25 August 1921

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 25 August 1921

Page 5, "Letter from Russia"

Walter-Khutor, 1 June 1921

To: Johannes Döll 
       710 B. Street 
       Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear brother-in-law and sister:

Your very dear letter to me was received by way of Jacob Hill in East Prussia, Germany. I will give you a short answer --- --- --- (text was replaced by 3 dashes) send you in time, because it is an evil time. Through God's grace we are so far all alive. Brother Nikolaus died 2 years ago in Astrakhan. I do not know how things are with his family. My sons remain in military service. At present we are in the time of Jeremiah 15:2-3, and Ezekiel 14:21, and the third book of Moses [Leviticus] 26:26. Amen. We can also say very little about brother-in-law Bartholomae. His sons also remain in the service. He has heard nothing of his son Friedrich since the beginning of the war to this very day; it seems he has disappeared without a trace. There are innumerable such cases here. Think seriously about what is being fulfilled now in our country, so that you get an idea of the calamitous situation we are in at present. God will provide His miraculous grace to all His children. Pray for us, greetings to all our kin,

Your S. and C. J. Hill

(The passages indicated above follow so that the reader can put them together with the letter and get an idea as to what the writer had in mind - Welt-Post Editor.

"If they say unto thee, whither shall we go forth? Then thou shalt tell them, thus saith the Lord; such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine, and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear up and the fowls of the heavens and the beast of the earth to devour and destroy" Jer. 15:2-3.

"For thus saith the Lord God; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and east, etc." Ezek. 14:21.

"And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they Shall deliver you your bread again by weight; and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied." 3 Moses [Leviticus] 26:26.)

Page 5

[According to a related letter in the 15 December 1921 Welt-Post, the writer of the below letter Mrs. Susanna Müller was on her way to the U.S. to her husband Peter Müller after living apart for 8 years. - Translator]

Beideck, 25 June 1921

Deeply beloved husband:

We received your letter of 16 May today with unspeakable joy. Truly I cannot write the words to show how happy we were after such a long and worrisome time, to receive again a sign of life from our dear papa. Yes, many tears of joy flowed over our cheeks. How could it be otherwise since we had not seen you in 8 long years. Oh how happy we all would be if we had you in our arms and could greet you! We want to hope that this hotly wished for greeting may soon be granted. We have waited for a long time for a letter from you, now it finally has come.

We will answer your letter now without delay as is your desire. We here live in a difficult time, our main concern centers around daily bread. The harvest was very weak because of the drought. Praise God, we still have a little of everything left over so that we do not yet need to go hungry. The good Lord has helped us so far and may also do so further on. If it only could stay this way and not get worse -- but because of the bad harvest the emergency is becoming ever larger.

Dear husband: Now that the great World War is ended it is my fondest wish that I and the children come to you. We leave it to you to decide what is best to do, whether we come to you or you come to us. Your letter has brought us renewed hope that there may soon be a happy change in our situation and that we soon will be face to face. May the dear Lord create a path for us and lead us through his grace.

Some bits of news we can tell you, that Balthaser is married. They have a youngster of 6 months by the name of Alexander. "Vetter" (cousin/uncle??) Konrad died in December of last year. "Vetter" (cousin/uncle??) Balthaser's oldest daughter died this month; the others are all still well.

Now we want you to know that Emilie also recently married. She get her cousin Alexander, the son of aunt Gret, who married in Tsaritzyn. Alexander was our guest for the first time in 1918. It was then that the thread of love began to be spun and since that time they kept up a correspondence. They were announced once and on the 26th were announced a 2nd and 3rd time. They will make their home in Tsaritzyn where he lives. He is here with us and is writing this letter. On 27 June he and Emilie will leave for Tsaritzyn.

To close, I ask you my dear husband, not to abandon us, we confidently hope that our long difficult period of separation is over.

In closing be many thousand times greeted and kissed in spirit by me, your faithful wife, by your loving children that were given us by God, by your parents-in-law and by your own parents and brothers and sisters Müller.

The contributor of the above letter is Mr. J. J. Spomer of Hebron, Nebraska, who made the following remarks:

Dear friend Lorenz: 
     Mr. Müller to whom the above letter was written is, as you perhaps know, a nephew of my wife and he has been living with us for the 8 years he has been here. His wife and children are in Russia, in the colony of Beideck and had the above letter written to him.

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 5, "Russian Refugees Seeking Their Relatives"

Berlin, Germany, 11 July [1921]

Esteemed Welt-Post:

Now that we have obtained your address, we would like to take advantage of the opportunity to seek out our relatives. First, Johannes Euler from Huck, Saratov Region, son of Heinrich Euler; his mother is Elisabeth, born a Weigand. I am the son and seek my uncle Kaspar Weigand from Huck. Now a request from my wife follows: She seeks Anna Maria Euler, born Gies from the colony of Walter. My father is Heinrich Gies while my mother, born a Hoffmann, is from Frank. Then I seek my "Päter" (Godfather) Konrad Beck from Walter.

Give all our friends and acquaintances the news that we are in Berlin, Germany. We had to flee in 1918 and leave everything behind. Now it is our sad lot to live quite poorly. We have 2 children and live in Berlin. This is our address at which our friends may write to us: 
               Johannes Euler 
               Hauptstrasse No. 8 
               Flüchtlingsheim, Saal 8

Page 5, "'Reds' Have a Free Hand in the Volga Region"

Riga, Latvia 
22 June 1921

My countrymen from the Volga colonies might find the following description by Missionary Preacher Isaak of interest. He sought me out at the behest of Pastor Seib's wife in Warenburg

Mr. Isaak related the following:

"When, after 3 weeks and many attempts, I finally received permission to join a Latvian train of refugees, I believed the first step towards my orderly release had been made. I had yet to endure interminable rudeness and humiliation by the "Reds" in charge of me. As an American citizen I was completely and particularly ignored. The chairman of the "Extraordinary Commission" -- by which is meant the current "Red" police -- said to me that Soviet Russia was not quite on a peaceful footing with the Americans and I could cause him yet more trouble if he were to release me. Before the war I had lived for some years in Latvia and had received permission to travel in Latvia from the Latvian Consulate. It was now causing me endless trouble convincing "Comrade Comradely" that by taking this step, I had been given a valid visa.

I left the colonies with a sad heart. Everything there seemed to have reached a climax.

If one travels through the colonies today, one sees misery, not just in the people but in every house, yard, gate, animal, however mostly in the people and animals. The living drag themselves along the road like shadowy silhouettes. The people constantly search for bread and other food. Also terribly upsetting is the sight of the animals -- living skeletons. Conditions there were still bearable in the winter. Many people still had hidden supplies and with these they also assisted others. As spring neared the "Reds" came ever more frequently looking for food, taking away with them each time, horses and cattle. Whoever refused them was put against the wall (shot).

In the Russian village of Solotoye the "Reds" were merciless. The women came to their village council with their hungry children in their arms and demanded bread. They were driven away with whips. They dealt with the hungry as if they were unruly livestock. Naturally none were given bread. The supplies collected by the "Reds" were intended for the many Commissars. Similar confiscations of food were repeated each month sometimes even more often.

And the measure of suffering increased once again. In Solotoye, a Russian by the name of Pedagegev organized a resistance movement made up of men aged 18 to 65 and 70 years and they made each and every Communist in the village "kalt" [it appears to be a euphemistic phrase meaning they killed them all - translator]. They expanded to the villages of Milovoye and Vaulino, began relations with the colonies of GrimmMesser, established alliances with the Wiesenseite of the Volga with the villages of KukkusWarenburg, and Seelmann providing assistance. In the mentioned villages only a portion of the "Reds" were rendered "Unschaedlich" ["harmless"... another euphemism for "killing" ?? - translator] also only a portion were disarmed. There was a lack of competent leadership. The Communists fled into the forests, drifted on to other villages, and also came to Saratov

In 3 weeks, 14 Colonies were freed from the tyrannical authority of the "Reds."

You should have seen the Citizen Defense Forces! Everyone had a weapon, but what kind? The rifles as well as ammunition captured from the Communists were only enough for a small part of the force, the remainder made themselves spears, swords and "deathmakers" -- a cudgel with a heavy weight tied to its end.

Once again they were missing the right men, sadly too few of them had reached here, because many of the remainder of our capable men were already in various prisons already pitifully weakened by hard labor and hunger, so completely weakened that they could not now take over leadership of the thing. Everyone knew that the handful of insurgents could not prevail in battle against the Red horde of the State but they had blazed a new trail from their terrible suffering and found a certain satisfaction therein and would now rather die in battle than die of hunger. The fighting did not last long. After 3 weeks the Forces were surrounded by the "Reds" and each connection with the remaining colonies was cut off.

The Communists came with "Red Bread," machine guns and cannon.

There was a battle behind Warenburg. One can imagine the painful result.

And now the "Red" investigation began.

The foul and morbid views coming from the right in Russia stand out uniquely in the history of the 20th century. Russia was in many respects being run in the ancient manner. --- In Warenburg alone 30 men were immediately stood against the wall, many were taken into the city for further investigation and locked up. The results of the investigations are clear. --- People were literally rotting in the prisons. --- But the task of the "Punitive Expedition" -- as they call themselves -- was not finished.

Again everything was searched and all food was forcibly taken. The people were allowed to keep only 20 pfund of flour for each member of their family. And that was supposed to last them until the new harvest --- some 4-5 months away. With this small amount, conditions were hopeless for these poor people. In order to sustain themselves further, the horses and remaining beef cattle were gradually consumed.-- Predictions for the harvest are now all bad."

This from the mouth of the Missionary Isaak. An affectionate handshake to my countrymen from, 
     Friedrich Salzmann 
          in Riga, Latvia 
          Schuetzenstrasse 4a W. 5.


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.