With life at stake – a documentary about Peteris Jansons

With life at stake is a documentary about Peteris Jansons (1922-2020).

Peteris escaped his homeland Latvia on his 21st birthday in 1943, and ended up at Gotland. After a short while, he was recruited by the C-bureau (the unofficial, secret, intelligence agency of the Swedish Armed Forces) and the trips between Gotland and Latvia commenced. The purpose of these trips was to set ashore agents, radio equipment and other supplies, on behalf of the C-bureau. But after a while, the trips began to form the so called ”Lifeline”, which helped bringing many of the around 4 000 refugees who fled from Latvia over to Sweden during World War II.

In this film, Peteris shares his experiences and memories from the trips, that indeed took place with his own life at stake.

The documentary was made at Gotland in 2006 by Marie Jansons, Peteris’ granddaughter:

– This film was made as part of my music/media studies between 2004-2006. In the autumn of 2005, I learnt that Peteris was going to share his memories from the refugee trips during an evening in the local People’s house, and I decided to film this. When hearing his story (for the first time!) during this talk, I strongly felt that I wanted to know more about these experiences as well as interview him myself, to properly document his story. The result is this documentary.

Now, when my beloved grandfather is no longer among us, I feel very grateful that I got the opportunity to make this film. The process took its toll on him, since everything he told me as well as re-lived in his memory, was things he had kept quiet about for almost 60 years. But at the same time, he was very proud of this film project, and I’m glad to finally be able to make the film available in English (and Latvian), so that anyone interested can learn more about his story.

Marie Jansons
Gothenburg, april 2022