Comparing exile Latvian 1st and 2nd generation's lifestories


Latvian National Oral History Archive offers rich material about diaspora Latvians — both those who left Latvia during World War II (exile Latvians) and new emigrants. These materials consist of lifestory interviews, which means that the interviewers have not guided the narrative by fixed set of questions but instead it is organized by the interviewee him/herself. The very structure of the story — the chosen composition, form, expression and use of language — also carries information about the culture and society in which the narrator lives. In the case of exile Latvians, this means both the culture and society of their host country and of the exile community. The purpose of this paper is to compare lifestories of 1st and 2nd generation exile Latvians in order to see what common and/or different themes and overall composition they have and what intergenerational differences they reveal (attitudes towards Latvia, belonging and sense of home etc.).

Dec 11, 2019
Baltic Heritage Network seminar
Rīga (Latvija)
Maija Krūmiņa

Historian, researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology