Będzin

Będzin

[ben-jeen]
Będzin, Ger. Bendzin, town (1993 est. pop. 65,100), Śląskie prov., SE Poland, on the Czarna Przemsza River, a tributary of the Vistula. It is a heavy industry and coal-mining center. Founded in the 14th cent., Będzin was situated on the Wrocław-Kraków trade route. The first coal mine in the Upper Silesian basin opened at Będzin in 1785. The town passed to Prussia in 1795 and to Russia in 1815; it was returned to Poland in 1919. In World War II, the Germans built a concentration camp there in which more than 10,000 of the town's citizens were killed. In Będzin are the ruins of a 13th-century castle.

Będzin (Bendin בענדין, Bendzin) is a town in Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland. It has a population of 58,659 (2006), and covers an area of .

Situated in Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, previously in Katowice Voivodship (1975-1998), it is now the seat of Będzin County. Historically, it lies in the Zagłębie Dąbrowskie (Zaglembia) region of Lesser Poland, which borders Silesia proper.

Until World War II, Będzin had a vibrant Jewish community but in September, 1939 the German Army (Wehrmacht) overran this area, followed by the SS death squads (Einsatzgruppen), who burned the Będzin synagogue and murdered many of the Jewish inhabitants. Eventually, in the summer of 1943, most of the Jews in Będzin were deported to the nearby German concentration camp at Auschwitz and exterminated in the Holocaust. Since Będzin was one of the last Polish communities to be liquidated, there are a relatively greater number of survivors from there, and an extensive collection of their personal photographs were recovered, offering a photographic insight into the pre-war life there.

Notable inhabitants

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