name = Brzeg
image_caption = Town hall
image_shield = POL Brzeg COA.svg
pushpin_label_position = bottom
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = POL
subdivision_type1 = Voivodeship
subdivision_name1 = Opole
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name3 = Brzeg (urban gmina)
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Wojciech Huczyński
area_total_km2 = 14.7
population_as_of = 2006
population_total = 38303
population_density_km2 = auto
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd = 50 | latm = 52 | lats = | latNS = N | longd = 17 | longm = 29 | longs = | longEW = E
postal_code_type = Postal code
postal_code = 49-300
blank_name = Car plates
blank_info = OB
website = http://www.brzeg.pl/
Brzeg Audio-IPA-pl|Pl-Brzeg.ogg|b|ż|e|k ( _de. BriegAudlisten|Brieg.ogg) is a
townin southwestern Polandwith 38,496 inhabitants ( 2004), situated in Silesiain the Opole Voivodeshipon the left bank of the Oder. It is the capital of Brzeg County.
Brzeg was in earlier documents referred to as "Civitas Altae Ripae", meaning "city at high banks" of the
Oder("Odra") river; its name is derived from the Polish "Brzeg" (shore).
The city received municipal rights in
1250from the Wretizla (Wrocław) Duke Henry III the White, and was fortified in 1297. From 1311- 1675Brieg was the capital of a Lower Silesian duchy ( Duchy of Brzeg) ruled by the Piastdynasty, a branch of the dukes of Lower Silesia, one of whom built a castle in 1341. Much of Silesia was part of the Kingdom of Bohemiaduring the Middle Ages. The town was burned by the Hussites in 1428and soon afterwards rebuilt.
In 1595 Brieg was again fortified by Joachim Frederick, duke of Brieg. In the Thirty Years' War it suffered greatly; in that of the Austrian succession it was heavily bombarded by the Prussian forces; and in 1807 it was captured by the French and Bavarians. When Bohemia fell to the
Habsburg Monarchyof Austriain 1526, the town fell under the overlordship of the Habsburgs in their roles of Kings of Bohemia, although it was still ruled locally by the Silesian Piasts. Upon the extinction of the last duke "Georg Wihelm von Liegnitz-Brieg-Wohlau" ( George IV William of Liegnitz) in 1675, Brieg came under the direct role of the Habsburgs.
1537the duke Frederick II of Briegconcluded a treaty with Elector Joachim IIof Brandenburg, whereby the Hohenzollerns of Brandenburg would inherit the duchy upon the extinction of the Silesian PiastsFact|date=November 2007. On the death of George William the last duke in 1675, however, Austria refused to acknowledge the validity of the treaty and annexed the duchies and Frederick the Greatof the Kingdom of Prussiaused this treaty to justify his claim at the invasion of Silesia during the War of the Austrian Successionin 1740. Brieg and most of Silesia were annexed by Prussia after that state's victory. Its fortifications were destroyed by the French in 1807. The city of Brieg became part of Imperial Germanyin 1871. During the Second World War, 60% of the city was destroyed and a lot of Germans died during severe winter of 1945 as they were trying to escape from advancing Russian troops. Its German population was violently expelled first by Hitler's Army that moved its own population further into Germany and declared Brieg "Festung Brieg" and later on by Soviets and Poles after they captured the city. After the war, the Potsdam Conferenceput Silesia, and thus the town under Polish administration. Subsequently, Brzeg and Lower Silesiawere repopulated by Poles whom Soviets expelled from eastern part of prewar Poland.
History of the Jewish population
As the town was situated on the commercial route to Wrotizla, in which a colony of Jews had long resided,
Jewssettled there about 1324. The Jewish community of Brieg had its separate place of worship from early times. In 1358 Jews lent money to local noblemen and the duke of Brieg, Ludwig I, who granted the Jews freedom of movement in the duchy in that year. In the 14th centurythe Jews of Brieg were persecuted on account of their usurious practices; one outbreak of such violence occurred in 1362. In 1392 it was claimed that all debts of the duke had been discharged by the payments to a Jew of Brieg (Jacob, the son of Moses), of a certificate of indebtedness. In 1398 the Brieg Jews bought a letter of protection from the duke, whereby they were guaranteed the peaceful possession of their privileges. But in 1401 they were driven from the city, except Jacob and Seman von Reichenbach, who had received a patent of protection from the duke's council for six years from May 1, 1399. In 1423, duke Ludwig II granted the Jews rights of residence on payment of an annual tax of 20 gulden, but they were expelled from the duchies of Brieg and Liegnitzin 1453 as a result of the inflammatory preachings of the Franciscan John Capistrano. Solomo, a capitalist, lent large sums of money to royal houses in the 15th century. In the 16th century, one of the local Jews served as a physician to the duke of Brieg.
With the decline of Breslau as a trade center, the Jews of Brieg became little more than an isolated community; and in modern times they shared the lot of the other Silesian Jews. They carried on insignificant trade operations as a rule. The conquest of Silesia by
Frederick the Greatbrought but slight change in their condition.
A synagogue was built in Brieg in 1799, and a rabbi was first appointed in 1816. The Jewish population numbered 156 in 1785; 376 in 1843; 282 in 1913; 255 in 1933; and 123 in 1939. In the
Kristallnachtpogroms of 1938 the interior of the synagogue was completely demolished and the Torahscrolls publicly burned; numerous shops were ransacked. The community was not reestablished after the Holocaust.
* Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna
KS Cukierki Odra Brzeg- women basketball team, 8th place in Sharp Torell Basket Ligain 2003/2004 season
Samuel Besler(1574-1625) composer
Friedrich von Logau(1605-1655) poet
Leopold Wilhelm von Dobschütz(1763-1836) general
Max Friedländer (journalist)(1829-1872) journalist
Max Friedlaender (musicologist)(1852-1934) musicologist
Max Jakob Friedländer(1867-1958) art historian
Alfred Kurella(1885-1975) writer and functionary of the SED in East Germany
Kurt Masur(1927- ) conductor
Heinrich von Mühlerpolitician
Waldemar Wysokinskiprofessor, medical doctor at Mayo Clinic, USA
Emanuel Steinfeld; attended the College of Brieg
Bogumil Dawison(Bogumil Davidsohn), actor, stayed shortly at Brieg
Bibliography of Jewish Encyclopedia
* Brann, "Geschichte der Juden in Schlesien";
* "Jahrbuch des Deutsch-Israelitischen Gemeindebundes"
:JewishEncyclopedia ( [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1472&letter=B] )::By :
Gotthard Deutsch& A. M. Friedenberg
* [http://brzeg24.pl Dziennik Brzeski]
* [http://www.forumbrzeg.pl Forum Brzeg]
* [http://www.brzeg.vel.pl Foto Brzeg]
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