18 January 1934

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 18 January 1934

Page 3, "From Russia"

Jacob Schwab, RFD 3, Box 28, Brighton, Colorado, received the following letter from Russia:

Dönhof, 5 December 1933 
     Good day, dear brother Jacob Becker together with your wife Minna. Greetings from me, your brother Wilhelm Becker and my wife Eva. Greetings from our children Wilhelm and his wife with 2 children, Minna 4 years old and Irma---Heinrich and his wife Eva-Eliz., their children, Lehne 22, Jacob 18, Emma 15, Bertha 18, Minna 8, Friede 5 and Ella 2. 
     We are 15 souls now, together again since the fall and totally free, but we have suffered great loss which I cannot tell you about but which would have brought us down had your assistance of $15 not come. 
     I was housebound for 8 days, everything looked very bad, the children were too weak to play and we elders were half dead. I walk with the aid of a cane and our Jacob sometimes lays helpless, suffering from a weakness of the heart. Anna Elizabeth is ready to give birth and there is no one to help her. Eva Elizabeth works in the weaving mill for which she receives 1 pud 10 pfunden to 2 pud of coarse ground flour, Heinrich works at the Collective for which he only receives meals for himself alone. We have traded our clothing for food but didn't get very much in return. 
     Dear brother, when your help arrived we all cried, young and old, for joy. For it we obtained 5 pud 12 pfund wonderful coarse ground flour, 1 pud of millet which lasted us up until harvest. If you, dear brother, had not helped, some of my family would be resting in the graveyard, but if we don't received help once again, by spring we will no longer be living. 
     We have already searched all over around here for work and bread, but in vain, and we can't leave without permission, also in addition one must have money and anyway in winter it is impossible. 
     If we remain alive in the spring of the year we will move away to somewhere one can get work and be able to pick oneself up. Presently many people are receiving help from their friends in America. Here for the dollar one can get 1 pud 8 pfund coarse ground flour. Unfortunately we haven't received any letters from you: We ask you however to relate our situation to your friends so that they might also provide some help. You, dear brother, I cannot thank enough, because you have saved us. 
     Our Jacob works as a scribe at the M.T.S. in Huck for which he receives per month 60 bushels and 10 1/2 kilos of flour and also his mid-day meals. We have seen no bread, very few cakes, meat and lard. We receive as weavers of fabric, 19 pud potatoes and 100 cabbages for this work as well as green tomatoes. 
     Greetings to cousin Heinrich Becker, his children and daughters husbands, as well as all our friends and acquaintances. Tell them they all might want to help some. 
     It weighs heavily on me to ask for help, I would rather help others but I am forced to do so and plead unto God for help like the Psalmists: "Where are my friends, have they totally forgotten me?" 
     Perhaps this will be the last year that we have to bear such difficulty. At present we are using the stable as firewood. At aunt Annlies' everything has died out except for the pain. 
     Dear brother Jacob, our plight is sad, do not forget us and receive deepest thanks from your brother, Wilhelm Becker.


Page 3, "From Russia"

Henry Hoff, 915 E. Street, Lincoln, Nebraska, received the following letter from Russia:

Franker-Khuter, 18 December 1933

Dear brother and sister-in-law and children: 
     Be informed that we are yet alive and want to let you know that we received your letter of 18 October [1933] with great joy. 
     We see that you are still living and even if you have nothing in surplus you do not need to be hungry. 
     I think to myself that if events turn against us and we are starving that this will be nothing new to us. In the last year there were many who starved to death but this year many more. Many people are living only on roots, many don't even have that much and are forced into robbery when the hunger becomes painful. Many innocent children are so emaciated that one can see death stamped on their foreheads, and nearby are other people living well through a good harvest. If you could see our situation for only a second you would have a little idea of what our plight entails. 
     Everything that you have sent us is always received safely here. There is only agent J.J. Stroh here, so it really stings when things go missing. 
     Please send this letter on to the wife of Adolph Lebsack and greet her for me. Do not abandon us to this bitter distress, if only we received $10 every two months, then we could fight our way through, but for you this amount is too much so we ask that our friends put a little by for us or otherwise in the end we will starve to death. 
                    Live well with your children, 
                    Anna M. Löbsack


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.