Eighty-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.
December 4, 1918
Oh, what times! So many divisions, so much anger between people… there is so much freedom, and with it – terror. The Latvian Provisional Government is working, but its enemies – the Bolsheviks – are not standing still, they want to destroy our citizens, take their unity and want to bring back the old slavery to Latvia. Their warpath to Latvia has already started. Taking Pskov demanded many sacrifices, because the White Guard along with the German troops are preventing the Russian Bolsheviks from attacking us. The Bolsheviks that are already here are holding meetings, where they decide how to torture and oppress the intelligentsia, how to confiscate estates, how to take away other property, and put them to work in simple jobs. Their newspapers are full of threats and bloodthirsty words. Most of the manor lords have left, leaving most of their belongings in the hands of fate, to save their own lives. Rīga is full of newcomers and prices cannot be described. For a small room people are asking 80-100 rubles per month. Bread is 200 rubles and who knows what else! There are rumours that the English are heading to Tallinn, Rīga, to save Latvian residents from the Bolshevik terror and destroy them.
I got a letter from home that made my mood even worse. No one can get past Mother’s death. Mother is missing here, Mother is missing there. The pain is in everyone’s hearts, like a painful tumour. Even though it is not as hard for me, since I am away from home, I can still imagine their pain, where every day every path, every little thing, reminds one of dear Mother.