European Memories

of the Gulag

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Learning Latvian again

After returning to Latvia after the Second World War, Austra went back to a Latvian school. But she had forgotten her Latvian and got poor marks for dictation. 

The process was the reverse of what she had already known in Siberia, but symbolically a more painful one to learn her native language, which had become foreign. It was made easier by her schoolteacher who showed her great patience and deep sympathy.