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Bautzen (bou´tsən), city (1994 pop. 45,350), Saxony, E Germany, on the Spree River. It is an industrial city, a rail junction, and the center of a kaolin-quarrying region. Manufactures include vehicles, iron products, electrochemical equipment, machinery, and textiles. Bautzen was founded in the 10th cent. and was contested in the 11th and 12th cent. by Poland, Meissen, Brandenburg, and Bohemia. It eventually passed to Bohemia, was burned (1634) in the Thirty Years War, and passed (1635) with Lusatia to Saxony. Noteworthy landmarks include a 13th-century church and numerous 18th-century buildings. In 1813, Napoleon I defeated a Russo-Prussian army nearby. In 1989 discoveries were made in the Bautzen prison complex of the largest mass grave of post–World War II Germany. The remains of more than 17,000 political prisoners from the Soviet occupation era after 1945 were found at the site.

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