Skarżysko-Kamienna is a town in northern Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship in Poland by Kamienna river, to the north of Świętokrzyskie Mountains; one of the voivodship's major towns. Prior to 1928, it bore the name of Kamienna; in less formal contexts usually only the first part of the name (Skarżysko) is used.
Skarżysko-Kamienna is an important railroad junction, with two main lines (Krakow - Warsaw and Sandomierz - Koluszki) crossing there.
In 1173, the knights' congress
gathered in Milica village (now the town's district) led by Casimir II The Just
In 1923, the commune of Kamienna was granted town privileges. In 1924, National Ammunition Factory was built (now known as MESKO). And in 1928, town's name was changed to Skarżysko-Kamienna.
The Germans in Skarżysko-Kamienna
In 1940, the Germans
carried out mass executions of Poles
(360 people executed in February and 760 in June). In 1942, the Germans set up a forced labour camp
for the Jews
where tens of thousands died in forced labor (See the book: Death Comes in Yellow). In the summer of 1944, the camp was liquidated and the remaining prisoners were either killed or transported to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.
1945 and later
On January 18
the town was liberated. The few Jewish survivors from Skarzysko-Kamienna returned to the town, but then local Polish threatened their lives, asking them to leave. In February 1946 five Jewish residents were murdered by local Polish men. The murderers, among them the head of the town police and another policeman, were put to trial in Lodz, and three of them got death penalty. The remaining Jews left Poland.
In 1969, The White Eagle Museum was established. And in 1999, Skarżysko County was established as a result of the Local Government Reogranization Act (1998).
- The White Eagle Museum (Muzeum im. Orła Białego) - a military museum with Poland's second largest outdoor display, most items dating back to the World War II period.
- indoor display - uniforms, ammunition, pistols and smaller guns, soldier equipment, photographs, documents, etc.
- outdoor display - one of Poland's few ships displayed onshore (torpedo boat Odważny - The Brave), planes, tanks (including one of world's few preserved Sturmgeschütz IV vehicles), helicopters, cannons, etc.
- Throughout the communist era and beyond, popular gossip had it that blocks of flats in Milica district, built in the 1950s, had been arranged to form the word Stalin or Bierut. Aerial photographs have disproved both versions of the gossip.
- Several scenes of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List were filmed in MESKO - the town's largest factory which used to house a forced labour camp during World War II.
- Skarzysko.pl - official site of the town's municipality
- Skarżysko-Kamienna On-line - town's unofficial site (language - Polish; direct access to the sections below)
- Skarżysko24.pl - newest town unofficial site (language - Polish, English, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish)