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Lodz of 4 cultures

At the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Lodz was a city practically free from xenophobia. Lodz was remembered as a city of tolerance, a city of various cultures, different nations, which lived next to each other. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, various religions and nationalities in Lodz were almost condemned to coexist. So no wonder that Festiwal Łódź Czterech Kultur (Lodz of Four Cultures Festival) was inscribed without problems into the contemporary cultural calendar.
The cultures – Jewish, German, Russian and Polish were always present here, even when the nationalities which formed them, were absent. Lodz has worked many years for the name of a melting pot of cultures, starting from the first workshops launched in the 20’s of the 19th century. But before there was an industrial revolution in this poor, little-known village, it was mostly inhabited by Poles. In 1820, Lodz counted 767 inhabitants, 259 of which belonged to the Jewish community. The number of settlers from German lands also began to grow in a rapid manner: at one time, they were even in majority within the Lodz’s population. However, precise information dates back to the end of the 19th century: then, Poles were more than 46 percent of the Lodz’s population, Germans – more than 29 percent, Jews – over 21 percent, and Russians – 2.5 percent. After regaining the independence, Germans were much less numerous – 7 percent, Poles represented 62 percent of the community, and Jews – 30 percent.

Multicultural and multinational Lodz built by Poles, Germans, Jews and Russians existed and flourished until the outbreak of the World War II, and its traces are visible in the city even to this day.