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European republic between Sweden and the former Soviet Union. In a population of 5 million, there are about 1,200 Jews, living mostly in Helsinki. Jews settled there under Swedish rule in the 18th century. After Finland became Russian territory in 1809, the only Jews permitted to settle were ex-servicemen and their families. There was never severe persecution as in Russia proper, but Jews suffered many restrictions. After the Finns gained independence in 1917, they granted the Jews full equality. All the Jews of Viipuri, which was annexed by Russia in the war of 1939-40, moved to Finnish territory. Finland was the only part of Europe under Nazi domination from 1941 to 1944 where Jews did not suffer from persecution. Most Finnish Jews are engaged in commerce and trade. Their small numbers and distance from other Jewish communities made a full Jewish life difficult.

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