Eighty-fifth 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.
November 28, 1918
I was in town, and there are worrying rumours – apparently bands of Bolsheviks are gathering for robbery and murder, and in our thoughts we think back to the summer of 1914, and the questions of would have the late Austrian kaiser Franz Joseph have declared war on little Serbia after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand? Or would German kaiser Wilhelm II have declared war on Russia, and would have Russian Czar Nicholas II issued sufficient mobilization requests, if they would have known what fates awaited their thrones and countries? Probably rather this horrible feeling would have forced them to find a path to agreementn and not to lead the world to such a horrible war along with their own fates. Crowns, thrones, until now so respected and celebrated, no longer play any roles. It looks like this war has removed 30 rulers from their thrones. And good!
Now there are worker-soldier committees everywhere. Our land, our homeland, has been proclaimed as an independent state – a free Latvia! Red-white-red flags were everywhere in town. Everywhere freedom – press strikes – meetings – trips – freedom. A moment at the wheel – the Farmers’ Union with its program to reduce land holdings of large landowners, introduce an 8-hour workday, etc. The President is agronomist Ulmanis and many others are all in their own departments. Between them, other parties are also growing. All sorts of parties are publishing their newspapers, where they are confusing people, like in the Bible. All sorts of meetings, where the results are plastered all over poles around town. Freedom!
Pastor Beldavs, in his Bible study, explains the Revelation of John and the predicted end of the world. The arrival of Jesus Christ is also being proclaimed in the churches, people are singing the songs of the End of Days. The pastor is urging people to wake up, wake up Christian people, prepare your candles, so that oil is not lacking in them. May God help us, may God help Free Latvia in its path, may God also cut off the Bolsheviks from their murder and pillaging.