20 April 1922

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 20 April 1922

Page 6

Kutter, 3 February 1922 
(this is the second letter I have written to you)

Esteemed Mrs. Repp: 

My most cordial greetings to you and to my friends from Kutter in America, and in the name of our Commission and our community, I send heartfelt thanks for what you are doing for us. The children have been saved but the adults, to our great disappointment, are still dying. I sent the entire death register from June on to my compatriots at the Welt-Post

Mrs. Rüger from Alexander is not yet in Kutter.

Greetings, a member of the American Commission, 

Page Unknown, "Letter from Russia"

Frank, 19 January 1922

Dear Brother-in-law David and Sister-in-law Katherine and your children: 
We received your letter of 8 October 1921, addressed to us, on December 15, with great joy and shared everything as best we could with everyone.

You will be surprised that I did not answer your letter immediately. The reason was the following: I did not want to write until the American Kitchens were established here in Frank, because in the villages closer to the Volga, where there was no harvest, the American Kitchens have been in existence, as far as I know, from the month of November on. With us here in Frankthey made a list of the children under 15 years so that they might be fed once a day and for a long time there has been a committee formed, which should receive the products and also make the list of children who will be fed, because all of the children listed in Frank will not be fed, only 600 of them, but up to now sadly, nothing has been established. We have 6 children all under 15 years, of which 2 will supposedly be accepted into the Kitchens.

To have a number of children is wonderful, but in these inflationary times one has much trouble and work to adequately feed them because everything is so expensive that few are capable of buying much of anything. Flour and millet cost up to 1 million rubels to the pud, potatoes cost up to 200,000 the pud, meat up to 800,000 the pud and so it is with the price of everything, and with each day one can say everything becomes more expensive.

Up to now I have worked in a business office and my salary the last time was 559,000 rubels for the month, thus one cannot even buy a pud of flour with a month's salary. The fruit of the harvest here with us was totally weak, only potatoes and carrots were adequately produced. We had nothing to sow and lived, so to say, only on potatoes and pumpkins. Earlier we would not have believed that we could be struck down this way.

We live in our own home, which belonged to my father. Brother-in-law Kaspar received your letter of 24 July just recently and your letter of 25 September, we have not yet received. Brother-in-law Kaspar and his family so far are wonderfully healthy and send you all right hearty greetings: he will write to you tomorrow.

From the poor food and from hunger, many people are sick with diseases, here in Frank each day from 3 to 5 people are buried. And in the villages nearer the Volga more than 20 are buried each day. At present most are dying of typhoid fever and also many from starvation. This past summer many also died of cholera. So we are all still wonderfully healthy and wish you all also the best of health.

At present a great many people are leaving here to go to America, but as we hear it, the border is not open.

Brother-in-law Jacob Wacker was also here before Christmas and he told us that Anna Margaretha and their children were also wonderfully healthy.

Johannes and his family are also wonderfully healthy: he lives in Hussenbach

With greetings, we remain: Heinrich and M. Barbara Eisenach, together with our children.


Page 7, "Messer"

The following letter was given over to us by Mr. Jacob Rady in Portland and comes from his brother in Messer, Russia:

There are now 3 Kitchens in Messer. That is truly fortunate for the chldren of Messer, for otherwise they would all already have starved to death. Thank God: When the emergency was greatest---God, with his aid was nearby. The American Kitchens saved us. We, the American Committee, have composed a thankyou song which follows here:

Melody: What God does, that is...

Der Hunger ist so hoch gestiegen, 
Dass man ihm kaum abhalten kann, 
Amerika hat sich erbarmet 
Und ausgedacht den besten Plan - 
Den Mr. Rep uns zugesandt, 
Dass er uns reicht die liebe Hand.

Die Häuser liegen ganz in Trümmer, 
Die Welt soll unser Wohnung sein: 
Gott selber weinet in dem Himmel, 
Dass wir so arme Sünder sein, 
Amerika nimm hin den Dank 
Und auch den schönen Lobgesang.

Die Kinder freuen sich von Herzen, 
Dass Bruder Repp gekommen ist, 
Den Hunger ganz auf sich genommen, 
Gelobet sei Herr Jesu Christ. 
Denn Brüder, alle insgemein, 
Wollen wir von Herzen dankbar sein.

Der Vater droben in dem Himmel, 
Der gebe euch den rechten Lohn; 
Ihr Brüder in die weiten Ferne, 
Scheut nicht der Schmach und grossen Lohn.

Wir wollen immer dankbar sein 
Und geben Gott die Ehr' allein!


Page 7, "Excerpts of Russian Letters"

Johannes Kammerzell writes from Frank on December 25, to his brother Georg Kammerzell in (obscured) that he and his family are well but are suffering greatly from the emergency because they have no bread. They have been eating seed cakes and horse meat for food which is now all gone.

The have no horse, no cow, no chicken and no dog left on the farmstead, only emaciated people and if no help arrives from America, they will starve to death.

His family consists of himself, his wife and 4 children; the latter in age from 2 to 17.

He reports further that their brother-in-law Georg Hofferber (Hanlert) and their sister Katrinlies have died. Now Jakob is alone and turns to his brother in America for help.

The letter writer is Conrad Wacker (Lembert), whose brother Johannes has also died and he turns to his brother Adam in America for help, without which, they must all starve.


Page 7, "Excerpts of Russian Letters"

Johann Georg Brehm, in Norka, wrote at the beginning of January to Mr. Wm. Nolde, in Lincoln and complained to him about his difficulties and earnestly requested him to help. He has a wife and 5 children but the entire family he supports consists of 13 people. They were in good health but they had no bread and no seed. They had ((obscured)) oxen, 5 horses, 1 cow and 9 sheep. He writes that much assistance has been promised but that very little has arrived. In one of the letters written to him by Nolde, Nolde promised to assist him and they are longingly waiting for the arrival of the assistance. 

He refers to the American Commission through which many people have been helped and promises to kiss his uncle's feet if he is rescued from the emergency and can once again eat his fill; and will gladly work to pay back everything to the last dollar.


Page 7, "Excerpts of Russian Letters"

Jacob Hinkel in Kutter writes to the editor as follows:

Esteemed Mr. Lorenz:

Please send the enclosed letter to Pastor Hagelganz in Portland, Oregon, and greet everyone for me through Die Welt-Post and send them my warmest thanks for thinking of me personally.

In this new year many people have starved to death. I always think that you won't believe how great the famine is here. There are no children dying but the grown-ups receive nothing! Mr. Repp has stated that the adults will also yet be fed, but until that time comes the number of inhabitants in Kutter will dwindle.

On the Wiesenseite (so I'm told), the flesh of the dead is being cut off and cooked. It makes one shudder to think what hunger will make one do. Roots and herbs were already being eaten in large quantity last summer, but who would have thought that it would come down to cannibalism. The government has also established a Kitchen here now, in which however, only 250 souls are fed. We are waiting for Prof. Morehead, when he comes I will write to you about it.

Heinrich Reifschneider in Alamota, Kansas, should allow his wife come (to America) ((should immediately send "Food Drafts"--editor)), because there is no more horse meat to be had. I cannot understand you, Heinrich, have you no more heart for your wife?!

        Yours, Jacob Hinkel


Page 7, "Excerpts of Russian Letters"

Walter, January 30, 1922 
To: Jacob Albert, Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear Son:

I can tell you and the other boys that I, thank God, am still wonderfully healthy, which I also wish for you.

On July 27th of last year your father died and so I and Scharlotte are all alone and left to our fate. You will have heard of the great emergency in Russia. Those with adult males at home are able to persevere but what is there for women in these difficult times where orphans and widows are not looked after and everyone looks out for themselves!

The harvest failures and heavy taxation have brought down even the large land holders, many more individuals stand alone and have no income. And it is no comfort to us that we have had no news of you for 4 years. You perhaps have also written but the letters have not reached us. Here the entire country was in a state of war and the Postal Service was badly disrupted: everything was brought on by the Revolution.

It was announced to the community that everyone who had relatives in America should write for assistance. The safest way to send assistance is through the American Relief Administration, 42 Broadway, New York. You probably know of this. If there is anyone around here in need of assistance, it is us.

We will close now, you are all cordially greeted, namely Jacob, Heinrich, Christian and your families, from me, your mother and "abartig" [terrible??] from Scharlotte.

Our house number is 148.


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.