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First posted on July 12th 2007, last revised on December 5th 2013

History of Carpatho-Ruthenia : Narrative . References : Online Secondary Sources . Online Primary Sources . Bibliographic and Print Sources

until 1918 . 1918-1939 . 1939-1944 . 1944-1946 . 1946-1991
see also History of the Kingdom of Hungary, 1000-1919, History of Czechoslovakia (for history 1918-1939),
History of Hungary (for history 1939-1944), History of Ukraine (for history since 1944)

Until 1918
Note : the terms Subcarpathian Ruthenia, Carpatho-Ruthenia, Russinia, Sub-Carpathian Russia and Carpatho-Ukraine refer to the same territory at different periods of time.
a territory which was not yet defined . The territory of Carpatho-Ruthenia did not exist as an administrative unit prior to the Treaty of Trianon. It may be vaguely defined as the region within the pre-Trianon Kingdom of Hungary with a majority Ruthenian (Rusyn) population. Administratively, in the Kingdom of Hungary formed part of the counties Ung, Bekes (Bereg), Maramoros and Ugocsa. The county Ung was part of the Circle on the Right Bank of the Theiss (Tisza), the counties Bekes (Bereg), Maramoros and Ugocsa part of the Circle on the Left Bank of the Theiss (Tisza).
As a territory with specific borders, Carpatho-Ruthenia (or Subcarpathian Ruthenia) was defined by the Treaty of Trianon, in June 1920. As the name expresses, it was the territory of the Ruthenians (Rusyns) within the former Kingdom of Hungary.
Political History . What was to become Carpatho-Ruthenia, since about 1000 A.D., was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Hungarians dwelled in the lains and were content with exacting tribute from the inhabitants of the hill and mountain country. The ethnic Russian population of the area were Russian Orthodox Christians, the Hungarian inhabitants of the lowland rim Roman Catholics. Following the disaster of 1526 (Battle of Mohacs), what was to become Carpatho-Ruthenia was located on the border of Royal Hungary and the Duchy of Transylvania. Following the Habsburg victory over the Ottoman Empire in 1683-1699, it became part of the restored Kingdom of Hungary.
The Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich (Compromise) of 1867 placed the area under the administration of the Hungarian parliament; Hungary implemented a policy of Magyarization, of enforced assimilization, which was resented by Hungary's various ethnic minorities. When the Russian army invaded early in World War I, the slavic population of Galicia, Slovakia, Carpatho-Ruthenia and the Northern Bukovina sympathized with the invaders, and the Russians made quick progress, but later were expelled by forces of the Central Powers.
Social History . According to a census conducted in 1880, the area which from 1920 onward constituted Carpatho-Ruthenia had 408,971 inhabitants, 59.8 % of which were listed as Ruthenians, 25.7 % as Hungarians, 7.8 % as Germans, 4.1 % as Romanians, 2.1 % as Slovaks, 0.5 % as others. Ruthenians (Rusyn) formed the population majority, after which the territory later would be named; yet there were Ruthenian-majority areas which would not be included, most notably in northern Zemplen and Saros counties, along the border to Galicia.
Prior to 1919 the commercial and educated elite were almost exclusively Jewish or Hungarian; the educated (in Hungarian) Rusyns sympathised with the Hungarian cause (Webb p.286). As in the case of Slovakia, a number of Rusyns emigrated, a.o. to the United States.
The Economy . The regon which later would form Carpatho-Ruthenia was largely agricultural; the two urban centers were Uzhorod, with a majority Hungarian population, and Mukachevo, the latter with a large Jewish community.

Dispute over Carpatho-Ruthenia, 1918-1920 . The territory of Carpatho-Ruthenia did not exist as an administrative unit prior to the Treaty of Trianon. It may be vaguely defined as the region within the pre-Trianon Kingdom of Hungary with a majority Ruthenian (Rusyn) population. Administratively, in the Kingdom of Hungary formed part of the counties Ung, Bekes (Bereg), Maramoros and Ugocsa. The county Ung was part of the Circle on the Right Bank of the Theiss (Tisza), the counties Bekes (Bereg), Maramoros and Ugocsa part of the Circle on the Left Bank of the Theiss (Tisza).
Exile Rusyns signed the Pittsburgh Agreement of May 31st 1918, which called for the establishment of Czechoslovakia, which was to include an autonomous Subcarpathian Ruthenia; other Rusyn exiles called for full independence (July 1918) and, when this turned out to be illusory, for inclusion in a Western Ukrainian Republic (W : Carpatho-Ruthenia).
In 1918-1919 the (then ill-defined) territory of Carpatho-Ruthenia was disputed by Czechoslovakia, the short-lived Western Ukrainian Republic, Hungary and a short-lived, indigenous Hutsul Republic. A number of Ruthenian National Councils (RNC) were established, named after the location where they met, supporting the integration of Carpatho-Ruthenia into Czechoslovakia (Lyubovna/Presov RNC, est. Nov. 8th 1918), the Western Ukrainian Republic (Khust RNC, est. Jan. 1919) respectively Hungary (Uzhhorod RNC, est. Nov. 9th 1918). The Western Ukrainian forces were expelled on Jan. 21st 1919; in April-July 1919, allied Czechoslovak and Romanian forces expelled the Hungarian forces. The Treaty of Trianon (June 1920) defined the borders of Subcarpathian Ruthenia, as it then was referred to, and awarded the territory to Czechoslovakia.
The comitatus (county) Ung was partitioned between Slovakia and Carpatho-Ruthenia; the county of Bekes (Bereg) between Hungary and Carpatho-Ruthenia, the counties of Maramoros and Ugocsa between Carpatho-Ruthenia and Romania. The delineation of the borders left regions with Rusyn-speaking majorities in Slovakia (northern regions of Zemplen and Saros counties) and a strip with Hungarian-speaking majority along the border to Hungary.
It seems that the majority of the population of Carpatho-Ruthenia (Ruthenians, Germans) accepted the annexation into Czechoslovakia as long as the region was to be granted political autonomy.
Administration, 1920-1939 . Governors of Carpatho-Ruthenia included Ivan Brejcha (1919-1920), Hrihorii Ihnatii Zhatkovych (1920-1921), Petr Ehrenfeld (1921-1923), Antony Hryhorovych Beskyd (1923-1933), Antonin Roszypal (1933-1935), Konstantin Hrabar (1935-1938), Ivan Parkanyi (1938-1939). Uzhhorod was the administrative center.
Political History . In 1919 Czechoslovakia had promised a federal constitution, regional autonomy for Carpatho-Ruthenia. But the Czechoslovak leadership viewed Czechs and Slovaks as one nationality, looked at French centralism as a model to follow, and delayed the implementation of promised regional autonomy. Governor Zhatkovich in 1921 resigned in protest against unfulfilled promises. The establishment of a regional assembly for Carpatho-Ruthenia came in 1928. The Carpatho-Ruthenians were unhappy with the degree of autonomy they had been given.
Czechoslovakia was a functioning democracy, a constitutionally governed state; the inhabitants of Carpatho-Ruthenia fared much better than during the period of Magyarization. From the perspective of national capital Prague, Carpatho-Ruthenia was not only the least populated and most remote of the 4 regions of Czechoslovakia (Bohemia, Moravia-Silesia, Slovakia and Carpatho-Ruthenia), but also the least economically developed region of the country.
Social History . According to the census of 1921, the population of Czechoslovakia, by ethnicity, consisted of 8.7 million Czecho-Slovaks (65.5 %), 3.1 million Germans (23.3 %), 0.7 million Hungarians (5.5 %), 459.346 Russians (3.4 %), 180,332 Jews (1.3 %) and 76,656 Poles (0.5 %). The same census listed, by religion, 592,699 Greek Catholics, 3051 Greek Orthodox Christians (NIYB 1922 p.180). The vast majority of the Russians may be identified as residents of Carpatho-Ruthenia, where Ruthenians made up about 60 % of the population.
The total population of Carpatho-Ruthenia in 1938 is given as 814,000 (NIYB 1938 p.192).
The population of Carpatho-Ruthenia was ethnically mixed; the largest population group being the Ruthenians (Rusyn), to which the Hutsul, Boyko and Lemko groups belonged, then Hungarians, Germans, Romanians, Slovak and Roma (Gypsies). By religion, the population was divided in Greek Catholics, Roman Catholics, Jews, Protestants.
The Economy . By 1919, Carpatho-Ruthenia was largely agricultural; the two urban centers were Uzhhorod, with a majority Hungarian population, and Mukachevo, the latter with a large Jewish community. In 1932 Carpatho-Ruthenia suffered famine (NIYB 1932 p.228).

Administration . In November 1938 Czechoslovakia ceded southern Slovakia, and southwestern Carpatho-Ruthenia, areas with a Hungarian-speaking population majority, to Hungary; the ceded area included Uzhhorod, the regional capital since 1920. On March 15th, what was left of Carpatho-Ruthenia declared independence, headed by priest Avhustyn Voloshyn. On March 16th the territory was occupied by Hungarian forces and annexed into Hungary. The county of Maramaros was restored, the other areas annexed into the county Szatmar-Ugosca-Bereg respectively Szabolsc-Ung.
In the fall of 1944 the area was occupied by the Soviet army, which established a military administration.
Political History . The areas annexed by Hungary in November 1938 had an ethnically Hungarian population majority, and integration into Hungary was comparatively easy (although ethnic minorities, most notably Rusyn, of considerable size now were included into Hungary). The population of the remainder of Carpatho-Ruthenia, occupied in March 1939, by a large majority was non-Hungarian.
Within Hungary, the region was denied political autonomy; the administration was in the hands of ethnic Hungarians.
Social History . The ethnic and religious composition of the population of Carpatho-Ruthenia was complex. According to the census of 1880, the territory which formed Carpatho-Ruthenia from 1920 to 1938 had 59.8 % Ruthenians, 25.7 % Hungarians, 7.8 % Germans, 4.1 % Romanians, 2.1 % Slovaks and 0.5 % others. By religion we may assume the largest group to be Greek Uniate Catholics (Ruthenians, Romanians), followed by Roman Catholics (Hungarians, Slovaks, Germans) and Jews (who, given the choice of nationalities, may have been registered as Hungarians or Germans) and Protestants (Germans).
During the brief period of Hungarian rule 1938/39-1944, this ethnic caleidoscope underwent fundamental change. The area saw the influx of Hungarians through most of the period, and a mass exodus in 1944; the Ukrainian censi of 1989 and 2001 registered about 12 % ethnic Hungarians in the region.
In April 1944 the authorities established ghettos in Carpatho-Ruthenia, and quickly proceeded with the deportation of the region's Jewish population to Auschwitz, which was concluded by June 1944; it is estimated that 90 % of the Jews of Carpatho-Ruthenia were killed in the Holocaust.
When Soviet forces advanced on Carpatho-Ruthenia, most of the area's (non-Jewish) ethnic German population fled, never to return.

In the fall of 1944, Soviet forces occupied Carpatho-Ukraine and established a military administration. The Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile asked administration to be handed over to them, which the Soviets refused. In June 1946, Czechoslovakia ceded Carpatho-Ukraine to the USSR, the border with Slovakia, as compared with the border of 1937, slightly moved to the west. On January 22nd 1946, Carpatho-Ukraine, as Zakarpattia Oblast, was annexed into the Ukrainian SSR.
Administration . The Zakarpattia Oblast is administrated by a governor residing in Uzhhorod.
Political History . Under Soviet military administration in 1944-1946, the area suffered at the hands of rapacious soldiers. Perceived war criminals and collaborators received harsh treatment. The annexation into Ukraine was followed by the Sovietization of the regional economy and society. Land was collectivized, businesses nationalized.
Social History . A part of the Ruthenian population, appaled by the treatment the region received by the Red Army in 1944-1946 and by Soviet authorities after, resisted the pressure to assimilate and sees itself as Rusyn.

The year 1991 brought the fall of communism in the USSR, and by the end of the year, the dissolution of the USSR, which left Ukraine an independent nation.
Social History . The Ukrainian SSR pushed for the assimilation of the majority Ruthenians (Rusyn) into Ukrainians, and did not recognize the Rusyn as a separate ethnicity; the census of 1989 listed 78.4 % Ukrainians, 12.1 % Hungarians, 2.6 % Romanians, 2.5 % Russians, 1.1 % Roma etc.

Country Profiles . Links . Organizations . Accounts of History . Politics . Military History . Economic History . Social History . Ethnography
History of Religion . Regional History . Local History . Institutions . Culture . Biography . Environmental History . Others
Country Profiles Modern Articles Carpathian Ruthenia, Carpatho-Ukraine, Zakarpattia Oblast, from Wikipedia
Articles Carpatho-Ukraine, Subcarpathian Ruthenia, from Encyclopedia of Ukraine
Links General
on History
Historical Dictionaries The Yiwo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
Holocaust Encyclopedia
Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine
Online Lexikon zur Geschichte der Deutschen im östlichen Europa
World Academy of Carpatho-Rusyn Culture
Accounts of History Modern Accounts History of Carpathian Ruthenia, from Wikipedia
History of Carpatho-Ukraine, from Wikipedia
Historical Accounts
Specific Periods Ruthenia, pp.200-250 in C.A. MacArtney, Hungary and her Successors, 1919-1937 (1937) posted by Hungarian History
B. Horbal, Subcarpathian Rus within Czechoslovakia, 1996
P.R. Magocsi, The Shaping of a National Identity : Subcarpathian Rus, 1848-1948, 1978
R. Hurny, Tragedy of Carpatho-Ukraine, 2012; on 1918-1939 and the autonomy it deserved and was not given
Politics / Administration Articles Diet of Carpatho-Ukraine, from Encyclopedia of Ukraine
International Boundary Study : Czechoslovakia-USSR (1967), from Bureau of Intelligence, Department of State
A. Zieba, Poland and Political Life in Carpatho-Rus and among Carpatho-Rusyns in Emigration in North America: 1918-1939, n.d.
M. Panchuk, Political Rusynism in Ukraine, Political Thought 1995, no.2-3 (6) pp.232-238.
Economy & Finances The Economist, Mar 12 2009 : A glimpse of daylight. Ruthenia was once independent, for one day. Now Ruthenes are getting restive.
Social History
Ethnography Articles Rusyns, Ruthenians and Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia, Lemkos, Boyko, Hutsuls, Carpatho-Ruthenia : Population, from Wikipedia
I.L. Rudnytsky, Carpatho-Ukraine: A People in Search of Their Identity 1987
A.C. Wiktorek, Rusyns of the Carpathians : Competing Agendas of Identity, thesis Georgetown 2010
Religion General
Catholic, Eastern Rite Czechoslovakia, from Roman Catholic Hierarchy, scroll down for Subcarpathia
Article : Union of Uzhhorod (1646), Wikipedia
Article : Ruthenian Catholic Church, Wikipedia
Simkovich.org, Carpatho-Russian Religion
Jewish Article History of the Jews in Carpathian Ruthenia, from Wikipedia
The Yivo Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe : Subcarpathian Rus
Holocaust Encyclopedia, The Holocaust in Subcarpathian Rus and Southern Slovakia
A. Sagvari, The Holocaust in Carpatho-Ruthenia
KFF Education, The Shoah in Carpatho-Ruthenia : The End of Reprieve
Protestant Article : Sub-Carpathian Reformed Church, Wikipedia
Local History Articles Uzhhorod : History (Ungvar), Mukachevo : History (Mukachiv, Munkacs), Khust : History, Vynohradiv : History (Nagyszöllös), from Wikipedia
Article Uzhhorod, from Encyclopedia of Ukraine
Article Mukachevo / Munkacs, from Shtetlinks
Biographies World Academy of Carpatho-Rusyn Culture; contains mainly biographies
EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS K10 : Paul Stanyer (dir.), A Girl from Beregszasz, (modern Beregovo), 5 parts, YouTube
Environmental History

Historical Data . Statistical Data . Documents Newspapers . Yearbooks . Image Databanks . Archival Deposits . Laws . Historiography
Document Collections . Historical Maps . Historical Encyclopedia Articles . Travelogues . Institutions . National Symbols
Historical Data Lists of Statesmen Governors of Carpatho-Ruthenia etc., from World Statesmen (Ben Cahoon)
Statistical Data Population Figures Ukraine, Historical Statistical Data of Administrative Divisions, from Population Statistics (Jan Lahmeyer)
Census Data 1913 : Hungarian Counties Bereg County, Maramoros County, Szabolcs County, Szatmar County, Ugocsa County, Ung County, from Talma Media
Documents Historical Newspapers Center for Research Libraries Reference Folder, Carpatho-Ruthenian Microfilm Project. Guide to Newspapers and Periodicals. Immigration of Carpatho-Ruthenians to America
Image Databanks
Archival Deposits
Document Collections
Individual Documents
Historical Maps South East Europe History Map Index, from Eliznik
Carpatho-Rusyn Homaland, from Carpatho-Rusyn Org
Hungary County Maps 1913 : Maramaros, Ung, Bereg, Ugocsa, Szatmar, Hajdu-Szabolcs, from Talma Media
Encyclopedia Entries
Parliamentary Debates Joint Czech and Slovak Digital Parliamentary Library
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National Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag, from FOTW

Bibliographies . Online Libraries . Thesis Servers . Online Journals . General Accounts . Specific Topics . Historical Dictionaries . Statistical Data
Bibliography Harvard Univ., Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard Series in Ukrainian Studies
Online Libraries general Internet Archives
Gutenberg Library Online
on Carpatho-Ruthenia Central and Eastern European Online Library
Institute of Czech Literature : Czech Electronic Library
Electronic Library of Ukrainian Literature
Corvinus Library : Hungarian History
Hungarian Electronic Library
Thesis Server Open Access Theses and Dissertations
Online Journals full text online Directory of Open Access Journals
Jahrbücher für die Geschichte Osteuropas 1936-2006, BSB
Revue des Etudes Slaves 1921-2005, Persee
Forum Historiae 2007-
Table of Contents
Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 1952-, in German
General Accounts Adrian Webb, The Longman Companion to Central and Eastern Europe since 1919, London etc.: Longman 2002 [G]
Raymond Pearson, The Longman Companion to European Nationalism 1789-1920, London etc.: Longman 1994 [G]
Specific Topics
Historical Dictionary Articles : Carpatho-Ukraine pp.105-107, in : James Minahan, Nations without States, A Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements, Westport CT : Greenwood 1996 [G]
Statistical Data IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Europe 1750-1988, London : Palgrave 2000 [G]

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