Slantinske-Doly, Czechoslovakia (now Solotvyno, Ukraine)

Six of the Boys came from Slatinske-Doly, as it is known in Czech and Slovak. It is called Aknaszlatina in Hungarian and Solotvina in Russian.

Solotvyno is a village in the Zakarpattia Oblast region in south-western Ukraine, very close to the border with Romania. The village's Ukranian name, Solotvyno, comes from its salt-mining heritage, and refers to the nearby salt mine (sol in Russian meaning salt).

It is south-east of Khust, and is the final stop of the Ukrainian section of the railway, which runs from Lviv to Transcarpathia. Other towns in the region, home to members of the Boys include Mukachevo, Uzhorod, Berehove, Vynohradiv, Velki Bockov, Svaljus and Tacovo.

Until the end of World War I, Slatinske-Doly belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire. During the period between the two World Wars it was part of Czechoslovakia. During World War II, it was occupied by Hungary. At the end of the war it became part of the Ukrainian republic of U.S.S.R.


Jews probably settled in Slatinske-Doly in the first half of the 18th century.

An organized Jewish community appeared in the early 19th century, maintaining various welfare and charity institutions. In 1830, the Jewish population was 218, rising to 674 in 1880 out of a total population of 3,642. By 1921, during the Czechoslovakian period, the Jewish population reached 1,785. Jews owned 65 business establishments, 35 workshops and flour factories. A few were white-collar workers and professionals.

In 1941, the Jewish population increased to 2,537. Zionist and religious political parties were especially active.


Following the Munich Agreement in 1938, Czechoslovakia was divided up and, in March 1939, Slatinske-Doly and the surrounding area were annexed by Hungary. The town became known as Aknaszlatina in Hungarian.

The Hungarians were pro-German, and imposed laws restricting Jewish access to education, trade, and the professions. Many Jews were persecuted and pushed out of their occupations. Jewish businesses were taken over by Hungarians but many remained closed.

In 1940, dozens of Jews from Aknaszlatina were drafted into Hungarian Labour Battalions for forced labour or service on the eastern front, where many died.  In August 1941, a few Jewish families without Hungarian citizenship were expelled to Kamenets-Podolski in Nazi occupied Ukraine, where they were murdered.


In March 1944, the Nazis occupied Hungary and installed a puppet government.

At the beginning of April of that year all the Jews in Hungary were ordered to wear the yellow badge on their clothes. In the same month, 2,044 Jews from Aknaszlatina, and another 3,000 Jews from the surrounding area were transferred to an improvised ghetto. They were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp in occupied Poland in late May, 1944.

When the trains arrived in Birkenau a selection was made on the ramp. It offered healthy young men and women a chance of survival as they were often selected for slave labour.

An estimated 85% of the Jews of Subcarpathian Ruthenia perished in the Holocaust. The fact that the Subcarpathian Jews arrived six months before the camp was liberated in January 1945, greatly increased their chance of survival.


In the autumn of 1944, the Soviet Red Army entered Aknaszlatina and liberated it from the Germans.

The majority of the Jews from Aknaszlatina were murdered in Auschwitz. A few dozen surviving families returned after their liberation, but most left for Czechoslovakia and elsewhere.

In 1945, after the Second World War, the Carpathians were annexed by the Soviet Union. Aknaszlatina became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and is now known as Solotvyno in Ukranian.


In 2013, only three Jews recorded to be living in Solotvyno. In 2016, the population was 8,791.  The village has a small salt mining museum and one of the former synagogues is now a bakery.

There is a Jewish cemetery and a memorial plaque dedicated to Solotvyno’s Jews who perished in the Holocaust.

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