Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Letters from Latvia - Nica 27th of January 1948

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 is the 14th Letter in the series. 


Nica, 27.1.48
We greet you with lots of love, Janis, Lidija and Ilmars!

Yesterday we received your letter written on 25.11 with namesday greetings for mum and me and a few days ago, your greeting for Christmas and the New Year. Thank you so very much for these greetings. We had been waiting for some lines from you for quite a while and had almost begun to worry, but we still thought they’d come. And now they have come! The letter written on 25.11 had taken two weeks longer than usual and came later than the greeting written on 9.12. But now we are so very happy again that everything is well with you, as well as it can be in a foreign place. – We sent our last letter to you on Christmas Eve and a greeting at the New Year. Before that on 28.11 and 16.12. It appears that we have received all of each other’s letters up to now and they have not been lost, which is so good. The postman tells us that you, dear Janis, write to us most often of all of the people over there to their relatives at home. Thank you so much for that. It is so good to receive even a line from you, then we know that you are not lost to us and unknown and our minds are then much more at peace. As long as we know that you are well and have enough for the needs of daily life.

Although it is sad to be far away, we can hope and believe with certainty that you will return home and be alright. – Brother dear, don’t feel guilty that you cannot help us. It is not your fault, it is fate, which is making you suffer more than us. I think that we here at home can still be happier than you in exile and so it should sooner be us who feel guilty, that life is being kinder to us than to you. And we can imagine that your Lidija has a lot to reflect on about your fates. And are women not more sensitive to everything than men? May God help you, Lidija, in your work and may it distract you and help you forget, to some extent, but I think that in a foreign place you cannot work with such love as at home. However, work with sick people is good work, isn’t it and it seems to me that it suits you. And while I am at it, I am curious to know what town or hospital you worked in when you were in Latvia? And where do your parents live? So you were happy too, when you received news from your own parents.

Everything is fine here at home, we are all well and pass each day little by little with the ordinary everyday and winter jobs. The weather this winter has been very changeable. Now it snows and freezes, then again there is a snowstorm and then it is thawing again. The last two weeks we have had more serious winter weather with good sleighing conditions and in the daytime minus 4-8⁰C. But now it is gradually starting to thaw again. But maybe it will hold and snow again. Father goes to the forest now for firewood. He did not have to do woodcutting work in the forest, he was assigned as a saw sharpener to other woodcutters and I was spared that work as well. Mum is spinning wool again now, we are preparing to weave cloth, we will also weave towels and a few other things. I am also making up some wearable items of clothing on the sewing machine and doing some mending. I have learnt to make up some simple items of clothing quite well, although it is still not so easy for me. Sometimes I stop working for a while, read a good book, strum the mandolin, which I like to do and am getting better at, although not really good yet. It is a pity that there is no other instrument in our house. Last winter Baris left his small accordion for me to play, which I then strummed quite often, but only without the base of course. I am still singing in the church choir as well.  At Epiphany we choir members arranged our own Christmas celebration at the Pavils’ place, which was really lovely and I will not forget it for a long time. We recited, sang to a set program, and we girls together had provided a nice festive table. After the program we just spent time together. We sang, danced, played games, danced folk dances too and all felt like members of one family. – There are choirs forming in the school too now – men’s and women’s, which might later form into a mixed choir and go to Riga in the summer for the song festival. I have also started to attend, there is a large number of singers. The new men’s choir performed on Sunday already and properly outsang the women. We now want to practice to pay them back. We are learning mostly folk songs, also patriotic songs about the Fatherland, the homeland. If you go out somewhere, life seems brighter, not so grey and dull, more stimulating. – So now I have said everything again that was on my mind.– How did you, our dear ones, spend Christmas? 

With very, very loving greetings, your family at home.

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