Szczecin

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Szczecin ([ˈʂt​͡ʂɛt​͡ɕin] ( listen); German: Stettin [ʃtɛˈtɪːn]  ( listen); Kashubian: Sztetëno [ʂtɛˈtənɔ]), 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 was population is 406,427.

Szczecin is located on the Oder River, south of the Szczecin Lagoon and the Bay of Pomerania. The city is situated along the southwestern shore of Dąbie Lake, on both sides of Oder and on several large islands between western and eastern branch of the river. Szczecin borders with town of Police, seat of the Police County, situated at an estuary of the Oder River.

The city's beginnings were as a 8th century Slavic Pomeranian stronghold. Over the course of its history it has been a part of Poland, existed as an independent Duchy, was ruled by Sweden, Denmark, Brandenburg-Prussia, was part of the Holy Roman Empire, Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany. It was the residence of the Griffin Dynasty from the 12th until the 17th century. It joined the Hanseatic League in 1278. Economic growth and the Industrial revolution led to a ten-fold increase of the population making it the major port on the Baltic sea, and a capital city in Swedish, later, Prussian, Pomerania.

While the city was part of Nazi Germany Jews and Poles were subjected to repression and finally during World War II classified as untermenschen with their fate being slavery and extermination. After Germany was defeated by the Allies in 1945, Szczecin became part of People's Republic of Poland. With the Germans expelled, Poles rebuilt and resettled the city, which became capital of the Szczecin Voivodeship. It played an important role in the anti-communist uprisings of 1970 and the rise of Solidarity trade union in the 1980s.

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