22 December 1921

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 22 December 1921

Page 5, "From Brunnental, Russia"

Brunnental, 17 October 1921 
To: Johannes Weber, Windsor, Colorado

Dear Brother Johannes, wife and children so very far away:

Receive a thousand greetings and be kissed in spirit by us and receive the news that we are still well and wish the same for you.

Your letter, written to our dear mother arrived, but sadly too late to gladden the heart of our mother, for she is no longer in the land of the living. She met her inevitable death and was reunited with her ancestors on 21 March 1920, after being laid up with Wassersucht [edema due to congestive heart failure - translator] for a long period. We immediately wrote you a letter but never received an answer.

Dear brother: As to your inquiry about how things are going with us, there is no happy answer because inflation and famine prevail here such that our people in 156 years of their pilgrimage in Russia have never experienced. Everywhere that one looks one sees nothing but poverty. People do not have bread, and for the poor livestock, no fodder. We have had a total harvest failure. We look forward to a dark future - death by starvation - if no help arrives. Already many people have gone on the path of hunger to their deaths. Our situation has been aptly described in the newspapers and you can believe them. We sowed some rye with seed we received from our government but we still have received no bread.

Our family consists of 7 souls after the 8th, a daughter, died in the spring. There are many people who have left trying to get to America; and now there is much unrest among many who would like to go to America. Our desire is also to come to you there and we would be happy to have advice and assistance from you. Kammerzell is also one of those with wander lust. Please, write all the information you can, for there is very little comfort for us in the present emergency.

Greetings to brother-in-law and sister Groth and theirs, and to brother-in-law and sister Völker and their children, and also the entire Bretthauer family. All of them are to write to us.

They are recommended to God by your brother Heinrich and his family, 
                    Heinrich Weber (Schmidts)


Page 5, "A Call for Help!"

Esteemed Welt-Post:

I ask that you print the following letter in Die Welt-Post and call out to his friends. I sent him some money but not enough to help the dear man. He should have close friends in Hastings. 

With cordial greetings, 
                    David F. Maul 
                    Pastor, Lincoln

Much Esteemed Pastor: 

To my joy, today I saw in the newspaper, that you are the Pastor in Lincoln and thus I wanted to immediately send you a short report from the Volga. On the 8th of June I left Galka with my wife and 6 children and drove the entire summer by horse and wagon from village to village, from city to city; my wife is the daughter of Schoolmaster Peter Rusch. We drove 11 weeks by horse to the Polish border, and from there we took the train. On August 23rd, we arrived in Berlin. It was a long hard journey. Misery, hunger and distress were our companions. Thousands of the Volga German colonists have emigrated thus, with horses, cows, oxen and also some with camels, many die along the way, starved, murdered by robbers. All of Russia is now a nest of murderers. If you were not there to see it you would not believe how they treated the Germans on the Volga. Everything was taken from them, first their money, then their fruit, meat, flour, horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens and the last of their clothing was also taken. Troops were sent by the government in Moscow to the German villages. They took everything, everything; those who refused were shot. Many of the best German men lost their lives. In Shcherbakovkaalone 42 men were shot. Among them "Tabugr Ubansburr and Uban Ubansburr Pflaumer" [sic ???], some Laubhans and Ehrlichs.

I have a description in Russian about this and am having it exactly translated. It should be finished in the next few days. I have exactly described everything in it, how the great emergency on the Volga occurred, and along with it the reports of local Bolshevik officials that were sent to Moscow. Everything is now translated and in two weeks printing will be finished. The booklet will have about 100 pages. I will also send you some of them. If you wish to hear details about individual villages I will gladly send them to you. The emergency is great among those arriving in Volhynia, Poland and Germany, no bread, no clothing, and Germany is too poor to help. Therefore I turn to you and ask for support. As you know, I was well off in Russia. There, aside from my teaching profession, I also had a beautiful vineyard, but now everything is left behind and with deep melancholy one looks fearfully to the future. Help can only come from America. I hope for an answer from you.

Your acquaintance, once a teacher in Shcherbakovka
                     Alexander Schick 
                    Address: Wuensdorf, Kreis Teltow, Fr. Quappe


Page 5, "Heartbreaking News from Russia"

Norka, Russia, 27 September 1921

To: Conrad Schnell 
      1414 New Hampshire St. 
      Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear brother-in-law Conrad and sister-in-law Katharina:

With a heavy heart I am writing to answer your letter of this summer. Mother has been dead now for three years. Our second son died last winter at the age of 18. My husband Peter died two months ago. Now there are 5 of us remaining. You can imagine how things are when there is no father to head the house and we had no harvest. Our bread supply is small and will not last to the new harvest. We also had no Sunflower or Millet harvested. If you are able, send us something.

Earlier Wes Liese Pauly sought comfort with us. She has lived with us now for 3 years. Now I am in a similar situation but there is no comfort for me. If no help arrives from outside, we could all starve this winter. On the Wiesenseite of the Volga entire villages stand empty; starved out, died out and abandoned. The emergency is so great that one cannot describe it. When the way is once again open, we would also like to come to America, if we live until then. - Here more people have died in the last 8 days than in the previous 8 months.

The land is now apportioned and there are 195 to a group. If this will be better, we do no know. One has to trade food for good in the Lafke [local store - translator]. Those who have no products cannot get any goods, nor matches, nor lamp oil. For money one can get nothing. If one wants to buy something, it takes millions. At present there are many millionaires in Norka. But people like us amount to nothing. At every step and turn we feel the loss of our house father. We bake bread made half and half with flour and pumpkin, it costs us much less in flour. Currently we are eating many things we never ate in earlier times.

We have heart that many of our countrymen in America want to send their friends and relatives here food and clothing. If you are able, remember us. On the Wiesenseite people are so desperately driven by hunger they are eating squirrels, mice and dead livestock, even at times devouring their own excrement.

Up to now we always had some supplies, but they have come to the end. One always hears that fruit is on its way, but as of now, nothing has yet come of it. Japan sent a million pud of rice, we have also received nothing from it. We had to deliver up our livestock and give up our bread, but we have gotten nothing in return.

We received the apron and the shirt from the Huck people, but no money. We send you our most intimate thanks for this gift.

Mother had been sick for a year when she died, we immediately wrote to you but you did not receive the letter. Now she has been dead 3 years: she died on 9 May. In those 3 years we have lived through much which she was spared. In the family I still have a 22 year old son and 2 daughters. My son has been married for 3 years but has no children. This, our only son, does not belong to us alone--who has a part of him you ask? (here the writer indirectly alludes to the military---editor). For now he is still at home but things can quickly turn around - then we will be without a provider. You cannot imagine how difficult it is to head a family under such conditions.

He who does not wish to die of hunger must have a good imagination.

We live in the hope that you will not forget us. Write back soon and receive hearty greetings from all of us. 
               Your Sister-in-law 
                    Margaretha Schnell 
                    Number 432, in Row 6


Page 5, "For Russian Relief Work"

From November 9 to December 1, the following donations for Relief Work in Russia have been sent in:

John Maul, Mitchell, Nebraska 
     for the N Norka colony $25.

Wilhelm Hoffman, Bowdle, South Dakota 
     for general funds $69.16

Georg Reh, Treas., Newark, New Jersey 
     for general funds $150.

Georg Reh, Treas., Newark, New Jersey 
     for Beideck $195.

Georg Reh, Treas., Newark, New Jersey 
     for Grimm $11.

Rev. F. Brauchitsch, Hosmer, South Dakota 
     for general funds $20.86

Mrs. Kath. Damer, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for Saratov $10.

Rev. H.P. Weisskopf, Eureka, South Dakota 
     for general funds $89.71

Jacob Klein, Havelock, Nebraska 
     for general funds $33.71

John L. Teeters, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for general funds $25.

Gustav Winter, Wessington Springs, South Dakota 
     for general funds $250.

W.B. Unrau, Mennonite Church, Canton, Kansas 
     for general funds $550.

Georg Schaefer, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for Wiesenmüller $9.

Michael Haupt, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for Jost $25.

Rev. H. Nuetzmann, Kulm, North Dakota 
     for general funds $80.

Rev. H. Neutzmann, Kulm, North Dakota 
     for general funds $26.52

Jac. Sack, Treas., Crete, Nebraska 
     for general funds $20.

Wilhelm Schumann, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for Kautz $10.

Peter Horch, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for Stahl $20.

John Holokoff, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for general funds $3.

C.G. Pankratz, Treas., Moundridge, Kansas 
     for general funds $150.

G.H. Riffel, Treas., Ramona, Kansas 
     for general funds $257.10

Wm. Engel, Treas., Friend, Nebraska 
     for Balzer $58.

J.M. Goeringer, Galva, Kansas 
     for general funds $680.

Rev. J. Rothenberger, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 
     various $982.

Andreas Maser, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for general funds $10.

Gottfr. Wasemiller, Lehigh, Kansas 
     for general funds $59.12

Gottfr. Wasemiller, Lehigh, Kansas 
     for Shcherbakovka $25.

Gottfr. Wasemiller, Lehigh, Kansas 
     for Dreispitz $9.

Gottfr. Wasemiller, Lehigh, Kansas 
     for Schwab $2.

E. Graalmann, Okeene, Oklahoma 
     for general funds $131.50

A.R. Reimer, Buhler, Kansas 
     for general funds $132.96

J.J. Propp, Marion, Kansas 
     for general funds $856.32

J.J. Propp, Marion, Kansas 
     for Dobrinka $25.

First Nat. Bank, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for general funds $25.

Emil Lindner, Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for general funds $10.

H. Loxterkamp, Petersburg, Nebraska 
     for general funds $10.

David Stier, Treas., Lincoln, Nebraska 
     for Balzer $100.

J. Hildermann, Herington, Kansas 
     for general funds $62.77

J. Hildermann, Herington, Kansas 
     for Shcherbakovka $35.

J. Hildermann, Herington, Kansas 
     for Ustkaiunka $20.

J. Hildermann, Herington, Kansas 
     for Neu-Norka $15.

J. Hildermann, Herington, Kansas 
     for Rosenberg $15.

Total: $5,244.43 
               Jakob Wagner, Finance Secretary


The Volga German Society E. B. 
Berlin W. 30, Motzstrasse 22

Berlin, 23 November 1921 
To the editor of Die Welt-Post 
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

We ask, if you will, to publish the followng inquiries in your esteemed newspaper. They are sought by Alexander Schick from Galka:

1. Philipp Abig, from Grimm, was in Cincinnati, USA 
2. Heinrich Abig, from Grimm, was in Colorado, USA 
3. Philipp Prester, from Grimm, was in Cincinnati, ;USA

Answers are requested to be sent to the Volga German Society E. B., Berlin W. 30, Motzstr. 22 
               Faithfully, J. Eichhorn 
                    Managing Director


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.