10 May 1923

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 10 May 1923

Page 2, "Highly Important News from Russia"

Saratov, Russia
15 March
To: The American Volga Relief Society 126 S. 11th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

      On behalf of your local representative, Mr. Jak. Volz, I recently did some business for the A.V.R.S. on the Wiesenseite. First there were these Food Drafts addressed to individuals who had not picked them up and were due to be sent back. Mr. Volz was granted the authority to extend their due dates for a month by the local director so that he could personally see to handling the notification of the recipients. He found 100 percent of these addresses. The local authorities had simply not delivered the notifications. Thus we, Mr. Volz on the Bergseite and myself on the Wiesenseite, were able to bring several hundred packets to the correct addresses. Mr. Volz had been provided with 200 Food Drafts intended for the poor. He entrusted me with the distribution of 150 of them on the Wiesenseite, he, by the way, himself distributed 50 of them at the Tarlyk. The others I took to the officials in charge. With the weather and the emergency  getting worse I took the  first opportunity to send 25 Food Drafts to Pastor J. Grasmueck who distributed them among the widows and sick of his Parish. Further, I gave 45 Drafts to Pastor J. Seydlitz in Paulskoi for the upper colonies which he and the church leaders of his 2 parishes distributed. Finally, I personally distributed 30 packets in the parish of Rosenheim. In order to accomplish the distribution quickly and accurately I drove out to the villages on 2 successive holidays. The people gladly took me from village to village. Everywhere I found the church leaders and brethren to be conscientious and selfless and truly willing to help carry the aid to those suffering need. Everywhere they harnessed horses and drove me from house to house, to the huts of the most impoverished, the widows and orphans, just as readily as they took me from village to village. On my round trip I personally investigated the villages of KrasnoyorRosenheim,  EndersFischerPaulskaya and Kano.
      In EndersPaulsayai and Kano, in additon to distributing food, I distributed a 25 Dollar clothing packet. I made individual packages, each of 12 pieces of clothing, and distributed them to 12 families.
       In addition to the above named villages we also distributed food to:  BeauregardNieder MonjouPhilippsfeld, Glarus, Schaffenhausen, Neu-Schaffenhausen,  BrunnentalNeu-Beideck, Neu-Mohr, Neu-Hussenbach and Wiesenmueller. In total 17 villages. 
       And now what is the situation on the Wiesenseite, I hear you ask impatiently? Yes, dear brothers, you will have an answer. I will describe the situation in one of the poorest villages, Kano. Half of the houses are in ruins. One can only drive on the main street, all the other streets are now footpaths. There are perhaps 20 families getting along reasonably well, among them are such who 2 years ago had up to 20 horses and just as many cattle. Today such a man, in the most favorable condition, has 1 horse and 1 cow. The great majority here have absolutely no livestock anymore. I was in such huts where the head of the house had to stay in bed on Saturday while his only shirt and only trousers were being washed, the children sitting naked behind the oven.
       On Sundays one might be able to think, well they cannot be all that poor, everyone inside is clothed, their clothing well mended. Yes, but in many huts despair prevails. There the mother lies swollen on a bed of hay on the bare ground in front of the oven, her 5 children sit in the corner on little piles of hay. When we ask if she has any livestock we receive the reply: Today we do not even have enough to eat ((words illegible)) everyone was crying.
       In another hut are 2 widows and a handful of children, The room is cold, there is no bed, no table, no chair, everything has been sold. There is only a handful of hay in the corners. 
       In another house there are 4 poor widows ((words illegible)). I had to go outside in a corner of the yard and cry out loud because my heart was pounding so.
       And that, dear brothers, is the situation in the poorest of villages. People are still dying of hunger. There is thus a crying need for your assistance and the people are grateful for it. Many were so moved by the unexpected aid that they were unable to speak because they were crying so hard. The poor were especially grateful for the little bits of things I was able to give them as gifts from the brethren in America.
       With your help, most of the people hope to make it through to the next harvest and plead to God that He might grant them a good harvest so they they can once again support themselves.

                                 With greetings, P. Sinner


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

March 27, 1923
To: Jacob Reifschneider Rush Center, Kansas

Dear Br. and mother, wife and children:
      I have recently received 2 letters from you and I will now answer them. First: Friedrich Behrend's wife is still well but now lives in Doenhof and longs for America and her husband, so far she is doing well. I read your letter to your brother-in-law. Jacob Lohrey is still living and things are going well for him, only his mother has died; He is one of the biggest farmers as are the Kunaus, Weigandts, Ickes from whom you got the money, then Heinrich Haag, Adam Ickes sons. My friends David and Gottlieb Wagner have 6 oxen, 3 horses and 4 cows and sheep. Last year everything was scarce.
       Now I come to Hinkel, about whom so much was written, much of it was the truth and also much of it lies, because neither Hinkel or Gickel are dishonest. The Food Drafts that Hinkel picked up in Saratov were gotten for people who authorized him to do so and he did a lot of this; the people did not need to do it that way but most did: when the A.R.A. came along, Hinkel wrote and begged and was so successful that he was able to eat the best foods, whereas some others had traded all of their assets to live on and still had to go hungry. Hinkel, through politicking, complaining and using his brothers in America, was able  to better himself so that he was able to buy 2 cows and a horse, where he previously had nothing; that is how he bettered himself. He received 7 pairs of shoes, he did not steal 7 pairs. The others who worked with him were also his brothers. There was great discord among us over all this. The people no longer listened to the Pastor and  threw out the old church servants and on the 2nd day of Christmas the Pastor (Eichhorn from Messer---editor) was not allowed to hold a church service.
       That is enough of that. If Hinkel had fed himself as I did then none of this would have happened. I could see it coming. If you were to ask Hinkel, he would reply: I earned it because the people gave me their authorization. His fee was 5 pfund per pud and that brought him a lot of business.
       My life is easier than it was in former times though it also has its difficulties; I am concerned but I am not complaining. If this winter had been easier I would not have had to drive out and search for food and could have stayed at home. However if I had become ill during the worst of it, I could easily have perished. When my supplies were running out I received assistance, as did everyone in Kutter, which I will never forget. All of the Sorghum which came from you in American made everyone glad.
       If one among us here has done something wrong then he must answer for it himself. I am also among those who is always last in line but I owe you a great deal of thanks. Whatever comes now, even if I do not get any of it, I will nevertheless not be dissatisfied.
       Greet my friends Philipp Wagner and Adam Broening. And I also thank you for the newspaper and the love you have shown me.
       Dear aunt: You wanted to know if "Versammlungen" (prayer meetings) are still being held. Yes, there were always a fair number of souls who remained with the Lord, I among them.
  Letter writing is very expensive, it costs 10 million ruble to send a single letter.
                                          Greetings from us all, 

                                          Jacob Wagner

      Remarks of the Editor: We do not know friend Jacob Hinkel personally, only by way of his correspondence. He is not a highly educated man, this we know from his incorrect way of writing, and yet we must nevertheless step into the breach for him. We believe that the accusations against him are based to a large extent on jealousy and envy. Hinkel is a determined man who is capable of doing great service for his people despite his lack of education. Yes, he carried out great services, if only the people of Kutter were not so forgetful!
       A year ago when people were dying by the dozens in Kutter, who was it then who performed the duties of the ministry? None other than Jacob Hinkel. Pastor Eichhorn had his hands more than full in Messer, never mind attending to the hundreds of dead in Kutter and Moor. Hinkel performed all these services without pay because none of the people had anything left with which to repay him. This was a gigantic task which often required Hinkel to work day and night to accomplish. Hinkel was good enough for these difficult services, but they seem to have already forgotten this in Kutter.
       Furthermore: When Hinkel drove the 90 versts in the freezing cold from Kutter to Saratov, putting his life in danger of being murdered by robbers like the Schoolmaster from Kolb was murdered, as were many others, was it not then more than cheap that Hinkel charged  5 pfund per pud for this troublesome work?
       And finally, even if the man received 7 new pairs of shoes for every member of his household, nobody has the right to be annoyed by it, because we believe he has honestly earned them. Hinkel may have made errors --- and who has not? 
       Once again it has proven to be true that ingratitude is the wage paid by the world.

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 2, "Letters from Russia" 

Franker Chutor
4 February
To: John Wacker Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear brother Johannes and sister-in-law:
      We are well and wish you the best in all things. 
       When we look back at the year 1922, it is a miracle that we are still living. During the great emergency the Lord softened the hearts of those so far away and we were saved from starvation. 
       In February of 1922, we were so severely tested that we did not know what to do. Then we received the news from our son Johannes that he had sent us a food order for 9 pud of food. On 2 March we picked up the food order in Saratov and with it we were able to feed ourselves wonderfully for a time. A bit later our son again sent us somewhat. And then we also received a food order from you, dear brother, which made us very happy because if this assistance had not come from America we would in fact not be alive today. Many people starved to death before assistance arrived.
       Our "Vetter"(cousin) Sitzmann is still alive and well. Although he is still comparatively vigorous, one can see that his time here is growing short.
       With greetings, your brother and sister,

                                        Konrad and Kath. Margret Wacker

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 2, "Clothing Distribution" 

On the Berg and Wiesenseite by the National Lutheran Council

       In our last report in January of this year we could only report the number of individual bundles (of clothing) that were distributed to individual parishes; Today we are able to report about the distribution in individual colonies as far as the lists we have on hand allow. A great many of the lists are still pending.
      Distributed were: 

1. Baskakowka; according to a distribution list dated 15 January, 155 persons received 208 items of clothing.
  In their letter of thanks the members of the Church Council say among other things:
"One could see joy not only on the faces of recipients but also on the faces of those who received nothing, because  they saw that many were helped, that many children were protected against freezing by warm shirts or trousers, that many women could now do their work clothed. We thank and in spirit press the hand of each warm hearted American donor and say to them: Heartfelt thanks! God will repay!"
  Signed by: Fr. Rottenner, Loso, Alexander Schaefer, Johann Voelk, Friedrich Emmich.

2.  Orlovskaya; according to a list dated 19 January of this year, 368 persons received clothing. "In the name of all those who received clothing, receive our outspoken thanks; may the donors of this clothing remain protected from emergency and all evil, physically and spiritually.

3.  Sussanental; according to a list dated 19 January of this year, the following clothing was distributed among 84 people: 8 men's coats, 5 vests, 6 overcoats, 18 women's dresses, 15 short jackets, 10 trousers, 7 "Waschanzüge" (literally-washable suits--probably "long johns," or long underwear---translator), 6 men's shirts, 9 long jackets.
  Members of the Church Council: H. Schmidt, K. Michel, Julius Wegner, Johann Heger, Johannes Michel.

4. Brockhausen "Hummel," list dated 20 January 1923, 76 clothing items distributed.
  Church Spokesmen: P. Reichert, K. Mueller, D. Ch. Reichert, Schoolmaster Sartorius.

5. Hockerberg; We the undersigned members of the impoverished community of Hockenberg say herewith out best thanks to all our brothers in faith who pitied us and sent us clothing. The Lord will not leave unrewarded those who took our emergency cries to heart and came to the aid of the needy.
  The list contains 66 signatures, signed on 19 January 1923.

6. Unterwalden; list dated 15 January 1923. To 123 persons: 15 overcoats, 18 trousers, 14 long jackets, 10 vests, 15 jackets, 12 skirts, 2 dresses, 6 children's dresses, 18 ladies overcoats, 1 head scarf, 12 items of underwear.
  Signed by the Distribution Commission: J. Naumon, Chr. Sitter, Philip Lochner, Gottl. Fink, Johann Ungesug, D. Rissiger.

7. Raesanowka; list dated 17 January 1923, to 205 persons 187 items of clothing.
  Signed by the Church Council members: Vogel, J. Michel, H. Wenzel, Reitz.

8. Lugowaja Grasnucha; list dated 20 January 1923, 187 adults and 37 children given items of clothing.
  Signed by the Commission: Heinrich Zitzer, Friedr. Niederquell, Heinr.. Weber, Jacob Gross.

9.  Schilling. "We received 20 pud of clothing on 19 January that we distributed to the attached list of 328 persons."
  Signed by the Church Council: Geier, C. Schreiber, Strackbern,  Maul, Waltere, Philipp Schreiber, Friedr. Schreiber, Feldzing, Lindt, Chairman F. Gerlach.

10.  Beideck. According to the list from January 1923, 28 pud of clothing and 59 pairs of shoes were distributed among 138 people.
  Signed: Church leaders -- Balth. Fahnenstiel, Ph. Gruenemeier, Georg Pabst, Joh. Georg Riedel, Joh. Wuertz.

11.  Balzer. According to a list from January 1923, 1,527 items of clothing were distributed among 713 persons. The citizens of Balzer express their heartfelt thanks to the friendly donors. 
  Signed by the Church Council: Joh. Bender, H. Reichert, Karl Barthuli, Heinr. Koehler, Heinr. Eurich.
  125 items of clothing were given to the Children's Home.

12.  Anton. According to the list dated 19 January 1923, 100 persons were given clothing.
  Signed by the Distribution Committee: F. Knuppenberg, M. Jest, J. Ganzhorn, Schoolmaster Joh. Frank.

13.  Yagodnaya Polyana, Pobotschnaja and Straub. According to the list dated 10 March 1923, 777 persons were given clothing. The Children's Home in Jagodnaja Poljana received 34 pairs of stockings, 16 caps and 1 child's jacket. In addition, one bundle of clothing was distributed to Pastor Feldmann (sic), Schoolmaster Theophil Kromm, Salomon Groh, Jakob Koch and Conrad Rudy.
  Signed by the Distribution Committee: Pastor Feldbach (sic), Schoolmaster Kromm, Church leader Sneidmueller, Heinrich Luft, Bagner.

14.  Stephan. Received: 160 small boys uniforms and 80 large girls uniforms, 60 small boys uniforms were traded for 30 large boys items of clothing. Of these things the community of Stephan distributed 24 small boys suits, 12 large boys suits  and 28 large girls dresses. In each of the designated families only 1 child was considered for an article of clothing.
  The list is signed by Pastor Mellajer.

15.  Norka. List dated 20 February 1923. The Pastor's Council gave 49 persons 131 articles of clothing. A mixed Commission gave about 300 articles of clothing to 160 people, additionally also 32 school children on a special list. Also the following private packages: Melchor Bien, Johann Georg Kniss, Heinrich Bien, Johannes Kniss, Johannes Schneider, Georg Zittenkopf.

16. Neu-Messer. According to a list from February 1923, to 34 persons 142 items of clothing. 
  Signed by Schoolmaster K. Rusch, Church leaders: Michel, Hans Weibert, Wiederheld.

17.  Huck. According to the list dated 9 February 1923, to 234 persons 405 clothing items. 
  Signed: Chairman of the Church Council Ph. Kindsvater, Church Elders: Johannes Huk, Conrad Heck, Johannes Liker, Jacob Nun.

18.  Weizenfeld. According to a list from 25 November 1922, 70 persons received 129 items of clothing.
  Signed by the Pres. of the Church Council Kuenstler, Church Council members: Emrich, Weinberger, Sittner and Secretary G. Kufeld.

19. Rentarlyk (?? could also be Neutarlyk----translator). November 29, 1922. The community sends herewith their warmest thanks to the benefactors in America for the 110 items of clothing and the 30 pairs of shoes received through the National Lutheran Council. Many naked and half naked have again been clothed.

20. Rosenfeld. From 2 lists dated February 1923. To 151 people 213 items of clothing. 
  Signed: Church members: Kasper Hord, Fritz, Secretary Johs. Kufeld, Chairman of the Committee K. Hartmann and Pastor G. Koch.

21.  Gnadendorf. List from December 1922. To 115 people 149 items of clothing.
  Signed: Church spokesmen H. Fischer, Weinberger, Nagler, Pastor G. Koch.

22. Alexandershoeh. List from 24 September 1922. To 115 people 110 items of clothing and 30 pairs of shoes. 
  Signed: Pres. of the Church Council Albrecht, Members: Ulek, Gross, Liebrecht, H. Lehmann, Schoolmaster; Pastor G. Koch.

23.  Neu-Urbach. List from 9 December 1922. To 73 people 62 items of clothing and 23 pairs of footwear. 
  Signed by the Neu-Urbach Church Council: Boetsch, Holm, Knaub, Anschutz, Neu-Urbach Aid Committee: Kapper, Boetsch.

24.  Lillienfeld. List from 24 November 1922. To 101 people 80 items of various kinds of clothing and 24 pairs of shoes. 
  Signed: Members of the Church Council: J. Glueck, P. Kuscher, Joh. Weis, Sexton J. Leising.

25.  Friedenthal. List from 23 November 1922. To 84 people 11 Koftoschki (women's tops, blouses), 5 overcoats, 16 shirts, 15 trousers, 5 skirts, 1 hat, 2 aprons. 
  Pastor Koch remarks: The Church Council and 2 members of the Aid Committee handled the above distribution, unfortunately they forgot to sign their names.

26.  Katharinenstadt. According to the list between 28 January and 18 February 1923, there were 883 items of outerwear and 478 items of underwear distributed to 755 people.
  Signed: Pres. of the Committee F. Schulz, H.H. Schulz and G. Sabelfeld.

27. Pokrowsk. List of 9 February 1923. To 64 people 209 items of clothing.
  Signed: Chairman A. Schaefer; members of the Distribution Committee: Saidersal, Korte, Schaad, Grosch, Kunstmann.

28.  Neu-Balzer. List from 15 February 1923. 130 people 327 items of clothing. 
  We herewith heartily thank the dear donors in America. The clothing shortage her in Neu-Balzeris so great that sadly, one must say, what is this for so many!
  Signed: The Poor Committee---E. Messere, Johannes Weisheimer, Johann Boehm; members of the Church Council: Georg Klein, Johannes Grasmueck, Schoolmaster A. Muth.

29.  Reinhard. Schoolmaster W. Wagner writes in his report of 2 March about the current state of emergency in the Reinhard parish, among other things, as follows: " I would like to yet mention another emergency which is also very great and that is the clothing emergency. For quite some time clothing has not been bought because it so scarce and expensive. When the great famine was upon us most traded the last of their Sunday clothes for a few pfund of Flour. Now most are in rags and tatters. They cannot buy anything because it is too expensive. The situation has become so bad that few can attend Church services because of it. One observes how some borrow clothing from friends and relatives in order to attend Church. Many children cannot attend instruction because they do not have clothes. Many of the naked were clothed thanks to the Ev. Lutheran brothers in the faith in America. In January 1923, the Reinhard parish received from the National Lutheran  Council another 6 bundles of clothing weighing 49 pud and 114 pud of food. It was an enormous help. During the distribution there were many tears shed. May God reward this act of charity! There are also many clothing items at the Post Office but the fees for them are so high that the people are unable to pick them up. Money is so scarce that one often sees farmers borrowing hot coals from their neighbors to light their fires because they do not have any money to buy matches."
--------------- The National Lutheran Council, as before, still accepts clothing for shipment and general distribution. Clothing bundles can be sent for specific villages but they must have the address clearly labeled in both English and Russian; packages within these bundles may be addressed to specific individuals but they may not be in barrels or crates. 
  You may send clothing for shipment to:

                               The National Lutheran Council
                              c/o H.D. Wagner's Warehouse
                                        31 Perry St.
                                      New York, NY

With affectionate greetings to all, your grateful representative,

                                  Charles Gloeckler
                                  National Lutheran Council
                                  437 Fifth Ave.
                                  New York, NY


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.