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My first awareness of Latvia was two small postage stamps, fixed to a page in the stamp album given to me by my grandmother. It once belonged to my Uncle Fred, killed by the Japanese on one of the terrible Sandakan death marches in Borneo during World War 2.

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were the ‘mysterious Baltic States,’ hidden behind the Iron Curtain. Any information came, filtered through the propaganda grid of the Russian Communists.

Peter’s daring mission in 1980 takes him into the heart of Communist Russia and sees it as it is. Peter breaks away from his registered tour group in Moscow and has a taste of everyday life under communism. If he’d been caught, the consequences may have been devastating. Two Russians meet him in the street. His new friends take him to places not generally seen by tourists. Visitors to Russia were strictly supervised and taken to ‘State approved’ places. Peter ends up getting more than he bargained for!

The insights Peter provides in Out of Latvia are a solemn reminder of life in a communist state and how his family suffered when Russia ruled the Baltic States.

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