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Jews have lived in Latvia since the 16th century. There were 2,000 Jews in 1795 when it was annexed by Russia. In 1919, when Latvia became independent, Jews were able to develop an active Jewish life, forming schools and organizations. In 1940, the Soviet Union overran Latvia and deported many Jews to Siberia. In 1941, the Nazis occupied Latvia, and some 75,000 Jews fell into their hands. Ghettos were set up in Riga, Dvinsk, Libau, and elsewhere, and by the end of the war most of those Jews perished. After the war some 30,000 Jews returned to Latvia from Russia, but since then a large number has immigrated to Israel. In 2007 there were about 10,000 Jews living in Latvial

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