• Entry type: Resource
  • Entry ID: AWH001518

Interview with Irina Ozolins [sound recording] Interviewer: Daniela Kautsky

  • Repository State Library of South Australia
  • Reference OH 18/20
  • Date Range 22-Mar-89 - 10-Jan-90
  • Description

    3 hours (approx.) Irina Ozolins was born in Russia in 1920 where her parents lived as refugees. Her father was killed there and her mother returned to Viesite, Latvia when Irina was still an infant. Irina’s mother worked as an accountant and they lived with her parents. Irene describes her childhood and her decision to study mathematics at university. She speaks of how family members perished under the Russian invasion of Latvia and how she decided to travel to Germany in 1944 where she continued her studies at Dresden University. Irene survived the bombing of Dresden in 1945, although she was buried alive. In the aftermath she met her husband, a lawyer who was retraining as an electrician, and they married in a Latvian displaced persons camp. After three years living in camps the family, now including two sons, travelled to Australia. The family went straight to Port Pirie in South Australia to stay with another Latvian family and then built their own home at Marino Rocks. In 1953, after the births of two more children, Mrs Ozolins sought work with the Education Department and began teaching high school mathematics. She recalls her astonishment at the unequal conditions of women. Mrs Ozolins concludes with discussing how she has emphasised culture in the manner in which she has raised her children; her work as an artist; and her continued involvement with the local Latvian community.

  • Access No restrictions on access.
  • Finding Aid Full transcript available (30 pages)