Translated diary offers teenage boy’s view of life after war

The book has been out for a few months, but now there’s a Web site to support The Journal of Valdis Fomenko, the English translation of a teenage Latvian boy’s diary of life in a liberated Nazi concentration camp at the end of World War II.

The diary was rediscovered by Fomenko, who had immigrated to Canada, about 10 years ago. His written memories were translated into English by his niece, Lyndian Dowling of California.

Fomenko began writing the diary on Sept. 29, 1945, and entries continued until May 1, 1946, according to Astra Moora, editor of Dienvidkalifornijas Latviešu Informācijas Biļetens, who wrote about the book in the newsletter’s November issue.

The Fomenko family lived on Zaķusala in Rīga. They were taken to Germany during the war, spending some time in the Dachau concentration camp and a labor camp near Schongau. As the war came to an end, the family was transferred to a Displaced Persons camp.

The diary includes memories of Latvia, stories about both the dark and bright sides of life in the camps, and musings about the future. The book includes photographs of the family.

For further information, visit, where an English translation of Moora’s article is found. The original Latvian version is found in the newsletter’s PDF archive,

The Journal of Valdis Fomenko

The Journal of Valdis Fomenko is a teenage Latvian boy’s view of life in Germany at the end of World War II.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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