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Ethnic Lithuanians make up more than four-fifths of the country’s population; there are also Russians and Poles and lesser numbers of Belarusians, Ukrainians, Latvians, Tatars, Roma (Gypsies), and others.There was a significant Jewish community in Lithuania prior to World War II, and an influx of Jews from German-controlled Poland in 1941 boosted this population to nearly 250,000.Lithuania, country of northeastern Europe, the southernmost and largest of the three Baltic states. The new Soviet parliament acknowledged Lithuania’s independence on September 6, 1991. The less-accessible Lithuanians, living in dense forests and swamplands, managed to withstand the foreign incursions and preserve their independence.
The mean temperature for January, the coldest month, is in the low 20s F (about −5 °C), while July, the warmest month, has an average temperature in the 60s F (about 17 °C).
Yiddish is commonly spoken by members of the tiny remaining Jewish community in Lithuania.
Lithuania was the last pagan country in Europe, accepting Roman Catholicism in the late 14th century.
The climate of the country is transitional between the maritime type of western Europe and the continental type found farther east.
As a result, damp air masses of Atlantic origin predominate, alternating with continental Eurasian and, more rarely, colder Arctic air or air with a southern, tropical origin.
Average annual rainfall usually exceeds 30 inches (about 800 mm), diminishing inland.