The History of the Munkács Community Before the Holocaust
The town of Munkács lies on the banks of the Latorica River, in the district of Subcarpathian Rus'. Until the end of WWI, Munkács was situated in the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Following the Chmielnicki Pogroms, a few Jews immigrated from Galicia and Ukraine to the area, initiating the Jewish community in Munkács and its peripheries. A certificate from 1649 attests to a Jew leasing property in Munkács, thereby achieving permission to settle in the area. For the next forty years, the Jews of Munkács leased licenses from the authorities for selling liquor, meat, candles and soap, and for grinding produce and transporting wood to the port of Danzig.
Substantial Jewish settlement in Munkács began at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1718, there were five Jewish homes – 25 Jews – among them a shochet (ritual slaughterer). In 1741, the Jewish community was established in the area, numbering some 80 souls. That same year, the first synagogue of the town was also established.