Feb 13 / Aija Moon

1944: War Getting Closer

We decided then to go to Sweden, a local man with three teenage daughters was arranging it.  They knew a fisherman, and we packed some food for a day or so and very little else and went to Mersrags.  As we got there a storm came up, and the fisherman said it was too dangerous to go to sea in it.  We waited a couple days, hiding in a hay loft, but it did not improve, so we went back home.  All of our friends laughed and teased us – the big Swedish travellers! After this the Germans increased their patrols to stop people leaving for Sweden.
Next, we decided to pack up ready to go to Germany. We packed the most essential things, mainly food. We took half of a smoked pig, and a 25 kilogram can of butter.  Milda and the girls went in a horse drawn cart to Ingas, it took a couple of days and they spent the night in a forester’s home. The boy who drove the horses was expected back immediately, but there was no sign of him. The farmer who had lent me the horse and cart was getting upset. I was trying to telephone Ingas to find out what happened when I saw him drive past. The boy had thought all the food had been too good to leave.
Just at that time my brother Arturs who was a forester had been killed by the partisans (mainly Russian).  So there was a funeral at Digaini. There were also a group of Latvian soldiers who had been called up but deserted with all their guns at Vandzene in hiding. They were persuaded to rejoin their group and were given a truck to get there.  I went with them to Digaini and they joined in the funeral and after were taken to Paplaka where their unit was.  By the time I got back to Vandzene they were back too having escaped once more.
A: At this funeral, because the world was in such a turmoil, somebody had brought musical instruments and there was plenty of drink and it finished with people dancing and singing – not the usual funeral.

Leave a Comment