* United Sates immigration Latvia

United States Immigration: Latvia

Figure 1.--Here we see a Latvian bioy entering America in 1960. He was not born in Latvia, but in a dispalced oersion(DP) camp in Germany. The press caption read, "An historic moment in European migration reaches its climax 5/11 [May 11] at Idlewild Airport as 10-year-old Latvian, Andrejs Suyritis, is welcomed on arrival by Sen. Kenneth Keating (R-N.Y.). The boy, birn and bred in a refugee camp in Germany, is the one millionth migrant moved by the Inter-Givernmental Committee for European Migration. Given a baseball cap and bat supplied by the N.Y. Yankees, Andrejs will join his family in Kalamazoo, Mich."

Latvia is one of the Baltic Republics. located between Lithunia and Estonia. We do not have much data on Latvian immigration. Latvia was acquired piecemeal by an expansionist Russian Tsarist Empire (late-18th century). At the time Latvians began emigrating to America in numbers, Latvia was part of the Tsarist Empire, so they may have been rcorded as Russians. This is a problem also associated with Lithianians, Poles and Ukranians. There are today nearly 0.1 million Amerticans with Latvian ancestry. That may sound like a small number, but the country's small population has to be taken into account--some 1.5-2.0 million people. Most Latvians in America are Lutherans and they primarily settled in cities. There was vurtually no Latvian emigratiion to the United States until the late-19th century and was primarily affected by tumultous developments in Russia and Eastern Europoe. The first significant groups of Latvians arrived in Boston, but relatively few remained there (1888). We are not sure what mnay have provoked this. Unlike Lithuania and Poland, Latvia did not have a large Jewish population which began fleetiung the Tsarist Empire at the time. There was a surge of Latvian emigrarion after the failed Revolution of 1905. This ended with World War I (1914-18). This ended signifant Latvian emigration. In fact some Latvians returned to fight for the Revolution and then for indepedence from the Bolsheviks. After the War American immogration rstrictions prevented further significant immigration. And Latvian independence atracted some Latvians home (1918-40). After World War II there was some rennewed immogfration as Latvians fled the advancing Red Army first into Germany where displaced persins canps were opebed and and finally to America.


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Created: 6:13 PM 9/8/2020
Last updated: 6:13 PM 9/8/2020