To be fearless

Keywords: End of the Second World War, occupation, refugees, boatmen, life stories, Sweden, Siberia
Language: In Latvian

Long before the war began in Ukraine, two books were published in the Oral History series “Fearless” established by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Latvia and the Association of Latvian Oral History Researchers “Life Story”. The first one is Valentīna Lasmane’s life story Night is not Just for Sleeping (2020) and the second one — Boatmen (2021), which contains the memories of three men — Ēriks Tomsons, Pēteris Jansons, and Laimonis Pētersons — who were young fellows during the events described. The books are now in tune with today’s events, when there is war again in Europe and millions of people are being forced to flee again. Stories of memories involve the reader into the experiences of individual persons, allow to follow the changes in their attitude, perception, and maturity from early youth till old age. The main narrators of the books represent the same generation, they are all peers of the Republic of Latvia – only a little over 20 years old during the Second World War. The life stories that have been made public from the National Oral History Collection make a valuable and timely achievement of the team of authors.