Last modified: 2011-05-13 by andrew weeks
Keywords: zbaszyn |
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The town was first mentioned in historical sources from 1231, and it received its city charter before 1311. As a result of the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 it became part of the Kingdom of Prussia and was administered within South Prussia. After the Napoleonic Wars, the town was within the Grand Duchy of Posen and later the Province of Posen. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. In 1918 it became part of the Second Polish Republic.
During the interwar era (1918-1939) it was a town on the border with Germany. In October 1938 Nazi Germany decided to expel those German Jews who did not hold German citizenship or had it taken away, and who originally hailed from Poland. This was in reaction to a Polish decree which was to take away the Polish citizenship of Jews living outside the country, including those in Germany. A few days before that decree was to come into force, 17,000 German Jews that were or could be considered to be citizens of Poland were rounded up and unceremoniously dumped on the Polish border at Zbąszyń and other border towns. The Polish government in turn refused to admit those of them who did not hold valid Polish passports. As a result, thousands of Jews were stuck on the border in makeshift facilities for several days or weeks in appalling conditions. The situation generated widespread outrage among the Jewish community in Poland, which conducted extensive efforts to help the internees in any way possible and was the occasion of the assassination of the German Embassy official in Paris Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan. Eventually the Polish government finally allowed them, in stages, to enter the country. (from wiki)
On the first day of WW II the town was taken by Germans, but Polish forces managed to re-take it for few hours only to be pushed back by Wehrmacht units pouring East across the border with tanks and heavy armor.
Arms adopted originally in 1936 and confirmed in 2001.
Unable to find the date of the resolution establishing the flag.
"Arms: on the red shield a white swan with wings lifted, black beak and feet.
Flag: the field of the flag is divided into four equal rectangles: red-white-white-blue.
On the first, red rectangle the Arms, without the shield, are placed."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 20 Nov 2008