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City (pop., 2000 est.: 456,574), capital of Pomorskie province, northern Poland. Located at the mouth of the Vistula River on the Baltic Sea, it was first mentioned in the late 10th century as a Polish town. The capital of the dukes of Pomerania in the 13th century, it was taken by the knights of the Teutonic Order in 1308. In 1466 Casimir IV regained the territory for Poland, and Gdansk expanded greatly. From 1793 it was controlled mainly by Prussia; following World War I, it was a free city governed by Poland. In 1938 Adolf Hitler demanded that Gdansk be given back to Germany; Poland's refusal was the excuse for his attack on Poland in 1939, which precipitated World War II. The city, greatly damaged during the war, was returned to Poland in 1945. It is now fully restored, with renewed port facilities. The independent labour union Solidarity was founded there in 1980.
Variants of GDANSK
Gdansk German Danzig
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Gdansk, visit Britannica.com.
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