Bielsko i Biała na łamach „Gwiazdki Cieszyńskiej” w pierwszych latach niepodległej Polski (1918-1922)
Bielsko and Biała in the Pages of Gwiazdka Cieszyńska in the First Years of Independent Poland (1918–1922)
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The first years of a reconstituted Polish state were one of the landmark moments in the history of Bielsko and Biała. At that time, the two towns already constituted one urban organism on the border of Cieszyn Silesia and Galicia – a single industrial and cultural-educational center, multi-ethnic and multiconfessional. However, while in the case of Biała 1918 brought quite a natural return to the situation from before 1772 (when it was under Austrian rule), Bielsko entered the borders of the new Poland after almost six hundred years of Czech and Austrian rule. The preserved archival legacy regarding events between 1918 and 1922 is not very extensive, hence Polish and German press of that period is a crucial sources. One of them is the then most widely read Polish newspaper in Cieszyn Silesia – Gwiazdka Cieszyńska, a publication created by the Association of Silesian Catholics and its prominent leader, Fr. Józef Londzin. The author analyzes its contents in terms of the subject of Bielsko-Biała, which, although it was only a fraction of the content of the paper’s pages, provides a lot of valuable source information. This information is arranged thematically and presented in the following sub-chapters: political life, the Upper Silesian issue (the plebiscite), social conflicts and trade unions (along with descriptions of riots caused by food shortages in 1919), national relations (marked by the Polish-German conflict), the Administrative Commission of Bielsko (which managed the city in the years 1921-1922), economic issues, church and religious matters, educational situation in Bielsko, and cultural life.
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