List of Polish cities damaged in World War II

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Ruined Warsaw in January 1945

As the German army retreated during the later stages of the Second World War, many of the urban areas of what is now Poland were severely damaged as a result of military action between the retreating forces of the German Wehrmacht and advancing ones of the Soviet Red Army. Other cities were deliberately destroyed by the German forces. One of the most famous of these planned destructions was the razing of Warsaw, the capital of Poland.[1] While extensively damaged by the failed Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Warsaw Uprising, the city later underwent a planned demolition by German forces under order from Adolf Hitler and high officials within the Nazi government. On 17 October 1944, SS chief Heinrich Himmler famously stated, "The city must completely disappear from the surface of the earth and serve only as a transport station for the Wehrmacht."[2] Before they were stopped by the advancing Red Army, 85% of the city had been taken out.[3] Warsaw was far from the worst off after the Nazi retreat; 97% of Jasło[4] and 100% of Polanów were reduced to rubble.[5] Other towns such as Wałcz fared better, with only a quarter of the city being destroyed.[5] Ancient historical buildings in Polish cities were not spared; for example, Trzemeszno's Romanesque basilica of 1130-45 was burnt down in 1945.[5]

Polish name
German name
Pre-war location
coordinates
Damage
Details
Bartoszyce
Bartenstein Germany 54°15′N 20°49′E / 54.250°N 20.817°E / 54.250; 20.817
50%[5]
Bielsk Podlaski
Bielsk Podlaski Poland
65%[5]
Bobolice
Bublitz Germany 53°57′N 16°35′E / 53.950°N 16.583°E / 53.950; 16.583
75%[5]
Bolesławiec
Bunzlau Germany 51°16′N 15°34′E / 51.267°N 15.567°E / 51.267; 15.567
60%[5]
Braniewo
Braunsberg Germany 54°23′N 19°49′E / 54.383°N 19.817°E / 54.383; 19.817
85%[5]
Brzeg
Brieg Germany 50°52′N 17°29′E / 50.867°N 17.483°E / 50.867; 17.483
80%[5]
Dębica
Dębica Poland 50°03′N 21°25′E / 50.050°N 21.417°E / 50.050; 21.417
40%[5]
Dobiegniew
Woldenberg Germany 52°58′N 15°45′E / 52.967°N 15.750°E / 52.967; 15.750
85%[5]
Dobre Miasto
Guttstadt Germany 53°59′N 20°24′E / 53.983°N 20.400°E / 53.983; 20.400
65%[5]
Dobrzany
Jakobshagen Germany 53°21′N 15°26′E / 53.350°N 15.433°E / 53.350; 15.433
60%[5]
Dukla
Dukla Poland 49°34′N 21°41′E / 49.567°N 21.683°E / 49.567; 21.683
85%[5]
Elbląg
Elbing Germany 54°10′N 19°24′E / 54.167°N 19.400°E / 54.167; 19.400
60%[5]
Ełk
Lyck Germany 53°50′N 22°21′E / 53.833°N 22.350°E / 53.833; 22.350
50%[6]
Frombork
Frauenburg Germany 54°21′25″N 19°40′52″E / 54.357°N 19.681°E / 54.357; 19.681
80%[5]
Garwolin
Garwolin Poland 51°54′N 21°37′E / 51.900°N 21.617°E / 51.900; 21.617
70%[5]
Gdańsk
Danzig Danzig 54°21′N 18°40′E / 54.350°N 18.667°E / 54.350; 18.667
50%
old town 80%[5]
Gdynia
Gdingen Poland 54°30′N 18°33′E / 54.500°N 18.550°E / 54.500; 18.550
90% (Estimate)[7]
Głogów
Glogau Germany 51°40′N 16°05′E / 51.667°N 16.083°E / 51.667; 16.083
95%[5]
old town completely[5]
Goleniów
Gollnow Germany 53°34′N 14°49′E / 53.567°N 14.817°E / 53.567; 14.817
60%[5]
Gołdap
Goldap Germany 54°18′58″N 22°18′34″E / 54.31611°N 22.30944°E / 54.31611; 22.30944
90%
Goniądz
Gonionds Poland 53°29′N 22°44′E / 53.483°N 22.733°E / 53.483; 22.733
80%[5]
Gryfice
Greifenberg Germany 53°54′53″N 15°11′55″E / 53.91472°N 15.19861°E / 53.91472; 15.19861
40%[5]
Gryfino
Greifenhagen Germany 53°15′N 14°29′E / 53.250°N 14.483°E / 53.250; 14.483
70%[5]
Gubin
Guben Germany 51°57′N 14°43′E / 51.950°N 14.717°E / 51.950; 14.717
90%[5]
Iłża
Iłża Poland 51°10′0″N 21°15′0″E / 51.16667°N 21.25000°E / 51.16667; 21.25000
Inowrocław
Hohensalza Poland 52°48′N 18°16′E / 52.800°N 18.267°E / 52.800; 18.267
50%[5]
Jasło
Jassel Poland 49°45′N 21°28′E / 49.750°N 21.467°E / 49.750; 21.467
97%[4]
Kałuszyn
Kałuszyn Poland 52°12′30″N 21°48′42″E / 52.20833°N 21.81167°E / 52.20833; 21.81167
85%[5]
Kamień Pomorski
Cammin Germany 53°58′N 14°46′E / 53.967°N 14.767°E / 53.967; 14.767
65%[5]
Kańczuga
Kańczuga Poland 49°59′02″N 22°24′31″E / 49.98389°N 22.40861°E / 49.98389; 22.40861
50%[5]
Kazimierz Dolny
Kazimierz Dolny Poland 51°19′N 21°57′E / 51.317°N 21.950°E / 51.317; 21.950
Kętrzyn
Rastenburg Germany 54°05′N 21°23′E / 54.083°N 21.383°E / 54.083; 21.383
50%[5]
Knyszyn
Knyszyn Poland 53°19′N 22°55′E / 53.317°N 22.917°E / 53.317; 22.917
80%[5]
Kolbuszowa
Kolbuszowa Poland 50°15′N 21°46′E / 50.250°N 21.767°E / 50.250; 21.767
Kołobrzeg
Kolberg Germany 54°11′N 15°35′E / 54.183°N 15.583°E / 54.183; 15.583
90%[5]
Kostrzyn nad Odrą
Küstrin Germany 52°35′18″N 14°39′00″E / 52.58833°N 14.65000°E / 52.58833; 14.65000
90%[5]
Koszalin
Köslin Germany 54°12′N 16°11′E / 54.200°N 16.183°E / 54.200; 16.183
40%[5]
Kożuchów
Freystadt in Schlesien Germany 51°45′N 15°36′E / 51.750°N 15.600°E / 51.750; 15.600
70%[5]
Krosno Odrzańskie
Crossen an der Oder Germany 52°03′N 15°05′E / 52.050°N 15.083°E / 52.050; 15.083
65%[5]
Krzepice
Kschepitz Poland
50%[5]
Kuźnia Raciborska
Ratiborhammer Germany 50°13′N 18°18′E / 50.217°N 18.300°E / 50.217; 18.300
50%[5]
Kwidzyń
Marienwerder Germany 53°44′N 18°55′E / 53.733°N 18.917°E / 53.733; 18.917
50%[5]
Legnica
Liegnitz Germany 51°13′N 16°10′E / 51.217°N 16.167°E / 51.217; 16.167
60%[5]
Leśna
Marklissa Germany 51°01′25″N 15°16′00″E / 51.02361°N 15.26667°E / 51.02361; 15.26667
Lubań
Lauban Germany 51°07′N 15°18′E / 51.117°N 15.300°E / 51.117; 15.300
60%[5]
Lubin
Lüben Germany 51°24′N 16°12′E / 51.400°N 16.200°E / 51.400; 16.200
70%[5]
Łomża
Lomscha Poland 53°11′N 22°05′E / 53.183°N 22.083°E / 53.183; 22.083
70%[5]
Malbork
Marienburg in Westpreußen Germany 54°02′N 19°03′E / 54.033°N 19.050°E / 54.033; 19.050
45%
Nidzica
Neidenburg Germany 53°22′N 20°26′E / 53.367°N 20.433°E / 53.367; 20.433
40%[5]
Opole
Oppeln Germany 50°40′N 17°56′E / 50.667°N 17.933°E / 50.667; 17.933
60%[5]
Ostrołęka
Ostrołęka Poland 53°05′N 21°35′E / 53.083°N 21.583°E / 53.083; 21.583
Ostróda
Osterode in Ostpreußen Germany 53°42′N 19°59′E / 53.700°N 19.983°E / 53.700; 19.983
60% (Estimate)[5]
Piła
Schneidemühl Germany 53°09′N 16°44′E / 53.150°N 16.733°E / 53.150; 16.733
75%[5]
Polanów
Pollnow Germany 54°06′N 16°42′E / 54.100°N 16.700°E / 54.100; 16.700
100%[5]
Poznań
Posen Poland 49°47′10″N 22°46′26″E / 49.78611°N 22.77389°E / 49.78611; 22.77389
55% (Estimate)[5]
Przemyśl
Premissel Poland 54°15′N 20°49′E / 54.250°N 20.817°E / 54.250; 20.817
Rzepin
Reppen Germany 52°21′N 14°50′E / 52.350°N 14.833°E / 52.350; 14.833
85%[5]
Stargard Szczeciński
Stargard in Pommern Germany 53°20′N 15°03′E / 53.333°N 15.050°E / 53.333; 15.050
70%[5]
Szczecin
Stettin Germany 53°25′N 14°35′E / 53.417°N 14.583°E / 53.417; 14.583
65%[5]
port and industry 95%[5]
Trzemeszno
Tremessen Poland 52°33′31″N 17°49′09″E / 52.55861°N 17.81917°E / 52.55861; 17.81917
Romanesque basilica of 1130-45 burnt down in 1945[5]
Świnoujście
Swinemünde Germany 53°55′N 14°15′E / 53.917°N 14.250°E / 53.917; 14.250
55%[5]
Wałcz
Deutsch Krone Germany 53°16′N 16°28′E / 53.267°N 16.467°E / 53.267; 16.467
25%[5]
Warsaw
Warschau Poland 52°13′48″N 21°00′39″E / 52.23000°N 21.01083°E / 52.23000; 21.01083
85%[3]
Węgorzewo
Angerburg Germany 54°13′N 21°45′E / 54.217°N 21.750°E / 54.217; 21.750
80%[5]
Wolin
Wollin Germany 53°55′N 14°30′E / 53.917°N 14.500°E / 53.917; 14.500
70%[5]
Wolsztyn
Wollstein Poland 52°07′N 16°07′E / 52.117°N 16.117°E / 52.117; 16.117
Classicist castle of 1845 burnt down in 1945[5]
Wrocław
Breslau Germany 51°07′N 17°02′E / 51.117°N 17.033°E / 51.117; 17.033
70%[5]
Zabłudów
Zabłudów Poland 53°01′N 23°21′E / 53.017°N 23.350°E / 53.017; 23.350
85% (Estimate)[5]
Żagań
Sagan Germany 51°37′N 15°19′E / 51.617°N 15.317°E / 51.617; 15.317
60%[5]
Zakroczym
Zakroczym Poland 52°26′16″N 20°36′43″E / 52.43778°N 20.61194°E / 52.43778; 20.61194
80%[5]
Złoczew
Złoczew Poland 51°25′N 18°36′E / 51.417°N 18.600°E / 51.417; 18.600
80%[5]
Żary
Sorau Germany 51°38′N 15°08′E / 51.633°N 15.133°E / 51.633; 15.133
60%[5]
Żelechów
Żelechów Poland 51°48′N 21°54′E / 51.800°N 21.900°E / 51.800; 21.900
Żory
Sohrau Poland 50°03′N 18°42′E / 50.050°N 18.700°E / 50.050; 18.700
80%[5]
Żychlin
Żychlin Poland 52°14′43″N 19°37′25″E / 52.24528°N 19.62361°E / 52.24528; 19.62361
40% (Estimate)[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Anthony M. Tung. Preserving the world's great cities:The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis (2001 ed.). Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-517-70148-0. 
  2. ^ Wituska, Tomaszewski 2006, p. xxii.
  3. ^ a b Free Europe Committee 1970, p. 10.
  4. ^ a b Lisa Chapman (July 7, 2009). "Polish town at odds over Hitler's oak". Austrian Times. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  5. ^ 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 ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo "На карте Польши", библиотечка "Польши" (2)
  6. ^ Terence Neiland (July 23, 1995). "Q and A". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  7. ^ Nowak 1989, p. 214.
Bibliography