World War II generated huge numbers of refugees. On the Eastern Front, Andrew Lewis’ mother was one of them. Her story resonates today.
Rūta. Arija. Ieviņš.
That was my mother’s name.
As a 14-year-old girl she traveled on foot across Central Europe fleeing the advancing Soviet troops. If she and her father and brother had not fled their native country, they would have died. Their knowledge of this fate was so certain that they eventually risked death to escape it. And for that, they journeyed on a hard, hard road.
My mother would spend her teen years in displaced persons camps in Germany. For five years she lived in detention. She did not have a country that she could go back to. And neither did she have a new one to which she could belong.