|• Lord Mayor||Gerhard Jauernig (SPD)|
|• Total||55.40 km2 (21.39 sq mi)|
|Elevation||478 m (1,568 ft)|
|• Density||350/km2 (910/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Günzburg is a Große Kreisstadt and capital of the district of Günzburg in Swabia, Bavaria. This district was constituted in 1972 by combining the city of Günzburg – which had not previously been assigned to a Kreis (district) – with the district of Günzburg and the district of Krumbach.
Günzburg was founded in about 70 BC by the Romans to defend the borders of their land along the Danube; it was known as Castellum Guntia, Gontia or Contia. The name comes from that of a Celtic moon goddess (Góntia). It consisted of a fort, later replaced by at least one other on the same site, a fairly large civilian settlement and most likely an important bridge over the Danube.
After the Romans left in the fifth century, the Alamanni tribe settled there. In around 700 the nearby castle of Ricinis was mentioned by the Cartographer of Ravenna as one of the five most important castles of Alemannia. In 1065 first documentary evidence appears of the town itself as Gunceburch.
Very near Günzburg is the site where the "Leipheim Horde" was defeated by the Swabian army in 1525 during the German Peasants' War. The same site saw the first flight by a Messerschmitt Me 262 in 1942.
In April 1945, near the end of the Second World War, the city of Günzburg was bombed by the allies. Among other targets that were severely damaged or destroyed were the nearby town of Denzingen, the castle, and a munitions train that was in the train station.
On the ninth of October, 1805, elements of the Sixth Corps of Napoléon's Grande Armée assaulted Austrian positions in Günzburg. The first assault was initiated by the 25th Light Infantry and the 27th and 50th Infantry Regiments of the Line (under Pierre-Louis Binet de Marcognet), while the second consisted of only the 59th Infantry Regiment of the Line, under Mathieu de la Bassé - around one thousand Austrian prisoners were taken, and six guns captured. In 1806, through the Franco-Bavarian alliance, Günzburg was integrated into Bavaria.
Günzburg is the birthplace of Dr. Josef Mengele, the chief medical officer of the Auschwitz concentration camp, who was personally responsible for torture during the Holocaust. In the 1970s, the townspeople of Günzburg earned the attention of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Federal Republic of Germany and that of the world community when Mengele (at that time the most wanted Nazi war criminal in the world) supposedly returned there from Paraguay in order to attend his father's funeral and stayed in the town for six weeks without having been reported to authorities. Despite a televised public statement by the nation's Chief Prosecutor expressing his firm belief that hundreds of citizens of Günzburg had knowingly and willingly contributed to a criminal conspiracy aiming to conceal evidence from local and federal police as well as to United Nations authorities while actively harboring and abetting a Nazi war criminal, it was subsequently researched and proven that josef Menegele did not come to Germany for his father's funeral as he was too afraid <ref: 'Mengele' by Gerald Posner / John Ware>.
Günzburg has since bounced back from criticism and flourished, boasting a thriving downtown shopping area, scenic views of the nearby historic castle, and one of the top five Legoland theme parks in Germany. It is also home of the soccer player Stefano Celozzi.
The attractions of Günzburg include the Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche) built by Dominikus Zimmermann, the margraves' castle (the only Habsburg castle built in Germany), the Reisensburg fort, today the congress centre of the University of Ulm and the nearly-intact old town centre.
In 2002 Legoland built a theme park near the town.
- Stefano Celozzi, footballer for Karlsruher SC
- Diana Damrau, opera singer
- Johann Eck, Reformation theologian
- Johann Eberlin von Günzburg, reformist preacher and author, was born in the town around 1470.
- Petra Kelly, peace activist and Green politician
- Josef Mengele, the SS officer and Auschwitz phyisician was born in Günzburg; on 8 March 2005 a monument to his victims was erected in the town.
- Franz Xaver Schwarz, Nazi politician
- Tina Stöckle, activist in humanistic anti-psychiatry; the Berlin Runaway-House "Villa Stöckle" is named after her.
- "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2012.
- "Mengele: The Complete Story by Gerald L. Ponser and John Ware
Media related to Günzburg at Wikimedia Commons