Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 17 May 1923
Page 5, "From Nebraska and Russia"
We received another letter from our brother George in Norka. I am enclosing it and will also report a bit on what is happening here. I had previously sent a letter to the Tribune, which I also read, but up to now have not seen it in the paper. Because we are now also readers of the Welt-Post I thought to try my luck with you.
My brother George wanted a heavy jacket and some eyeglasses which are already on their way. I expect to receive another letter from Russia soon.
A near tragedy occurred here recently at the Henry Millers. His children were playing in the yard and had gathered a pile of papers and started a fire in order to burn them. They began joyfully jumping over the blaze when little Maria's dress caught on fire. Her mother grabbed the 7 year old Maria and held her under the well pump, pumping water over her to smother the fire, without a doubt, saving her life.
Greetings to all the readers,
Summary of the Russian letter:
George Kaiser in Norka, brother of Mr. Heinrich Kaiser above, in Hastings, Nebraska, writes on 10 February that he received a letter dated January 20, 1923. He (George) had to pay 3 million ruble for postage for this letter to America, which for him was a lot of money. All the gifts that were sent to him, he received and sends his thanks. He asks for further help, especially with clothing. The tremendous inflation that they had nightmares about and had long predicted, has broken out all over Russia and the old horse who has earned his oats will not be getting any, but those who are "fat" (well-to-do) will "float." The general assistance sent from America remains in the villages and the poor on the outskirts of the villages are not receiving any (doubtless, an exaggeration---editor). The letter writer wants to have 50 pud of food and 5 pud of clothing sent to him, with which he can buy a horse because he only has 2 and needs another. Further, he writes about a brotherhood conference which was held in Norka that was very large. Among others, Jacob Volz attended the conference. Then he closes with the words: "If one remains as industrious as an Ant, everything will work itself out," and closes with:
"Your now 56 year old brother, Georg Kaiser"
Page 5 "From Kansas and Russia"
To begin, receive my affectionate greetings dear friend and brother Lorenz:
I am sending you a letter from Russia and ask that you publish it in the Welt-Post so that our many readers from Norka will be able to hear something from the old homeland. I further inform you that things are still going well with us here and we expect to have a good harvest. As far as I know, nobody in our area is sick. We wish all Welt-Post readers good fortune in the here and now and blessedness once in eternity.
Your friend, Johannes Schnell
The Russian Letter:
Norka, 4 March
Dear brother Johannes, wife and children:
We received with joy your letter of the 1st of January of this year. Most of our letters have gone to the wrong place. We only tell you this because if we had not received the letter you could have thought that we did not care to write. Since then, we now see that sister Katrinliess is still living and has also demonstrated her love for us. We here send our most affectionate thanks and a "God will repay" to her.
Now we also want you to know that we are all living together here. The oldest sister Margarete, then Elisabeth, who was married to Rotermel but has been widowed for a long time; then the youngest sister Katharina and sister's daughter Maria Traut. We 4 are together as a family. Farming is now done in this manner: the land here is now divided into groups. We got our 4 "Dusch" (portions, plots of land) 12 Versts (about 8 miles) from the village. Last summer 2 of us lived at home and 2 lived on the group. We had no livestock so we had to give half of the land to someone else to work but we helped with all the work on the entire farm. It was hard for us because we were not used to it but it was the only way we could get our bread. Thank God for blessing what little we could sow so that we can now live until the new harvest. It certainly is not the same as we remember in former times. Keeping warm was often a problem. Everything we could spare we gave up for wood and nut shells and we often endured daytime temperatures of 7 or 8 degrees and slept in temperatures of 4 to 5 degrees. Thus we were all very oppressed by the cold and often wished deep in our hearts we could go home where it is so much better (meaning they wished to die). But if the dear Lord wants us to survive then we must keep the will to live and wait patiently until He strikes the hour (meaning until God calls them home).
Now we will reply to your request for a report about the brotherhood. A great many of the older brethren have gone home (died), many of the younger brethren also fell prey to Typhoid Fever which prevailed so strongly here last year. Our number has grown smaller and many will return no more. Up until the new year we here could say as you have; that things could be better. The the dear Lord granted us grace so that a New Year's Conference could be held here. Many more came from a distance than ever before and the crush of locals was so great that there was not enough seating in the schoolhouse for them all and then too, the Lord granted us mild weather so that the church building could be used and even this was filled to the last seat. The Lord granted us grace and richly blessed us with an arousal that has grown powerfully and spread throughout the entire Volga region. Afterward there was yet another Conference in Beideck and another in Frank. The brethren returned from the latter so blessed that our entire "Versammlung" (prayer meeting) swam in tears of repentence. There was such crying and praying, up to four people at one time, that one was strongly affected and it brought to mind the words of the Savior: If He opens a door, then no man can close it. Yes, by the grace of God our downtrodden spirits have been refreshed. We proclaim to everyone we meet: Take advantage of your blessings today, grace has its limits and its time and will not flow forever but only for a short time and blessed are those brothers and sisters who earnestly make use of it and fortunate are those who could be saved through Jesus, the Savior, who so urgently calls: "Come unto me all you who are troubled and in pain, I will refresh you." The Conference texts were: 2nd Peter, Chap. 3, verses 3-14; Isaiah, Chap. 52; Joel, Chap. 2, verses 15-18 and many others. Since none of us were there we do not know all of the texts, only those which the brethren who were there talked about. One had to seek them out and press them (for information), and this last time we received a large amount from 3 of the brethren who agreed to talk to us about it, reminding us of Psalm 68, 12; we ask that you read it. Also we hear of wondrous dreams and are reminded of Joel, Chap. 3, verse 1. It is our heartfelt wish that our letter be a blessing and that it moves you to plead unto the Lord that He also pours the rain of the Spirit upon you so that we may be strengthened and withstand the periods of temptation which are to come. Greatness stands before us and judgment will begin at the house of the Lord. You too, dear ones, will meet it because the entire earth will experience it. Therefore let our motto be: Remain with Jesus through joy and sorrow until the blessed Resurrection.
Affectionate greetings to you, your dear wife and children as well as sister Katrinlies, from all the Weber siblings.
This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.