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Jewish Families of Będzin, Poland

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Profiles

  • Arno Lustiger (1924 - 2012)
    Arno Lustiger (May 7, 1924 – May 15, 2012) was a German historian and author of Jewish origin. Lustiger made significant contributions to research and document the history of Jewish resistance u...
  • Karol Charles Lustiger (1900 - 1982)
    Charles and Gisèle Lustiger, were Ashkenazi Jews from Będzin, Poland, and ran a hosiery shop. He and his wife left Poland around World War I. Source Father of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustig...
  • Avrum Borensztejn - Sochaczewer Rebbe (1838 - 1910)
    Avrohom Bornsztain (14 October 1838 – 7 February 1910), also spelled Avraham Borenstein or Bernstein, was a leading posek in late-nineteenth-century Europe and founder and first Rebbe of the Soc...
  • Devora Rosensaft (c.1890 - 1919)
    Daughter of the wealthy Reb Jenkele Szapiro, who was know in Bendin as a gentle man and a very charitable man. Dworele ran the smelting for glassworks business for her father even after she was married...
  • Josef Rosensaft (1911 - 1975)
    Photo: April 1946, Josef Rosensaft, the General Director of the Central Jewish Commission, at an Unveiling Ceremony of a Memorial Commemorating The First Anniversary of the Camp's Liberation, Bergen-Be...

Będzin, Poland lies in the Silesian Highlands and belongs to historic Lesser Poland. It is one of the oldest towns of this province.

First mention of the village of Będzin comes from 1301, but a settlement (or a grod) had existed here since the 9th century, guarding ancient trade route from Kiev to Western Europe. In the 1340s, a town was founded here, with King Casimir III the Great building a stone strongpoint.

Jews of Będzin

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 200 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.

Notable inhabitants

  1. Rutka Laskier, diarist (1929–1943)
  2. Jean-Marie Lustiger's parents
  3. Joshua Prawer, Israeli historian, founder of the crusader studies (1917–1990)
  4. Andrzej Kubica, former football player (1972- )[7]
  5. Janusz Gajos, actor (1939- )
  6. Grzegorz Dolniak, politician (1960–2010)
  7. Marcel Marceau's father Charles (1895-1944) deported from France and killed at Auschwitz
  8. Sam Pivnik, birthname Szmuel Piwnik, (1926-), Holocaust survivor and writer of the book Survivor: Auschwitz, The Death March and My Fight for Freedom
  9. Reb Mendel Rozenzaft
  10. Josef Rosensaft
  11. The Artisans
  12. Bedzin Jewish Characters

Links & Resources

  1. Będzin Ghetto
  2. A small town near Auschwitz: 70 years on
  3. Będzin, royal town in southern Poland Yivo
  • Daniel Blatman, “Bendz´in / Będzin,” in Pinkas ha-kehilot: Polin, vol. 7, Meḥozot Lublin / Kyeltseh, pp. 101–115 (Jerusalem, 1999);
  • Wojciech Jaworski, Żydzi będzińscy: Dzieje, zagłada (Będzin, Pol., 1993);
  • Abraham S. Stein, ed., Pinkas Bendin (Tel Aviv, 1959).