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.