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Khust

KHUST

KHUST (Czech Chust or Husté ; Hung. Huszt ), city in Subcarpathian Ruthenia (Transcarpathian district), Ukraine. The Jewish community established in the middle of the 18th century numbered 14 families in 1792. Jacob of Zhidachov was appointed as the first rabbi in 1812. In the mid-19th century, the community became one of the largest and most important in northern Hungary, mainly through the authority of the Orthodox leader, Moses *Schick, rabbi of Khust from 1861 to 1879. Most of the Orthodox rabbis in Hungary were trained in his yeshivah, which had some 400 students. His successors, Amram *Blum and Moses *Grunwald (1893–1912), prevented the development of Ḥasidism in the community. Under Czechoslovakian rule (1920–38), Khust had an active Jewish life: five town councillors represented a United Jewish Party in 1923. The rabbi of the city from 1921 to 1933 was Joseph *Duschinsky, later rabbi of the separatist Orthodox community of Jerusalem. The number of Jews living in the town was 3,391 in 1921, 4,821 in 1930, and 6,023 (of a total population of 21,118) in 1941. Most of the businesses and artisan shops in the town belonged to Jews, among them three banks, factories, and flour mills. Among professionals were seven doctors, three pharmacists, and officials. The Jews of Khust were among the first to suffer when the area came under Hungarian rule in March 1939. Jewish men of military service age were forced into the labor battalions, some were sent to the Eastern front, where they perished. Hundreds without Hungarian citizenship were deported to Ukraine, and were murdered there. In 1942 there were approximately 100–130 yeshivah students in Khust. In March 1944 there were 5,351 Jews in Khust, and a ghetto and a Judenrat were set up. Another 5,000 Jews from the area were brought into the ghetto. In late May and early June, all ghetto inhabitants were deported in four transports to Auschwitz, where most of them were sent to gas chambers. In June 1944 the town was declared "*judenrein." A few dozen Jews volunteered for the Czechoslovakian army, which fought together with the Soviet army. After World War ii the community was revived. In the late 1960s the authorities permitted a synagogue to open in Khust, the only one in the district, and the community had a shoḥet. At the time the number of Jewish families in the town was estimated at 400.

bibliography:

J.J.(L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Maẓẓevat Kodesh (1952), 45–53; Y. Ereẓ (ed.), Karpatorus (1959), passim; S. Rozman, Zikhron Kedoshim li-Yhudei Karpatorus-Marmorosh (1968, Yid.), 274–5, 322–7, 458–61, and passim.

[Meir Lamed]

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