(Yiddish: Bendin; German: Bendsburg)
Będzin: town in Silesia, Poland. A Jewish settlement
existed in Będzin from the beginning of the 17th century. In 1765 the
population numbered 446; in 1856, 2,440 (58.6% of the total); in 1897, 10,839
(45.6%); in 1909, 22,674 (48.7%); in 1921, 17,298 (62.1%); and in 1931, 21,625
(45.4%). A large number of Jewish workers were employed in Będzin's
industries at the beginning of the 20th century, and the town became the center
of Jewish and Polish socialist activity during the 1905 Russian revolution.
After World War I Jews took a considerable part in iron-ore mining, metallurgy,
zinc and tin processing, and the production of cables, screws, nails, and iron
and copper wire. Jewish-owned undertakings included chemical works and
for paints, candles, and bakelite products, in particular buttons for the
industry, which expanded in the area during 1924-31. A Jewish school and
gymnasium (secondary school) were supported by the community with the
help of donations from local Jewish industrialists. The chain of credit
cooperatives and free loan societies established in Będzin through
the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee had a membership of
The German army entered the town on Sept. 4, 1939, and five days later they
burned the Great Synagogue in the Old City. About 50 houses surrounding the
synagogue, which were inhabited exclusively by Jews, went up in flames and a
number of Jews were burned to death. During 1940-41 the situation in
was considered somewhat better than in most other places in occupied Poland
(Będzin and its neighbor Sosnowiec were for a long time the only large
in Poland where no ghetto was established). For this reason thousands of Jews
from central Poland sought refuge there. Several thousand Jews from the
were expelled and forced to reside in Będzin, among them all the Jews from
(German name Auschwitz), who arrived in April-May 1941, prior to the
construction of the Auschwitz camp. In May 1942 the first deportation took
in which several thousand people were sent to their death in Auschwitz. On Aug.
1, 1942, in a second deportation, about 5,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz,
others were shot on the spot for disobeying German orders. In January 1943 a
ghetto was established in the suburb of Kamionka. During the spring and summer
of 1943 a few smaller deportations took place, but on Aug. 1, 1943, the
of the ghetto began. The Aktion
lasted for about two weeks due to the population's
resistance. Only a limited number of Jews survived the concentration camps by
hiding. The Jewish underground resistance in Będzin became active at the
beginning of 1940. They circulated illegal papers and made contact with the Warsaw Ghetto
underground. After the establishment of the ghetto, the underground
concentrated mainly on preparations for armed resistance. A unified fighting organization
came into being with strong ties with the Jewish Fighting Organization of the
Warsaw Ghetto. On Aug. 3, 1943, during the last deportation, some armed
resistance broke out. Among the fighters who fell in battle was the leading Jewish
partisan Frumka Plotnicka. Deportees from Będzin played a major role in the
underground and uprising in the Auschwitz death camp (among them Jeszajahu
Ehrlich, Moshe Wygnanski, Ala Gertner, and Rosa Sapirstein). Although some Jewish
survivors settled in Będzin after the war (in 1946 the Jewish population
numbered 150 people), all of them left after some time.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica
The town of Czeladź is located 5 kilometers from Bedzin. It doesn't have a
railway station, but is connected with all of Zaglebie by a tram-line. The
population of Czeladź numbers 25,000 inhabitants, mostly workers employed in the
mines and smelting works of Siemianowice and surroundings. The Jewish population
numbered about 2,000 persons before the outbreak of the war. A part of Jews was
of the local population and another part were newcomers from towns of Kielce
Czeladź, before the war, didn't have its own religious Jewish Community, but for
this purpose was joined with Bedzin. In Czeladź, there was a synagogue which was
an orthodox house of prayer with its own Rabbi. The Jewish cemetery was held in
common with that of Bedzin. It was located 2 kilometers from Czeladź on the road
leading to Bedzin. Jewish youth studied in local schools, though the more
wealthy among them studied in the well-known Bedzin high school, the Szymonostwa
Fürstenberg High School.
On September 5, 1939, the Germans entered Czeladź which, until then, had
remained in the background. German citizens in uniform as well as Germans from
neighboring Siemianowice began to revel in Czeladź. There began a plundering of
Jewish homes and the beating of Jewish women and children.
In October 1939, for the first time in the history of Czeladź, a separate Jewish
Council was formed which numbered the most esteemed citizens of the town. Later,
the Council became a branch of the Central Judenrat, located in Sosnowiec.
There was also formed the local Jewish Constabulary (police).
In 1940, the German authorities confiscated from the Jewish population the homes
and shops which they owned. German authorities ordered the destruction of synagogues.
In 1942, there took place a displacement of the Jewish population to the ghetto.
There, several families had to live in one room. Shops for distributing food
among the Jewish population were taken over by the Jewish Council (Judenrat).
The Jews of Czeladź vegetated in the ghetto and performed the work demanded by
the Germans. They suffered terrible hunger because, from their earnings they
could afford to buy little food. To bring food (illegally) from Bedzin was very
dangerous. Many Jews had been caught while bringing food for their families and
were arrested, taken to the Orphanage in Bedzin and, from there, to Oswiecim
(Auschwitz). There, in
the Orphanage, fifty persons were selected to work in Rossner's Bedzin factory
and 37 persons working in the Czeladź factory were released. All the remaining
Jewish population of Czeladź was sent to Oswiecim (Auschwitz). Those chosen to
remain alive as slave laborers, in number the of 87, had to live in Bedzin.
Those working in Czeladź commuted to work under guard by the Jewish
Constabulary. Also, a small number of Czeladź Jews who had hidden in bunkers
moved to Bedzin where they lived with relatives and friends. Since this time,
Czeladź has been without Jews (judenfrei). During the deportation of the Jews
from Bedzin on August 1, 1943, there were sent to Auschwitz that small number of
Jews from Czeladź who, until now, had saved themselves.
After the war, the town of Czeladź, which had had a Jewish population of 2,000
persons, was a town without Jews. Of the former 2,000 Jewish residents who had
lived there, there remained alive about 40 persons. These are dispersed in
Europe and the world.
Dąbrowa Górnicza, industrial town in Katowice
province, S. Poland. Jews settled in Dąbrowa Górnicza in the
middle of the 19th
century. They mainly engaged in small trade and metal crafts. There were 4,304
Jews living in Dąbrowa Górnicza according to the 1921 census
(11% of the total
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica
The German army entered the town on Sept. 3, 1939. In the fall of 1940
several hundred young Jewish men were deported to slave labor camps in Germany.
Several hundred more were deported in the course of 1941. At the end of that
year a ghetto was established. On May 5, 1942, the first deportation took place
in which 630 Jews were taken to Auschwitz and exterminated. In the second
deportation, conducted on August 12, 1942, another few hundred Jews were sent to
their death in Auschwitz. On June 26, 1943, the ghetto in
Dąbrowa Górnicza was
liquidated and all its inmates were transferred to the ghetto in Srodula (a
suburb of Sosnowiec), the only ghetto still existing in Upper Silesia. It too
was liquidated and all its inhabitants, including the Jews from Dabrowa
Gornicza, deported to Auschwitz and killed. After the war the Jewish community
in Dąbrowa Górnicza was not reestablished.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica
The Jewish Community in Sławków was officially established in 1904 and the first rabbi of the community was Szalom Zajonc.
In December 1939 the population of Sławków was 7801, out of which 960 of the people there were registered in the Jewish community.
In 1933, the Jewish community owned a synagogue which was built in 1896, a "mykwa" ritual baths located at Rynek 6, and a cemetery. The cemetery is situated in the village of Krzykawka, and the oldest tombstone located there today has 1904 as the date of death.
(Yiddish: Sosnowitz; Russian: Sosnovets)
Sosnowiec, city in Katowice province, S. Poland. There were 2,600 Jews living
in Sosnowiec around 1890 (29.8% of the total population), who earned their
livelihood mainly in the clothing, food, building, and machine industries, and
bookkeeping. A Jewish cemetery was opened in 1896, a linat zedek ("paupers'
hostel") was founded in 1907, a talmud torah
in 1908, and a mikveh in 1913.
The city's growth in the 20th century, especially after the Russian retreat in
World War I, was accompanied by an increase in the Jewish population which
reached 13,646 (16% of the total) in 1921. Approximately one-third engaged in
light and medium industry, crafts and trade, including clothing and shoe
manufacture, coal mining, and manufacture of coke. About 2,000 Jews were
employed as laborers or clerks in industry or business; a considerable number
engaged in the professions. In the early 20th century a Jewish labor movement
was organized through the Bund and Po'alei Zion. The Jewish workers of Sosnowiec
took part in revolutionary activities in 1905-06, and 30 were imprisoned and
exiled to the Russian interior. Through the efficient workers' organization the
Jewish mine owners were able to compete with large industrial concerns. The mine
owned by H. Priwer produced 25,000 tons of coal in 1920, and that of B. Meyer
32,000 in 1922.
The Jewish population continued to grow in the interwar period, from 20,805
in 1931 to 28,000 in 1939 (22% of the total). New arrivals came mainly from
Kielce province attracted to Sosnowiec by more favorable work opportunities. The
communal organization expanded; in addition to a Jewish hospital, secondary
schools for girls and boys were established, and associations of artisans,
merchants, and industrialists were formed.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica
The German army entered Sosnowiec on Sept. 4, 1939. On the same day it
organized an attack on the Jewish population, and 13 Jews were killed. On
September 9 the Great Synagogue on Dekert Street was set on fire. In 1942, Jews
were deported to Auschwitz death camp in three groups: 1,500 on May 10-12; 2,000
in June; and over 8,000 on August 12-18. After the last deportation the Germans
established a ghetto in the suburb of Srodula. On March 10, 1943, the ghetto was
sealed off. On August 16, 1943, all the inhabitants, with the exception of about
1,000 people, were deported to Auschwitz where they perished. The last 1,000
Jews in Sosnowiec were murdered in December 1943 and January 1944. Previously
there had been considerable underground activity among the Jews, mostly
organized by the youth organizations Ha-No'ar ha-Ziyyoni, Gordonia, and
Ha-Shomer ha-Za'ir, whose main leader was Zevi Dunski.
After the war about 700 Jews resettled in Sosnowiec, but almost all of them
emigrated shortly afterward.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica
||[Ger.], Operation involving the mass assembly, deportation, and murder of Jews by the Nazis during the
||Term generally applied to Jewish religious [and ultimately to talmudic] study;
also to traditional Jewish religious public schools. Return
||Ritual bath. Return
||Abbreviation of "Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Polyn un Rusland"
"General Jewish Workers' Union in Lithuania, Poland and Russia"; Jewish
socialist party foundet in Russia in 1897. Return
||Movement that tried to base itself upon the Jewish proletariat whose ideology consisted of a combination of Zionism and socialism. Attempts to combine Jewish nationalism and Zionism with socialism were made by Zhitlovsky and Syrkin in the 1890s, but a movement came into existence in Russia toward the end of the 19th century and at first consisted of local groups and regional associations.