Polska / śląskie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Places of martyrology||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||śląskie / kieleckie (before 1939)|
|County:||będziński / będziński (before 1939)|
|Community:||Będzin / Będzin (before 1939)|
Bendzin [j. niemiecki]
Bendsburg [lata 1939-1945]
בנדין [ j. hebrajski]
Бендзин [j. rosyjski]
Situated in the Silesian Upland, on the
Adam Marczewski /
The first reference to Jews living near Będzin dates from the end of the 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 where today Zaułek Street is located. 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 September 21, 1583. The privileges allowed Jews to create a kahal in Będzin in ca.1583. Also a wooden synagogues was built (in the street later called Targowa) and also 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
The primeval Slavic settlement that occupied the site was destroyed by the Tartar invasion in 1241. First mentions of the village Będzin date back to 1301. In 1358 Będzin was town privileges according to the Magdeburg law. In 1364 a defensive wall and a stone castle were built. In 1424 Będzin became a centre of Polish hussitism. In 1457 the town was destroyed as a result of the invasion of Jan, the Duke of Oświęcim. In 1616 the town was destroyed by a great fire and in 1655 destroyed again by the Swedish army. Since 1793 Będzin was under Prussian rule, in 1807 it became a part of the Duchy of Warsaw, and since 1815 it was a part of Congress Poland (the Kingdom of Poland). In the 19th century hard bituminous coal deposits were discovered near Będzin. The first mine was opened in 1825. In 1856 at the foot of the castle a new wooden synagogue was built which was replaced in 1881 by a brick synagogue. During World War I Będzin was occupied by the German army.
During the interwar years Jews played an important role in the political life of the town. They sat in the town council and had a Jewish vice president. Jewish industrialists were shareholders in the local metal industry and owners of chemical plants.
During World War II, in September 1939 Będzin was occupied by the German army. Będzin was incorporated into Germany which resulted in mass deportations of Poles to the General Government. In early 1940, the Germans created the Będzin ghetto, where they held circa 30 000 Jews. Between 1-8 September 1943 the ghetto underwent liquidation. The Germans murdered about 25,000 inhabitants of Będzin in total (50% of all inhabitants). In January 1945 Będzin was liberated by the Soviet army.
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