History has a tendency to repeat itself – Poznań Bamberg settlers
Poznań had to deal with the problem of declining population and farmland lying fallow many times throughout its history. The situation was most serious in the first half of the 18th century. The city was destroyed by the Great Northern War as well as by diseases and looting which came with it. Fires, floods and a hurricane which followed the war and hit Poznań delivered the finishing blow. The city lied in ruins and the population decreased by half – to only 3,500 people.
In order to provide Poznań with some temporary income, a decision was made to first help the surrounding villages. Therefore, the authorities invited settlers, mainly from the German city of Bamberg. Just like medieval settlers, they were given tax reliefs, building materials for houses and seeds to sow. However, there was one condition they had to meet to settle: they had to be Catholics.
Women settlers from Bamberg wearing everyday clothes, the beginning of the 20th century, photo from the collection of the National Museum in Poznań