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WW1 Diary – February 27, 1918

Sixty-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.

February 27, 1918

We have now returned to Anna estate with our things. The children are happy, the remaining farmhands are submissive, humble. All of the rioters were given 24 hours to leave, and all of them were quick to obey. And so all is well again – we have a hearty table in these times of shortages and famine. How have we earned God’s mercy, maybe He will be testing us again in the future.

WW1 Diary – February 22, 1918

Sixty-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 (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 22, 1918

Our little boy’s birthday, so quiet and sunny… I’m not reminding anyone, since we are not in our home and here with these three old shepherds all of my nerves are shot. For two years we lived as refugees with my parents in Kroņi in the upstairs room, my nerves suffered there as well, and now we’ve lived through so much, survived so much. Now it is as if new life has come, after all the sorrow and terror. When the German army moves on from Anna estate, then we will be back home. Now we go there every day to take care of the estate, the feeling is so strange – we were kicked out and still, after everything, victory is ours, for everything that was taken by the Bolsheviks is back in our hands.

WW1 Diary – February 15, 1918

Sixty-sixth 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 15, 1918

The time of violence and tyranny is over! Once again we feel that we are under the rule of law. When a person is saved from horror, then he doesn’t ask his saviour’s ethnicity or religion – he only rushes to thank his saviour. And so our saviour and rescuer in this case is the German army. The time of violence and tyranny is over, and may it never return.

WW1 Diary – February 14, 1918

Sixty-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.

February 14, 1918

Papa’s home, Papa’s home!! He escaped from the claws of the Bolsheviks by Pskov station and now he is with us, with Trūtiņa, on her birthday. Thank God for his mercy. Even the children know that God has listened to their prayers and brought Trūde the best present ever – her father.

WW1 Diary – February 13, 1918

Sixty-fourth 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 13, 1918

The day has gone by working hard and that’s good! The German troops left again, leaving a disaster in their wake. Everything needs to be put in order, and still there is more work. Many dear people are visiting me, calming me and trying to make me happy, promising also that if there are hard times, that they will help. Oh, if only that wasn’t necessary! I am waiting and hoping for that bright and shining day when Papa will return and nothing will bother us again. For seven years we waited for Trūtiņa to arrive, and now Trūtiņa are waiting for Papa to come back. Trūtiņa says that if Papa isn’t home tomorrow, it will be her saddest birthday ever.

WW1 Diary - February 12, 1918

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.

WW1 Diary – February 11, 1918

Sixty-second 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.

There are two parts to this diary entry – both are below. It appears that Alise wrote two almost identical entries on this day, probably not realizing she’d already written, given all that was on her mind at the time.

February 11, 1918 (part 1)

Sunday morning. I rushed to finish all of my tasks and I’m getting ready to go to the prayer hall. My body feels like it is full of lead. The town is terrible with its piles of corpses. I also went to the German commander, to ask him to protect us from German soldiers ransacking us. They were all very nice and careful. After that I went to the prayer hall, where we were without a pastor, so everyone else prayed to God heartily, as we could we sad wives and children, and cried from the heart, and also prayed for those making our loved ones suffer, the Latvian riflemen, God forgive them, for they know not what they do!

As it turns out, if the Germans hadn’t stopped them, a few days later they would have come from the women and children under 16 as well, and strangled and shot us. We were already on the blacklist and punishment would have started soon, if the Germans hadn’t rescued us, but it was still too late for our husbands and fathers, who could lie by the dozens shot somewhere at the roadside by the vicious Latvian riflemen. Doesn’t this innocent blood cry out to the King of Kings?? And so it goes, day after day. And so they go after friend after friend, acquaintance after acquaintance. They are taken without saying their goodbyes, one after another, but the pain and tragedy continues and doesn’t stop for a moment. If you cannot bear the tortures placed upon you – you fall. Why are people’s lives worth so little? And so the days pass with painful questions and worries. How opaque how unclear life is. The fate of today’s people is insanity, you can feel it on your face as fears create wrinkles. People attack people, and so people flee from people. Minds are frightened, the heart has no peace.

February 11, 1918 (part 2).

I got up, feeling like my body was weighed down with lead. I did my housework and then went to town, because there is no peace at home. We were many sad wives and children at the prayer hall (we cannot use the church since its desecrators are still on display outside). One teacher prayed to God for our loved ones, who were taken away to an unknown and horrible fate, and our Papa among them, and I did not manage to give him any bread or anything, and that makes my heart ache. All of the pastors also taken away, only the teacher here who is preaching and prayed also for our evildoers: God forgive them, for they know not what they do!

The German orchestra was playing on the street, it has been a long time since we heard nice music like that. We also went to the cemetery to cry out our fears and sorrows, our thoughts with our loved ones, who may already be dead, whose graves we will never get to tend, we won’t be able to put down any flowers, and we will have to fight our children and food. Our hearts break – hearing all of the terrible stories, some of our loved ones have managed to escape, including Pastor Beldavs, who has gone grey and sick, even though he was like an oak in his best years. He was really saved by God’s word, when he was on the convoy, talking to the Latvian riflemen. I just want to cry, the world is full of so many horrors.

WW1 Diary – February 10, 1918

Sixty-first 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 10, 1918

A second troop of German soldiers arrived, who promised to rush to rescue our Papa and the others. Not knowing is torture, there are many rumours. What a terrible Saturday night, for I am alone here at home.

WW1 Diary – February 8, 1918

Sixtieth 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 8, 1918

Frightening news is arriving about our loved ones. I am tired physically and spiritually. At 6am the Germans freed us, they took Valmiera with small battles. They saved about 13 farmers from the Red Guard, those con men, who were shot on the spot. Those who desecrated our churches and the pickpockets were hanged in the market square, where they still swing in the breeze as a warning. All of the Bolshevik committees are disbanded, their papers thrown out all over the streets with their dirty writings. It fills me with joy and satisfaction. In the evening our first German guests arrived, who stayed until the next morning. The hearty German lieutenants did, however, take away a lot of our things, including Papa’s big riding horse Olis.

WW1 Diary – February 7, 1918

Fifty-ninth 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 7, 1918

Last night I went to town to see where they were being held. So many in such a small room. There is talk that they will be sent away. I hadn’t brought anything, but I borrowed bread and tobacco that the Latvian soldiers searched beforehand, as if we were big criminals. Early this morning I rushed there with a package for our loved one to have on the road, but I was too late. At 2am they had all been herded to the station, loaded into cattle cars and sent away to their horrible fate.