Lębork is a town on the Łeba and Okalica
Okalica is a river of Poland....

 rivers in Middle Pomerania
Middle Pomerania
The term Middle or Central Pomerania can refer to two distinct areas, depending on whether it is used as a translation of the corresponding German or Polish terms Mittelpommern or Pomorze Środkowe, respectively.-Mittelpommern, Mittelpommerscher Keil:Mittelpommern or Mittelpommerscher Keil in...

 region, north-western Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 with some 37,000 inhabitants.
Lębork is also the capital of Lębork County
Lebork County
Lębork County is a unit of territorial administration and local government in Pomeranian Voivodeship, northern Poland, on the Baltic coast. It came into being on January 1, 1999, as a result of the Polish local government reforms passed in 1998. Its administrative seat and largest town is Lębork,...

 in Pomeranian Voivodeship
Pomeranian Voivodeship
Pomeranian Voivodeship, or Pomerania Province , is a voivodeship, or province, in north-central Poland. It comprises most of Pomerelia , as well as an area east of the Vistula River...

 since 1999, formerly in Słupsk Voivodeship (1975–1998).


It was located on previous Polish settlement named Łebno which was later Germanised into Lewin and Lewinburg by invading Teutonic Knights
In 1341 Dietrich von Altenburg
Dietrich von Altenburg
Dietrich von Altenburg was the 19th Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, serving from 1335 to 1341.He came from the Thuringian town of Altenburg in the Holy Roman Empire, where his father held the office of a burgrave of the immediate Pleissnerland, which however had long been pawned to the Saxon...

, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, granted 100 Hufen (similar to hides
Hide (unit)
The hide was originally an amount of land sufficient to support a household, but later in Anglo-Saxon England became a unit used in assessing land for liability to "geld", or land tax. The geld would be collected at a stated rate per hide...

) to Rutcher von Emmerich for the foundation of a town named Lewinburg (Lauenburg) with Kulm rights, presumably to secure the territory around Stolp (Słupsk). East of the city the Teutonic Order completed the Schloss Lauenburg, an Ordensburg
An Ordensburg was a fortress built by crusading German military orders during the Middle Ages. "Ordensburg" was also used during Nazi Germany to refer to training schools for Nazi leaders.- Medieval Ordensburgen :...

castle, in 1363. After the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg)
Battle of Grunwald
The Battle of Grunwald or 1st Battle of Tannenberg was fought on 15 July 1410, during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, led respectively by King Jogaila and Grand Duke Vytautas , decisively defeated the Teutonic Knights, led...

 in 1410, the castle was partially destroyed. In 1440 the town joined the Prussian Confederation
Prussian Confederation
The Prussian Confederation was an organization formed in 1440 by a group of 53 gentry and clergy and 19 cities in Prussia to oppose the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. It was based on the basis of an earlier similar organization, the Lizard Union...

. The population of Lauenburg was composed for a large part of Kashubians
Kashubians/Kaszubians , also called Kashubs, Kashubes, Kaszubians, Kassubians or Cassubians, are a West Slavic ethnic group in Pomerelia, north-central Poland. Their settlement area is referred to as Kashubia ....

 or later Slovincians.

In 1454 after the outbreak of the Thirteen Years' War, troops from Danzig (Gdańsk)
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

 occupied Lauenburg and Bütow (Bytów)
Bytów is a town in the Middle Pomerania region of northern Poland in the Bytów Lakeland with 16,888 inhabitants . Previously in Słupsk Voivodeship , it is the capital of Bytów County in Pomeranian Voivodeship .-History:...

; the following year they were turned over to Eric II, Duke of Pomerania
Eric II, Duke of Pomerania
Eric II or Erich II, of the House of Pomerania , , was Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast from 1457 to 1474. He was the son of Wartislaw IX of Pomerania-Wolgast and Sophia of Saxe-Lauenburg Eric II or Erich II, of the House of Pomerania (Griffins), (between 1418 and 1425 – 1474), was Duke of...

, to form an alliance. Because Lauenburg remained loyal to the Prussian Confederation instead of the Teutonic Knights, King Casimir IV Jagiellon
Casimir IV Jagiellon
Casimir IV KG of the House of Jagiellon was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440, and King of Poland from 1447, until his death.Casimir was the second son of King Władysław II Jagiełło , and the younger brother of Władysław III of Varna....

 of Poland granted the town three nearby villages. Troops from Polish-allied Danzig reoccupied Lauenburg in 1459 when the mayor, Lorenz Senftopf, entered into negotiations with the Teutonic Knights. Eric replaced the Danzigers with Teutonic Knights the following year, however, when he changed sides during the war. Although the Teutonic Knights were ultimately defeated in the Thirteen Years' War, Lauenburg and Bütow passed to Eric and his Pomeranian successors as the Lauenburg and Bütow Land
Lauenburg and Bütow Land
Lauenburg and Bütow Land formed a historical region in eastern in eastern Pomerania. Composed of two districts centered around the towns of Lauenburg and Bütow , it was on the western periphery of Pomerelia...

 according to the 1466 Second Peace of Thorn.
The Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 was introduced in Lauenburg soon after 1519. The territory passed to King Władysław IV Vasa
Władysław IV Vasa
Władysław IV Vasa was a Polish and Swedish prince from the House of Vasa. He reigned as King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 8 November 1632 to his death in 1648....

 of Poland after the 1637 death of Bogislaw XIV, Duke of Pomerania. The Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 was largely ineffective in the Lutheran
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 town. Lauenburg was occupied by Swedes
Swedish Empire
The Swedish Empire refers to the Kingdom of Sweden between 1561 and 1721 . During this time, Sweden was one of the great European powers. In Swedish, the period is called Stormaktstiden, literally meaning "the Great Power Era"...

 in the Northern Wars
Northern Wars
Northern Wars is a term used for a series of wars fought in northern and northeastern Europe in the 16th and 17th century. An internationally agreed nomenclature for these wars has not yet been devised...

. To gain an ally against Sweden during The Deluge
The Deluge (Polish history)
The term Deluge denotes a series of mid-17th century campaigns in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In a wider sense it applies to the period between the Khmelnytsky Uprising of 1648 and the Truce of Andrusovo in 1667, thus comprising the Polish–Lithuanian theaters of the Russo-Polish and...

, King John II Casimir of Poland
John II Casimir of Poland
John II Casimir was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania during the era of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Duke of Opole in Upper Silesia, and titular King of Sweden 1648–1660. In Poland, he is known and commonly referred as Jan Kazimierz. His parents were Sigismund III Vasa and...

 gave the Lauenburg and Bütow Land to Margrave Frederick William
Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg
|align=right|Frederick William was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia – and thus ruler of Brandenburg-Prussia – from 1640 until his death. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he is popularly known as the "Great Elector" because of his military and political prowess...

 of Brandenburg-Prussia
Brandenburg-Prussia is the historiographic denomination for the Early Modern realm of the Brandenburgian Hohenzollerns between 1618 and 1701. Based in the Electorate of Brandenburg, the main branch of the Hohenzollern intermarried with the branch ruling the Duchy of Prussia, and secured succession...

 as a hereditary fief in the 1657 Treaty of Bromberg
Treaty of Bromberg
The Treaty of Bromberg or Treaty of Bydgoszcz was a treaty between John II Casimir of Poland and Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg-Prussia, ratified at Bromberg on 6 November 1657...

. The Swedish troops burnt Lauenburg when they left in 1658, destroying seventy houses and the town hall. Frederick William released the town from duties for five years to allow it to rebuild. Lauenburg suffered another fire in 1682.

Lauenburg became a territory of the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 in 1701. The 1773 Treaty of Warsaw granted full sovereignty over the territory to Prussia after the First Partition of Poland
First Partition of Poland
The First Partition of Poland or First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1772 as the first of three partitions that ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1795. Growth in the Russian Empire's power, threatening the Kingdom of Prussia and the...

. The Lauenburg and Bütow Land, renamed Lauenburg-Bütowscher Kreis, was first included in West Prussia
West Prussia
West Prussia was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773–1824 and 1878–1919/20 which was created out of the earlier Polish province of Royal Prussia...

, but was transferred to Prussian Pomerania in 1777. In 1816 after the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, Lauenburg was included in Regierungsbezirk Köslin within the Province of Pomerania.

When the Lauenburg-Bütowscher Kreis was divided in 1846, Lauenburg became the capital of Landkreis Lauenburg i. Pom., a district of Prussia. Lauenburg began to develop into an industrial city after its 1852 connection on the Prussian Eastern Railway to Danzig and Stettin (Szczecin)
Szczecin , is the capital city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. It is the country's seventh-largest city and the largest seaport in Poland on the Baltic Sea. As of June 2009 the population was 406,427....

. The town became part of the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 in 1871 during the unification of Germany
Unification of Germany
The formal unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on 18 January 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor Wilhelm of the German...

. After most of former West Prussia was granted to the Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 as the Polish Corridor
Polish Corridor
The Polish Corridor , also known as Danzig Corridor, Corridor to the Sea or Gdańsk Corridor, was a territory located in the region of Pomerelia , which provided the Second Republic of Poland with access to the Baltic Sea, thus dividing the bulk of Germany from the province of East...

 after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, many German migrants resettled in and around Lauenburg. Under the leadership of Willy Fruggel a Hochschule
Hochschule is a German term with two meanings.The literal meaning of the word Hochschule is “high school” which is not appropriate as a translation.- Generic term :...

for teacher education was established in the city in 1933. The football club SV Sturm Lauenburg played within Gauliga Pommern
Gauliga Pommern
The Gauliga Pommern was the highest football league in the Prussian province of Pomerania from 1933 to 1945. Shortly after the formation of the league, the Nazis reorganised the administrative regions in Germany, and the Gau Pomerania replaced the province of Pomerania.-Overview:The league was...


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Lauenburg was the location of the Nazi concentration camp Lauenburg, a subcamp of the Stutthof concentration camp
Stutthof concentration camp
Stutthof was the first Nazi concentration camp built outside of 1937 German borders.Completed on September 2, 1939, it was located in a secluded, wet, and wooded area west of the small town of Sztutowo . The town is located in the former territory of the Free City of Danzig, 34 km east of...

. The city was occupied without fighting by the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 on 10 March 1945. Most of the Altstadt
Altstadt is the German language word for "old town", meaning "historical city centre within the city wall", in contrast to a Neustadt built outside later....

burnt in a subsequent fire, although the Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 Church of St. James and the castle remained intact. In that course, about 600 people committed suicide.As Lębork, the town was placed under Polish administration according to the post-war Potsdam Agreement
Potsdam Agreement
The Potsdam Agreement was the Allied plan of tripartite military occupation and reconstruction of Germany—referring to the German Reich with its pre-war 1937 borders including the former eastern territories—and the entire European Theatre of War territory...

. Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 remaining in the town were expelled
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

 and replaced with Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...


Railway stations in the city include Lębork
Lebork (PKP station)
Lębork is a PKP railway station in Lębork , Poland. The station is reached by some SKM trains from Wejherowo-History:...

 and Lębork Nowy Świat
Lebork Nowy Swiat (PKP station)
Lębork Nowy Świat is a PKP railway station in Lębork , Poland.-Lines crossing the station:- References :*Lębork Nowy Świat article at , URL accessed at 18 March 2006...


Notable residents

  • Leopold Jacoby (1840–95), lyricist
  • Paul Gottlieb Nipkow
    Paul Gottlieb Nipkow
    Paul Julius Gottlieb Nipkow was a German technician and inventor.-Beginnings:Nipkow was a German of born in Lauenburg in Pomerania. While at school in Neustadt , West Prussia, Nipkow experimented in telephony and the transmission of moving pictures. After graduation, he went to Berlin in order to...

     (1860–1940), television pioneer
  • Josef Horovitz
    Josef Horovitz
    Josef Horovitz was a Jewish German orientalist.A son of Markus Horovitz , an Orthodox rabbi, Josef Horovitz studied with Eduard Sachau at the University of Berlin and was there since 1902 as a docent...

     (1874–1931), orientalist
  • Gerhard Obuch (1884–1960), politician and lawyer
  • Edward Sapir
    Edward Sapir
    Edward Sapir was an American anthropologist-linguist, widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics....

      (1884–1939), ethnologist and linguist
  • Erich von dem Bach
    Erich von dem Bach
    Erich Julius Eberhard von Zelewski or Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski , was a Nazi official and a member of the SS, in which he reached the rank of SS-Obergruppenführer .- Slavic origin :...

     (1899–1972), SS officer
  • Ewa Paradies
    Ewa Paradies
    Ewa Paradies was a Nazi concentration camp overseer.Paradies was born in Lauenburg, Pomerania , Neuendorferstrasse 100. She was a Protestant Christian and not married. In 1935 she left school and worked various jobs in Wuppertal, Erfurt and Lauenburg.In August 1944 she went to Stutthof SK-III camp...

     (1920–46), concentration camp overseer
  • Jürgen Echternach
    Jürgen Echternach
    Jürgen Echternach was a German politician, representative of the German Christian Democratic Union....

     (1937–2006),politician (CDU member)
  • Hilbert Meyer (* 1941),scientist, professor in Oldenburg
  • Peter Roehr (1944–68), artist

Honorary citizen:
Chancellor Otto Fürst von Bismarck since 1874

(Note: Bismarck was created Duke of Lauenburg
Duke of Lauenburg
The title Duke of Lauenburg derives from the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, which, since its foundation in 1269, has been ruled by twenty-nine dukes of six dynastic houses and lines and by an additional four dukes of a temporary dynastic branch line The title Duke of Lauenburg derives from the Duchy of...

 in 1890 after his resignation as Chancellor of the German Empire
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

, but this title refers to the city of Lauenburg/Elbe
Lauenburg/Elbe is a town in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated at the northern bank of the river Elbe, east of Hamburg. It is the southernmost town of Schleswig-Holstein. Lauenburg belongs to the Kreis of Herzogtum Lauenburg and had a population of 11,900 as of 2002...

 in present-day Germany, and should not be confused with Lębork/Lauenburg in Pomerania.)
  • Anna Fotyga
    Anna Fotyga
    Anna Elżbieta Fotyga née Kawecka is a Polish economist, politician, former Member of the European Parliament and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, in the successive cabinets of Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and Jarosław Kaczyński...

    (born 1957), politician


Before the end of World War II the (then German) population of Lauenburg was predominantly composed of Protestants.
Number of inhabitants in years
  • 1782: 1,482, incl. 36 Jews.
  • 1794: 1,432, incl. 29 Jews.
  • 1812: 1,548, incl. 48 Catholics and 47 Jews
  • 1831: 2,621, incl. 181 Catholics and 147 Jews.
  • 1843: 3,779, incl. 222 Catholics and 262 Jews.
  • 1861: 5,310, incl. 305 Catholics and 259 Jews.
  • 1900: 10,442, incl. 1,151 Catholics and 276 Jews.
  • 1910: 13,916
  • 1925: 17,161, incl. 1,850 Catholics, 290 Jews and 300 others.
  • 1933: 18,962
  • 1939: 19,108
  • 1960: 21,200
  • 1970: 25,100
  • 1975: 26,600
  • 1980: 29,200
  • 1990: 34,300
  • 1995: 36,300
  • 1998: 37,000
  • 2004: 35,154
  • 2005: 35,000

External links

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