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Będzin (bĕNˈjēn) [key], Ger. Bendzin bĕnˈtsĭn, 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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