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This database contains the names, birthdates, street addresses and occupations of 22,167 Jews, enumerated in a 1939 census of the city of Będzin (Bendin), Poland.
Będzin, Poland (In Yiddish: "Bendin"; the Nazis renamed it "Bendsburg"). Located 38 miles west of Kraków at 50°20' 19°09', in the inter-war Polish province of Kielce. Before WWI, it was in Piotrków gubernia of the Kingdom of Poland of Russian Empire.
Będzin, a town in Silesia, had Jews living inside the town as early as the late 13th Century. A cemetery was consecrated in 1592, which remained in use until 1831. In 1765, the Jewish population was 446; about 90 years later it had increased to 2,440, almost 59% of the population; in 1909, it was 22,674, close to 49% of the population; and in 1931, 21,625.
Many Jews were represented in the town's developing industries in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Jews were involved in iron-ore mining, metallurgy, zinc and tin processing, and the manufacture of metal products such as nails, screws, cables, iron and copper wire. Jewish-owned businesses were notable in chemical works and factories for paints, candles, bakelite, and electric bulbs. Jews operated 672 small workshops, two-thirds of which were in the garment industry.
Jews sided with the Poles against the Czar in the 1830-31 rebellion. The town was the center of Jewish and Polish socialist activities during the 1905 Russian revolution. Zionist activities in Będzin included Mizrachi, which opened an office in 1898, and Po'alei Zion and the Bund, which began operating in 1905. In 1921 the Po'alei Zion Party founded five trade unions for 320 Jewish workers and in 1926, three for tailors, porters, and domestics. The town had a strong Zionist presence and many prominent Zionist personages visited during the 1930s, including Ben-Gurion, Jabotinsky, and Bialik.
In the late 19th Century the first modern Jewish schools opened. European and Slavic languages, history, geography, and mathematics were taught. In 1917, a Mizrachi-sponsored Yavne secondary school opened; by 1927 its enrollment had reached 270. In 1920, Mizrachi also opened a "modernized" heder. Agudat Israel ran a talmud-torah with 420 pupils.
The Nazis entered Będzin on September 4, 1939, and five days later local Volksdeutsche burned the Great Synagogue. Approximately 50 homes around the synagogue, inhabited mostly by Jews, were destroyed; 60 Jews were burned alive. During 1940-41 the conditions in Będzin and neighboring Sosnowiec may have been "better" than in other large occupied Polish towns, as no ghettoes had yet been established. Therefore, many Jews from central Poland fled to Będzin. Several thousand Jews from the district were evacuated in April-May 1941 and forced to live in Będzin, among who were all the Jews, approximately 3,000, from Oswiecim (that is, Auschwitz), before the Auschwitz camp was built. As a result, the Jewish population in 1941 rose to 25,171.
Large numbers of young Jews were sent to labor camps: by April 1942, 6,500 from Będzin, Sosnowiec, and other nearby towns were forced to labor camps. Then in May and June 1942, 2,400 "non-productive" Jews were deported to Auschwitz in two Aktions. On August 15, 8,000-10,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz. Deportations continued in groups of 10-50 over the next year. In spring 1943, the Jews were put into a ghetto in the Kamionka suburb; on June 22, 4,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. The final liquidation began on August 1. By August 7, 30,000 Jews from Będzin and Sosnowiec had been deported to Auschwitz. Deportees from Będzin played a large part in the uprising in Auschwitz.
An underground became active at the beginning of 1940 in Będzin, although it was opposed by the Judenrat. About 1,400 Jews involved in youth activities turned to establishing an underground after a visit by Mordechaj Anielewicz from Warsaw in May 1942. After the ghetto was established, the underground focused on armed resistance. On August 3, 1943, during the last deportation, there was resistance with the limited means available: the underground had six bunkers, 20 handguns, and a few dozen grenades. Even then, one bunker held off the Germans for a half hour and 15 Jews were able to hide from the Germans.
Although a few Jewish survivors returned to Będzin after the war (about 150 in 1946), all left after a while.
This database includes 22,167 Jews enumerated in the 1939 Będzin census. The fields of the database are as follows:
The database has been constructed in a way so that all individuals living together at the same address are linked together for searching and reporting purposes. Therefore, if you were to search for the name of an individual who was the head of his household, you would also receive the other members of his household in your search results.
The last-mentioned births are from 1939, which is the reason the datafile is titled "Będzin Census of 1939". However, the Germans may have worked on the list through 1940/41. The cover of the list erroneously uses the years 1942/43, probably the result of error by the microfilmer.
The column "Berufe" and its English translation, includes familial comments, such as "living with parents" or "wife."
The information contained in this database was indexed by Osnat Ramaty from partial files provided by the Fritz-Bauer-Institute in Frankfurt, which received them from the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, and then a complete file from the Jewish Historical Institute. In addition, JewishGen provided her a copy of a computerized file from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), which, however, lacked addresses and the translation of some German entries. Ms. Ramaty reformatted the data-capitalizing family names, putting the dates into JewishGen's format. She also proofread all fields against the original, added missing data, and corrected spelling.
The cover of the first part of the census, pictured at the right, provides the following information:
Judenrat of Będzin
Alphabetical list of Jewish population of Będzin (Bendsburg)
Inclusive dates: 1942-1943
Listed thematically and chronologically according to signatures
Remarks: pages 1-314; format: 430 x 260 mm
Polish language, German print
Jewish Historical Institute (ŻIH) Archives – signature: 212/11
Microfilmed: October 17th, 1994
Images are available of pages 622 and 770.
The second part of the census, pages 606-880, has no cover.
Below is the list of streets in the database.
|Beuthenerstr.||Gartenstr. / Saczewskiego||Kattowitzerstr. / Malachowskiego||Moscickiego||Podwale||Sw. Jana|
|Beuthenerstr. / Kollataja||Gorna||Kolejowa||Mostowa||Podzamcze||Zagórska|
|Brzozowicka||Gzienowska||Malachowskiego||Pl. Pr. Mosc.||Saczewskiego||Ziebecka|
Missing page numbers in part one:
Missing page numbers in part two:
This information is accessible to you today thanks to Osnat Ramaty. Nolan Altman assisted with the creation of family linkages in the database. In addition, thanks to JewishGen Inc. for providing the website and database expertise to make this database accessible. Special thanks to Susan King, Warren Blatt and Michael Tobias for their continued contributions to Jewish genealogy. Particular thanks to the Research Division headed by Joyce Field and to Nolan Altman, coordinator of Holocaust files.
Joyce Field and Osnat Ramaty
This database is searchable via both JewishGen's Holocaust Database and the All Poland Database.
Copyright ©2006 JewishGen, Inc.
Last Update: 22 May 2006 by WSB