Sixty-third 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 (again) 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.
February 12, 1918
I was in town again, to see if I could hear anything about Papa and the others. The story is – apparently the Germans did rescue 400 arrested loved ones and these men are coming home. Maybe, maybe, our Papa is among them. There is hope, like a little ray of light, and maybe we have no more tears to cry. I was up in the hotel at the army headquarters. The German men are very pleasant. They have occupied what was the Bolsheviks’ offices and are using their papers witht he “worker-soldier committee” stamps, over which they draw a cross and give out permission to leave, mostly to the Courlanders who are going home. The road to Rīga is also open.
Now many people are singing, ‘Bolsheviks, Bolsheviks, where is your Bolshevik land now?’ Lenin promised that all of the bread wagons were already full, peace at the end of a rope, one only needed to pull on it and it would come. It was all lies and now Latvia is filled with German war horses. Everything would be good if only our Papa would come home. The German headquarters told us that peace talks are underway again, with the understanding that our loved ones would be freed. There is order in town again, everywhere where the eye can see, it is as if by magic. No one is allowed on the streets after 6:30pm, windows also have to be covered. But the town is also still terribly full of its corpses.