Monday, February 13, 2012

Poland - Będzin

Views of interesting places in Będzin, Poland.

Sent by Ewa from Będzin, Poland.

This is from Wikipedia : Będzin [ˈbɛnd​͡ʑin] (also Bendzin, Yiddish: Bendin בענדין, German: Bendzin, Bendsburg) is a city in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie in southern Poland. Located in the Silesian Highlands, on the Czarna Przemsza river (tributary of the Vistula), the city borders the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - a metro area with a population of about 2 million.

It has been situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since its formation in 1999. Before 1999, it was located in Katowice Voivodeship. Będzin is one of the cities of the 2.7 million person conurbation - Katowice urban area and within a greater Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5,294,000 people. The population of the city is 58,639 (2008).

According to archeological finds, the settlement has existed since the early Middle Ages. The earliest historical mention of Będzin comes from 1301, when it is listed as a village. It was granted Magdeburg rights and became a city in 1358.

Until World War II, Będzin had a vibrant Jewish community. According to the Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 21,200, Jews constituted 10,800 (around 51% percent). According to the 1921 census the town had a Jewish community consisting of 17,298 people, or 62.1 percent of its total population. 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. A Będzin Ghetto was created in 1942. Eventually, in the summer of 1943, most of the Jews in Będzin were deported to the nearby German concentration camp at Auschwitz. Since Będzin was one of the last Polish communities to be liquidated, there are a relatively large number of survivors from there, and an extensive collection of their personal photographs were recovered, offering photographic insight into the pre-war life there.

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