Print | A A A | Report a bug | 45 823 448 chars | 92949 photos | 882 video | 118 audio | 1971 towns


Polska / śląskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:śląskie / kieleckie (before 1939)
County:będziński / będziński (before 1939)
Community:Będzin / Będzin (before 1939)
Other names:בנדין [ j. hebrajski]; בענדין [j. jidysz]; Бендзин [j. rosyjski]
50.3261° N / 19.1253° E
50°19'33" N / 19°07'31" E


Adam Marczewski

Situated in the Silesian Upland, on the Czarna Przemsza River (a basin of the Vistula River), the town of Będzin is the capital of Będzin County in Silesia




Uroczystości narodowe w Będzinie, 1939 r. | nieznany

The first information about Jews living in Będzin dates back to the end of the 13th century. In the early 14th century, they engaged in trade and money lending and resided along the ramparts of the town, in the area of today Zaułek street, later on Zawała street, and then around Rybna and what is today Berka Joselewicza streets. In the second half of the 16th century, a special envoy Rabbi Israel ben Shmuel (Szmueliwicz, Szmuelowicz) travelled from Będzin to Krakow. There is also mention dating back to 1564 of Jews residing in the Będzin area of Zakamarki.

Będzin Jews were granted rights and freedoms conferred by a mandate on 21 September 1583 by Stefan Batory. Thanks to this privilege, in around 1583, a Kahal was created, wooden synagogue was erected (on today Targowa Street) and a Jewish cemetery was established (in around 1592), situated on the edge of the town. On the walls of the synagogue, 12 Jewish court laws were inscribed. All disputes between Jews and Christians were settled by the Jewish court, which included: a rabbi, a legal advisor and an aldermaen. Hearings, which took place in the synagogue, were also attended by the local governor. Next door was a prison maintained by the local Jewish community. Hearings took place in the synagogue, next to which was a prison maintained by the Jews

The  center of Jewish life in Będzin in the 16th and 17th centuries revolved around the synagogue. The rabbi was a head of the community  with four judges (dayanim), whose task was to manage all social institutions. These included: Chevra Kadisha (burial society), Talmud Torah religious school, hospital fund, and the Maoz Dal fund for the poor. The Kahal also provided a dowry to the poorest brides, clothing to the poor, and loans of a philanthropic nature. As Będzin was near the border, Jewish refugees expelled from other countries often flocked to the the town. Therefore, Kahal institutions often had a lot of work to do. Along with the synagogue there were two cheders and a yeshiva..

In 1616, a huge fire destroyed the town. Many Jews lost the roof over their heads. It is difficult to determine the number of Jews living in Będzin in the 17th century because the community did not report their true numbers in order to avoid paying high taxes (3 guilders per person). On 20 August 1644, Władysław IV confirm


Local history /

Stary Rynek w Będzinie - początek XX w. | nieznany

The origins of the town go back to the establishment in the 13th century of a settlement lying at the foot of a ducal fortified town that guarded the passage on the River Czarna Przemsza. A Tatar invasion left the first wooden fortifications ruined in 1241. First documented references to the village of Będzin date from the year 1301. King Kazimierz III Wielki granted Będzin the Magdeburg law. In 1364, during the fortification of an important section of the border with the then Czech Silesia, the town was surrounded with a fortified wall and there was a stone castle constructed, which to this day has been preserved in the form in which the restoration in the 19th and 20th centuries had left it. The stronghold became a center of the Crown lands (Polish: starostwo niegrodowe)

From the 14th century up until the partitions the town was within the limits of Proszowice County, Kraków Province. In 1424, for a short time Będzin was the centre of the Polish Hussitism. As a result of the invasion of troops led by Duke of Oświęcim, Jan, the town was destroyed in 1457. A Jewish community started to grow bigger in the 16th century. In 1588, a special prisoner was being held captive at the Będzin castle. It was Archduke Maximilian Habsburg, a would-be Polish king, who was defeated in the Battle of Byczyna by Hetman Jan Zamoyski, who was a supporter of King Zygmunt III Waza. A huge fire consumed the town in 1616, and the Swedish ravaged it in 1655. The discovery of hard coal deposits contributed to its economic recovery in the 18th century. Towards the end of the Rzeczpospolita, Będzin had approximately 1,000 inhabitants.  

From 1795 on, Będzin was in the Prussia occupation zone (Nowy Śląsk/New Silesia), from 1807 on, it belonged to the Duchy of Warsaw (Kalisz department, Kraków department from 1809 on), and to the Kingdom of Poland from 1815 on (Kraków Province, Radom Government, and, eventually, Piotrków Trybunalski Government). The first hard coal mine was opened in 1825, and the very town became an important industrial centre of the Dąbrowa Basin (Polish: Zagłębie Dąbrowskie). Będzin County was designated out of Olkusz County in 1867. German troops occupied Będzin during World War One in the years 1914–1918. After regaining independence the town was incorporated into Kielce Province.

During World War Two, in September 1939, German forces took ov


Support a city

Support a city

With your financial contribution towards the development of a town description, a photo documentation or other activities, you will be awarded a donation certificate.

Support a city





Genealogical Indexes

Jewish Records Indexing
5,000,000 Jewish Records Available Online!


Resources for Jewish Family History

People who like this city: