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(lo͞oj), city (1993 est. pop. 842,300), capital of Łódzkie prov., central Poland. The second largest city of Poland and an important industrial center, Łódź was long the center of the Polish textile industry, but the industry has declined significantly since the end of Communist rule. Other manufactures include computers and electronics, chemicals, and consumer goods. Chartered in 1423, the city passed to Prussia in 1793 and to Russia in 1815. It reverted to Poland in 1919. The first textile mills were established in the city c.1830, but the industry grew only after 1870. The city was also the center of the Polish labor and socialist movements. In World War II it was incorporated into Germany, renamed Litzmannstadt, and subjected to ruthless Germanization. The city has a university (founded in 1945).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Poland, lying on the Vistula-Oder watershed. The administrative center of Łódź Urban Województwo. Population, 774,000 (1972). Next to Warsaw, it is Poland’s largest and most industrially developed city. Together with such surrounding textile towns as Pabianice, Zgierz, and Ozorków, Łódź forms the Łódź conurbation. It is also an important transportation center.

In people’s Poland the city’s industry has been diversified, and beside the older industries there have arisen new branches of the machine building, electrical engineering, and chemical industries. The city has remained Poland’s chief textile center. Of the 220,000 persons employed in industry in 1972, about half work in the textile industry. Łódź accounts for more than one-fourth of the country’s production of wool fabrics, about two-fifths of its cotton fabrics and yarn, more than two-fifths of its silk, and about one-fourth of its tricot. Łódź also produces transformers, equipment for electric traction, motion picture apparatus, textile machinery, artificial and synthetic fibers, rubber goods, and leather footwear. Printing and the food and condiment industry are also well developed. Łódź is the site of a university; polytechnic, medical, and other institutes; the Central Film Studio of the Polish People’s Republic; and opera and other theaters.

Łódź acquired the legal status of a town in the 15th century. Since the 1820’s it has been a textile center, around which a large textile region developed in the second half of the 19th century. In the 1870’s, Łódź became a focus of the proletarian movement. A local organization of the party Proletariat I was founded here in 1882, and a general strike took place in 1892. The Łódź rebellion of 1905 was an important landmark in the history of the struggle of the Polish proletariat. A soviet of workers’ deputies functioned here in 1918–19, and one of the largest strikes in Poland occurred in 1928. In 1939 the city was occupied by the German fascist troops and renamed Litzmannstadt. Soviet troops liberated Łódź on Jan. 19, 1945.

The center of Łódź has a regular layout dating from the early 19th century. After the second half of the 19th century the city grew without systematic planning. Since World War II (1939–45) the city has been modernized. New residential districts have been built, as well as numerous public buildings, such as the university library, a sports complex, and a theater. A monument-mausoleum to the soldiers of the Soviet Army was erected in Łódź in 1961.


Łódź : rozwój miasta w Polsce Ludowej. Warsaw, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.