27 April 1922

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 27 April 1922

Page 5

To Mrs. George Repp: 
    In the name of the Stahl community which on 20 February of this year, received the first aid from the American Kolonisten Kirche [Congregational Church???--translator] through Mr. Reppand Pastor Wagner, for the entire populace without regard to condition, age or social standing, consisting of 225 pud flour, 52 pud 20 pfund rice, and 20 pud 20 pfund lard, we: Schoolmaster Emanuel Kromm, Church Councilors Christian Schneider, Peter Schoenberg, Konrad Solwasser and Joh. Georg Horch, sent to all those friends that donated for their brethren in this time of great emergency and helpfully provided aid, our deepest thanks and all Stahlers send you their heartfelt greetings.
    With brotherly greetings, signed:
        E. Kromm
        Conrad Solwasser
        Christian Schneider
        Peter Schoenberg
        Georg Horch


Page 5, "Church Council in Gnadenfeld Thankful"

To the Officials of the Volga Relief Society, Mr. Repp in Balzer:

On behalf of the the Gnadenfeld community, the Church Council sends its best thanks and "God will Repay" for the gifts which we distributed according to the order of March 1st, and we ask that you send our most cordial thanks to our brothers in America to the American newspapers and furthermore we ask not to be forgotten, for the emergency is very great.

Faithfully, Members of the Gnadenfeld Church Council, 
    C. Simon, Schoolmaster 
    Gnadenfeld, March 10, 1922


Pages 5-6, "Heinrich Ehlers Writes from Dinkel"

13 March 1922 

Dear Brother:

Many letters have arrived here from America to friends wherein on reads: "we have already sacrificed so and so much for the hungry in Russia and you still haven't received anything?" I do not wish to be ungracious nor push you into giving more, but I want to prevent the undeserved mistrust and want to say something about it.

We ourselves also have cause to hope for assistance from America. We not only have blood relatives there but also spiritual relationships. But so far we have received no assistance, only a letter with cordial words of comfort. All this has made our relationships with our relatives, God's children, and with God himself, colder. And why? Because we know: 

1. That it is a judgement of God that humans cannot remedy even if they wanted; its meaning: "When you meet hunger, meet it; when you meet the sword, then meet it, etc." And clearly we are experiencing that. My father-in-law sent food in August and we have not yet received it. He has written us many letters and I still more to him -- he has however, still not received any letters from me, so he is in despair and thinks we have all died. 

2. We know well enough that there are faithful children of God there who would not only sacrifice their fortunes but also their eyes to alleviate the situation of their beloved old brethren, all the more so since we have lost everything through God's judgement. Although I did not ask for donations I continually wrote to brethren, relatives and newspapers precisely what my situation was and the situation of Germans in all regions -- but perhaps because the causes of the emergency were described in detail, they missed the point. God wanted it to be so and we thank Him for it. 

3. Even if the thousands of our brethren and relatives in America sacrificed everything in order to save us, if God does not bless the effort we will still starve since the money would have to be used to obtain food and then the food would have to be shipped here. The Americans have no problem in speedily shipping millions of Pud to Riga but from Riga to Saratov. It is a totally different story. Even your representatives become impatient and embarrassed but they can do nothing about it. 14 days ago I saw Mr. Repp and explained the dire situation of our village to him and asked him again whether or not there was a pick-up order for our village. He said: "The pick-up orders are here but still no foodstuffs. I have already twice telegraphed Moscow but still have?not received an answer." We understand full well that you expect everything to go according to your plan but after nearly 8 years of war -- everything has fallen into disorder. We comfort ourselves with the fact that things will be better in the spring. It will naturally be better for those yet alive than those not. We must not complain, for it is God's will. Earlier, formerly rich people were getting letters from their friends outside (the country) wherein they stated that we couldn't possibly be suffering from starvation. From this one can conclude that our dear brothers still do not have a clear picture of our situation. Each and everyone of us needs help and none can be excluded. Our village previously consisted of about 3000 souls -- now there are only 1500 souls. Half have died, mostly of hunger and the consequences of hunger, in the village or in flight trying to escape hunger. If no assistance arrives and is not continuous then only about 300 souls will survive until the new harvest, and then only after eating up all of the existing livestock. It is a miracle of God that we are alive at all. If we gave you an accounting of what is in our kitchens -- you would not believe that anyone could thus exist. Certainly none will be left with the strength to write a report much less anyone with strength enough to do any work. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done. You can measure your sacrifices by the following yardstick and then calculate whether your sacrifice is enough to save those starving. Say that 300,000 Germans are starving and if 300,000 dollars is collected, then it amounts to only one dollar per soul.

The feeding of the children we watch with troubled faces. Why? Because we ourselves are starving and when hunger, according to Holy scripture itself, is the killer of children, is it any wonder that we would rather eat with our children? If no help comes for their elders then what is the sense of us starving to death and leaving our children behind as helpless orphans? But you don't understand that in America. We experienced what a great help the kitchens are when they came to a standstill for 3 weeks and the children who were fed there began dying off. The discontented are now saying: "Ach, if only the Kitchens had not stopped [feeding]". Now they only see what a great help they are. If only our children were to be fed then we others would gladly survive on 10 Pfund per soul per month. Do you not see, dear brothers, that hindsight has made us more intelligent and worthy of the feeding of our children and assistance to their elders? God has shown us His pity in that He has made your hearts willing to help us and also allowed your gifts to reach us. Here we say "everything is on account of God's blessing." Of your representatives, we can only say that they fulfill their duties with great earnestness and effort (i.e. Mr. Repp and Pastor Wagner, whom we have come to know).

Our old father sends greetings to all God's children. He is weak and sick of life and longs for release. 

With greetings, your grateful brother, 
    Heinrich Ehlers


Page 6

(There is no salutation with the article but it is from John Miller, President of the Volga Relief Society in Portland, Oregon).

We have received a letter written by Pastor Maier from the colony of Stephan to a pastor in America by the name of Fuhrmann. If anyone knows the address of Pastor Fuhrmann, please inform us so we can forward the letter to him.

As further letters arrive, we will inform you.
    John Miller, President


Page 6, "Letters from Kutter"

Kutter, 12 March 1922

Dear Compatriots:

Today is a joyous day for Kutter because we have the honor to have the much longed for Pastor Wagner from Lincoln, Nebr., in our midst and in our pulpit: The same preached the Sunday sermon from Matth. 15, 21-23, about the Canaanite woman, and said the following:

[Here he relates, (apparently verbatim because it's quite long) the entire sermon which dealt with the power of prayer and giving oneself to God. Wagner used parables about Joseph and Jakob and kept returning the the Canaanite women as an example of not giving up. The Canaanite woman, Wagner relates, ran after Jesus and threw herself at his feet begging him to help her daughter. Jesus refuses at first because she is a heathen and He tells her that his mission is for Israel and not for heathen dogs and that he would not take bread from the mouths of children to feed her. The woman persists and tells Jesus she will not go and will not leave him but be as a dog in his company and not sit at his table but beneath it eating only what crumbs the children let fall. Jesus relents and thus the theme of the sermon: don't ever give up.]

Pastor Wagner also said, and we want to write it to you, that you should send all your donations to the Volga Relief Society through the A.R.A., all other methods are not safe. Write again soon, think of me, think of Kutter
    Br. F. Hinkel


Page 6, "Letters from Kutter No. 2"

Kutter, 12 March 1922

Dear Countrymen:

Cordial thanks from member Conrad Kunau of the Kitchen Commission America has given to us as a gift. 

As we distributed the first food on November 20th, our children were full of joy, may cried with joy as they spoke their tanks. Generally, our entire population thanks you many times for these gifts of love which you have sent to us up to now. All around many are still hungry and near death. One day when I was in the Kitchen there was a knock at the door and when I opened it, there stood a man of about 25 years gnawing on a raw horse bone who demanded something to eat or else he would supposedly starve to death.

We could write much about the emergency, that which Pastor Wagner and Mr. Repp have seen is sufficient.

    Member, Conrad Kunau


Page 6, "Letters from Kutter No. 3"

Kutter, 12 March 1922

And now still another greeting to you, dear brother Heinrich Hagelganz in Portland, from me C. Kunau of Kutter. We report to you that we are still healthy, which we also wish for you.

I have already spoken with Mr. Repp and gained much insight. Do you have it in your heart to help us, we are also in need because the emergency is great, greater than we can describe. Many here have already died of hunger who were calling out that they were hungry until they breathed their last breath.

Brother Finkel received a letter from you 8 days ago, which I also have read. You will hear much from us and how things are here in Kutter, it is sad here. Think of Israel when he returned and how they in Jerusalem dealt with it. You will be familiar with such a situation.

Dear brother, try to find out about our sister Amalia, who married Georg Wagner. We haven't received a letter from her in a long time. She was born Amalia Kunau, her earlier address was: George Wagner, Manfred, N. Dak., Welle C. [unsure what "Welle C" is - translator]


Page 7, "Excerpts of Russian Letters"

Dönhof, 12 January [1922]

To Friedrich Henkel, Windsor, Colorado

Dear friend Friedrich:

I write to you today from deepest emergency and ask you, if it is at all possible, to buy me 2 bread tickets, each for $10 (Food Drafts). Also your son Wilhelm, my godfather, if he would be so good, can send one, then pass this letter on to Heinrich Schnorr: Donate money and save me and my children from starving to death. I come to you and throw myself at your feet and beg for assistance and hope that my earnest pleading will not be spurned. I will gladly return the money to you when things are better. My family consists of 9 souls.

That which is new: I can tell you that Heinrich Schnorr's brother Wilhelm is traveling to America, I do not know however, if he has arrived.

Your mother, friend Friedrich Henkel, has died.

Recently a terrible crime was committed. The former schoolmaster Friedrich Streck and Schreiber from Kolb [translator's note: this could also be read as "Friedrich Streck and the secretary from Kolb"] were in Balzer and Streck bought a cow for 6 1/2 million rubles, and as they made their way home they were murdered - they had their throats cut. This happened near Poprovsk (Engels). (Now follows a price list of products which we have often seen - Welt-PostEd.)

    Your friend, Wilhelm Stoll


Kutter, 4 January [1922]

To John Lohrey, Bison Kansas.

Dear Br. Johannes:

I received your very important letter of 28 October [1921] with pleasure and gratitude. While reading it I was quite affected by your love for us. David says: "Your hand lies heavily upon me." Ps. 32:4. and again: "Your hand touches me." Ps. 33:3. Our neighbors, the Russians, laugh at us: but we think thereby of Micah 7:8.

When I began to read your letter - I cannot describe to you in words what was going through my mind. Solomon says: "Love is strong like death." Song 8:6. I thought of the beautiful song Spittas, which we often sang together in former times. "Oh, what a pious, beautiful custom it is to be talking, Lord, about thee."

As bleak in spirit as we appear to be to you, thus it is so in reality. Religious life has also become weak. The Versammlungen [meetings] are small: often members of 3 Versammlungen gather together. Many of the older brethren have died, only brothers Johannes Rueger and Johannes Wagner remain alive.

(About the letter: After the signature, the forwarder of this letter writes the following): Br. Jacob Hinkel is the correspondent from Kutter who has sent many reports to Die Welt-Post and the D.F.P. [Dakota Freie Presse]. We wish that he will again return to health.

    Respectfully, Johannes Lohrey


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.