From Country To Country

From Country To Country

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In From Country to Country Peter Buttuls relates the story of his multicultural family in three countries: Latvia, Germany, and Canada. He begins with his grandfather, a doctor, and his professional achievements in Latvia, while living under the strict Czar regime of Russia. The author then relates the stories of adventure, mischief, and fun his father and family experienced. That all came to an end when the Soviet Union took control of Latvia in 1940. After living in its accustomed upper class lifestyle, the Buttuls family then lived "underground" for six months for fear of being deported to Siberia. Their escape to Nazi Germany is described, with the difficult life there.

From then on the book becomes the author's memoirs of his life's happy and unhappy experiences, including that with the opposite sex. Life in a village and small town in Germany during the Second World War is described, with experiences of mischief and fun times as the bombs fell. The equally difficult times after the war are related, when the family lived in a bathroom for several months. Finally they had a chance to start a new life in Canada. The challenging time during the first five years in a hamlet with a population of twenty are told, as Buttuls and his family learned another language and had to adjust to the different culture and lifestyle in their adopted country. The family's move to Vancouver meant going to the largest high school in Canada from education by correspondence. Despite living in semi-poverty in Vancouver, where the four boys in the family slept in a small room in bunk beds, the author was able to achieve two university degrees. He intertwines history and politics with the events described.

To make the story more interesting, the author works in some of the basics of computing, weather, mountaineering, and other topics.


I Could have been Killed
I walked past the edge of town towards some woods. Instead of turning left and walking along the highway, I decided to explore the woods straight ahead. I had not looked back to see that there was someone behind me. I took a few steps onto a path that led into the woods. Suddenly there was a shout:
Du, pass mal auf, gehe da nicht, der Wald ist voll mit Tellerminen."
It was a man behind me who had shouted. I ran towards him, shaking. At the time I guessed what he had warned me about. The part Minen in Tellerminen in the warning by the man above gave it away. There must have been a mine in the woods waiting for its victim, waiting to rip of his or her arms and legs. If you break apart the German word Tellerminen you get Teller which means plate and Mine which means mine . I had almost stepped on a mine which would have exploded and killed me! The Germans must have mined the woods I was about to enter so that any American tanks going through them would be blown up. The man behind me had saved my life. I quickly walked home. Grateful to be alive.

An Anxious Wait
"Why has the train stopped?" my father nervously asked a trainman.
""The problem is that from here on they use a different width of rails than in Russia,". the trainman answered.
Oh yes, we encountered that problem in 1994 when my brother Bill and I took the train to Latvia from Germany. On the way there we had to change trains at the Poland-Lithuania border; on the way back the wheels were changed on railway cars instead, at the Poland-Belarus border. My father became frantic. What if the Russian secret police discovered that we had escaped and had telegraphed ahead to apprehend us? We could be arrested anytime, so he thought................. We had been lucky to have made it on the train in Riga without being caught. And now we were not moving, due to the smallest detail difference in width of rails

Scary Moments
......................Although we were told that Weiler was not a target, one day the bombardment on the su

Publisher: Trafford Publishing
ISBN: 9781412089234


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