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WW1 Diary – April 20, 1916

Twenty-first installment from the diary of my great-grandfather’s sister Alise, written during the First World War. When the diary starts, she is living just a few miles from the front lines of the Eastern Front, and is then forced to flee with her husband and two young daughters to her family’s house near Limbaži as the war moves even closer. It was here that her third child, a son, was born in February 1916. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have posted.

April 20, 1916

Nothing and again nothing. For two weeks Papa looked for places in Tartu and Petrograd [NB: Saint Petersburg] – without any results. Money is just melting like snow in the spring sun. How long will it be like this? The price of food is sky high, and other things as well, especially boots, women’s shoes from simple leather cost 15 rubles, boots for Trūde 12 rubles. Thankfully, Olģerts does not need leather boots yet.

Right now hundreds of Cossacks are riding past our house, dust swirling in the air. Yesterday, airplanes flew past our house, very low, it is said that they were German scouts. Everyone is preparing for terrible battles along the Daugava. What will hearts say in the chests of the weary? What is the sight through the homeland’s eyes? Will there be green groves, or just stumps? Will there only be chimneys left of apartment buildings? Years will pass… tears will dry… groves will grow…

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