Łódź, the third largest city in Poland, is a cultural phenomenon and a fascinating place inhabited by distinguished artists, scientists and industrialists. Since the early 19th century it has been a cradle of cooperation between four nations: Poles, Germans, Jews and Russians. They all coexisted in harmony and worked together in order to build Łódź as a powerful place to live – a Promised Land for newcomers.
The Jewish community at the turn of the 20th century was estimated at over two hundred thousand. The Shoah, the darkest episode in Europe's history, took the lives of all the members of the Jewish community in Łódź. The road of death led from the ghetto in Łódź to the Nazi death camps in Oświęcim (Auschwitz) and Chełmno (Kulmhof).
In the 1830s German weavers and cloth makers migrated to Łódź in great numbers; the German industrial culture also played a significant role in the development of the city — it left priceless reminders of technical and urban history: factories and the residences of the manufacturers, power and communications machinery, historic tenements, three Evangelical churches, theatres, schools and a cemetery. The powerful textile empires created by industrialists of German and Jewish origin have survived to this day, and are used as a foundation for various institutions and cultural projects.
The Russian presence in Łódź (for more than one hundred years) is related to the time when Poland did not exist as a state and the city, paradoxically, experienced its moment of dynamic development. The remnants of that Russian culture are the Eastern Orthodox Churches, chapels, the headquarters of governing bodies and examples of sepulchre art in Łódź cemeteries.
Today Łódź is also known for the famous film school and its graduates – R. Polanski (Oscar nominee), K. Zanussi, K. Kieślowski and J. Machulski. The city is also beloved by D. Lynch's, who chose it to shoot a few scenes for one of his movies (Inland Empire, 2006).