Ghetto of Będzin

The będzin ghetto (in German Bendzin ) was a ghetto established by the Nazis in Poland occupied during World War II , to rally population Jewish . Located in the city of Będzin in 1942 , it was the largest ghetto in Upper Silesia , to the south west of the country.

The more than 20,000 Jews of Będzin, along with 10,000 others from different places, lived in the ghetto during its short history. Most of them were forced to work in the German military factories as slaves, before being deported to the concentration camp of Auschwitz , where they were exterminated by the German authorities.

The deportation of the last residents of the ghetto, between 1 and 3 August 1943 , was marked by an uprising of the local members of the Jewish Combat Organization .


Until World War II , there was a prosperous Jewish community in Będzin. According to the census Russian of 1897 , the city had a total population of 21,200, of whom 10,800 were Jews (about 51%). 1According to the Polish census of 1921 the city had an integrated Jewish community by 17,298 persons, ie 62.1% of its total population. 2

In September 1939 , a few days after the invasion German , the army quickly occupied the region. This action was followed by the death squads of the SS ( Einsatzgruppen ), who already on 8 September 1939 burned the synagogue, killing many of the Jews of the city.

That same day, September 8, Adolf Hitler declared that the city would become part of the Polish territories annexed by Germany. Beginning the forced relocation of Jews from other towns and cities, such as Bohumín (in the present Czech Republic ), Kielce and Oświęcim . 30,000 Jews gathered in Będzin.

Until May 1942, the Jews in Będzin were not limited to a specific area. The creation of the ghetto of May 1942 was part of the constant process of resettlement of Jewish population carried out by the German authorities.


  1. Back to top↑ Joshua D. Zimmerman, Poles, Jews, and the politics of nationality , Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004, ISBN 0-299-19464-7 , Google Print, p.16
  2. Back to top↑ Jewish Historical Institute community database