Seventy-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 (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. It is with this entry here that the calendar in Latvia changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

October 17, 1918

The Spanish flu is taking many lives. The people most affected are young, healthy people full of energy and strength. Even our dear friend and relative Betty Mulberg, in her 33rd year, fell into the eternal sleep. News of her death shocked us greatly. Tuesday I was visiting her, we chatted about this and that, and no one was even thinking about death. She was a person in whose presence you would always feel good, who brought peace and trusted in God. TrÅ«tiņa was the first to hear about her death and told me about it very somberly. I went to town immediately and found Betty on the cold pyre – quiet as a dream, hopes quiet like dreams, luck had died…

Her husband and children are crying, so is everyone who was there. The young and old are dying, but not those in middle age, those who are middle-aged are crying!

The current, which flows through the soul,
You cannot describe it, only feel it,
Happy notes do not reach it,
Only – tears, tears…

WW1 Diary – October 17, 1918
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