Footprints of Uprooted Lives
Now in print & available for purchase.
Two totalitarian powers were unleashed upon three Baltic states during World War II. The tiny country of Estonia had been occupied by German and Soviet forces. On September 22nd, 1944, units of the Red Army captured the capital of Estonia marking a change in foreign regimes and the beginning of an occupation that would last for nearly fifty years.
It was September 23rd and this was Koidula Roiser's last opportunity to made a bid for freedom. Like thousands of others who took to the sea on just about anything that floated, she risked her life in search of freedom. With steely determination, she announced, "I will swim across the ocean if I have to, but I'm not staying here."
The sea rose around the Walnut ship like many great angry skyscrapers, turbulent and unforgiving. The ship's pump had stopped working, the icy sea water was rising dangerously close to the steam engine. A minesweeper meant for a small crew now held hundreds of lives of human cargo. Would she make the trip across the Atlantic during a stormy December?
While some refugees fled their homeland for freedom during the war, other's were later dependent upon the compassion of bureaucrats. Written by an immigrant's daughter, this is a story based on actual events and characters about lives that were ravaged by time and circumstance. These are the footprints left by the journeys of uprooted lives.
Copyright © 2017 by Tiiu Roiser
Coledale Road, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 7W9
In memory of my mother Koidula.
For my son – may this collection of stories and memories give you the opportunity to learn about family members of long ago. May you come to know them through my words and theirs. May you witness their dreams, sorrows, hardships, joys, service to others and love of God.
For my sister – who never knew about the little box and the letters contained therein and who helped to fill in memories I’d forgotten.
For my husband – who took care of everything while I sat behind a computer and wrote.
This book is also written for all the people displaced during the Second World War – for all those that had to leave behind everything that they knew and held dear.
While roses are flashy flowers that draw attention to themselves by their beauty, no-one notices the quiet, tiny violets growing at our feet. Beware of the rose’s thorns hidden amongst their leaves and behold the simple unassuming beauty in the bloom of the violet.
For my mother – humble, modest and unpretentious - a flower that was ravaged by the winds of war.
For my grandmother - a simple woman with caring, loving hands, whose life was spent helping all those around her.
A note from the author....
The passing on of oral histories was the norm in days long ago, as children sat and listened to their elders speak of times gone by. These days, everyone seems to be too busy with activities of every type to just sit and talk with one another. Some of us don't even live near our relatives.
"We'll talk about this the next time we visit," is a statement I hear often. But, none of us know when our time here on earth may be over and what if it is too late? Wonderful stories and recollections may be forever lost. I strongly urge everyone to take the time now, today, to meet up with your relatives and talk. Look at old photographs and record the stories.
As each generation passes on, the next becomes the keeper of the memories entrusted to us. They are like heirlooms of history, priceless antiques to be cherished. May this book encourage you to share your family history with your loved ones.
Page last updated: March 23, 2017