Tuesday, May 24, 2016
A Happenstance Witness and The Holy Ghost:
Neither a novel or documentary, but a story that
for the patient reader may, in retrospect, make sense.
By © Ludis Cuckold
The Aura of Whimper (7)
1939 was a year of foreboding. It began with my paternal grandfather dying, but due to my young age without my knowing it. My ignorance was partly because it was then advocated that children be spared knowing about death. Another reason was due to grandfather being as much of an enigma to his descendants as his son, my father. The old stag had finally been run through by the boar’s tusk of capitalism—clogged arteries, a fat covered heart, and a rich wife. He now lay dying on the battlefield among the stumps of a clear-cut forest.
I grant, it cannot be denied that grandfather kept his distance from his first family due to his second marriage, which had his second wife Eniya, who could not have children, adopt her sister’s son as her own. Grandfather did not resist this scheme of theft by Eniya, which she initiated in a transparent effort to deprive him of any say in an enterprise he had started and cut his children by first marriage off any and all inheritance.
Being aware of Eniya’s schemes, grandfather’s first wife, my grandmother, a Godly woman, did not go quiet into the night. She had a hand in the defense of her own by means of subtle threats and neatly planned schemes.
Her first scheme (its public being the family circle) was to refuse grandfather an agreement to a divorce. In effect, she withheld from him her permission to marry his paramour. The laws of the day did not permit either quick divorces or remarriages as can be had today. Grandmother gave her permission only after grandfather and Eniya agreed to write a Last Will she could accept. This took some twenty years in doing. She was savvy enough to know that an oral promise in legalistic Catholic Christian society had no weight as it had had among the members of the Moravian Church that had founded self-consciousness among Latvians. For all his role in helping create a Latvijan consciousness, grandfather had not managed to wrap his mind around the ways of the new age of legalist crap.
Another take down of Eniya occurred when grandmother had a gypsy fortune teller crash an uppity Eniya’s birthday party. The gypsy predicted that in the course of time Eniya would become ugly and die in dire poverty. What kind of information grandmother had to make her presence to be reckoned with is not known with certainty, but there were dark rumors that grandfather had abandoned her for a whore, who solicited her ‘tricks’ as a hatcheck girl at one of Riga’s theatres. She had got that part-time job because at the time she was married to a poorly paid actor of that theatre.
Eniya’s job description was that as she took the man’s hat with one hand, she would brush her other as if accidentally over his crotch. A rendezvous was agreed on after the theatre performance, when the man came to retrieve his hat. Evidently grandfather came along just in time.
Grandmother died just three months after grandfather. At the time an anecdote was propagated and people were convinced that she had so loved her former husband that she continued to love him even after he had abandoned her for Eniya. Such an attachment was ascribed to her due to her Moravian Church loyalties.
The real truth was more mundane. After grandfather died, his two surviving daughters sued Eniya for taking more than a half of the inheritance which in the testament was said to be but a half of the estate. Grandmother would have had a role as a witness at the trial. Because of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the court case came to nothing, and because murder became common, all personal and family issues became moot. Also, grandmother’s death was most likely by poison secretly slipped into her food by an Eniya surrogate.
At the time the events took place, they were reported as anecdotes. At the time such anecdotes had little credibility, because the high social positions of those involved did not allow for the idea that Latvijan society’s most prominent people would get involved in such a bizarre undertaking as murder. On the other hand, in retrospect, the years 1939, ..40, ..41 were bizarre the world over. Uncertainty, instability, and dire premonitions were in the air. The farcical Peace Treaty of WW1 was coming to an end. Only children had no inkling of what the adults were up to—they were left the hearsays and anecdotes and auras of whimpers of the slain.
Today, more than seventy years after the fact, the rumors and anecdotes become plausible, and the fact that grandfather’s heirs were left without resources propels rumor into the sphere of fact that only an exhumation of grandmother’s bones may resolve as either true or false or not convincing.
As grandfather lay dying, I was taken to his estate, and my nanny had me pick forget-me-nots. It was May of 1939. It was a day without a cloud in the skies. I brought the flowers directly to grandfather’s bedside. As I put the flowers beside him on his bed, grandfather moved his left hand in acknowledgement. That was all he did. He said nothing.
A long time before grandfather died a few days later (May 16), suggestions were made that he should put some of his wealth into some socially useful project—he could build a hospital, a school, or create a scholarship fund. But he never responded to any of the suggestions. This was a mystery to people, who knew that his past was associated with the founding of the Latvijan nation, which could not have been done without his forebears from the Moravian Church of Herrnhut in Germany.
Instead, there appeared news that he had funded and bought a small squadron of military biplanes for the Air Force of the Latvijan government. I remember the planes roar low over our house—which lay in line with grandfather’s house on the Riga Beach (Jūrmala) only a few kilometers away—in a salute. As a five or six year old, I was thrilled by the spectacle.
Given grandfather’s religious past, a gift by him to the military makes no sense—unless one takes into consideration the fact that Eniya had taken to raising her social status yet higher by appearing in public with Latvija’s President Ulmanis, who was an unmarried man.
A closer look at who controlled the finances gives a ready explanation as to who bought the biplanes: it was not grandfather, but the wife he helped make a millionaires—Eniya.
I am sorry to say: grandfather had no say over the newspaper he had founded or the money it made. Because he had bankrupted himself as the owner of two small hardware stores before he began his newspaper career, the bankruptcy laws of the day did not allow him (unless he wished to subject himself to an endless battery of law suits) to become the publisher of the newspaper. It was Eniya who became the publisher instead, and, thereby, had the final authority to say how the money was spent. However, the cuckolded “old man” was given the credit. It was to maintain the image of political correctness of the day (the male in those days was held to be predominant over the female*), and so Eniya could use her political connections to transfer her wealth out of the country and into a Swiss and other foreign bank accounts.
*This image was upheld by Eniya herself. While the reporters reported that The ‘Old Man’ always wrote their paychecks himself, it was Eniya who authorized them. When at one point grandfather wished to divorce his second wife, his lawyers (including senator M. Chakste of Latvia’s Supreme Court) emphatically advised him against it.
When my father, aware of the imminent danger he and everyone else was in, went (according to yet another ‘anecdote’) to Eniya and asked her to relent on the monies and suggested that the family clan seek safety in a foreign country, she refused to help. Perhaps she did so, because the Hitler government of Germany had refused her request to immigrate to Germany along with the Baltic Germans. It was a decision that cost, Eniya and a number of other family members their lives, destroyed all that had been created and brought about in a period of some thirty years, and caused great deprivation to many.
The trap that held grandfather helpless is not dissimilar to the situation of the nations which in our day belong to the European Union (EU). None of the current 27 members of the EU is any longer a sovereign nation, because the final word on most anything belongs to EU’s Central Bank, the military, and the U.S. government and its proxies.
Indeed, the U.S. sponsored European Union has put all EU countries into an untenable political situation—the countries are still alive, so to speak, but only a leadership in possession of an unfaked European thumos may dare think of how to get free of the trap into which lies and false promises have caught its Commons of nations and create a history other than one of little and no real validity.