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Not Your Ordinary House

Peter’s father was a man of substance. His home in Latvia had been in the family for many years but lost it when the Russian communists invaded the Baltic States in 1941 and it became ‘state property.’ As Peter’s father said, “it was a time when everyone owned everything, and no one owned anything.”

“We walked around the three-storey house built of solid stone with a terracotta roof. It contained twelve fireplaces, a cheese factory on the first floor and a section where Dad used to brew beer. I realised then the quality of life he once enjoyed. He was one of the tsars. In Australia, he saw himself as a struggler, a failure. The contrast was powerful, and I understood his pain and grief in being wrenched from the place he loved.” (Out of Latvia, page 260)

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