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Lidija Mednis (nee Krēle) was born in the newly independent Republic of Latvia in 1923. She came to a new ‘homeland’ – Australia – as a young wife and mother in the early 1950s.

SONG BIRDS SWEPT AWAY IN THE WIND is her account of that journey given both in the original Latvian, and in translation. It is a story which catches the winds of an era, from Latvia’s brief freedom between the two World Wars through its time of occupation, to a young woman’s settlement far from the beloved country of her birth.



"ON 10 OCTOBER 1944, THE RUSSIANS WERE AT THE DOORS OF RĪGA...

We were told to pack up. Even though the patients were already out of the hospital, I had not anticipated such a sudden departure. I had almost no belongings at the hospital. I telephoned my mamma and told her that we were leaving the hospital to go to the train, with only what I was wearing and a change of clothes... This was the last conversation that I ever had with my mamma...”

 

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