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WW1 Diary – January 14, 1918

Fifty-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.

January 14, 1918

Now it is time to work hard – men need to be cared for, fed, things must be tidied. In the evenings we sit together and read. And so the days pass and we await miracles. The Bolsheviks want to make peace agreements, but they are stretched too thinly – they have seized power in words, but in work? Little progress. Who knows what else we will have to experience!

WW1 Diary – January 7, 1918

Fifty-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.

January 7, 1918

We celebrated Papa’s birthday with an abundant dinner table, together with old and new friends. Papa did not get any presents, instead we dressed a small Roma (Gypsy) child who, in the cold of 10 degrees, only had a shirt and a small blanket. We dressed him from head to toe and fed him well, and our people were very happy.

WW1 Diary – December 31, 1917

Fifty-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.

December 31, 1917

We all sat together in the warm dining room of Savariņi, and thought about the past year. Many horrors, many pains, it brought us many indescribable things. Our land, our homeland is living through a huge and horrible tragedy. Not only the land but the people, suffering through everything the war has to throw at them. More than three years of war behind us, but the future is so foggy, that it is impossible to see what lies ahead.

The revolution is in full swing. More and more estates and their inventory are being confiscated. They are taking the last of what they can from the owners. Still the “Bolsheviks” promises are not being met – that has been the only happiness – one can hope and pray. Who will return what has been stolen? Who will fix the destroyed livelihoods? Now that is the life, that we must live!

Days are overcast – and the heart is longing for sun. There is no end to the tears, no end, they cry whether it is evening or morning, a mother cries at the side of a bed, the orphan cries waking up. There is no end to the tears, no end, they cry whether it is evening or morning, the hermit in the cave cries, as does the refugee wandering in foreign lands. We are its witnesses, and also its victims.

The most painful thing is that we are suffering from the hands of our own people, our own army. The same army, that should be protecting peaceful citizens, is the army that is stealing and destroying everything. Hayfields, gardens, homes, they are in such a state that it is as if the enemy has come marching through, leaving a trail of destruction. The heart is brave – but we feel powerless against the power of the thieves. If it would be possible, if there would be hope to get restitution from the taxation lists in some way, but it would not be the type of restitution with which one could save oneself from the destruction and famine.

This whole time we have been controlled by illusions. Political waves have stirred up into foam, on which people have died for slogans. All of the power to worker-soldier councils, and they promised us immediate peace, bread and land. How could we not want peace, after more than three years of spilled blood, for nothing. How could we not want bread, if there is no longer anything to eat? But it seems like none of these people have the ability to fulfill these promises, since they can’t even do it for themselves. The march of Titans goes on. Now the lives of people and the shadows of rulers are nothing. Famine destroys people’s minds and crushes them, like a ball of wax in a warm room. Lenin promises that wagons full of bread are ready, that peace is at the end of the rope… Who still has what? Mr Comrade, he breaks and steals. How many people have no eyes with which to cry, or painful sorrows due to famine. And it is true, there is not much more to take, only horrible crimes are left.

WW1 Diary – December 27, 1917

Fifty-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.

December 27, 1917

Yesterday we celebrated cousin “Lullija’s” wedding. Despite her husband’s flirting, she got an honest and good husband. He was a soldier only for a moment, and officers were having a terrible time of it. Stripped of ranks, lowered salaries, they are not respected. The strongest have been put in prisons or shot. A time of madness! The wedding was cozy and we did not feel anything of the impeding famine.

WW1 Diary – December 25, 1917

Fifty-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.

December 25, 1917

Christmas is here! The angels provided for us once again and sent us a tree with many presents. The tree was very bright and the mood was good. The children were dears, pleasing us with their songs. Dagiņa is three years old and she sang “O Come Little Children” so beautifully. Our three old ladies showered us and the children with gifts. We discussed what kind of conditions we’ve celebrated Christmas in in different years, and who knows where it will be next? Not here, we hope!

WW1 Diary – December 12, 1917

Fifty-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.

December 12, 1917

The whole country is shaken by the feverish firestorm of war, everything is topsy-turvy, one after another… The civil war is raging in its full insanity… the bloody events indescribable. Newspapers are full of horrible news. Pastors are holding services in their homes, for churches are still being used for rallies. Listening to the services, my heart is full of fear, hearing what the pastor is saying about famine, plague and the end of the world. It is possible, that that which I feared as a child will come to pass.

The pastor says, that for the Christian person, the Judgement will come as a spring breeze, but for the irreligious, it will scare them like a cold fall wind, when one does not have warm clothes. Gangs are going around and taking away the estates, along with the movable and immovable property. Even we were thrown out of our warm nest, taking from us our work and bread for no reason. Now we are living in our landlady’s second estate, where life is still comfortable and warm, despite everything that has happened. We still have an apartment and support for free until January 1st. Then our money will melt away, because everything is so expensive. Meat costs 350 kopecks, butter 700 rubles, milk is 80 kopecks a quart, soap is 280 kopecks, and so on.

Luckily Papa has a new job, as the supervisor of the Crown horses, which are being brought to us and then sold. His salary is 400 rubles per month. Horses and carts are being demobilized, and soldiers are leaving their positions in disarray, and heading home, for those who still have a home. Who will save us from the destruction and terror? Some are hoping for Lenin, the Bolshevik’s war leader, who is creating all sorts of confusion with Trotsky, and who are believed and followed by half the army. Others are hoping for Kaledin, the leader of the Cossacks, who wants to save Russia, and is fighting the “Bolshevik” battalions, who have been joined by our irrational Latvian “free riflemen”. Others are still hoping and longing for the Germans, wishing that they would come and deliver us from the horrible chaos, looming famine and destruction. My house and I will trust in God, who has been blessing aDend helping us up to now. He will continue to keep us and protect us. Who is sad, who is sorrowful – Jesus is standing next to us…

Tombstone Tuesday - Karlīne Slēgere, 1856-1880

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

DSC02672_limbazi

Photo taken by me, August 2014. Click to enlarge.

Top Inscription: “Še dus Dieva mierā” (Here in God’s peace rests)

Name: Karlīne Slēgere, born 1856, died 1880.

Location: Jūras ielas kapi, Limbaži

Tombstone Tuesday – Miķelis and Anna Stegers

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

DSC02696_limbazi

Photo taken by me, August 2014. Click to enlarge.

Top Inscription: “Svētīgie sirdsskaidrie, jo tie Dievu redzēs” (“The holy and pure of heart, for they will see God”)

Names: Miķelis Stegers, born October 7, 1852, died February 26, 1932; Anna Stegers, born December 18, 1852, died February 6, 1933

Location: Jūras ielas kapi, Limbaži

Tombstone Tuesday – Antons Maurītis, 1883-1919

In this series, I am providing pictures of tombstones from Latvian cemeteries, all with death dates prior to 1945. I do not have any further information on the people mentioned.

DSC02704_limbazi

Photo taken by me, August 2014. Click to enlarge.

Name: Antons Maurītis, born September 27, 1883; died October 29, 1919

Location: Jūras ielas kapi, Limbaži

WW1 Diary – November 10, 1917

Fiftieth 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 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 10, 1917

The bloody civil war is raging. There is news about the fallen and injured, these numbers are huge. Other countries are calling Russia a “[unintelligble – but something not nice]” country, where everything is torn apart and destroyed. One thinks that “Russian” will be a shameful and curse word for everyone for a long time. All of the diplomats from other countries have left Petrograd. It is possible that soon all of the representatives of the country’s culture will leave Russia, for they have nothing to offer these barbarians. Only Wilhelm’s [NB: German Kaiser] military power is longing for Russia and maybe soon they will reap the fruits that the Bolsheviks have sown while repressing the sad, betrayed and shamed country.