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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: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

Będzin – a town in southern Poland, district capital in Śląskie Province. It is located 13 km south of Katowice, 280 km south of Warsaw, by the Czarna Przemsza River.




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’s Zaułek Street, later on Zawała Street, and then around Rybna Street and what is today’s Berka Joselewicza Street. In the second half of the 16th century, a special envoy – Rabbi Israel ben Shmuel (Szmueliwicz, Szmuelowicz) – was sent out from Będzin to Kraków. There is also a mention of Jews residing in the Będzin area of Zakamarki dating back to 1564.

On 21 September 1583, Stefan Batory issued a mandate granting Będzin Jews various rights and freedoms. Thanks to the privilege, a kehilla was created in the town ca. 1583, a wooden synagogue was erected (on today Targowa Street) and a Jewish cemetery, situated in the outskirts of the town, was established (ca. 1592). The walls of the synagogue were decorated with inscriptions citing the twelve provisions of the Jewish court law. All disputes between Jews and Christians were settled by the Jewish court, which included: a rabbi, a legal advisor and jurors. The hearings were also attended by the local governor and held in the synagogue. A prison, financed by the Jewish community, was located right next to the temple.

The Jewish life in Będzin in the 16th and 17th century revolved around the synagogue. The community was headed by the rabbi along withMore

Local history

Stary Rynek w Będzinie - początek XX w. | nieznany

The history of town of Będzin began in the 13th century with a small settlement established at the foot of a ducal castle that oversaw the passage on the Czarna Przemsza River. The original wooden fortification was destroyed by a Tatar invasion in 1241. The first documented reference to the village of Będzin dates to the year 1301. In 1358, King Kazimierz III Wielki granted the settlement town rights under the Magdeburg Law. In 1364, as part of a campaign to fortify part of the border with Czech Silesia, a stone castle and a new fortified wall were built in the town; the structures have survived to this day in a slightly modified form resulting from the restoration works carried out in the 19th and 20th century. The newly fortified stronghold became a centre of a royal estate.

From the 14th century up until the Partitions of Poland, Będzin was a part of Proszowice County in Krakowskie Province. For a short time in 1424, the town became the Polish centre of Hussitism. The town was destroyed in an invasion led by Duke of Oświęcim Jan in 1475. A Jewish community started to develop in the town in the 16th century. In the year 1588, a notable prisoner was held in the town's castle: Archduke Maximilian Habsburg, a would-be king of Poland were in not for his defeat in the Battle of Byczyna by Hetman Jan Zamoyski, a supporter of Zygmunt III Waza. The town largely suffered from a fire which broke out in 1616 and from being plundered by the Swedish Army in 1655. The town’s economy began to recover in the 18th century thanks to the discovery of coal deposits in the






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