BEDZIN: Katowickie Print

Coat of arms of Będzin

Alternate names: Będzin [Pol], Bendin [Yid], Bendsburg [Ger, 1939-45], Bendzin [Ger, Rus], Russian: Бендзин, Bendin - בענדין-Yiddish. 50°20' N, 19°09' E, 38 miles WNW of Kraków, 32 miles S of Częstochowa in Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland. 2006 population: 58,659. 1900 Jewish population: 10,839.

ShtetLink. The settlement existed since the early Middle Ages (1301 village). Granted Magdeburg rights, the village became a city in 1358. Until World War II, Będzin had a vibrant Jewish community. 1921 Jewish population by census:  17,298 (62.1%). In September, 1939, the Wehrmacht overran this area, followed by the SS death squads, who burned Będzin synagogue and murdered many Jews. In summer 1943, most of the Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Since Będzin was one of the last Polish communities to be liquidated, relatively the more survivors have an extensive collection of personal photographs recovered. 1992 town population: 65.000 with 10-50 Jews. Yizkors: Pinkas Bendin (Tel Aviv, 1959); Piotrkow Trybunalski ve-ha-seviva (Tel Aviv, 1965);A tale of one city: Piotrkow Trybunalski (New York, 1991); Pinkas Zaglembye (Melbourne, 1972); and Ir ha-metim: hashmadat ha-Yehudim be-ezor Zaglembiyah (Tel Aviv, 1945-46). Bedzin town is very old, founded before 1290. The castle dates from 1364. Podzamcze means: "Pod"-under, "zamcze" from "zamek"-a castle. Cemetery photos. [March 2009]

Jewish settlement dates from the thirteenth century when Jews had to live outside the city walls although the oldest written sources is 1564 with formal authorization to live in the city, mainly around the existing streets and fishery Berka Joselewicza. From the beginning, Jews were active in city life and the econom. Jewish population: 1787-250' 1835 -1,200; 188 -3,800, and 1900 -37,000 (80%). In the mid-nineteenth century, Jews owned 60% of the stores as well as many factories. In 1917, all City Council of Będzin members were Jews.On the eve of WWII, only 25,000 Jews remained. On the night of September 8/9, 1939, Nazis burned the synagogue with about two hundred Jews.Gradually, Jewish property was confiscated. They were moved to the ghetto at będzińskim Warpiu and sosnowieckiej Środuli.  The first mass deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau were in 1941. Liquidation of the ghetto occurred August 1-8 , 1943. After the war, survivors returned, but most left as a result of policies of the authorities. The Just Among the Nations medal was awarded posthumously to the World Church of the Holy Trinity pastor, Mieczyslaw Zawadzki (d. 1970). [April 2009]

REFERENCE:

  • BOOK: Daab, Alezandra, Macewy Bedzinskie [Bedzin Jewish Tombstones]. Katowice: Urzad Miejski w Bedzinie , 1993.
  • BOOK: They Lived Among Us: Polish Judaica , a travel brochure: Arline Sachs, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it extracted names of townstaht supposedly having Jewish cemeteries. These generally have names only; sometimes a description of famous people who lived there, but no page number.)
  • BOOK: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe . New York: John Wiley &Sons, Inc., 1992. p 73.
  • BOOK: Jeffrey K. Cymbler: Cmentarz Gmin Żydowskich Będzina i Czeladzi, The Cemetery of the Jewish Communities of Będzin and Czeladź, The World Zaglembie Organization Tel Aviv 2007, published by Wydawnictwo "Hagada" Krakow. The book contains a DVD with photographs of all tombstones in the cemetery, alphabletical index of all names, and detailed extracts of all information inscribed on the tombstones. [March 2009]
  • CEMETERIES:

  • ul. Podzamcze (old cemetery): The first cemetery built in the 16th century was used to the mid-19th century and existed until the interwar period. 
  • ul. Zawale (now a park: Cemetery at ulica Zawale was founded in 1592, destroyed by the Nazis, and now a park. Source: Miriam Weiner
  • ul. Sielecka (bus terminal: Cemetery at ul Sielecka was founded in 1900 and completely destroyed. Source: Miriam Weiner.[date?] This 1870s cemetery on Warpie Street. Zagórskiej i ul. Zagorska and ul. Sieleckiej was destroyed during WWII. The cemetery was destroyed to enlarge the bus depot. Some gravestones were moved to the cemetery on Podzamczu, part used as construction materials in the depot. In Autumn 2007, gravestones from the Jewish cemetery were found in the ewconstruction of the old railway platform. [April 2009]
  • ul. Czealdzka 64, in Czeladz (also used by Bedzin community and called New Cemetery): After the cholera epidemic in 1831, a new cemetery was necessary. The Jews began to bury the dead on Podzamczu - the northern slope of Castle, existing to the present day. Holocaust Memorial: At the synagogue site is a memorial inscription to forty Jews executed on Sept.9, 1939,. 22 Lipca Str. By WWI, cemetery on ul. Sieleckiej was full, which forced the municipal authorities and Jewish Będzin/Czeladz to organize the next (the fourth) cemetery. A joint cemetery was established in 1916 on the border of both cities (Będzin/Czeladz), at ul. Będzińskiej 64 near the center of today's commercial M1.Divided into several sections for men, women and children. Czeladzkiej used the front of the cemetery; bBędziński community used the back. During WWII, victims of Nazi repression were buried her e including the bodies of about a hundred Jews burned in the synagogue in Bedzin and about four hundred corpses of people murdered during the liquidation of the ghetto in August 1943. [March 2009] photos by Stanislaw Gadomski from guide "Macewy bedzinskie. photo of cemetery.photo of town and map link. synagogue sketch. cemetery photos [August 2005]

Old Cemetery: The cemetery has no name but is on Podzamcze Street. Probably only Bedzin used this cemetery. No caretaker. The cemetery is on a hillside with the castle at the crown of the hill. The cemetery was established before 1830. The earliest known Jewish community dates from 1600 to 1650. Buried in cemetery is Rabbi Jakub Natan. The isolated urban hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access open to all with no wall, fence or gate. Current size of cemetery is about 20 x 70 meters. Date of oldest gravestone is 1831. About 250 gravestones are in the cemetery regardless of condition or position with 80 in original location. 75% are toppled or broken. Stones removed from the cemetery are in Muzeum Zaglebia in Bedzin. Some tombstones have traces of paint. Inscriptions are in Yiddish. Municipality owns property now used for Jewish cemetery only. Properties adjacent are recreational. Occasionally, private visitors stop. The cemetery was vandalized occasionally in the last ten years. No maintenance but occasional clearing or cleaning by individuals with no caretaker. Within the limits of the cemetery is a castle. Vandalism, security, and pollution are a very serious threat. Weather erosion is a serious threat. Incompatible nearby development (proposed) is a moderate threat. Vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is a seasonal problem preventing access. Water drainage at the cemetery is a seasonal problem. Pawel B. Dorman; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it completed survey on 12 November 1997 using documentation: own knowledge and interviews with people from municipality: Aleksandra Daab, the Director of the Museum in Bedzin, in November 1997. Pawel Dorman can be contacted for additional information.

The cemetery is about 50 meters from the castle. Before the war 1939, there was a synagogue near the castle, but Germans burned it with about 200 Jews locked inside. Now, there is no synagogue, but I have OLD photos of the building. The old cemetery is located behind the castle and is not mentioned on the city map (I knew it existed because Jeff Cymbler had kindly sent me a 1914 map about a year ago.) It is not in great shape. The tombstones are old but readable. Most were women's tombstones. When I visited, four or five workers were cleaning the plot, cutting wild grass and more. I asked myself who sent them and what were they doing but I do not speak Polish. The cemetery is under large trees on the slope of the hill. The place is very peaceful but needs care. Source: H Daniel Wagner, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel, Tel: +(972) 8 934 2594, Fax: +(972) 8 934 4137; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New Cemetery: The new cemetery is very well maintained on the road to Czeladz, about 30 __ walking from the Castle. A worker was painting the fence. He opened the cemetery for me. I stayed for 3 hours and was able to scan the entire right hand side of the cemetery (about half). Stones are clean and accessible; some have been re-erected upside down. Source: H Daniel Wagner, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel, Tel: +(972) 8 934 2594, Fax: +(972) 8 934 4137; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Restoration at the cemetery discovered 850 matzevot or fragments, the oldest from 1831, an ohel of Rabbi Baruch Hercygiera. Rabbi Jacob Nathan's gravestone has the eagle, probably for his contribution to the Kosciuszko Insurrection). Fragments of gravestones are currently at the Museum in Zagłębie Bedzin. The site is covered with forest with part of the matzevot sliding down the slope, some only fragments.  No sections are clear. The historic site near the castle on the slope of the hill makes it  unique among the city's cemeteries. Renovation work at the cemetery including a cemetery fence is ongoing. [April 2009]

 

BEDZIN (III):   US Commission No. POCE000551 The US Commission is not finished rechecking this file [2000].

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 13:45