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Kuty

KUTY

KUTY (Yid. Kitev ), town in Ivano-Frankovsk district, Ukraine, formerly in Stanislawów province, Poland. The town was founded by its owner, the Kiev governor Józef Potocki (18th century), and in the founding law the Jews received full town rights and permission to construct a synagogue, which was to be free from taxation in perpetuity. The Jewish population over the age of one year numbered 972 in 1765. In the 19th century the Jews of Kuty engaged in the timber trade, carpet weaving, and petty commerce. The community numbered 2,966 (47% of the total population) in 1880, 3,197 in 1900, and 2,605 (47.5%) in 1921. There was a strong ḥasidic element, and one of them, Rabbi Avraham-Gershon Kitover, was the brother in-law of the Baal-Shem Tov, and is mentioned frequently in the ḥasidic literature. Between the two world wars, the town was connected to the railway, and electricity was installed there. Jewish livelihoods were from trade and crafts, carpet weaving, and summer resort for guests. The girls studied in state schools, and from 1930 also in a Beth Jacob school; the boys learned in a talmud torah as well as in a supplementary Hebrew School. Under Soviet rule (September 1939–41) the Jewish community institutions were closed down, and all independent political activity was prohibited. The Hebrew education network was disbanded and active Zionists were arrested.

[Encyclopaedia Judaica (Germany) /

Shmuel Spector (2nd ed.)]

Holocaust Period

In early July 1941, after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, Kuty was taken by Romanian and Hungarian Axis forces. The Romanian troops moved on, leaving the city solely under Hungarian control for the next two months. At the end of August 1941 Jews who were expelled from the territories newly annexed to Hungary, on the contention that they were not Hungarian citizens, found refuge in Kuty. The local Jewish community took them in. A *Judenrat was set up, headed by Menashe Mandel, but when he refused to submit to German orders, he was replaced by Zygmund Tilinger. The regional Judenrat in *Kolomyya held authority over that in Kuty. With the annihilation of the Jewish communities in the vicinity, the Jews of Kuty began preparing hideouts. Many of the groups who tried to flee to Romania were caught and killed by Ukrainian peasants on the way. On April 10, 1942, the Germans carried out an Aktion, igniting the houses of the Jews to draw them out of hiding. About 950 Jews were killed in this attack. On April 24 an order was given for all the Jews who did not have work certificates to evacuate to the ghetto in Kolomyya. Many of them died in the death march on the way. On September 7, in a second German mass raid, over 800 persons were dispatched to Kolomyya. Of the 18 craftsmen permitted to remain in Kuty, 16 were killed two months later; the two others escaped. The evacuees sent to Kolomyya were dispatched to the *Belzec death camp, but one group of young people was sent to the Janowska Street camp in *Lvov. The hunt for Jews in hiding proceeded over the next months, until liberation on April 2, 1944. The few survivors who returned soon left, and no Jew remained in Kuty.

[Aharon Weiss]

bibliography:

M. Balaban, Dzieje Żydów w Galicji i w Rzeczypospolitej Krakowskiej… (1916), index; B. Wasiutyńiski, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w xix i xx wiekach (1930), 123; R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; Halpern, Pinkas, index, s.v.Kutev; Kitever Yizkor Bukh (1958).

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