OTHER LOCAL THEMES
culture and customs
introducing the area
quotes about industry
key testimonies featuring industry
Industry in the valley is dying out, and as the jobs go, so do the people. The main industrial activity was related to timber - sawmills, the making of furniture, matches, pallets etc - but there was a uranium mine, stone quarries and a glass factory. Some local pollution was related to these industries but in Upper Silesia, industrial activity was on a far larger scale and linked to the mining of coal and other minerals. The acid rain from this and other nearby areas was blown by the prevailing winds into Lower Silesia and destroyed huge swathes of trees in the Klodzko Valley and the wider region. Only now are levels of pollution receding and the forest visibly recovering.
quotes about industry
""[Since the war] the quarries are closed down. And there were various factories in Kudowa, there were factories in Czermna, but that was a long time ago. In the Polish times, there was this huge factory in Zakrze, my father's people worked there... the silk factory. But several years ago, 10 or something, they closed it down, now people are unemployed, no earnings. And there are very few bathers now [visiting the Spa] - if they come, they have to pay for everything themselves.""
Maria, F/78, pensioner/former farmer, Poland 18
""People . want to be here, live, only there are no jobs.... If only something was developing here. The way it is now, the Spa is declining.and lots of other places of employment have been liquidated. There was such a beautiful timber works in Domaszków.... Everything is closed, they don't saw timber any more, people don't have work, there's nothing. Railway is also declining, fewer and fewer people travel, less cargo. And in Bystrzyca, also everything [is closing]... The Matches factory... Timber Works, now the Paper Products of Bystrzyca Enterprise, POM (State Machine Centre), the Furniture Factory of Bystrzyca... some of them are still breathing, but how much longer will it take, nobody knows.""
Franciszek, M/79, former local mayor, Poland 4
""Well, a lot has changed [in the forest] .because of the fact that Czech and German heavy industries are located just across our borders, and the winds blow mostly from the west, from Germany, or from the Czech Republic, from the south-west. Now, if you add to it the activities of our Basin of Turoszów, you've got a lot of poisoning coming here.... In the Karkonosze Mountains, for example, the trees became so weak that a lot of them had to be cut down.... Here, in this region, there are a number of trees that are sensitive to that kind of poisoning in the air, especially the fir.""
Miroslaw, M/70, retired forestry engineer, Poland 27