Thirty-second installment from the diary of my great-grandfatherâ€™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 familyâ€™s house near LimbaÅ¾i as the war moves even closer. Her third child, a son, was born there in February 1916. The family has now relocated to a home near Valmiera. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have posted.
November 30, 1916
The stories from the war are terrible. The Germans have also destroyed Romania, taking over their capital city, Bucharest. The fate of Romanian refugees is terrible – terror, famine, cold. Many fall by the side of the road and stay fall then there, unburied, mostly children. I sympathize with them, and feel their pain in my heart, and wish that life’s happiness reaches them again and God only knows what awaits us, for the Germans are strong, they could still take RÄ«ga and scare us with their airplanes and cannons. No point in fleeing anymore, it is better to die here than to suffer famine in foreign lands. And still, even in foreign lands there is war and terror. A World War, and what will happen after? The Duma is divided, the ministers keep changing, every so often you hear about unrest amongst the workers. The year has not been very fertile. Milk is very expensive – a pound of butter already costs 226 kopecks in Valmiera.
Thanks be to God, that we have everything in abundance. The children want for nothing. Still they are sad every now and again. My dear DagÄ«te has started to squint, she will need an operation. OlÄ£ertiÅ†Å¡ has been suffering with scrofula for a number of months, and tormented his nannies and caregivers. Now it is getting better. Day by day he is becoming an understanding and strong boy, he is so sweet, so sweet, the missing part of his ear will be shown – when he grows up, then he can grow part of my ear and we will be even.