Exhibit tells stories of Latvian WWII refugees

Russia's attack on Ukraine has topicalized refugee issues in Latvia once again. In the past, many Latvians were also forced to flee their homes due to hostilities. The exhibition "Refugee Paths" opened in March displays items Latvians had taken with them when fleeing and tells the stories of Latvian refugees from 1944 onward, Latvian Radio reported on March 25.

The exhibition is on display at the museum and research center “Latvians in the World” (LaPa). At the center of the exhibition is the fate of World War II refugees, whose path away from home began in 1944, when the front approached and a second Soviet occupation and deportations were looming. The exhibition talks about the fates through the objects refugees brought with them, which have been preserved until now.

Among the objects are practical things, such as an axe and an aluminum teapot, and less practical, such as books toys, and baptism memorabilia.

“Latvians in the World” museum representative Danute Grīnfelde said: "My favorite item in this exhibition is a hunk of rye bread from Brunava parish. The story is that the family' decided to flee, [..] but the grandmother said, well, I'm too old, I'll stay at home. As is often the case today, we also see the same in Ukraine. She says I'm not going, I'll stay, but I'll bake you bread. She makes several rye bread loaves, which, of course, were eaten, but one hunk was saved. Imagine, having traveled across the sea to Germany, having survived refugee camps, then living in Australia with that family, being saved all the time, and now coming back to Latvia. It's really a special thing, I think."

Among the objects of the exhibition is also a suitcase belonging to the poet Ruth Sawyer, taken from Latvia and served her all her life.

The exhibition is also accompanied by historical photos showing the paths of refugees in 1944. 

The “Refugee Paths” exhibition is held by the Museum and research center “Latvians in the World”, located in Rīga, Berga Bazārs, and will be open until the end of May.

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