Teutonic takeover of Danzig (Gdańsk)
The city of Danzig (Gdańsk) was captured by the State of the Teutonic Order on 13 November 1308, resulting in a massacre of its inhabitants and marking the beginning of tensions between Poland and the Teutonic Order. Originally the knights moved into the fortress as an ally of Poland against the Margraviate of Brandenburg. However, after disputes over the control of the city between the Order and the King of Poland arose, the knights murdered a number of citizens within the city and took it as their own. Thus the event is also known as Gdańsk massacre or Gdańsk slaughter (rzeź Gdańska). Though in the past, a matter of debate among historians, a consensus has been established that many people were murdered and a considerable part of the town was destroyed in the context of the take-over.
In the aftermath of the take-over, the order seized all of Pomerelia and bought up the Brandenburgian claims to the region in the Treaty of Soldin (1309). The conflict with Poland was temporarily settled in the Treaty of Kalisz (1343).
In the 13th century, the Pomerelian duchy was ruled by members of the Samborides, up until 1227 stewards for the Polish Piast kings and dukes. The stewards asserted their power from fortified strongholds. The major stronghold of the area was at the location of present-day Gdańsk's Old Town. The adjacent town developed from a market place of tradesmen and was granted Lübeck city rights by Duke Swietopelk II in 1224.
The Margraviate of Brandenburg entered the scene after Mestwin II, son of Swietopolk, in 1269 took Pomerelia as a Brandenburgian fief to receive aid against his brother, Wartislaw. The margraves took over the town in 1270/1 from Wartislaw, but did not hand it over to Mestwin until the latter was able to force them out by concluding an alliance with Boleslaw Pobozny, duke of Greater Poland. Under the rule of Brandenburg conflicts erupted between Slavic and German population, which cost many lives. In the 1282 Treaty of Kępno Mestwin II promised his Pomerelian duchy to his ally Przemysł II, duke and later king of Poland, who succeeded to the duchy after Mestwin's death in 1294.
The Margraves of Brandenburg also claimed the region and had Przemysł assassinated in early 1296. Lokietek, Przemysł's successor, was only in loose control of Pomerelia and Gdańsk with the actual control of the area being in the hands of the local Swienca family who had come into power already under Mestwin II. In 1301, one year after Wenceslaus II of Bohemia had been crowned king of Poland, the princes of Rügen, who also claimed to be the heirs of Pomerelia, mounted an expedition. Wenceslaus, who with the Polish crown had also acquired the claim to Pomerelia, called the Teutonic Order for help. The Teutonic knights occupied Gdańsk, repelled the princes of Rügen, and left the town in 1302. While the Norwegian king Haakon backed Rügen's claims, his 1302 call to the Hanseatic cities for aid remained without answer.
Wenceslaus II died in 1305 and was succeeded by Wenceslaus III, murdered in 1306. In a treaty of 8 August 1305, the margraves of Brandenburg promised to Wenceslaus III the Meissen (Miśnia) territory in exchange for Pomerelia, but that treaty was never finalized. The Teutonic Order had inherited Gniew (Mewe) from Sambor II, thus gaining a foothold on the left bank of the Vistula. Brandenburg occupied the west of the duchy after neutralizing another claimant to the area, the Cammin bishop, by burning down his see.
Rebellion of 1308 and Brandenburgian siege
Meanwhile, Władysław I the Elbow-high (Łokietek) had reestablished his power in Poland, but was occupied in the south of his realm. He appointed Bogusza as his Pomerelian governor in Gdańsk. In the summer of 1308, a Pomerelian rebellion in the city unseated the forces loyal to Łokietek, who later would become King of Poland, and allied with Waldemar of Brandenburg. The rebellion was led by the Swienca family, who called the margraves for help. The latter entered Gdańsk with an army and were welcomed by its burghers. Bogusza and his men had retreated to the castle next to the town, and were besieged by the margraves.
While historians agree that the castle as well as the adjacent town were in the hands of the Teutonic Knights by late November 1308, they disagree about how this was accomplished, the number of casualties and the extent of destruction.
Teutonic Knights entering the town
According to Błażej Śliwiński at the time of events, Gdańsk with surrounding settlements had around 2000 to 3000 inhabitants The forces of the order had arrived in two columns: one re-inforced the Polish garrison in the castle, the other one marched against the town from the south and raised a siege. In the castle, conflict arose between the Teutonic and Polish knights, with the latter opposing a take-over by the former. After several encounters, the outnumbered Polish forces left the castle, with some of them defecting to the rebellious inhabitants of the town and the Brandenburgers. In the evening of 12 November 1308, the Teutonic Knights succeeded in forcing their way inside the town. During the ensuing close combat in the streets, the Teutonic Knights gained the upper hand over the defending Brandenburgian forces, burghers and Pomerelian knights. According to witnesses the Teutonic Knights burned down houses and shed so much blood that it was licked off by the dogs. The victorious knights knew no mercy and killed many citizens and knights. By the morning of 13 November, the defendants were utterly defeated, bodies were lying in the streets and executions were going on. Rüdiger, abbott of Oliva, entered the town in the morning, shrove some of the doomed knights and transferred 16 bodies to his abbey where they were buried near St Jacob's church.[dubious ]
According to Halina Wątróbska, half of the town was promised to the Teutonic Order in return for aiding Bogusza's men. The Teutonic Knights then moved in, defeated the Brandenburgers and had the townspeople accept Lokietek as their suzerain. However, on 13 November they "took over the whole town, thereby killing everyone who defied their will."
Frank Fischer says that half of the castle and "generous reparations of all incurring costs of war" was promised to the Teutonic knights in return for aiding Bogusza's men, who were running out of supplies. When Schwarzburg's forces had entered the castle, the Brandenburgers lost confidence in capturing it and left. After tensions between Bogusza's men and the Teutonic knights about the outstanding payment arose, Plotzke arrived with another force of 4,000 knights in mid-November, whereupon the population of Gdańsk opened the gates and handed over Bogusza as well as his men and supporters of the Swienca family, who were executed on the Long Market. Since Plotzke feared that the force he intended to leave in town was too small to prevent it from being captured and manned by an opponent in the future, making it difficult to re-capture, he ordered the population to demolish the city walls and part of the city's build-up area.
According to William Urban, the Teutonic Knights had repelled the Brandenburgers by September 1308, were welcomed by the city's burghers and seized the authority over the city for themselves. They refused to return the city to Lokietek's officials before being paid for their service by the Polish king, which in turn led to a revolt of the townspeople against the order's rule in November 1308. The order crushed the revolt, killing mostly German artisans and merchants, and remained in charge of the city.
Udo Arnold says that a dispute between the castle's garrison and the Teutonic knights arose when the Brandenburgers were about to leave. While the dispute was about the co-ordination of further action and unsettled payment, Arnold says that it was at the same time that "the order's policy changed from providing aid towards annexing Pomerelia and buying up existing legal claims," which was opposed by the population of Danzig. This was answered by the order on 13 November "by the uncompromising levelling of the greater part of the town."
Ulrich Nieß says that as a consequence of the appearance of Teutonic Order forces in the castle, the Brandenburgers left, and soon left also the initial Pomerelian and Kuyavian garrison of the castle after a dispute with the Teutonic Knights. The town, though still preferring Brandenburg rule, offered asylum to the garrison, and in relying on its Lübeck law charter refused to allow the Teutonic Knights to enter and to follow an order to lay down its fortifications. On 13 November, the order's forces with personal involvement of Plotzke forced their way into the town, though no larger battle took place. The order then held a tribunal in the town and ordered large-scale demolishments of its buildings.
Soon after the take-over, on 19 June 1310, the Teutonic Knights faced charges that they had committed a massacre in a bull issued by pope Clement V: "Latest news were brought to my attention, that officials and brethren of the aforementioned [Teutonic] order have hostilely intruded the lands of Our beloved son Wladislaw, duke of Cracow and Sandomierz, and in the town of Danzig killed more than ten thousand people with the sword, inflicting death on whining infants in cradles whom even the enemy of faith would have spared." The source of the allegation is unknown. The respective bull contained a lot of other charges against the Teutonic Order, resulting from a dispute between its Livonian branch and the citizens as well as the archbishop of Riga, Friedrich von Pernstein, who according to Mary Fischer "spent much of his time in Avignon, raising lawsuits against the Teutonic Order" and according to Ulrich Nieß is likely the source of the bloodbath allegation. The bull called for an investigation of the charges in Riga, which was started by Francis of Moliano in 1312. The massacre charge played a minor role in this inquisition and of the twelve surviving one-sided testimonies, none of them made by eyewitnesses, eight were negative responses and four were hearsay evidence not going into detail. During the inquisition, Moliano excommunicated the Teutonic Knights, but this was reversed in 1313. The Riga lawsuit was finally decided in the Teutonic Order's favor by Clement's successor John XXII after a hearing in Avignon in 1319.
Under Wladyslaw Lokietek and his successor Casimir III the Great an additional two lawsuits were filed against the order at the curia, both aiming at the return of Pomerelia. The sites of investigation were Inowroclaw and Brześć in 1320/21 and Warsaw in 1339, judges were Domarat, bischop of Poznan, Janislaw, archbishop of Gniezno und Nikolaus (Mikolaj), abbot of Mogilno in the first case and Galhard of Chartres and Peter (Pierre) of Gervais in the second case. Witness and eyewitness reports collected during these cases include mentions of killings during the take-over of Danzig, referred to e.g. as strage magna or maxima (great(est) murder/bloodbath), while the Teutonic Order admitted the killing of 15 to 16 Pomerelian knights. The testimonies from the lawsuits and the order's responses are the primary sources used by historians to reconstruct the events.
The lawsuits did not have any practical effect on the order, who won both cases by appeal. According to William Urban, the "testimony has been used by Polish historians to bolster a patriotically tinged understanding of the era." In the 15th century, era of the Polish-Teutonic Wars, medieval Polish chronicler Jan Długosz in epic prose described the event as a slaughter of Polish nationals that regardless of condition, age or gender.
Modern sources are divided as to the actual extent of the massacre though they all agree that mass killings did take place. Historian Matthew Kuefler states: "German and Polish historians in the twentieth century tended to have diverging both on the question of whether Pomerelia really "belonged" to Poland and also on the degree of ferocity of the order's conquest". The city of Gdańsk states that "The Teutonic Knights, having captured the castle in 1308 butchered the population. Since then the event is known as the Gdańsk slaughter". In many Polish works, the takeover is indeed referred to as "Gdańsk slaughter" (rzeź Gdańska). Norman Davies in his extensive history of Poland says, while not insisting on the number of 10,000 dead, that the knights "drove Waldemar from the city, and calmly slaughtered its inhabitants", similar descriptions are presented also in some other English books with sections on Polish history. Jerzy Lukowski in "A concise history of Poland" says that the knights massacred "Lokietek's men". Błażej Śliwiński says that there was a bloodbath which cost an abundance of lives, though not 10,000, and that such massacres were common in medieval Europe., and that the term "slaughter" in Medieval Ages usually meant murder of around 1000 people.
According to Peter Oliver Loew, older German historiography were more inclined to trust the Knights' claims and argued that a number of 10,000 is virtually impossible for a medieval town. A number of 60 to 100 was regarded as reasonable. This view was shared by many Polish historians after World War II, however, Błażej Śliwiński's presented numerous pieces of evidence that what occurred was indeed a "bloodbath" with a very high number of victims, although not as high as 10,000. Loew adds that from the source material available to historians, the definite number of casualties is impossible to establish. Hartmut Boockmann asserts that 10,000 is a "typical medieval number, abundantly used by contemporary chroniclers, meaning 'very much'". He states that the original figure seems far too high compared to an overall population of Pomerelia which he estimates at 130,000. William Urban says that the number of 10,000 dead has been considered greater than the city's population at the time. Based on Polish research, Boockmann gives a number close to a hundred dead, and says that the order "carried out a calculated act of terror and had the town destroyed, but did not cause a bloodbath."
Kazimierz Jasiński states that the number of those killed was "not less than sixty, and not more than several hundred", that the victims were killed after the takeover rather than during it, and hence the massacre was carried out on defenseless individuals, both knights and burghers, who had laid down their arms. Kazimierz Jasiński says the 16 deaths admitted by the order were actually only the most famous Polish knights among those killed. Błażej Śliwiński(2008) estimates the number of dead between 50 and 60 knights, including 16 from notable houses, and over 1000 commoners among the city's population, which he gives as between 2,000 to 3,000 people (including surrounding settlements).
Gerard Labuda and Marian Biskup(1993) write that the number of murdered inhabitants is not established, but that the victims of the massacre include at least several dozen notable knights and members of nobility as well as significant number of commoners and simple soldiers. Biskup in a later publication from 1993 writes that victims included defenders of the castle and burghers along with members of their families in addition to 100 murdered knights. According to Maksymilian Grzegorz(1997), German historians tend to minimize the number of murdered victims of the Teutonic Knights, while Polish historians estimate the number at between at minimum 60 to several hundred.
Destruction of the town
Historians are divided on whether the townspeople after the take-over had to demolish only the city walls or, in addition, at least part of the town's buildings. Based on recent archaeological findings, Loew says that this conflict is about to be decided in favor of the destruction thesis: "burn marks and clear evidence for planation of the terrain in the early 14th century prove its [the town's] destruction in the years of 1308/09 by the Teutonic Order."
According to Ulrich Nieß, the destruction of the town was part of the order's policy of securing its lands from potential inner rivals. Nieß says that that the destruction of the city walls was in line with the order's contemporary policy of not allowing their own foundations to be substantially fortified either, and that the refusal of the town to obey to the order's demand to level their walls led to a "policy of hardness" being implemented on the townspeople, who had to evacuate their houses which afterward were burned down. Nieß says that the procurator of the order had himself reported these proceedings to the pope, claiming the burghers evacuated and burned their houses voluntarily (which Nieß strongly denies). Nieß is also pointing out that in the subsequent capture of Tczew (Dirschau) by the order, the townspeople similarly had to sign an agreement to evacuate their homes, though this was not put into effect.
According to Loew, the archaeological evidence suggests that it took a couple of years before new streets and buildings were built on top of the flattened debris of the former buildings, though there probably were areas of the town which had remained unharmed. Referring to records of Danzig burghers taking residence in Lübeck, Loew says it is likely that most of the former inhabitants left Danzig in 1308.
Ethnicity of the town's inhabitants
According to Raphael Lemkin the population in the city at the time was Polish.[under discussion] According to Kazimierz Jaśinski, the Knights captured the town with the help from some of the German burghers, who constituted a very small minority within the town at the time. According to Hartmut Boockmann, the town was primarily inhabited by Germans. James Minahan wrote that the city inhabitants, for the most part, were Kashubians. According to Peter Oliver Loew, there were German as well as Slavic inhabitants of the town. According to Stefan Maria Kuczyński, the German population only achieved the majority after local Polish population was murdered and a new settlement was built by Teutonic Knights.
When the Poles refused to accept monetary compensation for the Knights' takeover of the city, the Order resorted to conquering further towns like Schwetz (Świecie). The local colony of merchants and artisans was specifically attacked because they competed with the Knights' town of Elbing (Elbląg), a nearby city. The Knights also attacked Tczew (Dirschau).
The Knights then captured the rest of Pomerelia from Brandenburg's troops. In September 1309, Margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg-Stendal sold his claim to the territory to the Teutonic Order for 10,000 marks in the Treaty of Soldin (now Myślibórz), thereby connecting the State of the Teutonic Order with that of the Holy Roman Empire. While for the order, this landbridge with the empire was a major strategic improvement by connecting its Baltic territories to its German bailiwicks (ballei), it was at the same time a major loss for Poland who had become a landlocked country again.
Thus, the takeover triggered a series of conflicts between Poland and the Teutonic Order, and these conflicts in turn triggered a conflict within the order itself. Some prominent brethren favoured a concession of Pomerelia in exchange for good relations with Poland, but were opposed by a majority of the knights who thought that such a concession would eventually lead to the total expulsion of the knights from their state. These disagreements caused the abdication of Grand Master Charles of Trier in 1318 and the murder of the succeeding Grand Master Werner of Orseln in 1330. The possession of Danzig and Pomerelia by the Teutonic Order was questioned consistently by the Polish kings Władysław I and Casimir the Great in legal suits in the papal court in 1320 and 1333. Both times, as well as in 1339, the Teutonic Knights were ordered by the Pope to return Pomerelia and other lands back to Poland, but did not comply. As a result, in the late 1330s, a war ensued.
Peace was established in the Treaty of Kalisz in 1343; although the Polish kings were able to retain the title "Duke of Pomerania" and were recognized as titular overlords of the crusaders, the Knights retained control of Danzig. - this time, with the permission of the papal court.
Development of the city stagnated after its capture by the Teutonic Knights. Initially the new rulers tried to reduce the economic significance of Danzig by abolishing the local government and the privileges of the merchants. This was exemplified by the fact that the city council, including Arnold Hecht and Conrad Letzkau, was removed and beheaded in 1411. Later the Knights were forced to accept the fact that city defended its independence and was the largest and most important seaport of the region after overtaking Elbing. Subsequently it flourished, benefiting from major investment and economic prosperity in the Monastic state and Poland, which stimulated trade along the Vistula. The city had become a full member of the merchant association, the Hanseatic League by 1361, but its merchants remained resentful at the barriers to trade up the Vistula river with Poland, along with the lack of political rights in a state ruled in the interest of the Order's religiously-motivated knight-monks. As a result the city became a co-founder of the Prussian Confederation which formally petitioned Casimir IV Jagiellon, to incorporate Prussia, including Danzig, into the Kingdom of Poland in 1454.
When the area was disputed between Weimar Germany and the Second Polish Republic, the Poles recalled the massacre quoting the number of 10,000 murdered. After Nazi Germany had annexed the Free City of Danzig in World War II, the exiled Polish government in releases said that the knights had "massacre[d...] ten thousand souls", portrayed the contemporary Germans in the tradition of these events and linked these events with National Socialism. In 1969 the post-war Polish city authorities dedicated a monument that commemorates the massacre of the population of Gdańsk in 1308. Its stated aim was to propagate an analogy of the events of 1308 and the German crimes of World War II. On the monument, called Tym co za Polskość Gdańska ("For those who fought/fell/stood up for Gdansk's Polishness"), the dates 1308, 1454, 1466 and 1939 are mentioned, relating the events of 1308 to the Thirteen Years' War and World War II. According to Loew (2011), the monument is "a typical expression of a time, when Polish national historical narratives, cultivated since the 19th century, about uprisings and lasting martyrdom, defiant pride and German-Polish enmity, met with the experiences of the war, official anti-fascism and the constant need to legitimate the possession of the formerly German eastern and now Polish Western territories."
- Siege of Danzig
- History of Gdańsk
- Teutonic Order#Against Poland
- History of Pomerania#Eastern Pomerania and Poland
- Zakrzewski, I: Lites ac res gestæ inter Polonos Ordinemque cruciferorum: Causa acta anno 1320. Causa acta anno 1339. Additamentum. Posen/Poznan 1890. Digital copy hosted by CBN Polona
- Society and culture: Poland in Europe : studies in social and cultural history : Poland at the 18-th International Congress of Historical Sciences in Montreal Maria Bogucka Advancement of Sciences - Education "UN-O", 1995, page 10 "Such events as the Gdańsk slaughter of 1308"
- The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volumen 25 Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2003, page 941 "The massacre the Knights perpetrated in Gdańsk in 1308 entered Polish folklore".
- Pomerania was taken by the Prussian Order beginning with the so called "massacre of Gdansk" on November 14, 1308.Paulus Vladimiri and his doctrine concerning international law and politics, Volume 2, Stanislaus F. Belch Mouton, 1965 "a ghastly massacre at Gdańsk in November 1308"
- Gdańsk. Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku, professor Jerzy Stamp, 2006 "Those, having captured the castle in 1308 butchered the population. Since then the event is known as “the Gdańsk slaughter”
- Irredentism and provocation: a contribution to the history of the Zachodnia Agencja Prasowa, Andrzej Leśniewski, Zachodnia Agencja Prasowa - 1960 "Statement made by the Teutonic Knights accused of the massacre at Gdańsk of November 14, 1308"
- Polish western territories Bohdan Gruchaman, Instytut Zachodni, 1959 "The Gdańsk massacre is described in sources"
- History of Gdańsk Edmund Cieślak, Czesław Biernat, Edmund Cieślak - 1995 As well as murdering many burghers, they also killed the Pomeranian noblemen who were in Gdansk. This massacre has been recorded in legend and folk song.
- ^  History of the City Gdańsk "the governor of the castle, Bogusza, called on the Teutonic Knights for help. Those, having captured the castle in 1308 butchered the population. Since then the event is known as "the Gdańsk slaughter"
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 33. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Poland and Germany, East & West, Published by Studies Centre on Polish-German Affairs, London, 1971 
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 34. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. pp. 33–34. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Niess, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. Elwert. p. 50.
- David Abulafia et al., The New Cambridge Medieval History, 1999, Vol.5
- Knoll, Paul W. (1966). "Wladyslaw Lokietek and the Restoration of the Regnum Poloniae". Medievalia et Humanistica vol. 17. pp. 51–78, esp. 59, 60.
- Norman Davies, God's Playground: A history of Poland, 1979 , pg. 74
- Poland's Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych, Dzieje miast Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: Polska w słowie i obrazach, 1928 
- Aleksander Gieysztor, Stefan Kieniewicz, Emanuel Rostworowski, Janusz Tazbir, and Henryk Wereszycki: History of Poland. PWN. Warsaw, 1979. ISBN 83-01-00392-8
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 35. ISBN 3-406-60587-7. Quote: "Doch über den Ablauf der Ereignisse streiten die Historiker bis heute. Gab es bis zu 10000 oder nur 16 Tote, wurde die Stadt dem Erdboden gleichgemacht oder nur leicht zerstört, ...", Also: Knoll, Paul W. (1966). "Wladyslaw Lokietek and the Restoration of the Regnum Poloniae". Medievalia et Humanistica vol. 17. pp. 51–78. Quote p. 60: "The fact that the knights did indeed conquer Gdańsk is beyond doubt. The manner and circumstances in which this occurred, however, have occasioned much acrimonious controversy ... chief point of controversy has been the number of milites et nobiles who perished that night ..."
- Setki padły pod toporem 05.12.2008 Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 35. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 36. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 36b. ISBN 3-406-60587-7. quote: "Als am Morgen...der Olivaer Abt Rüdiger in Danzig eintraf konnte er die Hinrichtungen zwar nicht verhindern, einigen todgeweihten Rittern aber noch die Beichte abnehmen und 16 Leichname nach Oliva bringen, wo sie neben der Jakobskirche bestattet wurden. Insgemamt kamen wahrscheinlich 50 bis 60 Ritter sowie eine unbestimmte, aber vermutlich grosse Zahl von Burgern ums Leben"
- Wątróbska, Halina; transl. by Doris Wilma (2003). "Holländische Spuren in der Danziger Geschichte". In William R. Veder; Wim Honselaar. Time flies. Time Flies: A Festschrift for William R. Veder on the Occasion of His Departure as Professor of Slavic Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. Pegasus Oost-Europese studies 2. pp. 369–400; esp. p. 371.
- Fischer, Frank (2006). Danzig. Die zerbrochene Stadt. pp. 41–42. Quotes: "...in Entkommen unmöglich, die Vorräte begrenzt. Niederlage und Tod vor Augen, baten sie nun ausgerechnet den Deutschen Orden um Hilfe. Als Gegenleistung versprachen sie die Hälfte der Burg und eine großzügige Entschädigung aller entstehenden Kriegskosten. Der Landmeister, Heinrich von Plotzke, akzeptierte das Angebot und sandte seine Truppen nach Danzig. Landkomturs Günter von Schwarzburg glückte es den schwergepanzerten Rittern, bei Nacht und Nebel in die Burg zu gelangen, ... Die Brandenburger, die sich auf ein leichtes Spiel eingestellt hatten und es nun plötzlich mit kampferprobten Ordenskriegern zu tun bekamen, gaben die Belagerung auf. Ende September 1308 räumten sie ... das Feld. ... Der Streit entzündete sich an der Höhe der ihnen versprochenen Belohnung. ... Kontroverse spitzte sich derart zu, daß Landmeister Heinrich von Plotzke persönlich mit viertausend Rittern vor Danzig auftauchte und mit der Erstürmung der Stadt drohte. Die Bürger lenkten ein und ließen die Stadttore öffnen. Bogussa und seine Anhänger wurden an den Orden ausgeliefert und auf Geheiß des Landmeisters auf dem Langen Markt als Verräter hingerichtet, ein ähnliches Los ereilte die Parteigänger der Swenzonen. Daß bei diesem Strafgericht zehntausend Danziger zu Tode kamen, gehört ins Reich der Fabel."
- Fischer, Frank (2006). Danzig. Die zerbrochene Stadt. p. 48. Quote: "Da seine Streitmacht für die Sicherung der Stadt zu klein war, befahl er den Danzigern, ihre Häuser teilweise zu zerstören und die Stadtbefestigungen niederzureißen. Offensichtlich fürchtete er, das gerade eroberte Danzig bei nächster Gelegenheit als feindliche Festung auf der Seite eines Rivalen oder in der Hand eines aufmüpfigen Adelsgeschlechts vorzufinden - so etwas kam alle Tage vor."
- Urban, William (2003). The Teutonic Knights. A military history. Quote: "Heinrich von Plotzke, acting on Łokietek' request, drove the Brandenburg forces out of Danzig in September of 1308, The citizens apparently welcomed the new occupying force at first, but became very impatient when no movement could be discerned in returning authority to royal administrators. In November the citizens staged an abortive uprising in which considerable blood was spilled - most of it belonging to the German merchants and artisans who had settled the city and made it into a mercantile centre more important than Elbing or Thorn. The master followed that by driving the enemy out of Pomerania, attacking and taking every place that did not open its gates."
- Arnold, Udo. Die Hochmeister des Deutschen Ordens: 1190-1994 4. p. 53. Quote: "Die polnische Seite wandte sich an den Deutschen Orden um Hilfe. Der ging bereitwillig, wie schon in der Vergangenheit, darauf ein. Kaum aber stand der Rückzug der Brandenburger bevor, entbrannte heftiger Streit mit der Danziger Burgbesatzung über die weitere Vorgehensweise. Auch die Kosten der gesamten Expedition waren ungeklärt. Aus den Verbündeten von einst wurden Gegner, bei der preußischen Führung wuchs die Neigung, das gesamte Herzogtum dem Ordensstaat einzuverleiben und bestehende Rechtsansprüche. Den Widerstand der Stadt Danzig beantworteten die Ordenstruppen am 13. November 1308 mit der rücksichtslosen Niederlegung weiter Stadtgebiete."
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. pp. 54–55. Quote: "Zwischen der pomeranisch-kujawischen Burgmannschaft und den einziehenden Ordensverbänden traten schon sehr bald Spannungen auf, die zum Abzug der ersteren aus der Burg führten. Zurück zogen sich auch die Truppen der Brandenburger, die das Eingreifen des Ordens, wie erwähnt, völlig unerwartet traf. Die Stadt Danzig selbst öffnete hingegen den aus der Burg abziehenden Verbänden aus Pomeranen und Kujawiern die Tore. Die Führer der deutschrechtlichen civitas wollten offenbar auch jetzt noch den Anschluß an die Markgrafschaft, mindestens aber verweigerten sie dem Ordensheer den Einzug. Es kam zu Kampfhandlungen, in deren Gefolge die Stadt am 13. November 1308 zur Übergabe gezwungen wurde. Heinrich von Plötzke hatte die Operation persönlich geleitet. Langwierige oder verlustreiche Kämpfe haben allerdings nicht stattgefunden und können daher auch nicht für das schwere Ausmaß an Zerstörungen, denen insbesondere die Rechtstadt, die civitas, zum Opfer fiel, verantwortlich sein. ... Die Ordensleitung verlangte offenbar von der Stadtgemeinde die Niederlegung ihrer Befestigungsanlagen - eine Maßnahme, die Mestwin II. 1272 ebenfalls angeordnet hatte. Die Stadt fügte sich aber 1308 nicht dem Befehl des Ordens, verwies auf ihre Privilegien und wohl auch darauf, daß der Orden nicht der Landesherr war. Auf Ordensseite wiederum gehörte es zur selbstverständlichen Gepflogenheit, keine umfangreichen städtischen Befestigungsanlagen zu dulden; er verbot derartiges auch bei seinen eigenen Stadtgründungen. Militärisches Sicherheitsdenken traf hier auf städtisches Selbstbewußtsein, in den Augen der Ordensleitung war die Stadtgemeinde „hochmütig", während die Danziger meinten, der Orden habe keine Rechtsgrundlage für sein Ansinnen. Infolge dieser spezifischen Konstellation eskalierte der Konflikt, kam es zu einer Politik der Härte. Die Bürger mußten - sicherlich alles andere als freiwillig - ihre Häuser räumen, die verbrannt wurden."
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. p. 74.. For the Latin original and a contemporary copy see Jenks et al: Virtual PrUB 2.13 and the sources given by Nieß, p. 74, fn. 147, quote: "Novissime vero ad nostrum venit auditum, quod dicti preceptores et fratres hospitalis ejusdem dilecti filii nobisg) viri Wladislai Cracovie et Sandomirie ducis terram hostiliter subintrantes in civitate Gdansco ultra decem milia hominum gladio peremerunt infantibus vagientibus in cunis mortis exitium inferentes, quibus etiam hostis fidei pepercisset." Nieß translates this as follows: "Neuerdings aber gelangte zu unserer Kenntnis, daß die genannten Gebietiger und Brüder desselben Hospitals in das Land unseres (des edlen,) geliebten Sohnes Wladyslaw, des Herzogs von Krakau und Sandomierz, feindlich eingedrungen sind und in der Stadt Danzig mehr als 10.000 Menschen mit dem Schwert getötet haben, dabei wimmernden Kindern in den Wiegen den Tod bringend, welche sogar der Feind des Glaubens geschont hätte."
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. p. 74.
- Fischer, Mary (2011). The Chronicle of Prussia by Nicolaus von Jeroschin. A History of the Teutonic Knights in Prussia, 1190-1331. Ashgate Publishing. p. 12.; Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. p. 74. Quote: "Friedrich von Riga, seit 1305 Kläger gegen die Herrschaft der Ritterbrüder in Livland, hielt sich seit 1307 wieder ständig in der Nähe des Papsthofes auf, erreichte aber erst jetzt sein Ziel: Die Inquisition in Livland"
- Initially, John, archbishop of Bremen and chaplain Albert of Milan were to investigate the charges, in 1311, the latter was replaced by Francis of Moliano. Menache, Sophia (2003). Clement V. Cambridge studies in medieval life and thought 36. Cambridge University Press. p. 215, esp. fn. 213, fn. 214., also see p. 214-215 for a comparison with the contemporary charges against the Knights Templar.
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. p. 81. Quote: "Die Vorgänge in Danzig, Artikel 25 der Anklage, kamen im Rigaer Prozeß nur selten zur Sprache. Von 10.000 Toten war den meisten Zeugen nichts bekannt, acht der dreizehn Zeugen, deren Aussage zu diesem Punkt erhalten ist, betonten eigens, darüber nichts zu wissen. Drei Zeugen, davon zwei dem Domkapitel angehörig, gingen hingegen auf die Behauptung etwas näher ein. Der Dompropst zu Riga bezeichnete sie als manifesta et notoria in provincia Lyuonie, sein Amtskollege, nicht minder vage, sprach von der publica fama in Lyvonia. Auch der Prior des Zisterzienserklosters Falkenau bei Dorpat drückte sich ähnlich aus, berief sich aber bei seinen Angaben auf einen Augenzeugen, einen Bruder seines Ordens. [...] ein Zeuge wußte ergänzend zu berichten, in Livland, den Nachbarlandschaften und in Deutschland wisse man mehr über die Zerstörung der Stadt.[...] Ein weiterer Zisterziensermönch berichtet, er sei zwei Wochen nach den Geschehnissen selbst in Danzig gewesen. Seine Herbergswirtin habe ihm erzählt, daß eine große Zahl an Menschen getötet worden sei. Die Zahl 10.000 konnte er indes nicht bestätigen." The records of the inquisition are printed in Seraphim, A.: Das Zeugenverhör des Franciscus de Moliano (1312), Königsberg 1912. Urban, William (2010). "Baltics. Sources (1300-1500)". In Rogers, Clifford J. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology 1. Oxford University Press. p. 108. Quote: "Highly important, but difficult to use, [...] it is one-sided, because the Livonian master refused to co-operate. It is often incautiously mined for snappy quotes, without noting that the charges were eventually dismissed."
- "48. 1313 Mai 11. Avignon. Jacobus de Columpna, Kardinaldiakon, befreit den Deutschen Orden in Preußen und Livland von der über ihn durch Franciscus de Moliano verhängten Exkommunikation. Or. Not. Inslr. StA Königsberg, Urk. Sch. 41 (LS) Nr. 8.". Veröffentlichungen der Niedersächsischen Archivverwaltung, Bände 12-13. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 1961. pp. 204–205, commentary on p. 205.
- Matthew Kuefler, The Boswell Thesis: Essays on Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, 
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. pp. 85, 132.
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. p. 53.
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. p. 142.
- Hartmut Boockmann, Ostpreussen und Westpreussen, Siedler, 2002, p.158, Quotes: "Offensichtlich hat der Orden im Falle Danzigs einen kalkulierten Akt des Terrors ausgeübt und die Stadt zerstören lassen, aber kein Blutbad verursacht. Die neuesten polnischen Arbeiten rechnen mit an die hundert Toten."
- Urban, William (2010). "Baltics. Sources (1300-1500)". In Rogers, Clifford J. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology 1. Oxford University Press. p. 108.
- Raphael Lemkin, Samantha Power, Axis rule in occupied Europe: laws of occupation, analysis of government, proposals for redress, The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2005, p.154, ISBN 1-58477-576-9: cite of an excerpt of Dlugosii Joanni canonii Cracoviensis Historiae Polonicae, fn.1
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 35. ISBN 3-406-60587-7. Quote: "[...] streiten die Historiker noch heute. Gab es bis zu 10000 oder nur 16 Tote, [...]"
- www.en.gdansk.gda.pl History of the City Gdańsk
- Norman Davies, God's Playground: A history of Poland, 1979 
- Gunnar Alexandersson, "The Baltic Straits", Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1982, pg. 52, 
- Alan W. Ertl, "Toward an Understanding of Europe: A Political Economic Précis of Continental Integration", Universal-Publishers, 2008, pg. 346 
- Jerzy Lukowski, Hubert Zawadzki, "A concise history of Poland", Cambridge University Press, 2001, pg. 19, 
- Setki padły pod toporem 05.12.2008 Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto "W średniowieczu określenie "rzeź" odnosiło się do wydarzeń, które przynosiły około 1000 ofiar(...) mówi Błażej Śliwiński."
- Peter Oliver Loew: "Danzig", p. 36: "Deutsche Historiker hatten lange den Beteuerungen des Ordens größeres Vertrauen geschenkt und argumentiert, 10 000 Tote seien in einer Stadt, die kaum so viele Einwohner besaß, schlicht unmöglich gewesen, es könnten höchstens 60 bis 100 gewesen sein. Während ihnen nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg auch viele polnische Historiker Recht gaben, stellt Błażej Śliwiński zahlreiche Indizien zusammen, dass es tatsächlich ein "Blutbad" mit einer erschreckend hohen Zahl von Opfern - wenn auch nicht 10 000 - gegeben haben dürfte."
- Hartmut Boockmann, Ostpreussen und Westpreussen, Siedler, 2002, p.158, quote: "Um zehntausend Opfer kann es sich damals schlechterdings nicht gehandelt haben, da die Bevölkerung ganz Pommerellens nur 130000 Köpfe betragen haben dürfte. Zehntausend, das ist eine typisch mittelalterliche Zahl, wie wir sie bei Chronisten immer wieder lesen. Sie bedeuted einfach: sehr viel."
- William Urban: The Teutonic Knights: A Military History. Greenhill Books. London, 2003. ISBN 1-85367-535-0
- Jaśinski, Kazimierz; Cieslak, Edmund, ed. (1978). Historia Gdanska. Wydawnictwo Morskie. p. 323. Note: English language edition, 1995, "History of Gdansk"
- Setki padły pod toporem 05.12.2008 Gazeta Wyborcza Trójmiasto"W tym czasie w Gdańsku i przyległych osadach mieszkało nie więcej niż 2-3 tys. mieszkańców. W średniowieczu określenie "rzeź" odnosiło się do wydarzeń, które przynosiły około 1000 ofiar. Moim zdaniem w nocy z 12 na 13 listopada zginęło ponad 1000 mieszkańców Gdańska - mówi Błażej Śliwiński."
- Dzieje Zakonu Krzyżackiego w Prusach Marian Biskup, Gerard Labuda, page 256, Wydawnictwo Morskie, 1986
- Wojny Polski z zakonem krzyżackim, 1308-1521 Marian Biskup, page 12, Wydawnictwo "Marpress", 1993
- Pomorze Gdańskie pod rza̜dami Zakonu krzyżackiego w latach 1308-1466 Maksymilian Grzegorz, Wydawnictwo Uczelniane Wyższej Szkoły Pedagogicznej,page 63 1997
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. pp. 36–37. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 28. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Nieß, Ulrich (1992). Hochmeister Karl von Trier (1311-1324). Stationen einer Karriere im Deutschen Orden. Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte des Deutschen Ordens 47. pp. 54–55.
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2010). Danzig. C.H.Beck. p. 37. ISBN 3-406-60587-7.
- Axis rule in occupied Europe Raphael Lemkin 1944 reprinted in 2004
- James Minahan, One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000, ISBN 0-313-30984-1, p.376
- Bitwa pod Grunwaldem Stefan M. Kuczyński, page 17, 1987
- Norman Housley, The later Crusades, 1274-1580: from Lyons to Alcazar, Oxford University Press, 1992, p.326, ISBN 0-19-822136-3
- Brigitte Jäger-Dabek, Polen: Eine Nachbarschaftskunde für Deutsche 2nd edition, Ch. Links Verlag, 2006, p.91, ISBN 386153407
- Norman Housley, The later Crusades, 1274-1580: from Lyons to Alcazar, Oxford University Press, 1992, p.327, ISBN 0-19-822136-3
- Natalia i Waldemar Borzestowscy, "Dlaczego zginął burmistrz" ("Why did the mayor die?"), 
- Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych, Poland, Dzieje miast Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej: Polska w słowie i obrazach, Nakładem wydawn. D̋zieje miast Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej ̋sp. z ogr. odp., 1928, v. 2;v. 4, p.11
- Poland Ministerstwo Informacji, The German Invasion of Poland: Polish Black Book Containing Documents, Authenticated Reports and Photographs, Pub. by authority of the Polish ministry of information by Hutchinson & co. ltd., 1941, p.10:e.g. "the Germans of today are the [knights'] worthy successors" who "massacre[d...] ten thousand souls"
- Poland. Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych, Official documents concerning Polish-German and Polish–Soviet relations, 1933–1939, 1940
- Lech Krzyżanowski, Gdańsk, Sopot, Gdynia: A Guide to the Triune City, 1974 
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2011). Danzig - Biographie einer Stadt (in German). C.H. Beck. p. 38. ISBN 978-3-406-60587-1.
- Loew, Peter Oliver (2011). Danzig - Biographie einer Stadt (in German). C.H. Beck. p. 39. ISBN 978-3-406-60587-1.