Thursday, 11 July 2013

Letters From Latvia - Nica 24th of October 1947

Janis CIRKSIS was a displaced person (DP) after the Soviet union annexed Latvia and the Baltic states during WWII. This is a continuation in the series of letters that he received from his homeland, translated into English. To see the other letters in the series click HERE.

For more information on Latvian translations please see the Latvian Translations page.

This letter has a little bit about farm life, postage times, there is  a brief mention of Peteris - we still do not know what happened to him - and Vera - Janis' ex-girlfriend. No real revelations as yet but I have been reading ahead and there are some very interesting things to come!



Nica, 24.10.47
We send you sincere greetings, our dear Janis, from your homeland.
Dear Janis, I am writing a letter to you again, so that it may bring greetings from your Homeland to you in foreign parts, so that even for a moment it may seem closer to you and more attainable, and so that you may know it never wants to forget you and is waiting for you. Now we are waiting for a letter from you, we are waiting and waiting, although it is not long since we received your last letter – at the end of last month. But now it occurred to me that in the middle of the summer I had not written to you for more than a month, except cards for your birthday and second namesday and that you might only now have received that last letter – I reckon that each letter is a month and a half on the way - that is a long time, for it is also a long way. And I regret and reproach myself that I did not write to you more, but then I thought, it seemed, might it start to be noticed, can we write to you so often? But now I am nevertheless writing and will definitely write twice a month. My last letters were written on 30.8.47, 17.9, 30.9. The last two and also this one I am sending by airmail. I found out that I can do this, they apparently go much faster and then they are also registered and can’t get lost.
Now you are in a foreign place, in exile, you are not fated to grow, live, work, live a happy life in your Homeland, life is hard for you materially and spiritually. But you Latvians, even in exile, surely can’t stop being Latvians, and you can’t have another Homeland than only one – Latvia. And in the same way our country can’t stop being here, or our nation become something else than it has been since ancient times. So our country and our Latvian nation always knows that you are lost, knows the lack of you – Latvian sons and daughters, who are now forced to be far away. But you are not destined to return to anywhere else but here and it is not possible that you will long have to spend your best years in exile, not living and giving those to your real Homeland. And we would feel your return as the   of old, dear property, you are like a part of ourselves and your fate is our fate too and our dearest wish can be only one thing – that you will not have to suffer long in exile and that you would be able to return to your own land, to work and to be happy and to receive the fruits that the Latvian land gives to each Latvian in his home. – That is how I feel and I think I would not be wrong to think that that is how all of us Latvians feel here in our Homeland. And we must all believe in this brighter future, when you all return home, for- if it is one soul and one tongue, then also one land is ours! (reference to a patriotic song)
Now winter is approaching again here at home. Almost all the fields have been harvested and the ploughmen are hastening with the ploughing. This year the weather has held dry and warm practically all the time, so the work could be carried out without interruption. And we weren’t cold while doing the work on the fields. We, at our place, finished harvesting all the vegetables yesterday, the sugarbeet we delivered some time ago. Only the cabbages left to cut today. Just last night we had a severe frost, at dawn this morning it was 8 degrees C, but I think that was only at dawn, that seems to be how it usually is. So – suddenly an intimation of winter.  So far we have had frost only one morning. We have still been taking the animals out every day and will probably continue to do so. Still have to dig the garden, we have weeded the strawberries, partly also the gooseberry beds which were overgrown with small-reed, but now we will get rid of that for good. We are also sawing and chopping wood, we have an elderly man who is helping us. Mum is helping with the sawing, I have beeb harvesting the vegetables and dad is ploughing. So we will have done all the outdoor jobs properly and will be able to get on with the winter jobs. We have to put in the double glazing windows, do the washing and a few other things. Our home life is pleasant, with its work, cares but also joy for everything achieved. Everything grew well, only the rye fell over in places, and some of the sugarbeet got blackfoot (?) in the spring. But we will still have plenty of everything. There are two   fattened pigs in the pig-sty and in the spring we will have three milking cows. – We are only waiting for you (pl.) to come home, so you can enjoy what is your right and everything that our homeland and your own home has to offer. Mum prays every morning and evening, and you can imagine how she prays – as only a mother’s heart can pray for her lost sons. We are hoping and waiting for Peteris too.  So also (?). There is myrtle growing for all three of us. The (?)  was dying, it did not want to grow, but now it is green. That is a sign, and so we are waiting for you both to return. Write and tell us everything, so you don’t feel so alone and so that we feel you closer to us. Vera left me her photos after all. She told Mum that she is ashamed that she waited for you but you didn’t wait for her…but enough of that.  May you stay safe and well, dear brother, and have strength and hope! Our best wishes also to Lidija and Ilmars – your family at home.
PS Mrs Kaupelis asked if you could send them their Janis’ address. They wrote to him at your address but you didn’t receive the letter. They would like very much to correspond with their son. Kate