In 2010, Jānis Streičs presented a notebook written by an unknown author to the Archives of Latvian Folklore entitled “A short life history. Started August 1944” Nothing is known about the author of the autobiographical story apart from the little he reveals about himself in the story. It can be understood that the writer is a young man, about 20 years of age. The story begins at the end of August 1944 in the central prison and continues in Salaspils concentration camp, from where the author was transported to Germany. He later returns to Riga—the final entry is dated August 1947. The author tells about his life and the lives of others in the concentration camps and in infirmaries and tuberculosis hospitals, and in post-war Riga. The writing shows amazing dedication, focusing on the smallest of nuances of everyday life: food, clothing, insects that give no peace at night, social contentions, and other things characterizing local society and the age. Daily routines, labour, punishment, death, expectations, survival in the post-war years, calculations, love, etc. are also described.
The autobiographical story occupies 104 pages, carefully and sparingly recorded from one edge of the notebook to the other. The autobiography begins as a letter to the author’s mother from the central prison. Author explains his writings thus: “I have decided to set down the events of my life from the time since we parted. Whether this is good or bad, I do not know, I think it will be easier for me if I set down my adventures on paper.” However, the writing goes well beyond letter format. The first chapter “On the Way to Germany” appears already on page 10. And the subsequent story is also divided into chapters. Division into chapters is observed, dividing the story into sections.
If you have any information about the author or about the circumstances of this autobiographical story or any other person mentioned in the story, please inform the creators of the Archive of Latvian Folklore: email@example.com
|1||Chapter 1. For Mother!||autobiography|
|2||Chapter 2. Towards Germany||autobiography|
|3||Chapter 3. In the Zaksenhausen Concentration Camp||autobiography|
|4||Chapter 4. Towards a New Life||autobiography|
|5||Chapter 5. In Riga||autobiography|
|6||Chapter 6. 1946||autobiography|
|7||Chapter 7. 1947||autobiography|
|8||Chapter 2. August 1947||autobiography|
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