POLAND : GDYNIA - History
The first mention of Gdynia was of a
Pomeranian (Kashubian) fishing village, in 1253. Oksywie, now part of
Gdynia, was mentioned even earlier in 1209. In the years 1382–1772
Gdynia belonged to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa.
Gdynia, as part of Eastern Pomerania, was part of the loose
confederation of Slavic tribes that would later be called Poland from
circa 990–1308. After the Massacre of Gdansk (1308) it became a state of
the Teutonic Order (1308–1454/66), but afterwards fell to the
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1466–1772). At the Partitions of Poland
of 1772 it was annexed into the Kingdom of Prussia (1772–1919), and as
part of Prussia became part of the German Empire (1870–1919). Its name
during its centuries under German rule was Gdingen.
After World War I it was assigned as part of the Polish Pomerania to
Poland (1919–1945), and was reannexed by Germany at the start of World
War II in 1939. The seaport was largely destroyed by the withdrawing
German troops in 1945 (90% of the buildings and equipment were
destroyed) and the harbour entrance was blocked by the German
It was then reannexed by Poland in 1945.