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Toszek [ˈtɔʂɛk] (German: Tost) is a town in Poland, in Gliwice County, Silesian Voivodeship, with 3,600 inhabitants (2019).


The beginning of the settlement and fortified keep dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries when the area was ruled by the Piasts, Mieszko I of Poland and later Bolesław I the Brave.The fortified keep had grown to the size of a town during the rule of Duke of Wrocław Bolesław Wysoki and during his rule it received city rights in 1235. After 1281 it became the seat of the regional Duchy and title of local ruler Bolesław was "the enlightened Bolesław, Duke of Toszek". In the 14th century the original Piast settlement passed to the Crown of Bohemia. In 1536, the city received Magdeburg rights from King of Bohemia Ferdinand I (later Emperor). In 1593 Rudolf II sold the castle and the area to Freiherr von Redern auf Groß Strehlitz. It was owned by Joseph von Eichendorff from 1791 to 1797. Like many other areas in Silesia, the Toszek area was subjected to Germanisation when the Silesian dukes became independent from Poland.Tost burned down on 18 August 1677, and was looted in 1807. On 20 March 1921 during voting a majority of inhabitants voted to remain in Germany rather than be moved to Poland (1348 or 86% vs. 217 or 13,8%, at 97,4% turnout). During Kristallnacht, the Toszek Jews were sent to concentration camps, where later they were all murdered.During the Second World War the civilian internment camp IIag VIII was situated in the city. English civilians, interned in the Camp Schoorl (Netherlands), were transferred to Tost on 3 September 1940. The writer P.G. Wodehouse was among the British internees: he is recorded as having commented on the region, "If this is Upper Silesia, one wonders what Lower Silesia must be like..."After the Second World War a Soviet NKVD camp was established in the city where between June–December 1945 about 3000 incarcerated people died. About 1000 prisoners were from Silesia including Breslau, but from July 1945 the NKVD brought in thousands more prisoners from the Bautzen area of Saxony. Sybille Krägel from Saxony, whose father died in the Tost prison, and others, traced the prisoner lists and over 4500 are identified by now with 800 more yet unidentified; also see Soviet NKVD. A memorial to NKVD victims is placed in Toszek.

Notable people

Ludwig Guttmann (1899–1980), German-British neurologist
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