Re: Jewish Community in Finland #general #russia

Jules Levin

I have, or had, relatives from Finland.  Historically Finland admitted
no Jews--it was without Jews at the beginning of the 19th Century.  But
Jews who served honorably in the Russian army and were discharged in
Finland could remain there and send home for brides.  This was the
beginning of the Finnish Jewish community. There is a woman in Finland
with a web site.   She located info on my family.  My great-grand-uncle
served there and remained.  He had 3 children--2 are buried in the
Jewish cemetery of Turku, and one in Helsinki.   This woman would
certainly know about Hamina. My guess is that these Jews were mostly
from the Baltic areas--my family were all Litvaks.  If your relative was
born there, it means his father would have been the discharged soldier. 
The only other class of Jew permitted would have been a rabbi, which the
newly developing communities were allowed to hire and import. Perhaps
your relative's parents were originally from Latvia and decided to
return--they would no doubt have relatives already there.

Jules Levin

On 2/1/2021 11:58 AM, Barbara Levy wrote:

My grandfather said he was born in Finland, probably in Hamina,
Finland. Does anyone know if there was a Jewish community in Hamina,
Finland around 1878, when he was born? How might I find out about
this? When he was a little boy, his family moved (back?) to Riga,
which is where his family was from. Why did they move to Finland? Why
did they leave Finland and move to Latvia? I'm trying to find out all
I can about Jews in Finland. (I've looked at the general sources
available through the web.)

Barbara Levy

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