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Buried Treasure a True Story

Andre Hartslief has entertained us with wonderful true stories and I responded about my mom in the comments and he suggested I write a true story about her so here we go.

My mom Elvira was born on May 26, 1911, so her young life would be disrupted by WW II. It was a very unfortunate thing because she was born in the capital of Latvia, Riga. Due to Latvia going through many changes and occupations she would finally have to flee her homeland,

Now many people who do not understand how it could be that you would have to run from your homeland, then I can just tell you that when the dark shadow of the Soviet-era fell across the Baltic States if you were not favored by the occupying powers you had only two choices – one was making a run for it and the other being herded on a cattle car heading for Siberia.

Now my mom knew that she would not survive the cold of Siberia. She had been over the Urals with her mom just once but that was when she was only about four years old and is another story entirely, Anyway, her mom who was aging was looked upon as no threat whatsoever. So my mom decided to take some silverware like candelabras and crystal vases and bury them right in the middle of the dirt floor of the basement in her apartment building.

How she managed to do this and if she had any help I don’t know but she did it and there the buried treasure remained for ages. When my mom and I visited Latvia for the first time in 1991 before later moving there she showed me her apartment building and the apartment she had lived in. We did not venture down to the basement but she was suddenly determined to see if we could dig up this buried treasure. Picturing myself in a country that was foreign to me and getting arrested did not seem appealing to me so of course, we did nothing. It is interesting to think that perhaps since the building did not get bombed during the war the buried treasure is still there in the middle of the basement floor.

The photo on top of the article is my mom when she was a university student in Riga and the thumbnail of my mom when she was in a DP Camp in Augustdorf, Germany. If you find these stories interesting I could share quite a few more about both my mom and dad who was a well-known Latvian poet and writer. Please let me know in the comments.

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