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© Douglas Hykle
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Welcome Note

While this website is of interest to anyone with a personal connection to this small town in western Ukraine, it is also relevant to a much wider audience that has yet to discover its fascinating history. Tluste's little-known connection to the founder of the Hasidic religion, the Ba'al Shem Tov, should in itself be a source of inspiration to countless thousands of followers around the world. The town's darker association with atrocities perpetrated against Jews during the Second World War make for compelling reading and sober reflection.

The site provides historical accounts from the perspectives of the three main communities – Ukrainian, Jewish and Polish – who co-existed for centuries in Tluste and the surrounding region. These are complemented by biographical details of a number of the interesting characters linked to the town; and information on present-day buildings and monuments that form part of its history. Care has been taken to reference the original source material in easily assessible notes.

For those with historical family ties to Tluste/Tovste and an interest in genealogy, the website offers a number of valuable resources. These include details of various archives and their holdings; links to other specialised websites I have found useful in my own research; reworked extracts of various historical business directories, and even a modern-day telephone directory. A built-in search facility offers users another powerful way of navigating the site and extracting useful information: looking up a keyword or a surname of interest may yield an informative or unexpected result.

The site is liberally sprinkled with photographs of the town from my personal collection and from other sources. Some of these have been organised into individual galleries, for example, of the modern Greek Catholic church, the Jewish cemetery, and exhibits from the local museum. A timeline of local events spanning hundreds of years, a compilation of census records, and a gallery of historical maps of Tovste and the surrounding region round out the content. Already several years in preparation, there is much more material that I have compiled but have yet to prepare for display. In that sense, the project remains a work in progress.

This website may also be useful for the casual reader simply interested in the information it offers on travel to western Ukraine, based on my dozen or so yars of experience visiting this particular corner of the country. Descriptions are given of other remarkable places to visit in the vicinity.

Other commitments have prevented me from updating the website much in recent years, which is not to say that I have not continued to carry out further research on the town. Indeed, this research has remained a major preoccupation in my spare time and will eventually materialise in the form of a book. Nevertheless, I am pleased to have been able to make some substantial revisions and additions in 2018-19, which can be found in the What's New Log.

I would suggest a visit to the Site Map for an overview of what the Tluste / Tovste website has to offer. If you enjoy the website, find it useful or would like to offer any feedback, feel free to send me an email using the Feedback page. If you have a website of your own, I invite you to make a link to

Douglas Hykle
February 2019