Będzin

Będzin bĕN´jēn [key], Ger. Bendzin bĕn´tsĭn [key], town (1993 est. pop. 65,100), Śląskie prov., SE Poland, on the Czarna Przemsza River, a tributary of the Vistula. It is a heavy industry and coal-mining center. Founded in the 14th cent., Będzin was situated on the Wrocław-Kraków trade route. The first coal mine in the Upper Silesian basin opened at Będzin in 1785. The town passed to Prussia in 1795 and to Russia in 1815 it was returned to Poland in 1919. In World War II, the Germans built a concentration camp there in which more than 10,000 of the town's citizens were killed. In Będzin are the ruins of a 13th-century castle.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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