All posts by Ilse Munro

Ilse Munro was born in Latvia and came to the United States as a war refugee. She was a NASA and Defense Department consultant, then the online editor at Little Patuxent Review and the prose editor at BrickHouse Books. Her short fiction, collected in Cold and Hungry and Far From Home, appears in TriQuarterly, Atticus Review and Wake and made her a finalist in the Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest and Short Story Award for New Writers. Her novel Anna Noon is in the works. She lives in a historic millworker’s house on Maryland's Patapsco River. For more, see

The Soviet Story

The Economist, 22 May 2008: “Being burnt in effigy on the streets of Moscow by nationalist hoodlums must count as a kind of Oscar if you are a Latvian filmmaker whose aim is to expose modern Russia’s blindness to the criminal history of the Soviet Union. The ire of Young Russia’s protest outside the Latvian embassy this week was directed at Edvins Snore, whose film Soviet Story is the most powerful antidote yet to the sanitisation of the past.”

Forced Repatriation

The musical Eslingena premiered in Toronto, Canada in 2004 at the 12th Latvian Song Festival. At the end, as Andris Straumanis reports, “the audience joined hands and, led by the actors and crew, sang again the closing song: ‘Vai tu vari mani tagad pateikt, Kas mums dzīvē notiks?‘ Can you tell me now what will become of us? It is a question that is as relevant now as it was in the Esslingen DP camp, and as it has been in much of Latvian history. We don’t know the answer. That’s why I cried.” Here is a parody of a Soviet attempt to convince Latvians in the DP camp to repatriate: