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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:Bendin
Bendzin [j. niemiecki]
Bendsburg [lata 1939-1945]
בנדין [ j. hebrajski]
בענדין [jidysz]
Бендзин [j. rosyjski]
50.3261° N / 19.1253° E
50°19'33" N / 19°07'31" E


Adam Marczewski

Herb miasta Będzin | Poznaniak

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



Adam Marczewski

Zamek i synagoga w Będzinie, początek XX w. | nieznany

The first reference to Jews living near Będzin dates from the late 13th century. At the beginning of the 14th century Jews stopped living off farming and took up occupations connected with trade and loans. First Jewish residents of Będzin lived near the fortifications of the town, in the area of todays Zaułek Street. Later on, they moved to Zawała Street, and next to Rybna Street and Berka Joselewicza Street. There was a Jewish community. In the second half of the 16th century a special emissary, rabbi Israel Ben Szmuel (Szmueliwicz) was sent from Będzin to Cracow . In documents dating back to 1564 Jews living in Zakamarki, in the suburbs of Będzin, are mentioned.

The Jews from Będzin were granted their rights and liberties after Stefan Batory (Stephen Báthory) issued a mandate on 21 September 1583. The privileges allowed Jews to create a kahal in Będzin in ca.1583. Also a wooden synagogue was built (in the street later called Targowa) and a Jewish cemetery was established in the suburbs. On one of the synagogue’s walls Jewish court laws were inscribed, which included 12 precepts. All arguments between Jews and Christians were dealt with by the Jewish court that consisted of by a rabbi, solicitor and lay judges. Province governor also took part in such dealings. The hearings were held in the synagogue, next to which there was a prison maintained by Jews. The synagogue was the hub of life of Będzin Jews in 16th and 17th century. The community was headed by a rabbi and four dayanim, whose main function was to govern all social institutions, such as: burial society Chevra Kaddisha, religious school Talmud Tora, hospital fund, assistance fund for the poor Maoz Dal. Moreover, they were providing the poorest brides with dowries, clothing for the poor and charitable loans.
 Due to Będzin’s location near the boarders, Jewish refugees, having been expelled from other countries, oftentimes settled down in the town. That is why there was usually a lot of work to be done by kehilla insitutions. By the synagogue there were also two heders and yeshiva, where rabbi Natan Mitlas used to teach .

About 1592 the first Jewish cemetery was established in Będzin. In 1616 the town was destroyed by a great fire and many Jews lost their houses at that time. It is hard to determine the number of Jews living in Będzin in the 17th century because the community did not


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


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