Forty-seventh 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, and the Russian Revolution is in full swing. For more background, see here, and click on the tag “diary entries” to see all of the entries that I have posted.

If there is mention of a recognizable historical figure and event, I will provide a Wikipedia link so that you can read more about the events that Alise is describing.

October 4, 1917

German airplanes are flying over us. Anti-aircraft guns are set up not far from us to shoot at them. Today they fired, bombs exploded in the air, so much noise it is terrible. I took all of the children to the basement, wishing that I had wings and could flee to the sea, or hide in the mountains. The Lord sees us – and the Lord’s hand will protect me. It horrifies me, what the soldiers are doing in the churches, they use them for horses, as toilets and as brothels. We have heard from Cēsis that the Bolsheviks have decided to hold rallies in the churches. The heart tightens, hearing all of this. The situation of our loved ones is hard. Everything they have seen and heard, we have a letter from an acquaintance who is an officer, who says that big Russia is in its final death throes.

The groves have started to turn yellow, leaves falling to sleep one after another. Days are so short and one cannot buy petroleum for lamps anymore – I’m afraid of the dark!

WW1 Diary – October 4, 1917
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