The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Auschwitz
AUSCHWITZ (Pol. Oswiecim), a town of western Galicia, in Austria, 32 m. W. of Cracow, and about 3 m. from the frontier of Prussian Silesia; pop. 3,600. It is the principal town of the former, originally Polish, then Silesian, and then again Polish, duchies of Auschwitz und Zator, with an area of about 1,000 sq. m., which in 1564 were united into one duchy by King Sigismund Augustus, and in 1773 incorporated with Austria. Although belonging to Galicia, the territory of the duchy was in 1818 declared by Austria to belong to the Germanic confederation. Only about one tenth of the population of the duchy speak German. In the war of 1866 there was an engagement at Auschwitz on June 27 between Prussian and Austrian troops.