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© Douglas Hykle
2006-2012
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Historical demography of Tluste

Well-documented census figures for Tluste and surrounding villages for the period 1880 to 1930 are quite revealing about the ethnic composition of the area. Table 1, below, compiles information from various sources, the two most important being the Austrian Galician Gazetteer, containing census figures for the years 1880, 1890, 1900 and 1910; and the Greek-Catholic Schematism for the years 1887, 1899, 1912 and 1930. These data appear to be internally consistent and broadly comparable. Data are also available from a 1764 census of Polish Jewry, and a few other miscellaneous sources.

The Austrian Galician Gazetteer provides very detailed information on population sizes for Tluste and the surrounding villages of Angelowka (to the west), Holowczynce (south-southeast), Korolowka (furthest south), Rozanowka (southwest), and Tluste Wies (village), the latter being contiguous with Tluste Miasto (town). The data are broken down by ethnicity, gender and language. Further information is provided on the types and area of crops grown. Overall, the information from this source appears to be the most comprehensive, reliable and comparable over time.

The Greek-Catholic Schematism provides less detailed population figures for Greek-Catholics in Tluste and surrounding villages. In most but not all cases, totals (only) are given for Jews and Poles. Additional information is offered, concerning the parish, the incumbent priest, and even the salary of a singer in the church.

Hryniuk  (1), and other authors, allude to the possible manipulation and distortion of population statistics for Galicia:

“The Polish administration of Galicia wished to show the highest possible number of Poles… Data on language of usage were even more open to abuse by the predominantly Polish census takers. Under Austrian regulations, Jews were not allowed to list Yiddish as their language. In 1880 about one-third of Southern Podillia’s 52,000 Jews listed themselves as German-speaking, about two-fifths as Ukrainian-speaking, and the remainder as Polish-speaking. By 1900 only slightly under 2,000 of the region’s 52,600 Jews gave German as their language of usage, perhaps 3,000-4,000 gave Ukrainian, while the remainder, either voluntarily or under pressure, were registered as Polish-speaking, “despite the fact that village and small town Jews doubtless spoke better Ukrainian than Polish.” In many instances, all Roman Catholics were automatically registered as Polish-speaking, even if the only Polish they used was very imperfect. The more zealous census-takers also listed all members of religiously mixed families as Polish.”

Some of this distortion is evident in certain figures for Tluste (see discussion below).

Reference is made to Table 1, below. Between 1880 and 1930, the population of Tluste grew steadily from 3,285 individuals to a peak of about 4,000; while that of the whole area including the suburbs grew from 6,000 to just over 8,000. This trend appears to go against that for Zalishchyky county as a whole, which experienced a 20 percent decline in the rate of live births between 1881 and 1900  (2). Perhaps the modest population increase in Tluste can be attributed to immigration from elsewhere.



Table 1.  Historical demography of Tluste and surrounding villages, by ethnicity

For each entry: Tluste = 1st row; surrounding villages = 2nd row; n/a = information not available.  Percentages given in parentheses, where applicable.

Year
Jewish
Ukrainian (Greek-Catholic)
Polish (Roman Catholic)

Sub-totals:
Tluste / surrounding villages *

Tluste + surrounding (combined)
Source / Note
1764
251
104*
n/a
n/a
 
 
1869 
  
 
 
2,634
?
 
1880
2,225  (68%)
57    (2%)
697  (21%)
2,023  (75%)
363  (11%)
621  (23%)
3,285
2,701  [571] 
5,986 
1887
n/a
620
1790
n/a
 
 
1890
2,407  (66%)
102     (3%)
833  (23%)
2,177  (73%)
394  (11%)
726  (24%)
3634
3,005  [684]
6,639
1899
2485
874
2239
1124
 
6,722
1900
2,213  (59%)
166     (5%)
1,111  (29%)
2578  (74%)
454  (12%)
714  (21%)
3,778
3,458  [755]
7,236
1910
n/a
n/a
n/a
3,883
3,548  [886]
7,431
1912
2,424
1,012
2,672
1,640
 
7,748
1921
n/a
n/a
n/a
2,629
[992]
 
1930
2,600
1,141
** 3,111
1,350
 
8,202
1931
n/a
n/a
n/a
3,490
[1,032]
 
1939
1,196 
n/a
n/a
 
 

* Surrounding villages, in order of size: Holowczynce, Rozanowka, Tluste Wies (village), Korolowka, and Angelowka. The population size of Tluste Wies (village), which is contiguous with Tluste Miasto, is specially indicated in square brackets.

** Values for Holowczynce and Korolowka (not available) are approximated at 980 and 410, respectively, within the totals of 3,111 and 8,202

NB: In the years 1899, 1912, and 1930, the figures for the Jewish and Polish populations do not differentiate between Tluste and surrounding villages (only combined totals are given).


What is most remarkable about the population figures is the clear indication that, during this period, Tluste was predominantly a Jewish town. Jews consistently made up approximately two-thirds of the population, while Ukrainians constituted about 20-25% and Poles only 11-12%. The growth rate of the town, and that of the Jewish population, was very modest – averaging much less than 0.5% per year. The Ukrainian and Polish communities of Tluste increased at a slightly higher rate, but still in the vicinity of just one percent per annum.

Contrasting with the composition of Tluste proper, the smaller surrounding villages were made up primarily of Ukrainians (roughly three-quarters) and Poles (20-25%). These smaller communities grew at a somewhat quicker pace of 1-1.5% per annum. Jews constituted less than five percentage of their population and virtually all of them were tradesmen, shopkeepers and their families.

This clear tendency for the Jewish community to concentrate in towns, rather than smaller villages, was also common elsewhere in Galicia. A 1764 census of Polish Jewry indicates that there were already 251 Jews living in Tluste. At that time there was also a relatively large proportion (about 30%) of Jews living in surrounding villages, but over the next one hundred years there was obviously a migration towards Tluste proper.

Between 1880 and 1900, the number of households in Tluste grew at a fairly constant rate from 376 to 445 (Table 2). The number of occupants per household – mainly Jewish, as noted above – was about nine. This figure declined to about 6 per household by 1931, as more houses were built to accommodate a population that was growing only modestly. Interestingly, in the surrounding villages, comprised mainly of Ukrainians, the density was lower (about 5 to 6 individuals per household) and remained so over time. Presumably, the difference is accounted for by the dwellings in Tluste being larger than those in the villages, though one might have expected families working on the land to be larger.

Table 2.  Number of households in Tluste and surrounding villages
Year
Tluste
Tluste Wies
Holowczynce
Rozanowka
Korolowka
Angelowka
Source / Notes
1880
376
108
167
120
52
34
1890
403
116
182
138
60
38
1900
445
132
200
150
63
40
1931
565
185
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a


Austrian statistics for 1880 reveal the limited mobility of the population of Eastern Galicia, and of Zalishchyky county in particular. People tended to reside in the towns and villages of their birth. In that year, over 93 percent of the people living in the county remained in the same commune (i.e. town) in which they were born. Only about six percent of the population were born elsewhere in Zalishchyky county or came from another county in Galicia. This trend shifted moderately by 1890, when about 15 percent of the county’s inhabitants were born elsewhere  (16).

Census figures also provide information on the principal language spoken by individuals in Tluste and surrounding villages in the 1880 to 1900 period (Table 3). The findings are clearly delineated along ethnic lines, with Ukrainian being spoken by three-quarters of the citizens in the villages, outside of Tluste, but only one-quarter of people in town – corresponding to the ethnic make-up of these areas.

Table 3. Language usage among residents of Tluste and surrounding villages. 
(Relative percentages shown in parentheses)

Year
Area 
Polish
Ukrainian
Other (German)
Totals
Source / Notes
1880

Tluste Surrounding

2,425   (74%)
682   (25%)

695   (21%)
1,997   (74%)

142      (4%)
22      (1%)

3,262 
2,701 

 1890
Tluste Surrounding 
1,609   (44%)
827   (27%)
 932   (26%)
2,129   (71%)
 1,081   (30%)
49     (2%)
 3,622 
3,005 
(5) 
 1900
Tluste Surrounding 
2,666   (71%)
959   (28%)
1,112   (29%)
2,499   (72%) 
0
0
3,778 
3,458 
 (7)


In 1880 and 1900, the reverse was true with respect to Polish – which was spoken by three-quarters of Tluste’s residents, but only a quarter of those in the villages. This suggests that most Jews indicated, or had assigned for them, Polish as their first language. As noted above, Hebrew or Yiddish was not given as a option by the census-takers. German was also spoken by a small percentage of the population in 1880. The figures for 1890, suggesting a much higher proportion of German speakers at the expense of Polish, are considered anomalous – perhaps indicative of a change in census methodology.

The unmistakable conclusion one draws from these statistics is that for at least half a century, and probably several decades longer, Tluste was largely a Jewish town. As indicated elsewhere, most of the businesses were owned and operated by Jewish families. It would appear that by 1939, the Jewish population had already begun to decline from a peak of 2,600 around about 1930 to fewer than 1,200, perhaps due to emigration over the course of that decade. (It should be noted that the population estimate for 1939 comes from another source, which cannot be independently verified and might not be directly comparable.) Within only a few years after that, the entire Jewish population of Tluste had been exterminated through the atrocities that were to befall much of Europe in the early 1940s.

Notes:

(1) Hryniuk, S. Peasants with Promise: Ukrainians in Southeastern Galicia 1880-1900. Edmonton, 1991. p. 39.

(2) Ibid. pp. 178-79.

(3) Stampfer, S. “The 1764 Census of Polish Jewry” in Bar-Ilan / Annual of Bar Ilan University Vol. 24-25. p. 135.

(4) Austrian census of 1869, as reported in: Special Orts-Repertorien von Galizien. Bearbeitet auf Grund de Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1880. K.K. Statistischen Central Commission. Wien, 1886. In the absence of more information, the figure is presumed to relate only to Tluste, and not surrounding villages.

(5) Special Orts-Repertorien von Galizien. Bearbeitet auf Grund de Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1880. K.K. Statistischen Central Commission. Wien, 1886.

(6) Shematyzm Vsego Klyra. 1887. Figures compiled for this particular year give a total of the Ukrainian population of Tluste and surrounding villages, but make no mention of the Jewish or Roman Catholic population.

(7) Special Orts-Repertorien von Galizien. Bearbeitet auf Grund de Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1890. K.K. Statistischen Central Commission. Wien, 1893.

(8) Apostolic Nuncia. 1899.

(9) Special Orts-Repertorien von Galizien. Bearbeitet auf Grund de Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1900. K.K. Statistischen Central Commission. Wien, 1907.

(10) Special Orts-Repertorien von Galizien. Bearbeitet auf Grund de Ergebnisse der Volkszählung vom 31. Dezember 1910. K.K. Statistischen Central Commission. Wien, 1915.

(11) Shematyzm Vsego Klyra. 1912. Figures are directly comparable with those of 1899 (i.e. the basis for the compilation is identical.)

(12) The Tchortkiv District – A Collection of Memoirs and Historical Data. In Shevchenko Scientific Society. Ukrainian Archive, Vol. XXVI. 1974. p. 795.

(13) Shematyzm Vsego Klyra. 1930. The surrounding villages of Holowczynce and Korolowka are not longer counted in the total figure. As such, it is not directly comparable with 1912; however the figure for Tluste is comparable to most other years.

(14) The Tchortkiv District – A Collection of Memoirs and Historical Data. In Shevchenko Scientific Society. Ukrainian Archive, Vol. XXVI. 1974. p. 795.

(15) Census for 1939, as reported in International Jewish Cemetery Project: http://www.jewishgen.org/cemetery/e-europe/ukra-t.html; last accessed on 16 August 2005.

Note that: Encyclopedia Judaica. Jerusalem, 1972 (last accessed via the Museum of Tolerance Multimedia Learning Center, http://motlc.learningcenter.wiesenthal.org/text/x32/xr3263.html on 18 August 2005) quotes the same figure (1,196) for the Jewish population, indicating that this represented 46% of a total population of 2,600; however it ascribes it to the year 1921 – which appears not to be plausible.

(16) Hryniuk, S. Peasants with Promise: Ukrainians in Southeastern Galicia 1880-1900. Edmonton, 1991. p. 33.