Tacovo, Czechoslovakia (now Tyachiv, Ukraine)

Nine of the Boys came from Tacovo, known as Tetsh in Jewish sources, Tecso in Hungarian, Tyachiv in Rumanian and Tacovo in Czech.

Tyachiv is situated in the region known before the war as Subcarpathian Ruthenia, near the border with Romania. Other towns in the region home to many of the Boys include Mukachevo, Uzhorod, Svaljus, Irshava, Berehove, Khust and Vynohradiv.

Until the end of World War I, Tacovo 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 the USSR.


Jews have lived in the town since at least the 17th century. For a period, they were expelled from the region, until 1840 when the limitation on Jewish settlement in Hungary was revoked. The Jews of the region were among the poorest in Europe, many living in rural areas and working in agriculture.

Tacovo has always been an Orthodox community. In the 1870s a Jewish cemetery was consecrated and in 1880 there were 321 Jews. In 1895 the synagogue and next to it a prayer house were consecrated, as well as a yeshiva.

Until the beginning of World War I, the community steadily developed; in 1910 it numbered 839 Jews. During the war, many Jewish youths were conscripted into the army and a number of them fell in battle.

After the war, when Subcarpathian 'Rus was included in the new Czechoslovak republic, Jews from Moravia and Bohemia settled in the region. In the 1930 census, 1,431 (94%) of 1,525 Tacovo’s Jews declared themselves as Jews by religion as well as by nationality and 6% by religion only.

In 1941, there were 2,150 Jews in Tacovo.


Following the Munich Agreement in 1938, Czechoslovakia was divided up and Tacovo and the surrounding area were annexed by Hungary, being formally incorporated into Hungary in 1939. The town became known as Tecso in Hungarian.

The Nazis occupied Hungary in March 1944 and installed a puppet government. That government participated in the Holocaust.

Jewish people in Tecso were subjected to discrimination during the Hungarian occupation. Incidents of verbal and physical antisemitism became an everyday occurrence. Those who could not produce Hungarian citizenship were expelled, and in July 1941 about ten Jewish families were deported to Kamenets Podolski in Poland, where they were murdered by German and Hungarian troops.

Others were conscripted into work battalions of the Hungarian army. Most of them perished on the eastern front.


In March 1944, the Nazis invaded Hungary and occupied the Subcarpathian 'Rus, taking over control of Tecso from the Hungarians. In April, the Jews were forced to wear a yellow star and they were gradually divested of their possessions.

In May 1944, most of the Jews of the district were assembled in the ghetto of Mateszalka in what is now Hungary. About 5,000 Jews from Tecso and neighbouring villages were crammed into the ghetto with no chance of escape.

On May 24, 1944 the first group from the ghetto was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp in occupied Poland. On May 28, an additional 2,208 Jews were sent there, and most of them were murdered.

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


Tecso was liberated in the autumn of 1944 by the Red Army. Immediately, Jews who had been in hiding returned to the town, as well as survivors from the eastern front and from the camps. About 20 families returned.

In 1945, Tecso became part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union and became known as Tyachiv. However, the Soviet regime made Jewish community life impossible. Many Jews felt there was no future for them under Stalinism and most of the community left, migrating mainly to Israel and the Americas.


The synagogue building was turned into a sports club; the Talmud torah building served as the office of the government co-operative and the mikveh became a bath-house. The remaining members of the community prayed in a private home.

During the early 1970s, most of Tyachiv’s remaining Jews left for Israel. In the 1980s, the cemetery was renovated. At this time there were still six people of Jewish origin in the town.

At the beginning of the 1990s, there were two Jewish families living in Tyachiv.

Today, the town’s population is around 9,000.

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