18 January 1923

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 18 January 1923

Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

Frank, 5 November [1922] 
To: C. Bernhardt 
      Fort Morgan, Colorado

Dear brother-in-law, sister and your children: 
     This will serve to inform you that we are still well. With great joy we further inform you that we safely received the packet of clothing, for which we thank you many times because we cannot repay you for the love you have shown us. We distributed the clothing as we thought best. We also gave out the furs. We cannot tell you how necessary these things were. Briefly said: everything that we still had was in tatters. Thus the things came at just the right time. 
     There is nothing new to tell you except that our son Friedrich got married. We invited you to the wedding. We still have not received one packet, however the Pastor is looking into it. About your question about how things are going with my brother Heinrich, I must answer that he is very poor. One cannot write about everything, as you probably know. 
     Now do not forget us in the future, here in this land of great emergency and be again affectionately greeted by your brother-in-law and sister,

                    Georg and Katrinmargret Hardung


Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

Johannestal, Cherson Region 
3 November 1922

To: Pastor J.E. Schatz, Hallem, Nebraska

Dear nephew Jacob and your wife Maria: 
     We received your letter with great pleasure, we were especially pleased with your photograph because we can see how you look now. You, Jacob, are very much changed. In the picture I have of you as a child you are definitely a Schatz, but in the new picture that you sent, you look like one of the Herrings, your grandmother's family. 
     When we received your letter we could not hold back our tears of gratitude for your help. We thought back on the great emergency in the spring where for a long time we had only herbs from the fields to nourish us. About all that, we must say that the Lord miraculously brought us through; it is indeed true that it is by God's grace, that despite the tremendous emergency, we are still alive. When the emergency had risen its highest the situation was such that nobody was able to help anyone else. Doors were kept locked both day and night because if anyone had some little commodity remaining, the starving simply forced their way in and seized the things. 
     "Ach!" and many were the people who starved. - During the worst time the lower classes nourished themselves only with dog and cat meat. We need not have gone through this famine had we been left in peace, because in 1920 we had a wonderful harvest but were unable to sell anything; late in the year the Bolsheviks took everything from us. I still had 2,000 pud of grain which they took and didn't even give me a penny for it. Thus I had no seed left to sow for the year 1921. Then there was the harvest failure and the famine began. Not only did they take the grain but also horses, livestock and farming equipment were taken from me. Some people had as many as 12 horses at one time driven away from their farms, the same with beef cattle. If anyone resisted they were arrested and locked up in prison. Once there they did not soon get out again. 
     They had left me 4 horses and 2 cows but had taken all the fodder and there was not enough for the poor livestock over the winter. When spring came I was sick with typhoid fever and when I had again recovered, I had nothing more left. Fortunately, I had sown 2 desyatin of winter wheat which yielded 80 pud. If you think things were bad in Germany, they were even worse here. But as the emergency rose its highest, assistance was near at hand. Thank God for that. 
     Now we want to close and affectionately greet you all. Write us again soon.

               With best wishes I remain, your uncle, 
                    Heinrich B. Schatz


Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

Messer, 13 November [1922]

Much beloved cousin Friedrich: 
     I, your cousin, daughter of your uncle Christoph (Stoffel) Lorenz, am in need of your help. Everyone has already received something, only I, a poor widow with 17 souls in my family, remain forgotten. My youngest are twin 10-year-old daughters. If it is possible, send me whatever help you can. We have little bread and with clothing it is the same and I and my family are nearly naked. 
     I hope for a speedy reply and that you do not reject my plea. My house number is 187. 
     With affectionate greetings, your cousin, 
                    Widow of Peter Weibert, born Kath. Margretha Lorenz

Remarks about the above letter: 
     The Weibert family, 25 or 30 years ago, lived in the great state of New York where Mr. Weibert worked during the day in a sugar factory and evenings as a cobbler. In a few years he amassed a nice little bundle of money and returned to Russia. It now appears that since then the father of the family has died and the situation of the mother with children and grandchildren is one of misery and suffering - Editor.

[Translator's note: The "Editor" making the above remarks is Friedrich Lorenz, the selfsame Friedrich to whom the letter is addressed.]


Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

22 November 1922

Beloved brother in Christ Friedrich Lorenz: 
     It has been brought to my attention that you have extended a helping hand to many friends here and I myself was wiped out economically during the Revolution and thus I am writing to you today. Since being selected as our village "Vorsitzender" [chairman, mayor] I have learned much, in my official capacity, about your activities. It occurs to me that you and I were long-time comrades when we were small boys until you and your parents left for America in May of 1876. 
     If you do not remember, then ask your older brothers and sisters about those times. You may not know it, but you and I were baptized with the same water. When your brother Johannes was visiting here 20 years ago, we spent a lot of time together and talked a great deal about you. Since I have learned of your acts of love in sending 7 bundles of clothing to Messer, I wanted to ask you if it is possible for you to also extend your hand to me, since we are brothers in spirit. I also ask you to send some of your writing and treatises (essays) because I am a lover of Christian writings; and I would like to be more closely associated with you. I ask that you write at once. I ask with all sincerity and great respect and remain your faithful fellow pilgrim on the road to Zion. 
                    Franz Lang, known locally as the Mauders Fränzchen


Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

From a descendant of Johann Heinrich Bäcker and wife Anna Maria née Weber (S'Lena) 
1 November 1922 
To: F.A. Lorenz, Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear Uncle F.A. 
     We begin in the name of the triune God. Amen 
     In our letter we wish to let you know, dear uncle, that we are all still wonderfully healthy, praise God. Further we want you to know that we received the gifts with great joy, they were as follows: 2 "Sommergers" (??), 2 "Benschak" [??], 1 waistcoat, 6 pair of shoes, 4 caps, 18 arschin [1 arschin = 28 inches] of white "Bäss" [??], 11 arschin of flannel, 13 arschin of "wurfliches" [??] gingham, 8 arschin of linen, 7 arschin of black satin, the green kit in which was packed 45 pair of socks, 3 shirts, 10 pieces of soap, buttons, thread and needles and other small things. 
     Dear uncle; for all this we want to heartily thank you because everything was very necessary, but sadly I received very little of it. There are 2 daughters of our grandfather who are not impoverished. The are very quarrelsome, one has a large farm and once again has sown a large amount while I have only 1 cow and have sown absolutely nothing because I have no seed to do so. My family consists of 9 souls. I am the only provider for the family and I get 50 million rubels per month, but what is that for such a large family, it gets about 5 pud of flour or less. My oldest sister is 16 years old and the other children are still little. My mother, Annakatrina Becker is always sick, her illness is brought on by grief over the painful loss of our father. 
     Our father Heinrich Franz Becker was taken into the military and never got to see his home again, he left behind 7 children, of which, I, Alexander am the eldest. I was 18 years old at the time. That was not all we had to bear; we were hit by a fire and I, as the young head of the household, had to gather my orphaned brothers and sisters in my arms and make a run for it, and with my now empty hands, save our lives. You can imagine, dear uncle F.A., how sad it was. In the 6 years since my father's death, I have come through very many emergencies. One has to take comfort in the words: What God does is done for good reason. Everything is according to His plan. Because he gives us a heavy burden, He also helps us to carry it. 
     Dear uncle; Our grandparents Heinrich and Annamaria Bäcker are long dead. We thank you again for your loving assistance and at the same time ask that you not close your heart to us in the future. But send everyone their portion separately so that there is no unpleasantness caused by its distribution. With this shipment I gave way because quarreling is not in my nature. 
     Now I will close this writing with affectionate greetings to you all. Live well until we meet happily meet again, if not on this earth, then perhaps in heaven. 
                    Alexander M. Becker

Remarks [from the Editor]: Judging by his handwriting, this young Becker must have had a good education. Judging by his wages he must be an office worker of some kind. Judging by the envelope of his letter, at one time he must have been in the employ of the rich Schmidts, because it says in the right hand corner "Trade and Industrial Society, Brothers Schmidt, Saratov, Ust-Solicha [Messer] Department." 
     The grandmother of the writer, Annamaria Becker, née Weber, was a sister to the mother of this Welt-Postman.

[Translator's note: That "Welt-Postman" was Friedrich A. Lorenz, Die Welt-Post Editor.]


Page 2, "Letters from Russia"

1 November 1922

Dear cousin F. Lorenz: 
     I come to you in spirit to greet you with these pair of lines with which I wish for God to comfort you and for the Lord Jesus to support you. Amen. Further, we inform you that we are still healthy, which we also wish for you and your family. 
     We received a little packet of food, how much I do not know, because the distribution was not done in an equitable manner. We, the recipients of your friendship, are 3 siblings and the family of a brother. 
     Now we have received a package of clothing from you, for which we thank you very much because the love you have shown us after so many years of separation shows that wherever the fire of love burns it reaches across the waters, across countries and will not be extinguished until it has accomplished its task. This gift to us makes us indescribably happy. But should you want to help us further, send each their share to them so that no quarreling and disagreements develop. Our brother's son thought that because the things were addressed to Heinrich Becker and his name is also Heinrich Becker, that the things were all his. 
     Our father, Johann Heinrich Becker has been dead for 30 years and our mother, your aunt Annamaria Becker, née Weber, the sister of your mother, has been dead for 15 years; they now rest with God. I, your cousin Amalia Fischer, née Becker, am sending you this letter. My wish is that you may send each their things thereby there will be no unpleasantness. My husband's name is Heinrich Fischer and our house number is 465. 
     I greet you and your family with the deep affection of kinship. 
                    your cousin, Amalia Fischer

Remarks [from the Editor]: The little packet of food mentioned above, which may have meant a Food Draft, was not sent by me, but perhaps may have been written on another relative's account; possibly my brother Heinrich Peter in Hillsboro, Kansas. - F. A. L.


(unnumbered page), "From Berg and Wiesenseite"

The National Lutheran Council received the following letters of thanks from the Berg and Wiesenseite for the aid they received.

From the Bergseite:

Two Deaconesses (Nurses) from Beideck wrote in July: Our heartfelt thanks for the packet that we again received from your welfare service. We have fortunately withstood the terrible famine with your support which would have otherwise hardly been possible. The two of us are now looking for positions where we can also be of help. 
                    E. Ries; G. Gruenewald

The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran community of Kraft, Parish of Stephan, sends the National Lutheran Council heartfelt thanks in the name of all our brothers in faith for your friendly donations of loving gifts. 
                    Church Council members:
                         Fr. Groh, 
                         H. Siegwart, 
                         G. Geist 
                         P. Schmidt 
                         G. Huber 
                         H. Ruppel 
                         P. Meier 
                         Reinhardt Siegwart

Shcherbakovka, 6 June 1922 
     The Church Council, speaking in the name of the above mentioned community, sends their deepest and warmest thanks to the National Lutheran Council for remembering us during this terribly difficult famine and for the friendship of our fellow American believers who freely donated for our strengthening and the alleviation of our emergency with their loving gifts of food. We say a heartfelt "Vergelt's Gott!" 
                    Church Council members: 
                         Dan. Reissig 
                         Schoolmaster Karl Fritzler

From Old Messer, P. Eduard Eichhorn writes: 
     It is my pleasure to have the honor to inform the National Lutheran Council that I have received another 112 packets through P. Ernst for my parish. I have had these gifts of love distributed to the poorest of our population and the elderly and the sick. These warmly thank the Lutheran Council for the great trouble you have gone to and the work you have done to feed the hungry and forlorn and give them new courage. We can again attend church and take communion and also give thought to our religious and moral being because we had come to a point where we were no longer able to think or pray. We know not what the future will bring. The outlook for the harvest is far from satisfying, little was sown and therefore little can be brought home. We place our last hopes on your further assistance through the Council and with God and we are very grateful to you Americans for the good deeds you have shown us with patience and humility and we will carry them with us until the end when we stand before the conquering crown.

P. Arthur Kluck in Frank writes on 5 August 1922:

To: the representative of the National Lutheran Council, Saratov
     Enclosed I send the the accounting of products distributed for the month of July for 3 villages: FrankHussenbach, and Kolb. The other villages made the distribution later. The lists will follow. The distribution lists are still pending. "D. U." (the undersigned?) 
     We send our heartfelt thanks to all our benefactors and our desire for their blessing. May the National Lutheran Council extend its blessings even wider in the world as it has done here up to now. --- Helping to build the Kingdom of God and increase the honor of the Lord. Ever forward -- even if a thousand obstacles are placed in its path by a certain party that has caused much distrust of the church and its servants. Just today one handed me a paper, the contents of which say that at meetings of the church community only questions of a religious nature may be discussed and permission must be obtained for such meetings 3 days in advance, the program submitted and approved. 
     How many obstacle there are also to the relief work. How much it is met with hostility. 
     The harvest here is a moderate one. Thank God, we can help ourselves get by.

A second writing from P. Kluck:

Frank, 11 September 1922 
     I herewith forward to the honorable Council the last accounting of the products distributed. (This accounting is also not complete). "D. U." (the undersigned?) 
     In the name of the recipients I say a thousand thanks. Special joy was brought to the widely scattered victims of hunger (in the Don region). I visited the widely scattered communities from the 30th of August to the 7th of September. There remains true hunger for the Word of God and for the Sacraments there and we need faithful communities because serious challenges are breaking over our dear Evangelical Lutheran Church here. 
     Pray for us. 
                    In heartfelt gratitude, P. A. Kluck


Unnumbered Page

P. Seib, writing on September 4th, sends thanks in the name of the elderly, the weak and the sick of his community in the city of Saratov
     Heartfelt thanks for the 25 ten dollar packets in September 1922, from your account with the A.R.A. 
     The emergency in the cities has not gotten any smaller compared to last year but has remained just as acute because of rising unemployment, therefore we, particularly those of us in the cities, need to receive more aid from our fellow believers in America. The population in the countryside is safe from starving to death, at least until Christmas, because of the meager harvest, of which we (in the cities) received not only nothing but have even lost our ability to earn (a living). We wholeheartedly thank all the donors there and praise the Lord God, but we add to our thanks the plea not to leave us in the coming difficult year, but to help us until our time of troubles has ended.

The following writing comes from the Colony of Kolb:

Dear brothers in faith: 
     We have already thanked you often for the immeasurable love you have shown and continue to show us. You have accomplished miracles. You have again given millions of people, who had already lost all hope of continued existence because of the great emergency, new strength and fresh courage to continue living. Everyone large and small, old and young, speak in awe of the country from which assistance comes to us. The children of our children will still praise your name and thank you after a hundred years.. 
          In the name of the entire community of Kolb
               Chairman Vogel 
               Secretary Rusch 
               19 July 1922


Unnumbered Page, "From the Wiesenseite of the Volga"

The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran community of Blumenfeld, Gnadentau Parish, had the following to report: 
     The 10th of July of this year was a happy day for the communities of the Gnadentau Parish. The representatives of the Church Council were informed by Provost Kostsiol that they should themselves appear in the early morning with carts at the train station in Gmelinskaja in order to take receipt of food packets for the elderly, the sick and most in need, from the authorized representative of the Council, Mr. G. Beschorner. With a certain joy we approached the train which had brought Mr. Beschorner and the precious gifts. We expected to see him step down from one of the handsome rail cars but instead he stepped down from a plain car, the same one that was used to bring his gifts and packets to us. Along with the church packets he also brought a great number of private packets from Saratov in order to spare the poor populace the difficult and expensive journey (to pick them up). He also happily took care of all the paper work in a friendly manner until everyone had received what was theirs. For all this trouble he was satisfied to receive a "thank you." We also say to him as well as the Lutheran Council, for all there difficult efforts, our warmest thanks. Mr. Beschorner also drove with us right away to Blumenfeld, and further to Morgentau and Strassburg in order to inspect the Kitchens which have been supplied by the Council since March. 
     After two days the packets were distributed among the elderly, sick and distressed and were received with joyful thanks. 
     The famine will be overcome by most because the harvest is upon us, but whether overcome by all, only God knows! The wonderful prospects (for a good harvest) were clouded because the great heat and absence of rain for a long period, caused great stress upon the grain. Much was also carried off by ground squirrels ["Zieselmäusen" - gophers? - Translator]. We did everything within our power to exterminate them but there were too many. We hope for the best in the future and for His reign, which has helped us up to now, to continue. 
          Church Council members: 
               Heinrich Spät 
               Heinrich Räb 
               Heinrich Niedens 
               Jacob Miessner 
               Sexton G. Abig 
               23 July 1922

     The Church Council certifies, with cordial thanks, that it received 70 pud of products from Mr. Beschorner for the elderly, the poor and the sick of the village which were distributed to the same. Each and every recipient say their thanks not only to the National Lutheran Council, but also to its workers and the benefactors who donated the gifts. The Church Council asks that you give these words of thanks to the press so that the donors will also know that the Lutheran Council, along with all their co-workers, have truly fulfilled their self-imposed duty to the satisfaction of the local populace. 
          Chairman: Felde 
               Ad. Ott 
          Secretary: Müller 
               1 October 1922


Unnumbered Page

     Resolution of the Community Assembly; 60 members present. 
     Since the first of March of this year the National Lutheran Council undertook the free feeding of 15,000 children in German communities, also supplying the children of our community, thus snatching them from the claws of hunger. We therefore say our heartfelt thanks to the National Lutheran Council as well as all fellow believers who had a part in this relief work. We will never forget the assistance of our fellow believers and will remember them all the days of our lives with grateful hearts. 
          Chairman of the Assembly: Miller 
          Secretary: A. Renzel (Kenzel?) 
          9 July 1922


     The Church Council hereby confirms that it received 5 1/2 shipments of food for April, May, June and July of this year from the National Lutheran Council for the elderly, weak and sick of the community of Enders
     In the name of the community and all those who were supported, the Church Council expresses its deepest thanks to all the donors as well as Dr. Ernst and each and everyone involved with the food products, and we ask that this letter of thanks be published in the American papers; May God richly bless you for your love. 
          Pastor Rothermel 
          Schoolmaster: A. Muhl 
          Chairman of the Church Council: Ch. Schneider 
          Church Council members: Heinrich Schneider, Joh. Rusch 
          20 June 1922


Valued and loved fellow brothers and sisters: 
     We wholeheartedly thank you for the aid you have given us here, as well as to all the Germans in the Volga region. We thank you for all your gifts of love, for all the daily bread we have received which so richly refreshed us, saving many from death and quieting our hunger and grief and by which we were again renewed with the courage to live, which was no longer to be found among us. May the Lord promote and bless your handiwork. 
          Chairman of the Church Council: Adam Ott 
          Community members: 
               Emilie Ott 
               M. Ott 
               K. Ott 
               M. Ott 
               Alexander Martin 
               Julius Urbach 
          15 July 1922


Unnumbered Page


A thank-you from the Community 
     As we reported in an earlier letter, the emergency was very great among us here. In the fall of last year people still had a little something to eat but during the winter many children had nothing more and suffered greatly in the emergency. Yes, the emergency became so great that people were dying from hunger. They hoped for help but time kept passing until a Kitchen was opened that helped many. In the Kitchens the children were given one meal a day along with wheat bread. The children receive their meal with great eagerness and joy and are deeply grateful for it. The adults are also thankful, we receive monthly from the National Lutheran Council, 12 packets, 36 pud, which is of great help to us. The adults come with great joy for their portions when the packets arrive. I too, along with my family, look forward to these packets and we are deeply grateful for them. At present the emergency is no longer so great but nevertheless the poor people are still very much in need of assistance. 
     We say to you all, "God will repay it." 
               Schoolmaster Ph. Gauerhof 
               17 July 1922

     The report of the Distribution Committee says that the lists, letters of thanks and completed report of the community authorities has been submitted. (The documents mentioned have not yet been received in New York). Concerning the present state of difficulties here, God be praised and thanked that we have gotten through the most difficult period. We are in the middle of the harvest and the Lord God has richly blessed our planting. That we were able to come this far and survive until the harvest, we owe thanks above all, next to God, to the plentiful assistance from America. 
     At present there are still those community members who emigrated last year and used up everything they had on the journey and have now returned impoverished and are in a great state of distress. As for me and my household, the aid from the National Lutheran Council, frankly, was life-saving because the community in its great state of distress was unable to meet its obligation to support their Pastor. 
     May the Lord bless you and other communities for the great laborious work you do for His Kingdom. 
               Pastor Chr. Hörschelmann 
               17 July 1922


Unnumbered Page

Community of Schöntal
     From this community a detailed report was made available about the emergence of the famine but cannot be published here because of its wording. Conditions must have been most terrible for a long time. 
     It reads thus: that the inhabitants had lost all hope of rescue and had resigned themselves to a death from starvation. They knew that if the Lord did not send assistance by way of a miracle that by the spring of 1922 they would no longer be among the living: 
     "because on many days 10 and more corpses were being buried that had literally starved to death. But we should have known better because while most despaired of any assistance, lost courage and dully gave themselves up to their inevitable fate, God had already been providing for us by arousing the hearts of a noble people across the great ocean to do remarkable acts of brotherly love. We can only look on worship-fully and in awe at the wondrous ways of the Lord who guided the hearts of men like the waters of a brook. The representative of the National Lutheran Council strove untiringly to ensure there was no interruption of the supply work and everyone received their allotted portions in due course."

          The local committee of Schöntal
          Chairman of the Committee: Kromm 
          Chairman of the Village Council: Kromm 
          Chairman of the Committee for Mutual Assistance: Conrad Fuchs 
          Inspector: Ph. Knack 
          Secretary: Wagner 
          26 July 1922

     The desperate situation of our brethren at the Volga is a little bit better because of the small gifts of food for the elderly, sick, weak and unemployed people, for the widows and many orphans, that have reached there. But the emergency is by no means past. With the increasingly cold weather it will arise anew. A weak, emaciated body, badly swollen from hunger cannot perform any work, nor can it resist the cold weather. The people remain alive but that's about all. 
     And with that we would content ourselves, is that not so? It gives us a feeling of contentment, we can sing and be merry and sleep safe and snug, how? When over there our brothers are hungry and freezing and suffering the most bitter shortages. Impoverished, emaciated shapes, naked, barefoot children, crying mothers, worried and full suffering fathers, old men and old women looking to God for release. 
     I see coffins and graves over there at the Volga that need not be there if we put our strength into rescue work and sending aid. Again and again it must be pointed out that the National Lutheran Council in New York, can not only promptly secure Food and Clothing Drafts for individuals but is also prepared to send food to designated colonies in the value of amounts of money donated and also to arrange, at little cost, the shipment of both new and used clothing to the colonies. 
     Then do not forget the 15,000 children on the Wiesenseite for whom the National Lutheran Council established Food Kitchens. The monthly cost for one child is $2, a small cost, but when totaled, amounts to $30,000 per month which we have to come up with. These are the children of our brothers in faith and in kinship that the National Lutheran Council is pleading for. We dare not forget these nor the needy adults. 
     One can send gifts of love for the general relief work of the Council at the Volga to:

               The National Lutheran Council 
               437 Fifth St., New York City

     For clothing bundles, send to:

               The National Lutheran Council 
               c/o H.D. Wagners Warehouse 
               31 Perry St., New York City

     Detailed information can be obtained from the undersigned,

               The National Lutheran Council 
               Relief Committee for Russia 
               Rev. L. Hopp, Chairman, 
               Hastings, Nebraska

        L. Hopp


Unnumbered Page, "A Dönhofer Reports from a Refugee Camp in Germany"

Refugee Camp Frankfurt a. Oder, Germany 
11 December 1922

Esteemed Editor: 
     I ask you to please put the following report in the Welt-Post.

Dear Countrymen in the U.S.A.: 
     It has been some time now since I sent my last report about the conditions of the Volga Germans in the camps in this country, etc. I am now able to send you another report, and it is that very soon you will be able to welcome your friends and relations in the monthly magazines of the Volga Germans. 
     It was the cold winter evening of Saturday the 9th of this month when at 11:30 p.m. at night a transport of our Volga German refugee brethren, who had been helplessly wandering around the borders of Russia and Poland, and through the help of the relief work of the Association of Volga Germans in Berlin, as well as the help of the Red Cross with its Mission in Posen, they were gathered up and now brought to their old German motherland. We former Volga German brethren, already present here, welcomed them to the camp with great joy. 
     It was a transport of something over 1,000 persons from all the Volga Colonies. Among them were 135 poor orphan children whose situation was one of even greater misery and distress of those mentioned above, helplessly wandering the Russian border. The welfare organization and the Association of Volga Germans and the Red Cross Mission in Posen could but pity them. In particular the nurse at Posen and Pastor Kammel, as well as the doctors there had much trouble and work and endured many sleepless nights until they succeeded in rescuing the homeless, parent-less and wandering children and brethren, and could bring them to the motherland. May God bless and repay these rescuers for their work of love. 
     Dear countrymen: You can see how great the emergency is and was, and it remains just as great! There must also be assistance sent here because it is not as if everything is taken care of when the refugees settle here. Most were naked and uncovered. The clothes they have on are nothing but strips of rags and they have no means (money) with which to carry on life. Therefore also provide assistance for their emergency. Each one of you countrymen can imagine that the life of your compatriots is not very good here in the dreary, cold barracks of the refugee camp. In Minsk and Polotsk the situation of the Volga Germans is terrible! And yet they keep streaming in from their far off homeland to escape from the misery filled life at the Volga. But as Minsk and other cities at Russia's border most fall victim to hunger and various epidemic diseases until some manage to succeed in crossing the border. Thousands of our countrymen rest in the earth in Minsk and the surrounding area. The Grim Reaper is there and remains nearby. 
     Dear countrymen who have not seen the situation and misery of our compatriots in Russia, what they had to endure and still must, how they are helpless and starving to death; if you cannot sympathize or do not believe the situation is as described, do not think, dear countrymen in America, that the reports and descriptions of the conditions of the starving Volga Germans is a joke just because there is still very little being reported. No human can relate the contemporary history of our emergency in words that are adequate to describe it the way it is in reality. 
     I ask you to take this report to heart and help your countrymen. Where does the welfare support come from that we receive? If we do not donate, then _______. Think about it, dear countrymen, as I continue on talking. All of your donations, whether large or small, are received and put to the best possible use, and we say our cordial thanks to all who donate and do aid work, and "Vergelt's Gott" (God will repay you). 
     With the wish that God be with you, my best greetings, your countryman, 
               Immanuel Schäfer 
               from Old Dönhof, in Saratov 
               presently in Germany in 
               Heimkehrlager Frankfurt a. Oder 
               Baracke 41, Eingang 8


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.