Acta Geographica Silesiana, T. 12, nr 2 (2018), s. 53-64
The article recalls times of illegal hard coal mining in Katowice, capital city of Polish part of Upper Silesia during the Great De-pression, which began in 1929 and lasted until 1933. Due to adverse political and economic conditions in Europe, Silesian mines had to significantly reduce coal mining. Unemployment and poverty prevailing among workers' families paved the way for illegal exploitation and trade in coal, which ensured survival for people who took the risk of working in temporary, badly secured mines. The article presents the geological conditions of exploitation, its location in Katowice area, the course in time, and the way in which the local authorities and enterpreneures fought this phenomenon. Illegal exploitation is associated with unprofitable economic phenomena. Unfortunately, places of illegal exploitation appear again in the area of the Silesia Metropolis, whose capital is Katowice.