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WW1 Diary – March 14, 1917

Thirty-eighth 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. 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.

March 14, 1917

Crazy days indeed… the czar and czarina have been arrested. The Mother of the land, for whom we had to pray to God every Sunday, for her health and so that she would protect the land, is said to be the biggest traitor to the country. Now that it is allowed to write anything, there are all sorts of dirty stories coming out about court life. The Czarina herself has been completely wanton – and who should be the one to cast the first stone?

All of the big ministers have been imprisoned, who ate the people’s profit for so long. The people and the soldiers march with red flags – “Long live a free Latvia! Long live the Revolution!” Meetings, gatherings and demonstrations are taking place everywhere.

There are many victims of the Revolution, but still, Imanta rises and will destroy the terrible enemy Germans and peace will rule in the land, then Latvia will live, our dear fatherland!

2 comments to WW1 Diary – March 14, 1917

  • Pauline

    Hi Antra, There is a reference to Imanta. What or who is this? Thank you for sharing these precious diary entries.

  • Antra

    During the First World War/Russian Civil War/Latvian War of Independence, there was a Latvian regiment, organized by former Latvian Riflemen, in Siberia called “Imanta”. Their official purpose was to battle the Germans on the Ural front, but their real goal was to help evacuate Latvian colonists and refugees from Siberia and take them to Latvia. They later traveled to Latvia via ship from Vladivostok in 1920.

    However, Imanta was only formed in 1918, so it is not likely that she is referring to this Imanta, since she is writing in 1917. She is probably writing about their namesake, Imauts (often read as Imants), a Livonian soldier who killed the bishop Berthold in 1198. Berthold was one of the German crusaders against pagan Livonia at the time the Germans first invaded Latvia.

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