Artist Spotlight: Escape From Latvia
Our feature author today is local resident Baiba Kreger who in 2008 published her autobiographical memoir My Heritage, My Destiny which tells the story of a family in Latvia at the beginning of the World War II just before the country was invaded by Russia and then occupied by Germany.
“I wrote this book so my children and grandchildren will know something about their heritage, “wrote Baiba who came here to Tioga County as a ten year old refugee from the country Latvia in 1950.
Today, more than ever, the words of John Guild, who wrote the forward to My Heritage, My Destiny are worth reading again and again. “There was a time, not so long ago in America, when we saw ourselves as truly a nation of immigrants. Our culture was a cacophony of languages, customs, dress, food, faith and fun from distant lands; some familiar, others quite obscure. There was not so much a common culture as a common set of values and goals shared by new arrivals as well as those who were native born,” wrote Guild, and “As the melting pot called the United States has continued to boil, the result has been a common culture; a sense that we are truly Americans. And as we natives drift away from the culture of our pasts, we increasingly see immigrants as threats to our language, politics, common culture and even our prosperity.”
Perhaps this story about a four year old child witnessing the upheaval of occupation and war and her three month migration to another land – this land which eventually brought her family here to the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, will connect you with your immigrant heritage and how your ancestor’s journey to America has shaped your destiny.
Watch today’s feature to hear Baiba in her own words as she shares memories of her journey to America and her return to Latvia as an adult for the first time. My Heritage, My Destiny can be purchased on Amazon.com; or from local bookstores in Wellsboro; and also from Baiba Kreger directly by connecting with her on Facebook.