27 July 1922

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 27 July 1922

Page 3, "Mennonites on the Volga"

     Settlement of the Mennonites in the former Malyschin Kreis of the Government of Samara, today Kanton Tarlyk, of the Volga German region, took place from the 50's to the 70's of the previous century. Mennonite settlers of West Prussian descent brought with them to the country the latest agricultural innovations of western Europe and were able to directly and fully benefit from their work in the first years of their settling, since Asiatic nomads and bandits had been rendered harmless by ever expanding civilization. With intelligence and industriousness the quiet and withdrawn Mennonites perfected their private and communal economy and made it the model, not only for the Russians but also for the remaining Volga Germans. If today Mennonite agriculture is in a depressed state like the remaining farmers on the Volga, then it is only more alarming proof of the severity of the multifarious and indescribable conditions on the Volga as well as in all of Russia.

     The Mennonite population is highly educated. There are no illiterates among the Mennonites. The generations that have grown up along the Volga have attended schools of higher education and applied their knowledge to their practical work in agriculture, like their fathers, introducing newer methods into general use. For some time there had been a tendency towards economic union and cooperation among the Mennonites. The establishment of what is known as the Malyschin Agricultural Society began in the first years of this century. Some of the first Consumer Cooperatives on the Volga were those of the Mennonites. Since 1904 they have levied a voluntary income tax to defray local expenditures. The well known Mennonite Cooperative Dairy was established way back in 1907. The Mennonite farmers and entrepreneurs always have their interests in line with the interests of the entire community. It was the only acceptable way for them, and thus with good reason, could the Mennonite economies be called model economies.

     Naturally the Mennonites paid very special attention to soil conservation. The three and four-field system was used until 1904, since then the nine and ten-field crop rotation system has taken its place. This conscientious utilization of the soil was the result of the experiences of earlier agricultural attempts. Consequently, and very importantly, the harvest yields increased. In the last 15 years the Mennonites harvested on average 45 pud per desyatin from spring sowing and 59 pud per desyatin from the autumn sowing. During this same period the average harvest of the surrounding Russian and German (non-Mennonite) villages amounted to 30-35 pud per desyatin. The Mennonite Community Cooperatives supplied seed grain to neighboring areas and to the well known Charkow Agricultural Society. Also forestry and horticulture were in full bloom. In the spring and summer months the splendiferous Mennonite farmsteads dotting the countryside and in the forests and arid landscapes appeared like oases. Mennonite soldiers brought home practical experience in forestry from their military service (according to the Russian government they served their military time in national forest commands and some also as maintenance personnel in military hospitals). Mennonite vegetable growing was hampered by unfavorable weather conditions and because of this only a few [vegetable farms???--translator] were begun and only a few of these survived. Ventures in poultry breeding fared not much better. The Mennonites had great difficulty with horse breeding followed by extraordinary success. The heavy Orlow Trotter, bred by the Mennonites, achieved great fame along the Volga. The shining example of Mennonite economy however, is their cattle breeding. Since the 70's Dutch cattle were exclusively bred by some well known Russian cattle breeders (Batischtschew, Arabow, Dorgobusch, Solizyn) and for the last 30 years they only used foreign bulls to keep the breed pure. Owing to this special care, the breed has become acclimated. The milk yield amounted to, on average, 225 buckets per cow. Since the opening of the Cooperative Dairy, 60 percent of the milk yield has been converted to cheese, butter and other things, and sold. Yorkshire pigs were exclusively bred whose weight was on average 15 pud.

     The Mennonites date the fall of their economy from 1916. Unfortunately very few statistics are available but those few that are speak to us with urgency. While the Mennonites harvested 280,000 pud of Hay from 3,500 desyatin using 20,000 pud of seed in 1916, compared to this not a single pud could be brought in last year. In 1914 the Mennonites possessed 2,213 horses, in December 1921 only 485. During the course of the winter the number of horses continued to fall. In December of last year the Mennonites possessed 415 cows compared to 2,300 in 1914. Of the 4 tractors (1914) the Mennonites today have not a one, of 6 steam driven threshing machines only 2, of 46 combustion engine driven threshing machines 18 remain, of 156 sheaf binders 55, of 215 planting machines, only 50. Of the inventory existing today, some of it is completely useless and some requires extensive repair. Agriculture has reverted to its ancient form.

     The courage of the Mennonites does not falter and they always act decisively. In their current unusually difficult situation their cooperative organizations stand them in good stead. When the writer of these lines left the Volga German region last autumn, the economy of the Mennonites was somewhat better than that of the remaining Volga Germans. Recently their situation has seriously worsened and they continually turn to the Soviet government and to their fellow believers abroad for economic loans. Especially important for them is the supply of tractors since the weakened livestock are of little use to adequately cultivate the soil.

          The Volga German

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 3

The following persons are asked to write to their relatives:

Henry A. Reifschneider from Kutter (Popowka) is asked to write to Katharina Reifschneider, Jlinski 7, Saratov.

Henry Petrovich Ochesenherd is asked to write his sister-in-law Margarethe Philipona. Address is in the Office of the National Lutheran Council, 437 Fifth Ave., New York City.

Alexander Thalor is urgently requested to write to Alexander Thalor in Volschaia, Kostrijenaia, Saratov.

Conrad Wiederspahn whose address was lost but was living in or near Greeley, Colo., is being sought by his sister-in-law Anna Wagner in Saratov. Send letters in care of Pastor Seib, Saratov.

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 3

Pastor Schwartz from Hoffental and Schoental writes about the distribution of food received from the National Lutheran Council as follows:

     What is this to so many? These words of the doubting disciples came to my mind as I received from Pastor Ernst the first shipment ($300) of food from the National Lutheran Council. And what a great help, what a great joy and blessing this shipment was, so great that one would think it was the miracle by the Sea in Gennesaret repeating itself [Matthew, Chapter 14, Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes-translator] for not only some few but more than 600 people were fed well and plentifully for 15 days. As soon as I received the products it was clear to me that we would not distribute them immediately to the poorest as Pastor Ernst meant, on the contrary we distributed them from a Children's Kitchen cooking vat to the old, weak and sick. Distributing it among the many immediately would have helped only a few, thus by cooking it I could give more of it plentifully for 15 days. The tea and sugar were given only to the old and sick who could no longer digest their food. Thus we took great pains and gratefully used the first of the hunger aid from the National Lutheran Council for the elderly and sick.

               L. G. Schwartz, Pastor

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 3

With this we ask that you send the National Lutheran Council our warmest thanks and our wish for God's blessing for the second shipment ($200). The gifts were distributed in our community by the Pastor and the Church Council and many people were helped.

     Pastor W. Feldbach 
     Yagodnaya Polyana

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 3

We Citizens of Schwed send our innermost thanks for the charity and mercy you have shown for us and our children. The hungry come with throbbing hearts to break your bread with love, love, pure love that stills the great emergency. Our children jump for joy and all are pleased with the good food and also full of hope that the dear work will continue. We all send our thanks and greetings and ask that you convey such to all the brethren who are helping.

     In the name of the community: 
     P.A. Kuhfeld 
     H. Kraemer 
     Ch. Jaeger 
     F. Diel 
     H. Kuhfeld 
     H. Borgardt 
     H. Kraus 
     D. Borgardt 
     H. Idger 
     H. Hogge 
     J. Borgardt 
     F. Gord 
     Martin Riemer

This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.

Page 3

It is my obligation to send to you a report about the distribution of clothing and food that you fellow believers in America have again sent to my community, both are things the people do not have. 
     Certainly the food is most necessary in this time of hunger in which we live, but if one considers the fact that among our families frequently only one piece of warm clothing exists to protect them from the cold weather, and it is shared by those who must go outside, one at a time, from the eldest to the youngest, in their efforts to earn their daily bread, then you will understand the joy with which the receipt of the clothing was met. Yes, the joy is great. - I hereby express the most sincere thanks of the recipients here to the donors over there and to you, highly esteemed Pastor, these are not empty words and I ask you to convey them to those who are responsible. 
     Someone here expressed that it would have been better if the American support had not happened at all, and justified this utterance by saying that if such loving support is announced again it would not only not achieve its purpose but would do just the opposite because not all the people were supported equally, not only between different families or houses, but often within the same household resulting in envy and hate, and that the people distributing the aid would also feel a good bit of this hate and envy. That however, is a completely twisted outlook. It should not be forgotten that this terrible emergency that has broken out in our villages has severely affected our people and we should not be surprised that they look greedily upon aid and support and look with envy and distrust upon those who perhaps received a bit more from relatives and upon those who distribute it. If ever one must have patience it is in such times as these, one must understand the situation these people are in, do no tire and always show love to those who have forgotten what love is. Thus and only thus will the seed of American Aid, with God's help, again bring bright sunshiny times where fruit will grow, the fruit of love. For this sowing of love to happen this terrible time, we will never forget our American brethren, and we join with them in the hope that the Lord our God will follow this time of sowing with a joyous harvest. 
     Attached, dear Pastor, you will find a list of names of those persons to whom the gifts were distributed. Perhaps the Americans will find friends among the many well-known names. We distributed the items in such a manner that we were able to help not only individuals but often entire families.

     With respectful greetings and thanks, 
     Pastor Behning

Names of the recipients: Mrs. Anna Wagner, Katharina Kammer, Theresa Mayer, Sophie März, Louise Seydlitz, Elis. Rein, Mrs. J. Dietz, Widow Anna Popp, Anzeit Ehrlich, Mrs. Johann Zorn, Sundlie Kapp family, Fr. Fritzler family, T. Wagner family, Fr. Dartmann, Dav. Menzer, Haun family, Soph. Bender, widow Ehrhardt, Marie Gipel, Alex. Kaiser, Marie Jäger, Frida Albrecht, Hein. Rupel, Alex. Weibert, Nic. Schröder, teacher Wagner, Peter Luft family, Diener family, widow Eva Kath. Meisner, Waldemar Groh, John Mehl, Dan. Fischer, W. Brink family, Hein. Henkel, Elis. Heim, H. Pflüger family, Vict. Ehrlich, Miessner family, Marie Abig, Lina Schilling, Jodsewitch-Weiden family, Eug. Fischer, Haasch family, Kath. Pfeiff, Kath. Kaiser, Kath. Naumann family, Amalie Fischer, Joh. Müller family, orphan Menzer, Lehmann family, Chr. Weitzel, Elb. Hildermann, Kath. Walger, widow Kath. Mehl, widow Anna Albrandt, B. Groh, Nic. Bartus, Bolgert family, And. Fischer, widow El. Jost, Dav. Dedlowsky, A. Assmus, widow K. Wagner, Jac. Böhm family, Alex. Paul, H. Löuring family, John Schaefer family, widow Schreiner, R.H. Gross family, Albendt family, Marg. Schilling, Rosa Kappes, Joh. Albrecht family, Pet. Schmall family, Nic. Becker family, Marie Weiber, Minna Becker, Lyd. Schröder, Röhtig family, Anna Pister, Em. Kassman, J.J. Schmidt family, Wald. Haas, H. Rudolph family, Dirlam family, Kath. Michel, Gutjahr family, widow Schmück and children, B. Hoppe, Emma Gusdorf, Ella Young, Bertha Hann, Alex. Leokowsky, Anna Bucholz, Marg. Borell, Irma Paul, Wera Mühlberg, Hein. Römer, Bertha Stroh, Anna Höpfner, Erna Manter, Ella Baum, Marie Hänsch, Lydia Waag, Emma Janmann, Lyd. Gerlach, Dorothea Menser, Herman Meissinger, Frieda Fink, Emma Borger, Helen Schaufer, Anna Weiss, Joh. Ch. Berg family, S. Kerber, Lydia Wagner, Mateis family, Benner family, Lohrengel family, Olga Laufer, Alex. Schmidt, Pastor Behning and wife, Bertha Walter, Bertha Verwein, Minna Neu, Olga Schmuck, Bal. Pinnecker, Martha Getlinger, Bertha Kober, Emma Propp, Lydia Legler, Marie Lohrengel, Lydia Geier, Elsa Jung, Soph. Klug, Kath. Lotz, Em. Mehl, Erna Janeman, Pauline Störger, Alvina Hoffman, Frida Spomer, Bertha Vogel, Marie Strack, Rud. Fink, Julie Trippel, Olga Schäfer, Wald. Meisinger, Karl Hoppe family, widow Petsch, Vict. Rob. Jugg, Jusdorf family, Emilie Asmuss, Hein. Stöhr family, widow Brangardt, Marshanow, Marie Erfatt, Anna Eurig, Els. Schlegel, Marie Jedlowsky, Gert. Reinecke, Lydia Fleck, Olga Heil, Frida Schäfer, Elis. Walter, Ida Römer, Frieda Bierig, J. Müller, Lydia Fink, Emma Laufer, Hilda Hänsch, Adeline Pinnecke, Bertha Spät, Olga Altwater, Emma Reisig, Marie Abig, Martha Harress, Elsa Manter, Olga Holzwirth, Erna Schmuck, Olga Eurig, Ferd. Hillertl;

Widows: Lydia Renschenbach, Ottilie Beck, Totim (born Esperg), Ros. Mühlberg, G. Hartlapp, Kath. El. Ruppel, Kath. Mehl, El. Mink, Ros. Batz, Luise Zück, Amalie Weber, Marie Bank, Benner, Marie Renschenbach, Potjoftja-Reinwald, Hachmeister, Kath. Messer, Sophie März, Laufer, Anna E. Menzer, Kreinert, Wick, Jachoakowa, Gorh, Dietrich, Hämmerling, Julie Stahl, Anna Wegner, W. Brink, Em. Grassmück, Marie E. Kreinert, Theresa Ehrhardt, Herth, El. Wagner, Amalie Wittman, Rudy, Zeller, Breiter, Buch, Anna Albrand, Amalie Schlegel, Truber.

Families: Künzel, Korn, Lindemann, Pister, Asmus, Schneider, Ott;

Eva E. Jäger, Marie Becker, K.S. Schmidt, Sophie Borg, organist A. Fischer, Adelaine Gröning, Bertha Pohle, Fr. Listmann, Hedw. Seyfardt, Amalie Greb, Helen Ranscheotach, Wera Krulitsky, Ida Jossewitch, Geo. Hausch, Gottl. Holzwirth, Conrad Geier, Luise Werman, Dolgerow, Marie Wagner, H. Zittle, H. Reinecke;

Families: Holzer, Walter, Wegele, Ehlert, Assmus, Fink;

Jacob Schneider, G. Welatjofs, J.J. Schmidt, Wiledyschew, Chr. Gaus, Schäfer;

Widows: Emma Adler, Braugard, Deiss, Fleck, Grosch, Hämmerling, Kath. Horst, G. Hatlepp, Kratschenso, Louise Luck, Laafer, Ros. Mehlberg, Mullen, Marie Naaman, E. Obindin, Quiring, Marie Raschebach, K.E. Plasch, Amalie Schmueck, Schirgen, Ungefug, Elise Wertzel, Zeller, Artäow, Marie Abig, A. Marg. Breitler, R. Batz, Giess, Emilie Grossneck, Hoppe, Elis. Hohnstein, Elis. Jost, Soph König, A.E. Matteis, Magda Maar, Elis. Mosler, Maser, Wilh. Naamann, S. Naamann, Lydia Rooschewbach, Reswowa, Jaschekowa, Chreiener, Schnoorr, Später, Chr. Walter, Marie Wichmann, Wagner, Weibert, Beate Altehof, Const. Anders, Sophie Becker, Decker, Ehrhardt, Faber, Flemming, Kath. Gross, Hein, Kuprijanow, Knestmann, Teile, M.R. Lichtenwald, Marie Lehr, Marie Lorenz, E. Menser, Katy Mehl, Ev. Moviad, Louis Necljudow, Anna Pabst, Elis. Roh, K. Rudolph, Amalie Schäfer, Lydia Trippel, Webert, Soph. Walter;

Other persons: K. Albrodt, N .Bachmann, A. Buns, H. Böhm, J. Borger, Dolganow, K. Eberhardt, Karl Fellinger, A. Gerlach, F. Graf, F. Hillert, J.F.Jung, Alex. Herbel, Peter Luft, D. Leichtner, Fr. Lissmann, Lisa Mechlin, teacher Lina Peters, J. Kappel, K.A. Schmidt, H. Schädel, D. Schäfer, Dav. Wingert, Jacob Alt (blind), M.G. Becker, H. Bohlert, F. Belz, K. Dirlam, organist Fischer, Con. Geier, Therese Horst, J.G. Harth, H. Horn, Nadeschder, Justas, teacher Keller, F. Loening, Ch. Loos, F. Ott, Bertha Pohle, H. Reifschneider, L. Ditscher, Kar. Spanagel, J. Lustdorf, H. Wagner, K. Albrecht, Jac. Becker, Christine Berg, J. Bender, H.F. Dietz, A. Flemming, Erna Groswiek, J. Strauch, Elis. Flarth (blind), M. Höpfner, Gottl. Holzwart, Dav. Jung, Adam Lust, teacher Adler, D. Müller, K. Meisterling, G. Pfister, J.C. Rüsser, N. Stahl, Alex. Spanagel, Gottl. Weiss, John Zorn.


Page 5, "From Frank, Russia"

Frank, 29 May [1922] 
To: Heinrich Hock, McCook, Nebraska

Deeply beloved son and family: 
     With great joy we tell you today that we are still healthy and that your brother Johannes came home today from Saratov with the food that you sent on 15 February. It was in all 6 pud (240 pfund). We are deeply grateful for this wonderful gift and wish for God to richly bless you. He will repay you a thousand times. 
     About your question as to how it is going with the Hock cousins, be advised that things are still going fairly well with them, but "Vetter" (cousin/uncle?) Kasper and his wife died in 1919. Our livestock holdings are as follows: 4 horses, 2 cows, 10 sheep; those are all the animals we have. We sowed 8 desyatin of wheat, 2 desyatin of rye, 1 1/2 desyatin of millet and 20 faden of potatoes. 
     Our land has been apportioned into "Atruppen" with 200 souls in each "Atruppe." We have our land on the "Achtmann." Now be so good as to write to "Vetter" (cousin/uncle?) Jacob, David and Kasper Sell in Lincoln and to Conrad Sell in Chester, Nebraska, to take pity on "Vetter" (cousin/uncle?) Heinrich Sell and help him out because he is very poor and lives out of the American Poor Kitchen. "Vetter" (cousin/uncle?) Jakob Reuther died last winter. 
     We have also received a bit from the general aid from America for which we thank all those who had a part in it. We greet all our friends and acquaintances in America, especially the family of Johannes Uhrig. Your mother says you should take comfort from Song 502; "That which my God wills, will be done forever." 
     With greetings and wishes for your well-being, we remain, waiting for a quick response, you parents. 
               Heinrich Hock, No. 486


Page 5, "From Brunnental, Russia"

Brunnental, 5 June [1922] 
To: Jacob and Mariekatrina Brehm, Hastings, Nebraska

Dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law: 
     I inform you that I and my 4 children are still well, but my wife has been sick for 11 weeks. She had typhoid fever to begin with, but now she sits in bed and can do nothing and has such great pain all the time that one gives up all hope of recovery. 
     Today we received your 2 letters of 15 April and are happy that you are well. Sister-in-law Annamaria Hausch is with us. Also the "Basilka" (Food Draft) from you to her has arrived, but she had no money to pick it up so I have paid her expenses. I cannot describe to you in words the joy that shone from her eyes. She often repeats the words: Praise God that we have a sister and brother-in-law in America who take pity on us. Oh, if I could only be as happy as she! But tomorrow I will take my wife to the doctor in Krasnykut, where I will have a head full of worries, because there I must rent a house and a woman to stay with her and take care of her. Then I and the little children will be alone at home because my mother died in 1919 and father in 1916. My brothers, Johannes in 1918, Konrad in 1920 and Heinrich in 1922. I still have 3 siblings: Jacob 14, Maria 12, and Amalia 10. The "Basilka" (Food Draft) that you sent to father-in-law Johannes Flat, we received and shared it between us and sister-in-law Hausch. We also received our Basilka. We received 20 pfund milk, 10 pfund sugar, 10 pfund flour, 30 pfund rice; it was in all 3 pud. For this we say to you our deepest heartfelt thanks and it is said with tears in our eyes. We hope to soon receive the Basilka for clothes that you sent to us. 
     Today is Pentecost but I cannot visit the house of the Lord because I have no clothes. Last year the ___________ ___________ (intentional dashes by the author) came here and robbed us, opened our chests (closets) and took away the best pieces (of clothing). I escaped in my undershirt and trousers and I am still dressed that way today. They wanted to shoot me her so I fled to the Bergseite. They didn't find me so they took my wife from the little children and put her in jail for 10 weeks. I stayed 10 months on the Bergseite. Since the 10th of February, I am once again at home. When the Flat elders and brother-in-law Johannes died, I was not at home, but when my wife wanted to put brother-in-law Johannes in his coffin, I returned and carried him to his final resting place. Sister-in-law Annamaria could do nothing because she was sick herself. 
     My wife had the coffins made but was not able to paint them because she had no paint. Most things were taken from us and we use what remains. We tore down the house and split it between us, namely myself and sister Annamaria Hausch. I also sowed a desyatin less 6 faden, of wheat, planted 3 faden sunflowers and 4 faden of millet for her. I did all of this outside for her for free. My wife took care of Father Flat until he died, then she had to leave because at the same hour he died, she gave birth to a little girl. This was on January 25. Mother Flat had many worries during her illness because her innocent daughter was sitting in jail and she did not know where I had fled. Also she would have been happy to see her daughter and son-in-law Jacob and Mariakatrina Brehm before she died. 
     Sister-in-law Annmaria is once again well and "foddered" herself since we received the food from you. She made 4 ricks full of hay. I myself made 15 ricks full and 20 ricks in haystacks. The weather is very beautiful. The rye is so tall it is up to the armpits of an average sized man. Also wheat and barley are beautiful. There was so much hay that we cannot recall when it was ever like this in the past. 
     You asked after "Vettern" (cousins/uncles?) Adam and Jacob Flat. They both starved. From "Vetter" Adam there yet are living 3 children, Adam, Maria and Amelia, the rest are all dead. Margareta, who married Konrad Seibel, and her children all starved within the last 3 weeks. "Vetter" Adam Flat died at our Father Flat's home but "Vetter" Jacob died at Eckerts-Jaschke. "Vetter" Jacob Flat's Basilka (Food Draft) arrived her just as he lay on his death bier; thus he was not able to enjoy any of it. All of the Basilken addressed to Father Flat, we receive. I get authorization from the village council and then we go by water to Saratov and get it. 
     Everything is very expensive. A letter costs 30,000 rubles. All the money I have comes to about 39 million rubles. I do not know if I have enough to cover the expense of my wife's care. At Pentecost every living soul in Brunnental received 13 pfund flour, 2 pfund rice, 3 pfund sugar, 1 pfund cocoa, 1 pfund lard and 7 cans of milk. It all came from America. As pay for hauling the goods, we received 2 pud flour and 1 pud of rice. To everyone who had a part in, or contributed to, these gifts from America, we say our innermost thanks. This writing is difficult for me because I must so very often go to my wife's bedside where she is in great pain. 
     Your Brehm parents are still well. Our children are Karl, Andreas, Bertha, and Martha and are 12, 6, and 4 years old and the smallest is 4 months. Of the Brunnentalers who wanted to go to Germany but were not able to cross the border, many have come back again and are now quite poor. Take once more our deepest thanks for your love and assistance because if had not come we all would have starved. Also I, your sister Annamaria Hausch, would have starved if your food had not arrived. God bless you richly for everything you have done for the widows and orphans and for what you are yet doing! Everyone is heartily greeted by your brother-in-law and sister, 
               Andreas and Annmargreta Kerner


Page 5, "From Nebraska and Russia"

Hastings, 17 July [1922]

     We Hastingers think that Br. Jacob Volz will visit us once more before he begins his trip to Russia. If it does not happen however, we wish him God's protection, shelter and support and a happy journey. (And Lo, your wish to see him among you was fulfilled - Editor.) 
     Today many letters from Russia have arrived here. Heinrich Borgens in Frank writes to his brother-in-law Kaspar Zeiler that he still has received no private assistance from America. He expects to get some soon because other people have gotten theirs. He also says that his father died. The Frank community has divided up its land into 20 parcels, 450 desyatin for every 25 famlies. He received land by the river and at the saltpeter ditch. Borgens wrote his letter on June 11, and in it he hopes for a profitable harvest. He sends thanks for the seed which he received from America; he was able to seed all of his land with it. 
     Widow Anna Maria Lichtenberg, née Kechter, writes from Walter to her brother-in-law and sister Heinrich Kister, that she received their letter and is thankful that someone still thinks of her. She continued pouring out her heart over the widespread poverty, lists their poor food and asks for assistance. Her brother-in-law Heinrich will gladly provide for her assistance. She further writes that Amalia died and her daughter is on her way to America, but not yet over the sea. Sister Katrinmargret also died. Brother-in-law Georg died on April 25 and left behind 9 children. She and her mother (probably her mother-in-law) are still alone on the farmstead, they others have all left this life. 
     As the letters were being sent, the orders for food are now arriving, but we are still asking for assistance, further I would like to say that the Welt-Post is also read in Russia and because your letters are so expensive for you, let me write your letters. Letters come from over there that are not worth reading. What good are the many greetings if you do not write about what is going on and how things stand, that is the wish of your well-meaning friend and fellow believer, 
               Heinrich Zeiler.

Hastings, 19 July [1922] 
     On 16 July, I received a letter from my parents-in-law, Heinrich and Annliese Minch in Kolb, Russia. They write:

     Father and mother are still well although 83 [could also be 88, the type is fuzzy - Translator] years of age. On 27 May, we received your letter and on the 28th the packet. Everything was brought home from Saratov including flour, rice, sugar, and tea. Mother shed copious tears. She says: I can still continue living for I have received a bit of bread from my children in America. 
     We want to thank, not only you, but everyone in America, because you have saved thousands from starving to death. As it is now, the hope is for a good harvest. 
     Signed by Adam, son of Heinrich Minch on the corner. This news should also be sent to my brother-in-law H. Koch in Cashmere, Washington.

               Greetings, H. J. Miller


Page 5, "A Letter from Russia"

Walter, 5 June [1922] 
To: Conrad Klippert, Lincoln, Nebraska

     Today, the second day of Pentecost, we wanted to write you and we hope that God blesses you and the Lord Jesus be with you. We offer you the happy news that we are still wonderfully healthy and also wish the same for you. 
     Now we inform you, dear brother-in-law and sister, that 8 days before Pentecost there was a conference in Kolb which was attended by Pastor Jakob Wagner from America. He used the 1st Chapter of Ephesians as the basis for his sermon and spoke earnestly of the inheritance of the faithful in the light. You can imagine how it may have been. Other brethren spoke about Revelations, Chapter 21, where John saw the Holy City coming down from Heaven adorned like a bride coming to her husband. All of the speakers referred to the heavenly cities where there will be no more lamentation because there will be no more inflation, no hunger, no sickness or privations. 
     You wrote that we should write everything we know but this is not possible because it is not permitted. Yet, we want to write so much! Mankind is ripe for the harvest. When one looks at what is driving the people and what they are doing, it is not because God has lost patience with them; because it is now like Noah's time where they no longer allowed themselves to be governed by the Spirit of God and like the time of Israel where they danced around the golden calf. No, it is the Devil that has beset the people with all this hunger and misery. 
     A piece of news we can write you is that today, your brother Heinrich's daughter is to be married in Frank to Wilhelm Baum, son of Heinrich (Schneider-Baum). The wedding celebration is today and we should have loved to have you with us. 
     In your letter you asked for information about our livestock. We still have 3 pair of oxen, 2 horses, 4 cows, a steer, and 4 calves. The remaining horses were recently taken from us as if they were not our animals. It was not so long ago that the "B." came here and took a stallion from us just as he was being hitched to a carriage. I prepared to defend myself and they put a shotgun in my side and a revolver to my chest and I let the horse go in order to save my life. One cannot write everything; but there was a time where many people lost their lives in defense of their own property. For now, it is a little better but nothing to sing about; one hopes for better times, if not here, then up there in the life eternal. 
     The crops are doing well and there looks to be a good harvest. The rye is very beautiful and so are the summer crops, but we still do no know how it all will turn out; everything is in God's hands. 
     Now I want to tell you that we received your "Basilka" (Food Draft), from which we and your sister Katrinamargreta got something. We are very happy and thankful for the love you have show to your friends. We can see that you have validated what our Savior said in John 13:34: "A new commandment I give unto you that ye love one another as I have loved you." And in one of John's Epistles it says: "Hereby we know that we are of the truth and our hearts shall be at peace before Him." We would love to be amongst you because we see from your letter that you are also children of God. We are happy for this and it seems as if God's grace works better in America than it does here. Here there is already much back-sliding; but with all this affliction, I will not tire in the service of the Lord because the work is vital. I hope for the wages of the blessed. Many will blame the hard times and make excuses, but a Christian must enter the Kingdom of God by suffering and affliction. In our "versammlung" (brotherhood meetings) there are now only 6 brethren; God has called many to die. Our father also died, which I related to you in an earlier letter. My son, Heinrich, came in while I am writing this and he wants to go to Franktoday for the wedding, he sends his greetings. 
     Dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law, you wrote that we should get to know Pastor Wagner. This was not possible because he was so beset by people that you couldn't get close to him; everyone wanted to give him their greetings to their friends in America. He said he would pass them all on when he came home; as he had passed on the greetings from America. 
     In closing, remember us to brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jacob Hill, sister-in-law Elisabeth and children, brother-in-law Wendel and sister-in-law Annakatrina, sister-in-law Elisamargret, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Butherus and cousin Reiswig and his family. 
     Write again soon, special greetings to you and your family from us all. 
               Heinrich Heberlein


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.