A Memorial
to the Jewish Community of Bendin

(Będzin, Poland)

50°20' / 19°09'


Translation of  Pinkes Bendin

Edited by: A. Sh. Stein, Association of Former Residents of Bedzin in Israel

Published in Tel Aviv, 1959 (H, Y, 431 pages)


In memory of

Mozek and Chaya Wekselman and their family
who were murdered in the Holocaust

Miriam J. Spizzirri



Project Coordinator

Lance Ackerfeld

Our sincere appreciation to Abram Green, Chairman, World Zagłębie Organization for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkes Bendin (A Memorial to the Jewish Community of Bendin),
Editors: A. Sh. Stein, Tel Aviv, Association of Former Residents of Bedzin in Israel, 1959 (H, Y, 431 pages).

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Będzin

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
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Pinkas Bedzin [32 KB]

Translated by Dr. Hannah Berliner Fischthal (Yiddish)
and Lance Ackerfeld (Hebrew)

The Jerusalem of Zagłębie The Editor 6
A word from the publishers   8
PART 1 – Yiddish
A. The History of Jews in Będzin
About the Zagłębie Almanac and its author D. L. 9
Almanac Zagłębie Szymon Rotenberg 10
A Będzin Jew as an officer in the Polish Legion during Napoleon's leadership Prof. Dr. Majer Bałaban 33
Jewish miners in Zagłębie Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum 34
The Jewish historical past in the area of Zagłębie and surroundings M. Kantor-Mirsky 36
The pinkasim [record books] of the Będzin societies Moisze Manela and Sz. Rotenberg 37
A quarter of a century of Jewish Będzin chronicles M. B. Berg 54
The rise of the Yiddish printed word in Zagłębie L. Szpigelman 64
Będzin's self-administration Dr. R. Rechtman 69
Będzin's Jewish community in liberated Poland J. F. 71
The Jewish professional movement in Będzin M. V. Kaminsky 72
The rise of the Będzin Jewish gimnazye [high school] “Yavne” J. Wygodzki 75
Gymnastics and Sports Association “Hakoach” [the strength] Sz. Rozenblum 84
The Yiddish Dramatic Society “Muze” [muse]   88
The “Hazamir” [songbird] L. Goldsztajn 90
The Geographic Society   94
The Academic Circle “Ognisko”   94
The Merchants Union   95
The Retailers Union   96
The Artisans' Union   98
The Guilds of the Artisans' Union   99
The Pioneers' Kibbutz Named for Ber Borochov   100
Będzin writers and artists   101
Memories of a Jew from Będzin about the Polish insurrections of 1831 and 1863 Dr. A. Szacki 108
50 years trade and industry Dawid Liwer 109
Linas haTzedikMoyshe-Skeynim A. Gold 118
The Gmiles Khesed Fund D. L. 119
B. Memories
The Second and Third Aliyah and Będzin Pioneers D. L. 120
The Six Halutzim Pioneers of the Third Aliyah Yisroel Openhajm 121
Memories of the Third Aliyah Shmuel Liwer 122
Seven Będzin Halutzim travel to Eretz-Yisroel by car Dawid Avi-Menachem 124
Characters and episodes of former Będzin Motek Hampel 126
Jewish education in the beginning of the twentieth century Abram Gold 133
The Jewish Workers Movement Yehiel Kaminski 134
C. Way of life
Shuls, Shtiblech and Minyanim Dawid Liwer 136
Zagłębie (poem) Abram Blatt 141
Menachem'ke emigrates to Eretz Yisrael Dawid Malec 142
My first illegal trip from Kraków to Będzin in 1905 Jakob Kener 143
There was a town Będzin Josl Harif 146
Będzin types:    
     1) Mr. Mosze Winter Szymon Israelowicz 148
     2) The psalm Jew Dawid Ben Klonimus 148
     3) The big winnings Motek Hampel 148
     4) Będzin – The “singing” town   149
     5) Crazy Sara Chana Szental-Raviv 150
Legends about Będzin Tobiasz Israel Kaminski 151
“Zagłębie life” M. H. 153
Dos Yiddishe Wochenblat [Jewish weekly] Lipman Berkowicz 155
Będziner dialects Dawid L. 156
A few ideas gathered from Będzin newspapers Motek Hampel 157
D. Characters
Dr. Salomon Weinziher Abram Liwer 169
Eliezer Rubinlicht D. L 170
Mr. Mendel Rozenzaft Dawid Liwer 171
Cyrele (Cesia) Szajn Abram Liwer 172
Szymon Fürstenberg M. Hampel 173
Icchak Wygodzki A. Liwer 175
Mosze Kaminer Icchak Tencer 175
Tewel Klajnman Abram Liwer 176
Icchak Mordechai Pejsachson M. Hampel 177
Roze Jakubowicz Dawid Liwer 178
Abram Goldberg Mordechai Hampel 178
Mosze Apelbaum Dawid Liwer 180
Abram Goldkorn Avi Menachem 181
Abram Szymon Rotenberg D. L 182
Mordechai Berisz Rotenberg Liw. 182
Dawid Zitman D. L. 183
Dawid Micmacher D. L. 183
Jicchak Rudoler D. L. 183
Chaim Dawid Grosman D. L. 184
Dr. Chaim Perl Dawid 184
Herman Szer D. L. 184
E. Doom
Holocaust in Będzin Dawid Liwer 185
Sons of Będzin in resistance activities in Auschwitz Dawid Liwer 193
A Night after the War in Będzin (June 1946) Szmul Liwer 194
A deciding meeting Dr. Feywl Widerman 197
Homeless (poem)   199
My prayer (poem) Avraham Blat 199
Zaglembian communities in death M. Tsanin 200
Of mass graves (poem) Juda Fefer 201
Generations… (poem) Shloyme Grosman 202
Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto Dr. E. Ringelblum 204
The grave (poem) J. Abrami (Lustig) 205
Leave me free (poem) Juda Fefer 205
There Was a Condemned Street (Behind the Mountain)… Szmuel Klajnman 206
A Tragic Religious kehila Moshe Benyamin Klajnman 207
After the Liberation Eliezer Merin 209
The Będzin Refugees Committee for Jews Driven Out of Germany Motl Gold 210
A Eulogy Mordechai Hampel 212
PART 2 – Hebrew
Synagogue   213
A. Chapters from the Past
The history of “Ma'asaf Zagłębie” M. H. 215
The history of Jewish Będzin S. Rotenburg 216
In the Days of the Polish Rebellion in 1831 Dr. Szacki 219
The Struggle of the Jewish Worker with the Czarist Rule Arie Szwajcer 220
The first six pioneers of the Third Aliyah Jakob Lasker 222
The first six “Ha'aretz Veha'avoda”, 1919 224
B. Orthodox Będzin
Of Righteous Men and Hasidim M. S. Geshuri 225
Houses of the great and the minor “Admorim” M. S. Geshuri (Brukner) 228
Kloyzes in Będzin M. S. Geshuri (Brukner) 235
A History of Hazzanut in Będzin M. S. Geshuri (Brukner) 249
Cantors in Będzin M. S. Geshuri (Brukner) 250
C. Political Parties
The Central Zionist Organization Dawid Liwer 257
The Religious Zionist movement (Mizrachi – Young Mizrachi) Zew Landau 258
How the young women's organization “Bruria” was founded Sara Sztajnberg 259
The Rift and the Young Zionists Party D. L. 259
The “Poale Zion” Party Jakob Majerowicz 261
The “Poale Zion” party as depicted in the party newspaper M. H. 263
The “Poale Zion Smol” [left-wing Zionist workers] M. H. 265
The Zionist Workers party “Hahitachdut” D. L. 268
The “Hatzohar” Movement Juda Fefer 271
The “Wizo” organization M. H. 273
“Bund” Mordechai Hampel 274
“Folkspartei” (The People's Party) M. H. 276
“Poale Agudat Israel” Mosze Binjamin Klajnman 276
D. Youth Organizations
“Hechalutz” [The Pioneer] M. Hampel 278
How I was thrown out of the “Hachshara” (pioneer) training camp by the police M. H. 279
“Hashomer Hatsair” Dr. Chaim Wolgryn 280
“Hashachar” organization Mordechai Hampel 281
The “Gordonian Pioneer” youth organization Mordechai Hampel 283
“Gordonia” during the years of the war Mordechai Krzesiwo (Keshev) 287
“Freiheit” – “Dror” Eliezer Karni (Krzeznicki) 289
A Regional meeting of “Freiheit” in Będzin   291
“Zionist Youth” Mordechai Hampel 292
E. Culture and Education
Representatives of the Hebrew language revival movement in Będzin Mosze Rozenker 294
“Tarbut” organization M. H. 295
The “Yavne” Gymnasium (secondary school) named after Fürstenberg Mordechai Hampel 295
Będzin supports the Jewish Scientific Institute Icchak Pesachson 297
F. Experiences
At the gates of mercy (a poem) Abram Blat 298
In the bowels of the earth (impressions from a trip) Yitzhak Ben-Zvi 298
Dreaming and wide awake Dawid Malc 300
Like a lost lamb Szlomo Cemach 302
A visit to Zagłębie Joel Mastbaum 304
Memories from days past Mosze Frenkel 305
My teacher and mentor Szymon Rus 306
Visits of dignitaries in Będzin Mordechai Hampel 306
Echoes of the Opening of the Hebrew University Mordechai Hampel 320
The Balfour Declaration and San Remo M. H. 321
An Anti-British demonstration M. H. 321
“Hakoach” M. H. 322
H. Personalities
Rabbi Isachar Berysz Graubart zatz”l M. H. 323
Memories of The Great Rabbi Isachar Berysz Graubart zatz”l Chaim Vilner 324
Rabbi Yekutiel Zalman Graubart z”l M. S. Geshuri 325
Rabbi Zvi Chanoch HaCohen Levin zatz”l   326
Rabbi Menachem Hager z”l Mordechai Hampel 327
Rabbi Dan Yitzchak Lifshitz z”l D. L. 327
Reb Yehoshua Telner z”l   328
The Moreh Tzedek Rabbi Chanoch David D. L. 328
The Dayan Reb Ytzchak Isaac Manela Avraham M. 329
Rabbi Yosef Engel M. S. Geshuri 329
Reb Mendel Shapira   329
Reb Berysz Prager Dr. Gur-Aryeh (Tarlo) 330
Cwi Natan Wiloga M. S. G. 330
Reb Chaim Szajn M. Hampel 331
Reb Szalom Klajner Zew Landau 331
Nuta Londner Mordechai Hampel 332
Reb Szlomo Icchak Rynski D. 333
Dawid Gutensztajn Dawid L. 333
Pinchas Lajb Buchwajc Dawid L. 334
Chawa Hutner D. L. 335
Dow Berysz Zylberszac D. L. 335
Hilel Zabner M. S. G. 335
Chaim Josef Zając M. S. G. 335
Reb Jakob M. Gutman L. D. 336
Miriam Tenenbaum D. 336
Aron Hampel   337
Mosze Openhajm   337
Chana (Hanka) Bornsztajn Tzvi Tzur (Tzuchtelzon) 337
Dawid Szapira (Juda Yafet) Dawid 338
Dawid Szapira (Juda Yafet) M. S. G. 339
Liwer's sons   340
I . Shoah (Holocaust)
Będzin in her destruction Dawid Liwer 342
That which will not be forgotten… Arie Liwer 347
The Underground in Będzin and its Vicinity Dawid Liwer 356
“Hashomer Hatsair” – The Guard of the People's Dignity Chajka Klinger (Rozenberg) 360
Homeless (a poem) translated by Abram Lewinson 362
Sons of Będzin in resistance activities in Auschwitz Dawid Liwer 363
In the bunkers Aron Brandes 364
The community committee K. Tzetnik 366
The academic intellectuals Attorney, Dr. Ruwen Rechtman 369
“Are there Germans there?” Mosze Benjamin Klajnman 370
On a mission to Będzin Sara Erlichman 371
Będzin in the annals of the Holocaust   372
The suit Stanislaw Wygodzki 373
The Zagłębie Martyrs monument in Israel M. H. 375
J. In memory of those who fell in the defense of Israel
Jecheskiel Muntzik Mordechai Hampel 377
Dov (Beryl) Hayshrik Mordechai Hampel 377
Moishel Sandishov Mordechai Hampel 377
Juda Klajner Mordechai Hampel 378
Szmuel Dawid Vardi (Rozencwajg) “Hapoel Hatsair” 378
Szlomo Rembiszewski Mordechai Hampel 378
Zvi Kutner Mordechai Hampel 379
Jonatan Weisbord J. Londner 380
Reuven Elbaum   380
Yechezkel Szlomo Auerbach   381
Yeshayahu Ehrlich   381
Yaakov Nehemiah Gottleib   381
Aviv Gutman   382
Aharon Weitzman   382
Aron Handelsman   382
Israel Aron Zlotnik   383
Dawid Tishler   383
Yehuda Lasker   383
Josef Lancman   384
Joel Zew Lustiger   384
Szlomo (Shlomek) Metz   384
Cwi Kuchman   384
Szmul Nudelman   385
Arie Fridler   385
Alter Rechnic   385
Baruch Pszenica (Chita)   385
Josef Majer Parnes   386
Szmul Bialka (Weiss)   386
K. Organizations of former Będzin residents throughout the world
     1. Bedziners in Israel Mordechai Hampel 387
     2. Former Będzin residents in Israel Mordechai Hampel 390
     3. The Będzin Committee in Paris after the Second World War Mosze Rotenberg 392
     4. Będziner and Zaglembie Union in France Mordechai Gold 393
     5. Będziner in Australia Yoyne Lustig-Abrami 394
     6. The Będziner-Zaglembie Union in Canada The Committee 397
     7. The Będziner-Sosnowiecer Union in America Ab. Feldman 398
Yizkor Mordechai Hampel 400
Będziner landslayt (original pages) Bedzin.gif [2 KB]
Będziner landslayt in memory of their relatives (transliterated)   402
Index   417
Errata and comments   429
Bibliography   430
List of photographs   431

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