Friday, 6 September 2013

Letters From Latvia - Nica 28th of November 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.


Just a quick post today to keep the letters coming. Again, in this letter are many names of the people who lived near my grandparent's farm in Latvia at the time. It could prove useful to others searching for their family origins. 

Of particular note to me personally, is the mention of Peteris CIRKSIS by my grandmother Katrine CIRKSIS (she shared her name with her daughter, Janis' sister). It is difficult to tell at this point if she has been informed of Peteris' fate however it appears that there is still hope that he is still alive. She also mentions a lighthouse which may turn out to be the final resting place of Peteris. For more information on Peteris CIRKSIS and his story as I know it see my post on Who is Peteris CIRKSIS?




The Family home in Nica during winter.
Sincere greetings, our dear Janis and Lidija.
 About a week ago we received your letter, in which Lidija wrote as well, and the photo of you two together, about all of which we were again very happy in our hearts. We can then picture you much better and your life far away. – Lidija, you have doubts about the future, whether we will want you as a member of our family, whether we will like you. For myself I can say already that I really like you and if you are dear and pleasing to Janis and you both get on well together and have no doubts in the future, then there is nothing else for us to say and we can only be happy about it. If Janis is happy, then we are even happier and we have no reason or wish to bear any malice towards you, dear Lidija, and to think of you as a stranger. I hope that this will reassure you both once again. Our mother would also like to write something to you, which we will enclose. Life here at home goes on as usual in a regular work rhythm, the autumn jobs are gradually giving way to the indoor winter jobs, although the real winter has not started yet. We did go to Liepaja on the sleigh once though, but past the Krumi dune there was not much snow left. On the way there in the morning, when there was frost, we got there very well, marvellously, but on the way home as far as Bernati at a walking pace only. After that, by Katrina’s day, the snow had melted completely and there was rain but now there has been a bit of snow again and the daytime temperature is around 0⁰ C. There are dark snow clouds along the sea, if it snowed we could go to cousin Anna Zutis’ wedding tomorrow by sleigh. She will be married tomorrow to a Rudis Puris from Otanki, he has his own small farm. So you see here in old Nica many couples are again joining their hands for a lifelong commitment. We’ve got two weddings to go to in one month. And, dear Janis, we also celebrated Katrina’s day on Monday night. We ourselves have been invited out so often and attended so many celebrations of our friends and neighbours that we could not do otherwise, it would have been shameful if we had not invited people to our place in return. And generally speaking everyone really celebrates their “special occasions” hard these days. This is something similar to what Mum talks about – the “dance parties” of her youth during the First Wold War. And on such evenings there is much more closeness and comradeship than at official events, which is good for me and for everyone now. The forester.couple came, the Pavils couple, Kate Murens, Valdis, the pharmacist with her husband, Peteris Kaupelis, Zanis Jurmalis, also Peteris Melveris had come home on leave after six years in Narva and so we invited him. Vera and Zigrida came too. So we sang and danced at bit, musician - Janis Pavils, who is a farmhand there. Yes, we are living well here in our country, we try and have a good time, but can you do so, in a foreign place? I wish that once and for all the burden was lifted from you and you could return to us – to our beloved Homeland! May God help you all! For now, with a sincere, loving greeting! - your family at home.

(Next part in Janis’ mother’s writing)

Greetings from mammucite to you in distant exile. May the hand of God guide you in the future as it has up to now, for I feel that I have not prayed to God in vain even though I knew nothing about you  and I don’t know anything about dear Peteris, but still a quiet voice in my heart said that they will be alive for you. And truly I was picking berries when Anna Ruskis came around and said that you are alive. And I can’t describe it to you, my whole body started to tremble and the tears started to flow, for a great joy had happened to me and I am still hoping for such great mercy from God for dear Peteris. I don’t know if I will be around to experience that or not. I cannot yet believe that he is dead. I received the news that they are digging out by the lighthouse and I should go there, but I had to fall on my knees and pray to God so hard that the last words that pass my lips are God stand by him today and in my dreams I am always finding three little things, like my three children. So I will tell you how it was about Katrina’s day, for there would be no joy in my heart for it without you two but you know, dear son, how Katrina was when you were here on leave. On fleeing from home she said no matter if we lose the home as long as health is alright and now she sings in the choir, goes to namesday parties, so I invited her friends over to have a good time, because I was convinced that that was the best medicine for her health. So, dear son, lead your present life in your own way, if you are well, I will be even better, I will be alright as long as I live I just worry that I might live to see unpleasantness between you and may God grant that you live your life quietly and peacefully. I had a free day today so I have told you a bit about the burdens on my heart. When you come home we will talk for 7 days without stopping. I embrace you in my arms with so much love.
As per usual, if you know any of the people mentioned in this post or if you just want to talk about live in Latvia during the Nazi or Soviet occupations please post a comment below. I will be glad to hear from you.

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