A Latvian Chanukah Present - Day 2 #latvia

Nancy Siegel


Latvian Jewish Immigration in 1924 

by Ann Rabinowitz

In memory of my great uncle Max Hillman, who was born in Bauska, Latvia, and who started me on my genealogical research, which is so long ago now, I am posting a piece about Latvia every day throughout Chanukah. The posts will be about people, events, and daily life. These posts can also be viewed on the JewishGen Blog at: https://www.jewishgen.org/Blog/

Following my Day 1 Chanukah Present, I am continuing my use of the Historical Jewish Press website to provide insight into the lives of Latvian Jews. 

Today, in Day 2, I am utilizing an article which was published in The Sentinel, Friday, June 27, 1924, Pg. 4. It is entitled "Order Return of Immigrants to Latvian Homes". 

This article described the issues which Jewish immigrants faced in getting to America. Many of the details of this immigration period have not been discussed previously, especially by the immigrants. For those whose ancestors were part of this immigration, you may be learning of your relatives' struggles for the first time. 

Riga (J.T.A.) - The Latvian Government has ordered all emigrants temporarily in Latvia, unable to proceed to America, to return to Russia before June 20th. The Latvian Minister of the Interior refuses to permit the emigrants to stay, calling them undesirable as citizens.

The steamship companies, which have maintained a colony of 1,600 Russian Jews in Riga since the closing of the Russian immigration quota last September, have notified the Latvian Government that they are not willing to pay further penalties in order to permit the emigrants to remain.

According to figures obtained from the steamship lines there are 6,400 Russian Jews who already have received American visas and are waiting for the opening of the quota in July. Large colonies are awaiting at Riga, Kovno, Warsaw, Bremen, Hamburg, Cherbourg, Southampton, Bucharest, and Constantinople.

Since this fills the quota for the next four years under the law, the Baltic States have informed their Consuls in Russia to refuse further transit visas for would-be emigrants.



Nancy Siegel
Director of Communications
(San Francisco, California)

Rene Eisner

thank you Nancy for posting these blogs.  This time is the exact time that my grandparents went via Riga to Australia, and it is great to understand the process.  keep up the good work.  
Rene Eisner
Melbourne, Australia.  
researching, Dudakov, Kogus, Dolgin.  Smolensk, Riga, St.Petersburg