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Back to Zabrze itself:
According to the official newspaper – Zabrzer (Hindenburger) Kreisblatt – the town just wanted the new name, and got it "approved by the highest authorities" on March 1, 1915. No official reasoning given there.
Some revisionist sources (Ostpreusissche Allgemeine (1980), p11.) the inhabitants grew tired of a way too Polish sounding name for the town, and just wanted something more germanic. This assertion is allegedly based on the book: Josef Pollok (Ed): "Die Geschichte der Stadt Hindenburg OS", 1979 (excerpts online).
This contrasts

Before and during the world war, the German authorities had made a concerted effort to germanize place names, most famously renaming Zabrze as Hindenburg in 1915.
(T. K. Wilson: "Frontiers of Violence: Conflict and Identity in Ulster and Upper Silesia, 1918–1922", Oxford University Press: Oxford, New York, 2010, p189.)

My general rule of thumb has been to try to give place names in the form they occur in the original sources consulted. Occasionally, this leads to minor anomalies – i.e. Polish usage always called Zabrze ‘Zabrze’ but pro-Germans used both ‘Zabrze’ and ‘Hindenburg’.
(Tim Wilson: "Fatal violence in Upper Silesia, 1918–1922", in: James Bjork, Tomasz Kamusella, Tim Wilson and Anna Novikov (Eds): "Creating Nationality in Central Europe, 1880–1950. Modernity, violence and (be)longing in Upper Silesia", Routledge: London, New York, 2016, p53–84.)

Looking at the latest statistical developments for the region from 1890–1913:

Kreis Zabrze: 2,4% 8,7 % bilinguals
1890: Poles 23.0% – Germans 72.7%
1913: Poles 40% – Germans 51.0%
(Paul Weber: "Die Polen in Oberschlesien. Eine statistische Untersuchung", Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg, 1914.)

Back to Zabrze itself:
According to the official newspaper – Zabrzer (Hindenburger) Kreisblatt – the town just wanted the new name, and got it "approved by the highest authorities" on March 1, 1915. No official reasoning given there.
Some revisionist sources (Ostpreusissche Allgemeine (1980), p11.) the inhabitants grew tired of a way too Polish sounding name for the town, and just wanted something more germanic. This assertion is allegedly based on the book: Josef Pollok (Ed): "Die Geschichte der Stadt Hindenburg OS", 1979 (excerpts online).

Back to Zabrze itself:
According to the official newspaper – Zabrzer (Hindenburger) Kreisblatt – the town just wanted the new name, and got it "approved by the highest authorities" on March 1, 1915. No official reasoning given there.
Some revisionist sources (Ostpreusissche Allgemeine (1980), p11.) the inhabitants grew tired of a way too Polish sounding name for the town, and just wanted something more germanic. This assertion is allegedly based on the book: Josef Pollok (Ed): "Die Geschichte der Stadt Hindenburg OS", 1979 (excerpts online).
This contrasts

Before and during the world war, the German authorities had made a concerted effort to germanize place names, most famously renaming Zabrze as Hindenburg in 1915.
(T. K. Wilson: "Frontiers of Violence: Conflict and Identity in Ulster and Upper Silesia, 1918–1922", Oxford University Press: Oxford, New York, 2010, p189.)

My general rule of thumb has been to try to give place names in the form they occur in the original sources consulted. Occasionally, this leads to minor anomalies – i.e. Polish usage always called Zabrze ‘Zabrze’ but pro-Germans used both ‘Zabrze’ and ‘Hindenburg’.
(Tim Wilson: "Fatal violence in Upper Silesia, 1918–1922", in: James Bjork, Tomasz Kamusella, Tim Wilson and Anna Novikov (Eds): "Creating Nationality in Central Europe, 1880–1950. Modernity, violence and (be)longing in Upper Silesia", Routledge: London, New York, 2016, p53–84.)

Looking at the latest statistical developments for the region from 1890–1913:

Kreis Zabrze: 2,4% 8,7 % bilinguals
1890: Poles 23.0% – Germans 72.7%
1913: Poles 40% – Germans 51.0%
(Paul Weber: "Die Polen in Oberschlesien. Eine statistische Untersuchung", Springer-Verlag: Berlin, Heidelberg, 1914.)

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Back to Zabrze itself:
According to the official newspaper – Zabrzer (Hindenburger) Kreisblatt – the town just wanted the new name, and got it "approved by the highest authorities" on March 1, 1915. No official reasoning given there.
Some revisionist sources (Ostpreusissche Allgemeine (1980), p11.) the inhabitants grew tired of a way too Polish sounding name for the town, and just wanted something more germanic. This assertion is allegedly based on the book: Josef Pollok (Ed): "Die Geschichte der Stadt Hindenburg OS", 1979 (excerpts online).

Back to Zabrze itself:
According to the official newspaper – Zabrzer (Hindenburger) Kreisblatt – the town just wanted the new name, and got it "approved by the highest authorities" on March 1, 1915. No official reasoning given there.
Some revisionist sources (Ostpreusissche Allgemeine (1980), p11.) the inhabitants grew tired of a way too Polish sounding name for the town, and just wanted something more germanic. This assertion is allegedly based on the book: Josef Pollok (Ed): "Die Geschichte der Stadt Hindenburg OS", 1979 (excerpts online).

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Some more examples of places/towns renamed after persons in Germany, not before 1500 and not after 1918: Borsigwalde, Scharmützelhütte->Ferdinandshof, Buchhorn->Friedrichshafen (1811), Friedrichskoog, Georgsdorf, Malbergen->Georgsmarienhütte (1857), Leopoldshöhe (1841), Schröck->Leopoldshafen (1833), Ludwigshafen (1852), Holzhof->Maxdorf (1819), Quilicz/Quilitz-> Neuhardenberg (1814), Selbelang/Bardelebenschen Meierei-> Paulinenaue (1833), Heppens/Neuende-> Wilhelmshaven (1869).

Wilhelmshaven was of course named after the future emperor Wilhelm I of Prussia.

Some more examples of places/towns renamed after persons in Germany, not before 1500 and not after 1918: Borsigwalde, Scharmützelhütte->Ferdinandshof, Buchhorn->Friedrichshafen (1811), Friedrichskoog, Georgsdorf, Malbergen->Georgsmarienhütte (1857), Leopoldshöhe (1841), Schröck->Leopoldshafen (1833), Ludwigshafen (1852), Holzhof->Maxdorf (1819), Quilicz/Quilitz-> Neuhardenberg (1814), Selbelang/Bardelebenschen Meierei-> Paulinenaue (1833), Heppens/Neuende-> Wilhelmshaven (1869).

Wilhelmshaven was of course named after the future emperor Wilhelm I of Prussia.

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