Experience: Ungvar

Lanka Ilkow
“The Transcarpathian region of Ukraine is an area known historically as Subcarpathian Rus. Jews first came to Subcarpathian Rus, then covering the four northeastern counties of the Hungarian kingdom, from Poland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They were fleeing the Chmielnicki massacres. Jewish immigration into Subcarpathian Rus increased after the Partitions of Poland in the late eighteenth century. 


“The conservativism and traditionalism of the Jews of Subcarpathian Rus resulted from the underdeveloped character of the geographically isolated region. It was the most backward and impoverished region in all of pre-World War I Hungary and interwar Czechoslovakia. The majority of the population were peasants. Even a large percentage of the Jews were engaged in manual and agricultural labor. Approximately 80 percent of the region's Jews lived in small towns or rural villages. Jewish residents of the two large towns of Munkacs (Mukachevo) and Ungvar (Uzhhorod) made a living in petty commerce and crafts; a large number, however, were unemployed. Indeed, the Jews of Subcarpathian Rus were among the poorest in Europe”. 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Subcarpathian Rus (Ukraine).”  Holocaust Encyclopedia. 
Accessed on 6/12/11.

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