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MERANO , town in the province of Bolzano, N.E. Italy, near the Austrian border. Only around the middle of the 19th century did a few Jewish families, mainly from Central Europe, settle in Merano, the area having been under ḥerem since 1475 (see *Trent). In 1905, a community was constituted in Merano, encompassing the communities of Trent and Bolzano. In 1918 Merano passed from Austrian to Italian rule. In 1931, 780 Jews lived there, many of whom were foreign citizens. During World War ii the Jews in Merano had to face the hostility of the German-speaking population, as well as the Nazi occupation: 25 Italian Jews from Merano are known to have died in the extermination camps; many more were executed or disappeared. There were 64 Jews in Merano in 1945, and about 30 in 1970.

[Sergio Della Pergola]