Żnin [ ʒɲin ] ( German Znin ) is a city in the Polish province of Kujawy. From June 1941 to 1945 the town was named Unterdietfurt; Poland had been conquered in 1939 in the Polish campaign of the Wehrmacht.

Geographical location

Żnin located on both sides of Gąsawka ( German Gonsawka ) between Jezioro Duże Żnińskie and J. Małe Żnińskie ( German Great and Little Zniner lake ) about 30 km southwest of Bydgoszcz is the seat of the Powiats Żniński and has about 14,000 inhabitants.


The birth of the village probably dates back to the 11th century. The oldest written reference is found in a papal document from the year 1136, which becomes the property of the Archbishop of Gniezno handed this and a further 29 places ( Archdiocese of Gniezno ). 1148 a separate diocese was established in Żnin. At that time, the city was also the seat of a castellany. The date of collection to the city is sometimes set in 1272, but the documents have been lost in the Middle Ages. 1331 Żnin was burned by German knights. After the reconstruction of the city was fortified. King Casimir the Great stayed several times in Żnin on and confirmed the ancient privileges of the city. From 1374 Żnin was also a favorite residence of the Archbishops of Gniezno. In the second half of the 17th century depopulated plague, hunger and repeated fires the city. By the Second Partition of Poland Żnin came in 1793 to Prussia. During the Napoleonic period it was part of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807, but was awarded Prussia again from the Congress of Vienna in 1815. 1919, the city came to Poznań uprising and the Treaty of Versailles back to Poland.

After the Polish campaign and the reincorporation with the German Reich, the city was named Unterdietfurt. There, in 1942 was a camp for the Division K 4/36 of the Reich Labour Service (RAD).


For urban and rural community Żnin include the 37 Soltysships:

( The German names come from the Prussian period, from 1815 to 1919, and from the time of the German occupation during the Second World War, 1939-45. )


  • Birštonas, Lithuania
  • Mettmann, Germany
  • Ommen, The Netherlands
  • Veseli nad Moravou, Czech Republic

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Jakub of Znin, Archbishop of Gniezno
  • January Śniadecki (1756-1830), Polish mathematician and astronomer
  • Franz Arnold (1878-1960), German dramatist
  • Winfried Steffani (1927-2000), German political scientist


The association Baszta Znin has a Department of Motor boat racing, which hosted on the small lake since 1979 regularly every year a motor boat racing. It is almost always around the world and European champion. 2011 won for the first time a German participants the gold medal, Manuel sour vinegar from Brodenbach became European Champion Class F - 4S.

Culture and sights

From the former Zniner circular path, the portion Żnin Wąskotorowy - Gąsawa is a museum railway in operation. In the neighboring village of Wenecja, crossed by this railway line, is the narrow gauge railway museum Wenecja. Likewise, the local castle ruins is visited.