22 February 1923

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 22 February 1923

Page 5, "Excerpts from Russian Letters"

5 November 1922
To: Conrad Meier, Hitchcock, Oklahoma

Dear Uncle Conrad, wife and family:
     This letter is for you and all friends in America because we cannot personally write to everyone because of the exorbitant cost of postage at the Post Office. 
     We received your clothing safely and with great joy, there were dresses, skirts, pinafores, flannel, thread, soap, rice and various and sundry other things for which we thank you a thousand times.
     Dear Aunt Meier, you can imagine our deeply felt thanks when you know that the least expensive material here costs 3 million rubles per Arschin. 
     We also received your Food Draft and another one from Natalia. I also thank you a thousand times for it because, in our emergency and poverty, there is nothing more we can do for you. May God fully repay you for everything. 
     Our little Elsa is so happy and pleased with her new clothes that I made for her out of the material from America, that she tells everyone who comes by: Esther sent me my new dress, and grandmother sent me Zucker (candy) and Brenik (sweetbreads, cookies). 
     The dress that you sent me was certainly yours, dear Aunt; if mother were still alive she would have kissed it out of joy. 
     Do not cause yourself harm by sacrificing for us because we again have bread and potatoes and we will not starve. We have some wheat flour for cooking but not for baking but we are content with rye bread. If it is possible, send us more clothing, we would love that, even if they are used clothes. 
     Do not think, because we are writing, that we must answer every letter; we would gladly do so but it is not within our means to be able to afford the postage. 
     Our father is well and sends his greetings. Write again soon and be many times greeted and kissed in spirit by your niece and Halbschwester (cousin), 
                 Pauline (Mrs. Georg) Fischer


Page 5, "Excerpts from Russian Letters"

17 December 1922
To: Jacob Giesick, Lincoln, Nebraska


Der Herr ist unsere Zuversicht und Stärke und eine Hilfe in unseren grossen Noten, die uns betroffen haben, Amen.

Dear son and brother and your families:
      Here we sit in your father's house but our thoughts dwell with you in America. We are all well and wish the same for you. It is written: "Those whose hearts are full, speak openly," and our hearts are full of gratitude for the things that you have sent us. We received what you had packed up with great joy. Our Humburge cousin Hannenricha picked it up in Schilling and we began taking the things from Schoolmaster Johannes Benner's. It cost 25 pfund of grain per pud as a transportation fee. The entire bundle weighed 95 pfund, the bundle for your Schwabrelatives weighed 45 pfund. 
      How can we repay your great generosity? If it were possible we would embrace you and hug and kiss you out of deepest gratitude. When your brother Adam brought the things home, the house was filled with curious neighbors all anxiously waiting to see the great American gift, and dear brother, there was great wonderment among them! Every Arschin of the material you sent would cost more than a pud of produce here. 
      Your last letter to us was 10 pages long but nobody fell asleep while it was being read, so write again, often and a lot. Write us something about cousin Jacob, your godfather and about Aunt Kath. Benner and her husband. Why don't you describe their lives for us? 
      We greet Alles, Borkart and Kechter and ask them to write. Tell cousin Kechter that we received all of his Food Drafts. We heartily thank you for your help during this time of great emergency. 
      Pastor Wagner is once again back amongst you. We personally spoke with him and were overjoyed to see and speak with someone from your midst. Hopefully he has returned safely. With your American representatives it was as if they had come down to earth from heaven and everyone in distress followed after them, wanting to help. But because everyone wanted to see them the crowd was so great that one could not speak to them for as long as one would have wanted. 
      The harvest was moderate. Overall we harvested 600 pud of grain but had to give 79 pud for "in kind" taxes to the government. When we began plowing last summer we had 4 horses but we lost 2 of them so we had to bring in the harvest with 2 horses. 
      We also must add that we received your food in 2 packets from the A.R.A. We cannot thank you enough on these voiceless pages for what you have done. 
      We greet everyone from Walter, and be especially greeted by your loving
                  Mother and brothers


Page 5, "Excerpts from Russian Letters"

20 December 1922
To: Dr. H. P. Wekesser, President, American Volga Relief Society

Much esteemed Mr. President:
      I am certain that your representative sends you regular and completely detailed reports about his work. I nevertheless consider it necessary to occasionally communicate to you my impressions and observations concerning this work. You may be assured, dear Doctor, that my conscience also dictates that I respond should some fault be found, also publicly. This I have also told brother Volz. Fortunately however, your representative possesses characteristics that will protect him from blame.
      He has again been gone 3 weeks out in his District distributing the entire clothing packet and has inspected the entire district from top to bottom and delivered all of the notifications of Food Drafts to their correct addresses. In short, he worked day and night and with complete optimism, demonstrating his brotherly love unto the least among us. For this man there can be no threat of public criticism.
      Also the greater part of the clothing --- that which was intended for Balzer --- has been distributed. How great a blessing this was I cannot put down in words. I do not exaggerate! The many letters that have already been sent by the recipients bear witness to this. Unfortunately, on the train, on the way here, a few packages were plundered and some completely removed by thieves, relatively however, not very much. The clothing for the Wiesenseite is partially still in Schilling and partially here with me in Saratov in storage. Three days ago ice formed on the Volga and for this reason we are unable to fetch them yet. The people are so glad and so grateful and many do not rightly know when and who they should thank. One must stop and remind them again and again of the fact that they should immediately write to their own people over there across the great water and thank them. I have been tasked by many to reply on their behalf to the senders over there and say, "God will repay!" Now those remaining, who were not considered this time and nevertheless also have an atrocious shortage of clothing, hope for a further shipment and for Clothing-Drafts. The Clothing-Draft-System will truly be a blessing for our people. Dear God! How are our people ever to settle all the debts which you loving people have written upon their hearts with your good deeds? This debt can only be cleared through fervent prayers of thanks to our Lord God.
      Mr. Volz has performed yet another extraordinary blessing by taking all of the Food Drafts marked for return to their senders and personally searching out the (correct) addresses. In 95 of 100 cases he has been successful (the local {Postal} officials do not attempt any effort to notify or forward to the addressees). In a few, 3 to 5 cases, the addressees were either dead or had emigrated. In these cases he gave the drafts to the relatives or to the poorest of the Village. I ask you please, to thank your representative for his faithful duty!
      We are unable to do everything for everyone. We begin with our poor, and beginnings are not easy.
            With brotherly greetings, yours,
                  P. Sinner


Page 5, "From Mr. Jacob Volz"


Balzer, Russia
The first day of Christmas
To: Dr. H.P. Wekesser, President, American Volga Relief Society, Lincoln, Nebraska

     Today I drove the brother of Jacob Stöhr, in Lincoln, to Anton, your esteemed birthplace. I have often wished that you could be here and truly, this came to my mind as we, Alexander and I, sat together in prayer during church services. We arrived at 9 o'clock as they were about to sit to table. The eldest daughter, Emilie, acted as the mother of the house, a lovely young woman. At the table I recounted how Marie was happily in America and with her Uncle Heinrich. Thus we passed the time until church services. Schoolmaster Frank gave the sermon. Brother Hart led the excellent choir. I can tell you, Mr. President, it truly was a pleasure for me. The choir sang before the sermon, twice during the sermon and twice afterward and it was truly wonderful. I had not expected that Antoners could sing so well. The singing of the congregation was also wonderful. I would have given the laurels to the Norkans but after hearing the Antoners sing today, I would have to take them back. The songs they sang were: No. 831 and No.l05. After services we ate with Alexander at noon where we had Reisbrei (rice mash) and a very good Schnitzsuppe (fruit soup) together. Afterward we sat together and he painfully asked me to ask you for support. He said thus: Brother Volz, please be so good as to write brother Heinrich and ask if he could not support me financially so that I can expand my business. I do not have the means to be able to do so on my own, and if he can assist me I would be very grateful, I only want to borrow and will gladly repay him in the future. Also, Mr. President, if you could help him, you can send the money safely to me in a letter. Then he went with us to his 2 younger brothers, where we had an informal get-together at the table. The youngest, Johannes, is still single, the mother is almost totally blind but still active. Then Johannes went with me to see Friedrich who looks exactly like you.
      We couldn't stay long because we had to visit with the schoolmaster. After that, at 3:30, we went to meet your Aunt who lives by the brook, but she was not at home. The sty was cut from her eye so that she now sees rather well. Everyone sends you greetings and wishes God's rich blessings for you and your family and your dear parents.
I gave Alexander 200 million rubles so he could buy some millet and deliver it to the poor in 10 pfund portions. I gave the Schoolmaster 100 million for millet for a week. A pud costs 100 million (the dollar is at 30 million rubles). I also gave 13 Food Drafts to the widows in Anton 3 weeks ago, this from the $2,000.00 you granted me. 
      Now, pleasant greetings from me, and also to your parents. Please give them this letter because I lived a wonderful Christmas Day in Anton for them and for you. 
      I am well. 
            Affectionate greetings, your servant doing relief work, 
                  Jacob Volz


Page 5, "Better Times for Russia in Sight? Russia will Ship 20,000,000 Bushels of Grain"

19 February 1923

      Russia has begun in earnest to export its excess grain. In St. Petersburg, Helsingfor and Odessa they have begun shipping grain. A total of 20,000,000 bushels are to be shipped.
      The money from the sale is to be used to buy agricultural equipment and other items needed by their farmers. 
      Simultaneously, the Russian government informed the American Relief Administration that it is now capable of taking over the feeding of 3,000,000 adults in the Famine Districts. Nevertheless, this would leave the Americans the remaining 3 million children. 
      They believe that the most severe period of the emergency has passed and that for Russia, better days are beginning. 


Page 8, "From Nebraska and Russia: A Russian Letter"

Grand Island, Nebraska
13 Febraury 1923
To: Die Welt-Post

     I am sending you a letter from my cousin in Russia. I hope that John Pauli in Portland, Oregon, is also a Welt-Post reader because it is his father in Russia who is the writer of the letter. Also Aunt Jacob Hardt in Elida, New Mexico was born a Pauli. I would very much like to hear from them again. I was also born a Pauli and I remain, with greetings to all our friends,
            Mrs. Alexander Scheibel

3 January 1923
To: Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Scheibel
904 East 6th St.
Grand Island, Nebraska

Valued Friend:
      The letter you sent to Pastor Wacker in the month of July of last year we received with thanks. Thanks because we have been apart from one another for 32 years already. I your Blutsfreund (relative, kinsman) Johannes Pauli, son of Ludwig, am still healthy. My wife has been dead for 6 years and my father for 4 years. My second wife was from Neu Messer and has also died a year and 3 months ago. Thus I am a lonely widower. My mother is 84 years old and has already been ill for half a year.
My oldest son, Johannes, has been living in America for 17 years. His address is: 
            John Pauli
            430 Morris St. 
,           Portland, Oregon
     Of my 3 daughters, two are married and one remains single. My family consists of myself, my mother and 4 children. From your letter we see that things are going well for the Scheibels. 
     We, however, nearly starved to death during the past year. Help from my son Johannes in America kept us alive. I have no horse and am unable to buy one, because here a horse costs 6 Billion rubles. We do not have our daily bread (enough to eat), on this account reach a charitable hand out to us and help us because we have nothing more to live on because what we bring in is too little and what we must give out is too much. 
      You must write the address thus: 
            Row 8, No. 11, 
            neben der Birke (beside the Birches) 
      With greetings to all our friends in America, your kinsman in bitter need, 
            Johannes Pauli


Page 8, "From Oregon and Russia: A Russian Letter"


Portland, Oregon
15 Febraury 1923
To: Die Welt-Post

Dear Friend Lorenz:
      As a reader of Die Welt-Post I am today sending you a letter from Russia for publication and at the same time reporting a bit from here. We recently had a snow storm here such as we have not seen for a long time. It was so bad that Mr. John Miller was unable to hold his "Volga Relief Meeting." Today it is so beautiful again that there is even a thaw.
      Greetings to all readers, particularly those from Kolb, but most especially to old Pastor Koch in Windsor, Colorado.
            J.H. Koch

Kolb, Russia
3 December 1922

Dear Friend:
      I, your sister Annmargaret and children want to inform you that we are still alive and well. We heartily thank you for the 2 Pasilka (food drafts) we received from you which have brought us great joy, especially our dear father who was sick at the time and able to eat very little. He suffered from stomach cancer from Easter until August 23rd, when he died. With him it was thus: as you believe, so shall you live; as you live, so shall you die; he departed in total confidence and faith in life eternal. About him it can be said, "I fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith; henceforth the crown of justice awaits me," etc. His funeral text, which I myself selected while he was yet alive, was: "Christ is my life and dying is my reward." The songs that were sung were from the old songbook: No. 703, 869 and 181. Because father had been a servant of the church for 14 years, the pastor buried him. We believe that our father suffered much on our account because not only was he the head of the household, but also its spiritual leader.
      Dear Uncle and Aunt: we 3 brothers are still together here and naturally we are a large family; we total 21 souls. For now we have no shortage of food or drink, for which we thank God; but we thank you heartily for what you have sent; the sugar and tea was a pleasure for father during his illness. The remainder will last us, now we are only very short of under clothing.
      Greet for us cousin Hanjacob's son by the same name and cousin Hanfriedrich's 2 sons and in closing be greeted by all in our household.
            The letter writer is Jacob, eldest son of Konrad Meier.


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.