|• Mayor||Torsten Pötzsch (Klartext)|
|• Total||63.60 km2 (24.56 sq mi)|
|Elevation||140 m (460 ft)|
|• Density||260/km2 (670/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
Weißwasser was mentioned for the first time on 8 June 1552; the town's name means "white water". It became part of Prussian Silesia in 1815. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Weißwasser was the European centre of glass production. It became part of Prussian Lower Silesia in 1919.
Weißwasser received its town charter on 28 August 1935. In the Second World War, 40% of the town was destroyed. With the dissolution of Prussia resulting from the war, the town became part of Saxony from 1945–52. It was then part of communist East Germany from 1952–90 and administered within Bezirk Cottbus. Many enterprises had to close during the communist regime. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, only a few enterprises were left. It was included within a restored Saxony after German reunification.
Weißwasser now struggles with the after-effects of German reunification, as the fall of the Berlin Wall has had a devastating effect on the local economy. Many people have since lost their jobs and the town's population continues to suffers from a high percentage of unemployment. Consequently, many have left the area in the hope of finding a new job elsewhere in a reunited Germany.
In September 2005, Weißwasser hosted the "Tag der Sachsen." The event was a success with more than 300,000 visitors, which left some believing that the town could reinvent itself as a tourist attraction.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms was allotted on 31 January 1927. The two green glasses symbolise the glass industry of the town, which was one of the largest in former East Germany. The tools are a reference to coal mining, which is carried out close to the city. Blue and yellow are the traditional colours of Upper Lusatia and the white waves in the bottom part of the coat of arms symbolise the name of the city.
Development of the population figure since 31 December 1960
Source from 1998 on: Statistics office Saxony
A new city council was elected on the 13 June 2004. Out of 18,653 eligible voters, 29.36% participated in the vote. The results were as following:
- Water Tower
- Ice Hockey Stadium "Fuchsbau" (fox's den)
- Glass makers museum
- Pückler - Park in Bad Muskau
- Rhododendron - Park in Kromlau
- Forest Railway Muskau
- Braunsteich - Lake
- Erratic Rock - Park in Nochten
- Opencast pit in Nochten
Sons and daughters of the town
- Günter Schubert (1938-2008), actor and voice actor
- Klaus Hirche (born 1939), hockey goalkeeper and coach, national team GDR, 1968 Olympian
- Roland Hemmo (born 1946), voice actor and actor
- Christa Luding-Rothenburger (born 1959), speed skater and cyclist
- Angela Ranft (born 1969), cyclist
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