the Polish government and Allied forces left the camp with released prisoners. But when releases became less common, passing reports on to the outside world depended largely on the success of prisoner escapes, such as one that occurred on June 20, 1942 where four Poles managed to dress up as members of the SS, weapons and all, and steal an SS car which they boldly drove out of the main gate of the camp. A cobbled-together radio, built over the course of seven months as parts could be acquired, was used for a while in 1942 to transmit reports until “one of our fellow’s big mouth” resulted in the Nazis learning of the radio, forcing the group to dismantle it before they were caught red handed and executed. Pilecki’s reports were the first to mention the use of Zyklon B gas, a poisonous hydrogen cyanide gas, and gas chambers used at the camp. He saw the first use of Zyklon B gas in early September 1941 when the Nazis used it to kill 850 Soviet POWs and Poles in Block 11 of Auschwitz I. He also learned of the gas chambers at Auschwitz II, or Auschwitz-Birkenau, from other resistance members after construction of the camp began in October 1941. ZOW also managed to keep a pretty good running log of roughly the number of inmates being brought in to the camp and the estimated number of deaths, noting at one point, “Over a thousand a day from the new transports were gassed. The corpses were burnt in the new crematoria.” All of the reports were sent to the Polish Government in Exile in London, and they in turn forwarded the information to other Allied forces. However, on the whole, the Allies thought the reports of mass killings, starvation, brutal and systemic torture, gas chambers, medical experimentation, etc. were wildly exaggerated and questioned the reliability of Pilecki’s reports. (Note: During Pilecki’s nearly three years there, several hundred thousand people were killed at Auschwitz and, beyond the death and horrific tortures, countless others were experimented on in a variety of ways by such individuals as the “Angel of Death,” Dr. Josef Mengele. All total, it is estimated that somewhere between 1 to 1.5 million people were killed at the camp.) Significant doubt surrounding the accuracy of his reports meant Pilecki’s plan to bring about an uprising inside Auschwitz never came to fruition. Pilecki had managed to convince his network of resistance fighters inside the camp that they could successfully take control for a short while and escape if the Allies and Polish Underground provided support. He had envisioned airdrops of weapons and possibly even Allied soldiers invading the camp. However, the Allies never had any intention of such an operation and the local Polish resistance in Warsaw refused to attack due to the large number of German troops stationed nearby. The Nazi guards began systematically eliminating members of the ZOW resistance in 1943 and so, with his reports being ignored, Pilecki decided he needed to plead his case in person for intervention in Auschwitz. In April of 1943, he got his chance. After handing over leadership of ZOW to his top deputies, he and two others were assigned the night shift at a bakery which was located outside the camp’s perimeter fence. At an opportune moment on the night of the 26th, they managed to overpower a guard and cut the phone lines. The three men then made a run for it out of the back of the bakery. As they ran, Pilecki stated, “Shots were fired behind us. How fast we were running, it is hard to describe. We were tearing the air into rags by quick movements of our hands.” It should be noted that anyone caught helping an Auschwitz escapee would be killed along with the escaped prisoner, something the local populace knew well. Further, the 40 square kilometers around Auschwitz were extremely heavily patrolled and the escapees’ shaved heads, tattered clothes, and gaunt appearance would give them away in a second to anyone who saw them. Despite this, all three not only survived the initial escape, but managed to get to safety without being recaptured. Unfortunately, Pilecki’s plan to garner support for liberating Auschwitz never materialized. After arriving at the headquarters of the Home Army on August 25, 1943 and desperately pleading his case for the Home Army to put all efforts into liberating Auschwitz, he left feeling “bitter and disappointed” when the idea was discarded as being too risky. In his final report on Auschwitz, he further vented his frustration on his superiors “cowardliness.” After this, Pilecki continued to fight for the Home Army, as well as trying to aid ZOW in any way he could from the outside. He also played a role in the Warsaw Uprising that began in August of 1944, during which he was captured by German troops in October of that year and spent the rest of World War II as a POW. Witold Pilecki podczas sk³adania zeznañPilecki wrote his final version of his report on Auschwitz (later published in a book titled: The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery) after the war while spending time in Italy under the 2nd Polish Corps before being ordered back to Poland by General Wladyslaw Anders to gather intelligence on communist activities in Poland. You see, the invading Germans had been replaced by another occupying power- the Soviet backed Polish Committee of National Liberation. This was a puppet provisional government setup on July 22, 1944 in opposition to the Polish Government in Exile, the latter of which was supported by the majority of Polish people and the West. During his two years at this post, he managed to, among many other things, gather documented proof that the voting results of the People’s Referendum of 1946 were heavily falsified by the communists. Unfortunately, there was little the Polish Government in Exile could do. Even when his cover was blown in July of 1946, Pilecki soldiered on and refused to leave the country, continuing his work collecting documented evidence of the many atrocities against the Polish people being committed by the Soviets and their puppet government in Poland. For this, he was ultimately arrested on May 7, 1947 by the Ministry of Public Security. He was extensively tortured for many months after, including having his fingernails ripped off and ribs and nose broken. He later told his wife of his life in this particular prison, “Oświęcim [Auschwitz] compared with them was just a trifle.” Finally, he was given a show trial. When fellow survivors of Auschwitz pled with then Prime Minister of Poland, Józef Cyrankiewicz (himself a survivor of Auschwitz and member of a resistance in the prison), for the release of Pilecki, instead he went the other way and wrote to the judge, telling him to throw out record of Pilecki’s time as a prisoner in Auschwitz. This was a key piece of evidence in Pilecki’s favor given one of the things he was being accused of was being a German collaborator during the war. And so it was that as part of a crackdown by the new Polish government against former members of the Home Army resistance, Pilecki was convicted of being a German collaborator and a spy for the West, among many other charges, ultimately sentenced to death via a gunshot to his head. The sentence was carried out on May 25, 1948 by Sergeant Piotr Smietanski, “The Butcher of Mokotow Prison.” From then on, mention of Pilecki’s name and numerous heroic acts were censored in Poland, something that wasn’t changed until 1989 when the communist Polish government was overthrown. Witold Pilecki’s last known words were reportedly, “Long live free Poland.” You might think it strange that Pilecki frequently, quite willingly, threw himself into incredibly dangerous situations despite the fact that he had a wife and kids back home. Polish actor Marek Probosz, who studied Pilecki extensively before portraying him in The Death of Captain Pilecki, stated of this, “Human beings were the most precious thing for Pilecki, and especially those who were oppressed. He would do anything to liberate them, to help them.” Mirroring this sentiment, Pilecki’s son, Andrzej later said his father “would write that we should live worthwhile lives, to respect others and nature. He wrote to my sister to watch out for every little ladybug, to not step on it but place it instead on a leaf because everything has been created for a reason. ‘Love nature.’ He instructed us like this in his letters.” It wasn’t just his children he taught to respect life at all levels. Two years after Pilecki was executed, and at a time when his family was struggling because of it, a man approached Pilecki’s teenage son and stated, “I was in prison [as a guard] with your father. I want to help you because your father was a saint.. Under his influence, I changed my life. I do not harm anyone anymore.” As mentioned, the real Tomasz Serafinski was not dead, as Pilecki had thought when he took his papers and assumed Tomasz’ identity to be captured. After Pilecki’s escape from Auschwitz, the real Tomasz was arrested on December 25, 1943 for having escaped from Auschwitz. He was then investigated for a few weeks, including a fair amount of pretty brutal strong arming, but was finally released on January 14, 1944 when it was determined he was not, in fact, the same individual who had escaped from Auschwitz. Afterwards, Pilecki and Tomasz actually became friends, and though Pilecki was killed, according to Jacek Pawlowicz, “That friendship is alive to this day, because Andrzej Pilecki visits their family and is very welcome there.”

Augustów

Białystok

Białystok is twinned with:[10]

Bielsko-Biała

Bielsko-Biała is twinned with:[13]

Bydgoszcz


Chojna

Chojna is a member of the Douzelage, a town twinning association of 23 towns across the European Union. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals.[17][18]

Częstochowa

Elbląg

Elbląg is twinned with:"Elbląg Official Website – Partner Towns". 2008 Municipal Office in Elbląg ul. Łączności 1 82–300 Elbląg. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2010.</ref>

Gdańsk

Gdańsk is twinned with:[20]


Kalisz

Kalisz is twinned with:[23]

Kraków

Kraków is twinned with[24]

Lublin

Lublin is twinned with:[38]

Mysłowice

Olsztyn

Poznań

Poznań is twinned with:[42]

Rzeszów

Rybnik

Rybnik is twinned with:[47]

Serock

Serock is twinned with:[48]

Warsaw

Żagań

References

Notes
  1. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/debica
  2. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/druskienniki
  3. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/grodno
  4. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/porto-ceresio
  5. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/rudki
  6. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/slonim
  7. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/suprasl
  8. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/szklarska-poreba
  9. ^ http://urzad.augustow.pl/content/tuusula
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Korolczuk, Dariusz (12 January 2010). "Foreign cooperation – Partner Cities". Białystok City Council. City Office in Białystok. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  11. ^ [1] Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ [2] Archived 2 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ a b "Bielsko-Biała – Partner Cities". [[copyright|]] 2008 Urzędu Miejskiego w Bielsku-Białej. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Žilina – oficiálne stránky mesta: Partnerské mestá Žiliny (Žilina: Official Partner Cities)". 2008 MaM Multimedia, s.r.o.. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  15. ^ "Kragujevac City Partners". [[copyright|]] 2008 Information service of Kragujevac City. Retrieved 27 October 2008.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-03. Retrieved 29 Dec 2016
  17. ^ "Douzelage.org: Home". www.douzelage.org. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Douzelage.org: Member Towns". www.douzelage.org. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  19. ^ "Twinning with Palestine". [[copyright|]] 1998–2008 The Britain – Palestine Twinning Network. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
  20. ^ "Gdańsk Official Website: 'Miasta partnerskie'" (in Polish and English). Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2009.
  21. ^ "Barcelona internacional – Ciutats agermanades" (in Spanish). Ajuntament de Barcelona. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
  22. ^ "Marseille Official Website – Twin Cities". Ville de Marseille. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
  23. ^ "Kalisz Official Website – Twin Towns". Urząd Miejski Kalisz. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Kraków otwarty na świat". www.krakow.pl. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  25. ^ "Bratislava City – Twin Towns". [[copyright|]] 2003–2008 Bratislava-City.sk. Archived from the original on 28 July 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  26. ^ a b "Sister cities of Budapest" (in Hungarian). Official Website of Budapest. Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  27. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," 15 February 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008. Also in: Richard Thompson, "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, 12 October 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008.
  28. ^ "Ciudades Hermanas (Sister Cities)" (in Spanish). Municipalidad del Cusco. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  29. ^ "Edinburgh – Twin and Partner Cities". [[copyright|]] 2008 The City of Edinburgh Council, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ Scotland. Archived from the original on 28 March 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  30. ^ a b "Frankfurt -Partner Cities". Frankfurt am Main. Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  31. ^ "Grozny Official Website". (in Russian) [[copyright|]] 2000–2008 сайт Грозный Виртуальный при перепечатке материалов в онлайн проектах. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  32. ^ The Lahore District Council voted on Saturday, 27 January 2007 to declare Lahore a twin city of Kraków, Belgrade, Chicago, and Coimbra at its meeting held at Town Hall, The Post, 28 January 2007 Archived 29 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  33. ^ "Leipzig – International Relations". 2009 Leipzig City Council, Office for European and International Affairs. Archived from the original on 29 June 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  34. ^ "Milano – Città Gemellate". [[copyright|]] 2008 Municipality of Milan (Comune di Milano). Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  35. ^ "Intercity and International Cooperation of the City of Zagreb". 2006–2009 City of Zagreb. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  36. ^ "Foreign co-operation". Retrieved 1 November 2007. from the municipality official website
  37. ^ "Zagreb Sister Cities". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2008.
  38. ^ https://lublin.eu/lublin/wspolpraca-miedzynarodowa/miasta-partnerskie-i-zaprzyjaznione/
  39. ^ Побратимские связи г. Бреста. Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ a b Mysłowiceown Council (2011). "Mysłowice Partner Towns". myslowice.pl. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  41. ^ a b "List of Twin Towns in the Ruhr District" (PDF). [Twins2010.com]. Retrieved 28 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
  42. ^ "Poznań Official Website – Twin Towns". 1998–2008 Urząd Miasta Poznania. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
  43. ^ a b "Berlin's international city relations". Berlin Mayor's Office. Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  44. ^ "Brno – Partnerská města" (in Czech). City of Brno. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  45. ^ "Hanover – Twin Towns" (in German). HANNOVER.de – Offizielles Portal der Landeshauptstadt und der Region Hannover in Zusammenarbeit mit hier.de. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  46. ^ "Partnership towns of the City of Košice" (in Slovak). [[copyright|]] 2007–2009 Magistrát mesta Košice, Tr. SNP 48/A, 040 11 Košice. Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  47. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Rybnik Official Website – Twin Towns". 2008 Urząd Miasta Rybnika, ul. Bolesława Chrobrego 2, 44–200 Rybnik. Archived from the original on 28 May 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  48. ^ [3].
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". um.warszawa.pl. Biuro Promocji Miasta. 4 May 2005. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  50. ^ "Sister Cities of Istanbul". Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  51. ^ Erdem, Selim Efe (1 July 2009). "İstanbul'a 49 kardeş" (in Turkish). Radikal. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 49 sister cities in 2003
  52. ^ "Twin cities of Riga". Riga City Council. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  53. ^ "Tel Aviv sister cities" (in Hebrew). Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  54. ^ http://www.sbconnect.co.uk/Article.aspx?id=1000334 Retrieved 01 Jan 2017
  55. ^ http://www.berwickshirenews.co.uk/news/wojtek-statue-gifted-to-duns-by-polish-twin-town-1-3660731 Retrieved 29 Dec 2016
  56. ^ http://www.scotsman.com/news/statue-of-hero-bear-wojtek-unveiled-in-duns-1-4111555 Retrieved 29 Dec 2016
  57. ^ http://www.scotsman.com/news/incredible-story-of-polish-army-hero-wojtek-the-bear-1-3938203 Retrieved 29 Dec 2016
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