Translated by Moshe A. Davis
Village in the area of Chust, approximately 13 kilometers north of Chust. All [non-Jewish] residents Ruthenians.
[The First Jews]
The first Jews settled in Nankif in the end of the 18th or the beginning of the 19th century. For approximately 100 years, until the end of the 1800s, the Jewish population of Nankif grew steadily, if slowly. However, from the beginning of the 20th century, and especially in the period between the two World Wars, there was a steady decline in the number of Jews living in the village. The vicinity of the village to the nearby city Chust, and the economic possibilities available there, drew the Jews of Nankif, and especially the youth, away from the village and into the city Chust itself, where they attempted to establish themselves financially. Almost all of the Jews of Nankif supported themselves through physical labor, as craftsmen or as workers in lumber processing plants. Three or four Jewish families in the village owned and operated stores or taverns.
In the 1830 Census, the following families were recorded (the number of total individuals in the family are in parentheses):
Walesa Yambush (5)
Moshko Sussman (9)
Hershko Moshka (3)
Shabsai Markovits (3)
Avraham Marko (2)
Michoel Hershkovits (3)
Yosef Leibovits (3)
[The Community and Its Institutions]
In Nankif there was an established minyan, a mikveh, and a Jewish cemetery. However, the village could not support a shochet. The services of a shochet, and education for the children of the village, was supplied by the neighboring city Chust.
A large portion of the Jewish population of the village Nankif was destroyed in the deportations of the summer of 1941. The brief testimony of Alexander Adler (a Jewish farmer who lived in Nankif and who was born in 1916), given in the summer of 1945 shortly after his liberation from one of the concentration camps, speaks directly only about his own immediate family. However we can infer from his testimony about the events which overtook the other members of the Nankif Jewish community as a whole. We quote,
My parents, my sister, and my two brothers were deported to Poland already in 1941. During the entire year preceeding their deportation I had been drafted and was working in a labor battalion. I happened to be in the village Daliatin when I saw my sister among the deportees who were on a truck that was driving through the village. The truck had come from Chust, amoung many such trucks loaded with deportees which were coming from the city Chust and vicinity. I quickly rented a car and chased after them. When I attempted to cross the bridge crossing the Diniester River I was arrested. My supervising officer, who was a decent Hungarian, saved me from being thrown in with the other deportees. When I returned to the village [Nankif], I did not find any surviving relatives with the exception of a single uncle. From the 15 Jewish families that had lived in Nankif in 1941, there were survivors from only 5 families. Of those 5 families, none of the families survived intact. With the Hungarian conquest in 1944 came very bad times. All of the Jewish houses were marked with a yellow star 25 x 25 centimeters in size. Travelling from one village to another was forbidden. We were taken to the Chust ghetto, where we stayed from April until the end of May. From Chust, we were loaded onto train cars, 90 people per car, and taken to Aushwitz
Testimony in Yad VaShem archives: 015/1721.
Translated and edited by Moshe A Davis. This translation is dedicated to the memory of my grandparents my grandfather Benish Davidovits (in America, Bennie Davis), who was born in the neighboring village of Leh (Szeleslonka, Shirukiy Luh), and my grandmother Chaya Chaimovits (in America, Helen Hayfer), who was born in the neighboring village Drahiv (Kövesliget, Drahova) and to the members of their families (family surnames Chaimovits, Davidovits, Katz, Markovits, and Zelmanovits) who were murdered by the accursed Nazis and their accomplices. Hashem Yenakam Damam!
In this translation, I have endeavored to maximize ease of readability and the grammatical flow of the material, while keeping true to the spirit and the content of the information contained therein. To this end, in many places I have taken the liberty of rearranging the sentence and/or paragraph structure from that of the original Hebrew in order to improve the clarity and natural flow of ideas in English. Also, in many places I have slightly expanded the material, in order to clarify ideas or to define concepts which may not be familiar to readers who lack background in traditional Jewish customs and who are unfamiliar with Jewish Law. My own additions I have set apart by enclosing them in square brackets [ ].
Please note that many of the original sources used by the authors of Sefer Marmaros were written in languages other than Hebrew, which is the language of the text of Sefer Marmaros itself. Those original sources were not available to the translator, and thus most of the surnames and/or place names as transliterated here from the Hebrew may in fact have been spelled somewhat differently in the original source.
List of Jewish surnames mentioned in this article:
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