The Lexington Advertiser, Lexington, Mississippi, Thursday, May 19, 1949, Vol. 112, Number 5

Lexington, MS

DPs Arrive Here, To Work On Farm

Three On Herring Place;14 Located On Watson Plantation

A family of three Latvian Displaced Persons (DPs), who were forced into slave labor by the Nazis during World War II, arrived Saturday to become sharecroppers on the Lawrence M. Herring farm near Lexington. Originally from near Riga, the state capital of tiny Latvia, the man, Artur Berzins, 34, will have a cotton crop this year, and his wife, Alicia. 37, will be in charge of a dairy herd. Their child, Maya, who will be eight next month, will attend Lexington Grammar school. They came by train from New Orleans, with a group of 14 other Latvian DPs, who will work on the Delta plantation of Henri P. Watson.

Spoke Halting English

None of the group could speak English well, and were glad to be addressed in German. They arrived in Durant Saturday at 5 a. m., and were met by Mr. Watson and Mr. Herring, under whose auspices they had been transported at government expense to New Orleans, and from New Orleans to their new locations at the expense of the landowners securing their services.

According to Mrs. Herring, the Berzins are a high type family, and seem “very happy here.” At present they are living in a small house on the Herring place.

Praised for cleanliness

The Holmes county men signed papers making themselves responsible for the Latvians for one year, which means that they are responsible in keeping them clear of being an economic liability to society for that time.

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