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Bydgoszcz (Bromberg in German) is a city in northern Poland, on Brda and Vistula rivers, with a population of 386,855. It is the capital of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship since 1999, previously capital of Bydgoszcz Voivodship (1947-1998) and Pomeranian Voivodship (1939-1947)


Bygdoszcz was founded in the tenth century.

Bygdoszcz was occupied by Nazi Germany in the very beginning of World War II and was the site of the first massacre of a civilian population during the war. The massacre, which began on September 4, 1939, launched the Nazis' campaign to eliminate the Polish Catholic intelligentsia and eventually the entire Polish people. Pretext to massacre was given by unexplained events described as Bromberg Bloody Sunday. A British witness described the beginning of the massacre as follows:

The first victims of the campaign were a number of Boy Scouts from twelve to sixteen years of age, who were set up in the marketplace against a wall and shot. No reason was given. A devoted priest who rushed to administer the Last Sacrament was shot too. He received five wounds. A Pole said afterwards that the sight of those children lying dead was the most piteous of all the horrors he saw.

Following this, the Wehrmacht troops began rounding up schoolboys in the street, who were similarly executed. The witness continues:

Thirty-four of the leading tradespeople and merchants of the town were shot, and many other leading citizens.

The troops then attacked the Jesuits, looting and ransacking the church. The priests were taken to a barn, where the local Jewish population was already imprisoned, and they were all subjected to abuse. Altogether, some 1,000 people were killed in the ensuing massacres.


Bydgoszcz official website in English