U.S.-Baltic Foundation

Baltic Books

“An invaluable account of day-to-day life in a world that was carefully hidden from the West during the Cold War ... a quickly moving story which tells of the depths of human cruelty and the strength of the human spirit.” (Review)


THE RED FOG: A Memoir of Life in the Soviet Union

By Lilija Zarina
Translated from Latvian by Gunna Dickson

$18.95, Paperback: 222 pages, Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (November 2006), ISBN-10: 0595402577  ISBN-13: 978-0595402571

    Personal freedom is a hot topic as human rights dominate today’s headlines. The Red Fog was one of Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases for November 2006, an Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice at iUniverse and displayed at Book Expo America 2007 in New York City and Frankfurt Books Fair 2007 in Germany.

   Lilija Zarina’s story lifts a corner of the impenetrable Iron Curtain, revealing a world of subjugation, subversion, courage and compromise. The book begins at a dramatic point in World War 2, when “Lita” was a teenager, and the reader is immediately pulled in, becoming a silent, unseen participant in the gripping narration.

    Informative and compelling, Dr. Zarina’s visual description of the chaos of war and its aftermath draws on the analogy of a suffocating fog to symbolize the loss of liberty. In her brave struggle to survive and triumph, her feelings, thoughts and actions are as clear to the reader as if they were on a movie screen. The book will act as a catalyst for readers to learn more about the historic and political events of this time.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lilija Zarina earned a doctorate of medicine at the University of Latvia in 1950. After escaping her Soviet-occupied homeland, she continued her education in West Germany and went into private practice there from 1966 to 1994. She returned to Latvia after it regained independence and lived in retirement in Riga until her death in 2007.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR: Gunna Dickson is an award-winning writer and editor whose work has been published in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and on the Internet. Raised bi-lingual in the U.S., she has lived in Germany, France and Denmark.
 This book may be ordered from: www.Amazon.com, www.Amazon.co.uk in Great Britain, www.Amazon.ca in Canada, and online sites in Germany, France, Sweden, Japan and more.
For more information, contact: [email protected]



“This book should be compulsory reading for American high school students. Our youth have so much, yet care so little… The translation is impeccable.”                                                -- Andrew

J. Rodriguez, author of “Adios Havana”
In the decades under the Soviet regime, crimes were deliberately hushed up. Not until 1995-96 did the secret archives gradually become accessible, and deportees were free to speak about their experiences.

A STOLEN CHILDHOOD: Five Winters in Siberia

Translated from Latvian by Gunna Dickson


$10, Hardcover:  283 pages, Publisher: SIA Liktenstasti (2008), ISBN 978-9984-819-12-9


Ilmars Salts was only 10 years old when – on the morning of June 14, 1941 -- his father, mother, brother, sister and grandmother were awakened in their rural Latvia home and loaded onto a cattle train bound for Siberia.
    To enable Russification, in one day alone, more than 15,000 men, women, children and elderly were rounded up and taken to Gulag death camps and deportation settlements.

“A Stolen Childhood” evokes graphic scenes and acts of grave injustice, cruelty and unconscionable inhumanity as the brutal Siberian winters kill deportees, one after the other. There are no coffins and half-naked corpses are dragged by the arms or legs to their final resting place; a newborn is buried, still in the cradle. Dishes are scarce and food is ladled into a hat, or directly onto the table top. When deportees are put to work pulling logs out of the frigid Chulym River, their soaked garments freeze stiff in the Siberian air, but guards won’t let them near the bonfire – to hasten their demise. There are no toilets; human waste piles up or is eaten by starving pigs or dogs.

The Salts children, orphaned in the third winter, incredibly, withstand the extreme hardships and return to their homeland as living witnesses and the keepers of history.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR: Gunna Dickson is a New York-based writer and editor. Raised bi-lingual in the U.S., she has lived in Germany, France and Denmark.

Contact: [email protected]




The Red Fog






























The Stolen Childhood