World War II and living in Germany

When my mother left Latvia, it was the end of the World War II—and their country was wiped off the maps. The Russians overran it and moved the borders. They claimed Latvia and my family, along with other people in their village had to flee. They went to live in as DP camp at first. This stands for “Displaced Persons” and DP camps still exist today around the world. When I was little, I misunderstood what this “camp” meant. By the time I was in school, I told classmates my mother and her sons were in a concentration camp! They always had shocked looks on their faces! I was not lying, I really thought this was the truth! One time while repeating my story in the 6th grade, a girl asked was my mother Jewish! I said “no, people of many religions were in these camps, not just Jews!” I was embarrassed later on when I found out differently. But by then it was too late to go back and apologize for my “story”. She tried to find her husband, but he was gone for good- in the mist of war. He was a soldier and had to travel around. When they were married, her family baked them a cake and broke out a bottle of wine. Everybody had a thimble full of wine, it was 100 years old. She wore a 9k wedding band, I got it when she died. I researched the markings in the band in a library book one time and found out the only place in the world that 9k gold jewelry was made was in Scotland (I believe). How did her husband get this ring? Another mystery. After the DP camps broke up, my family moved again—this time to Cologne, Germany. They lived there in an abandoned Army barracks! The kids in the group found leftover bits of military clothing, like buttons and badges. They played in bomb craters! Everyone had to to live here until they got sponsors to leave Europe. This didn’t happen until 1950.

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