Alternate names include Slotvina [Yid]: Solotvin [Rus]: Solotwyn [Ger]: Солотвин [Ukr]: [Heb] סולוטבינה Solotvina or Zolotvina.
The town is located in southwest Ukraine at map coordinates 48°42' N 24°25' E
The nearest major city is Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine [formerly, Stanislawow, Poland], 20 miles NE.
The town of Bohorodchany is 9 miles NE and Nadworna is 8.5 miles SE.
Prior to 1772, Solotvyn was part of the Kingdom of Poland. From 1772-1867 it was part of the Kingdom of Galicia in the Hapsburg Empire. From 1867-1914, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the Bohorodczany District. From 1914-15 it was under Russian military occupation and from 1915-18 it was again part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From 1918-19 it was part of West Ukrainian People's Republic. From 1919-1939 it was part of the Republic of Poland and from 1939-41 part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. From 1941-44 it came under German occupation. From 1944-91 it was again part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and since 1991 it is part of the Republic of Ukraine.
Solotvyn/Solotwina and surrounding towns (Courtesy of 3rd Military Mapping Survey of Austria-Hungary)
History of the shtetl
Solotvyn was established in the second half of the seventeenth century as a local gentry's estate and was an important source of mined salt (Pinkas Kehilot 350).
Documentary evidence of a Jewish presence in the town dates from 1717 when local Jews paid a tax of 387 zloty (Pinkas Hakehilot, 350). The local community (kahal) was most probably connected to the Bohorodczany (Brotchin) community, but by the middle of the century this formal relationship ceased (Pinkas Hakehilot, 350). In 1765, Jews owned 84 houses in Solotvyn. (Pinkas Hakehilot, 350).
The Polish census of 1764 gives the following information regarding the Jewish population of Solotvyn (Stampfer 121). The community included 471 Jews of both genders and 19 infants under one year of age. 361 Jews with 15 infants lived in the town of Solotvyn itself, and the rest (110) were dispersed among surrounding villages accordingly:
Krzyczka 5 (and one infant)
Starunic 41 (and 3 infants)
In the nineteenth century, Solotvyn's Jews made a living mainly from small businesses and craftsmanship. Jews lived mainly in the center of the town and suffered greatly from the fire of 1888 in which some 600 houses were burnt (Pinkas Hakehilot, Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland Volume II pg. 350-351).
A state-run school was established in Solotvyn in 1804. A vocational school for Jews was established by the Baron Hirsch Foundation in 1894 and existed until WWI (Pinkas Hakehilot, 350).
In 1880, the Jewish population of the town was 1,541, approximately 50% of the total inhabitants. In 1900, it was 1,948 and by 1921, it had declined to 620 (JewishGen Gazetteer).
In the 1890s, two fires undermined the economic stability of the town. Many Solotvyn Jews began to work in the ozocerite mines in the surrounding villages.... as supervisors and miners. However, the economic crisis of 1899 caused the closure of the mines and many Jewish workers became unemployed...(Die Welt, no. 26, 30 June 1903, p. 12).
A private school for teaching Hebrew was opened in Solotvyn in 1906-07 by the association "Safah Brurah" (Pure Language). In 1911, there were 100 students and one teacher....(Gelber, Toldot, 2: 726: cf. 712).
Another Hebrew school was established in the same year by the local committee of the Austrian Hebrew Teachers Association; There were 46 students in 1911.... (Gelber, Toldot, 2:727).
The Russian occupation during WWI in 1914-15 was harmful to the Jewish community. As a result, almost all Jewish homes were destroyed, much property was stolen and several Jews were killed by Russian soldiers (Pinkas Kehilot 350).
There is little information regarding the fate of the Jewish community of Solotvyn during the Second World War, except for the partial information that it was destroyed by the Nazis. In 1942 the Jews of Solotvyn were sent to Stanislavov, to a camp called "Rudolph's Mill" where they were killed or sent to the Belzec extermination camp.
Although there are no Jews living in the town today, evidence of their former presence is very evident in the large, relatively well preserved Jewish cemetery and the former synagogue, built ca. 1900.