In 1940, with the annexation of Lithuania to the USSR, all the town’s factories & stores, mainly owned by Jews, were nationalized. On June 23, 1941, after the Soviet withdrawal from Lithuania hundreds of Jews escaping eastward from Šiauliai and the neighboring towns found refuge in Linkuva and remained there. Most of the town’s Jews were forcibly held in stables and warehouses, where they were brutally attacked. In the summer of 1941, 200 Jewish men were killed near the village of Dvariūkai. The victims came from Linkuva, along with Jewish refugees who had fled to the village.