8 March 1923

Die Welt-Post, Thursday, 8 March 1923

Page 5, "Franker-Khutor Russia"

Franker Chutor, 12 December 1922

To: Jacob and Anna Maria Willmann, Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear Brother and Sister-in-law: 
     For all of you I want to report that all of us thank God, are still healthy and from our hearts we wish the same for you. 
     Only mother is always sick and there is nothing one can do about it. She has to patiently endure what almighty God has laid out for her. 
     Otherwise, the entire family is happy and healthy. 
     Further, we wish to tell you that on November 4th we received your valued and esteemed gift, namely the clothing, with great joy and deep gratitude. I cannot describe to you the joy it caused. Only remember that a large family such as ours, with few cattle and poor harvests the last few years, has been brought so low that your gift was of substantial help to us. If we were to have bought everything that you sent, we would have had to put up the entire house and still would not have had enough to cover the cost. Praise God, that we have received help and may the almighty God bless you and yours for as long as you live. 
     With our gift there also came yet another, it was in the form of two large loads of clothing that Mr. Volz brought from America. Can you imagine what joy there was in the village when it arrived. The community was quickly assembled and a committee of 7 persons formed and by evening everything was distributed. 
     The packets were nearly all complete, only Johannes Löbsack's packet had a very little stolen from it. As in the old days, everyone went to church in their new clothes and thanked the dear Lord who sent the Americans to help us. 
     According to the information we were given, a Kitchen will again open for the poorest children and clothing will also come to this general area. We are in wonder that the Americans have not become tired of giving and sacrificing. 
     Once again I thank you in the name of the entire family. May the Lord give you much fortune and blessings, for what you sow, so shall you reap. 
     In conclusion, greet and kiss everyone, write often and do no forget us, 
     In the name of our mother, brothers and children, 
               J. Conradi Willmann


Page 5, "Franker-Khutor Russia"

Franker Chutor, 12 December 1922

To: Jacob and Anna Maria Willmann, Lincoln, Nebraska

Dear Brother and Sister-in-law:
     Before all else you should know that we, thank God, are all still well and wish from our hearts the same for you. One mother is always sickly and nothing seems to help and she has to patiently carry out Almighty God's plan for her. Otherwise, the whole family is happy and healthy.
     We further inform you that we received your valued gift of clothing with great joy and deep gratitude on November 4th. I cannot tell you how great the joy was. Just imagine such a large family as ours, with few livestock, a poor harvest last year that has brought us down so low that your gift to us seemed so rich. If we had had to buy everything that you sent it would have cost us our house and it would have still not been enough. Thank God that we received help and may Almighty God bless you and your family for as long as you live. Along with your gift came yet another. There were in all, two deliveries of clothing from the Americans through Mr. Volz. You can imagine the kind of joy there was in the village when they arrived. The Community quickly assembled and a Commission of 7 persons was appointed and by evening everything was distributed. The packets were almost all complete, only Johannes Loebsack's packet had items stolen, but only a little. At the next church service, everyone went to church in their new clothes and thanked God above who had the Americans send us help. It was announced to us that a Kitchen would again be established in the Chutor for the poorest children and that there would be more clothing for general distribution. We were in wonder that the Americans had not tired of giving and sacrificing. Now I must thank you again in the name of the entire family. May God grant you much good fortune and blessings so that what you have sown, you also reap.
      In closing, all are affectionately greeted and kissed, write more often and do not forget us. In the name of mother, brothers and children,
              J. Conradi Willmann


Page 7, "Letter From Russia"

Kutter, 26 December 1922

Dear friends in America:
     To begin I must tell you that we have survived another Christmas. On Friday, the 22nd of December, Mr. Jacob Volz drove home to Kutter with us from Saratov.
     On Saturday morning, after he had spent the night with us, we drove to his temporary residence in Balzer. He sees a great deal of work ahead clothing the many who are naked. Recently he distributed needles at the market in Balzer. You should have seen how the people crowded around him. We received 10 pud of millet and 11 pud 30 pfund of lamp oil for the poor and were also promised some food drafts for them. This group of poor had given up their clothes and buildings for nothing, that is to say, in order to save themselves, these poor, for 1 or 2 oil cakes allowed their farms to be torn down and now they sit alone, helpless and defenseless except for whatever the loving hands in the far off west do for them. Things are especially bad with wood for heating because we have no wood from the forests. Our hedgerows have all been cut down and only bushes remain and these are gradually being taken. In the name of all these poor, I say my warm thanks, they are pleased that you have heard our call and opened your ears and hearts and are helping them again for another year. We had a very joyful Christmas celebration. We had decorated a small Christmas Tree in our room and the children recited poems and stories, after which they happily received their presents.
     A great change occurred in our church life. Pastor Eichhorn tried to "abzusetzen" (relieve, fire) me because I had not taken an exam but the congregation did not allow it and Pastor Eichhorn was put off by this --- I will be silent on the subject, but I am prepared to give any information that anyone may wish.
     Today the new church officials locked the house of prayer because Pastor Eichhorn had come and wanted to hold a church service on his own authority, which he was not permitted to do. They had already informed him in an official notice. First they made themselves helpful to the community and then they came and offered up their gifts. What will happen next, we do not know. We also have a new Schoolmaster named Keller from Doenhof. His father is the Schoolmaster in Neu Doenhof. Most are in favor of having him as the Schoolmaster but there are some trying their best to prevent it. I hope though, that it comes to pass; as far as I can tell, he takes pleasure in and enjoys religious things. Also he has succeeded in (words obscured). He also plays the organ quite well. Many were curious today at the noon meal in the Kitchen where he played the organ which had not been used for over a year.
     The state of health is better than preceding weeks and months as the death count shows. Since my last report nobody has died. On the other hand many marriages have occurred in a short period of time. On a Sunday 9 to 10 couples are joined. One can see that the situation is gradually improving but it will be a long time before things straighten out, until the farmer gets back to where he once was. You have already seen, from the many letters, how the poor, naked folk go about here and freeze, just like they went hungry in the preceding year. Here are some requests from them as they turn to their friends for help, i.e., from Gottlieb Kuhlmann and wife Elisabeth, nee Kuhlmann, who ask their friend and brother Fred Herzog in Huntley, Montana, for help. I wonder that he has not yet written to them as they have already written him many letters. Here is their address: Gottlieb Kulman, house number 313, Popowka, Post Ust Salischa. Also Heinrich Jakobi, husband of the daughter of Heinrich Hinkel, asks his "Vettern" (cousins) Adam and Jakob Broning for help. There is yet a way you can perform a great deal of assistance for them and that is to send Mr. Jakob Volz in London, so and so many dollars. Mr. Volz receives it in Russia from there in Russian money and gives it to those in need here. It is one of the best ways you can assist. For example, thus the Schilling folk sent money for the windows of the school building. Now you Kutter folk can follow the example of your Schilling brethren.
     I hope to write again soon and in particular to report about all the disputes and misconceptions over the Kitchens and American products that were sent but did not make things better and were not to everyones advantage. Many argued themselves to death because they did not use their heads, among them, an old father who has his 2 eldest sons in America.
          With greetings,
               J. Hinkel


Page 7, "From Nebraska and Russia"

Paxton, 11 February

Dear Friend Lorenz:
     I am sending along $3 for my newspaper subscription since I am already somewhat in arrears -- I received a letter from my brother-in-law Johannes Rosental in Kukkus wherein he says that he has received the clothing we sent him in July. I enclose a short excerpt from the letter:

Kukkus, Russia 7 January
Dear brother-in-law Georg Heinrich:
     We have received your letter of September 28th and are happy that you are well. The clothing which you sent through the A.R.A in August to Jacob Volz, we finally received on January 4th. Everything was exactly as you had written. Mr. Volz brought the things to Schilling and we picked them up from there. Best of thanks and may God in heaven repay you many fold. The things all looked so wonderful, as if the were all made by a tailor. I am now a head taller than father was. The most pressing need for us is footwear.
     Now a bit about the harvest. This year we harvested 30 Pud of Wheat from 4 Desjatin and 130 Pud of Rye from 1 1/2 Desjatin; 90 Pud of Barley from half a Desjatin and 36 Pud of Millet from half a Desjatin. We paid out 65 Pud as an "in kind" tax on our sowing. We had to pay a workers tax of 20,180,000 Rubel. Now we must pay a "Vermoegenssteuer" (wealth tax, income tax) in the next few days, how much we do not yet know but it is known that it will be even higher and it will still not be the last (tax).
     With greetings I remain, your brother-in-law,
                 Johannes Rosental


Page 7, "National Lutheran Council Relief Committee for Russia"

For the Bergseiters; Read this Report

     Every month the old, weak, sick and unwell in our colonies receive food through the National Lutheran Council; also clothing for the poorest and neediest people is repeatedly distributed.
     Do not think of your relatives alone, also help those who are forlorn and stand alone in the world and cannot count on receiving Food Drafts or clothing shipments. Do not allow your brethren to perish in this emergency. Richly support the National Lutheran Council so that it can expand its blessed work further. From now until harvest time, assistance is most necessary.
     Here are reports from the Bergseite:

Frank Parish -- According to a report from Pastor Kluck of the Frank Parish the following food has been received and distributed:

      Frank: 65 pud flour, 30 pud of rice or groats, 7 pud lard, 2 pud cocoa, 10 pud sugar, 6 pud beans, 30 crates of milk.

      For the hospital in Frank: 8 pud flour, 4 pud of groats, 1 pud lard, 1 pud cocoa, 3 pud beans, 3 pud sugar, 3 crates of milk.

      Hussenbach 1: 50 pud 28 1/2 pfund flour, 22 pud 15 pfund rice or groats, 5 pud 35 pfund lard, 1 pud 35 pfund cocoa, 7 pud 35 1/4 pfund sugar, 4 pud 20 pfund beans, 13 crates 35 cans of milk.

      Hussenbach 2: 36 pud 2 1/2 pfund flour, 10 pud rice or groats, 4 pud 6 pfund lard, 1 pud 13 pfund cocoa, 5 pud 18 1/4 pfund sugar, 3 pud 10 pfund beans, 9 crates 39 cans of milk.

      Kolb: 36 pud 2 1/2 pfund flour, 16 pud rice or groats, 4 pud 6 pfund lard, 1 pud 17 pfund cocoa, 8 pud 18 1/2 pfund sugar, 3 pud 10 pfund beans, 9 crates 39 cans of milk.

      Walter: 30 pud 2 1/2 pfund flour, 16 pud 2 pfund rice or groats, 4 pud 6 pfund lard, 1 pud 13 1/2 pfund cocoa, 5 pud 18 1/2 pfund sugar, 3 pud 10 pfund beans, 9 crates 39 cans of milk.

      Franker Chutor: 18 pud flour, 7 pud 38 pfund rice or groats, 2 pud 8 pfund lard, 26 pfund cocoa, 2 pud 25 pfund sugar, 1 pud, 25 pfund beans, 4 crates 44 cans of milk.

      Walter Khutor: 18 pfund flour, 7 pud 38 pfund rice or groats, 2 pud 8 pfund lard, 26 pfund cocoa, 2 pud 25 pfund sugar, 1 pud 25 pfund beans, 4 crates 44 cans of milk.

      Rudnja: 2 pud 2 pfund flour, 1 pud rice or groats, 10 pfund lard, 7 pfund cocoa, 14 pfund sugar, 5 pfund beans, 30 cans of milk.

      Various Chutors: 20 pud 21 1/2 pfund flour, 6 pud 33 pfund rice or groats, 1 pud 10 pfund lard, 18 pfund cocoa, 2 pud 38 pfund sugar, 2 pud 15 pfund beans, 4 crates of milk.

This distribution was done on October 14, 1922; on October 17th, clothing was also distributed in these villages.

      Pastor Kluck reported he received 345 items of clothing for Frank.

      Mr. Vogel in Kolb received 184 items of clothing to distribute.

      Mr. Widerspahn, the chairman of the Church Council in Walter acknowledged over 177 pieces.

      In Walter Khutor 92 items of clothing were given out to 46 people. Pastor A. Kluck signed the list as well as Schoolmaster Oelberger.

      In Franker Khutor, 101 items were distributed to 65 persons. Heinrich Fahrenbruch is the Chairman.

      In Hussenbach 1, there were 212 items of clothing received and distributed. The list was signed by Chairman of the Church Council Georg Kroh, and Secretary Bonhardt.

      Messer. In this community 42 Ppckets of food were distributed among the needy beginning in March of last year. 278 names are found on the list. The correctness of the distribution was attested by Pastor E. Eichhorn. Further reports are awaited.

      Anton, Balzer Parish. Distribution list from May, June, and July are enclosed and currently in use. Each month 18 packets were distributed among some 70 persons so that each received about 1/3 of a packet, namely: over 10 pfund flour, 4 1/2 pfund rice, 2 1/2 pfund sugar, 68 zolotnik tea (about 10 ounces), 4 cans of milk, 2 1/2 - 3 pfund lard. The list is signed by Pastor Joh. Erbes, M. Jost, G. Kunzmann, H. Baumgärtner, Secretary Joh. Frank, Schoolmaster.

      Neu-Dönhof, Dietel Parish. The 3 accompanying lists for the months of March to July show that 31 packets were received and distributed to the elderly, sick and weak (about 70 - 80). The lists carry the signatures of the Commission: C. Lind, H. Strauch, J. Bernhardt, W. Keller, Schoolmaster.

      Kautz, Dietel Parish. 3 Lists have been received covering the months of March to June. Each month 6 Packets arrive for distribution among about 40 elderly and sick. The lists have been certified by the Church Council and Pastor F. Möllmann. Clothing for 30 needy children was also distributed.

      Kratzke, Dietel Parish. 4 lists covering the distribution in March, April, May, June and July 1922. Each month 6 packets are received for distribution in Kratzke which are especially for the elderly, sick and weak, except for July where 48 packets were distributed equally among all the souls of the village. The list is signed by Pastor T. Möllmann Jr. and Schoolmaster Keller as well as the Church Council.

      Dietel. 47 packets were distributed from March to July. Each of four lists has about 150 names of those receiving a portion of the gifts. According to the lists there are a great many sick and undernourished in Dietel. The ration for each person receiving a distribution was 1/3 of a packet, thus about 6 1/2 pud flour and a similar portion of the other products. Signed and attested: Pastor F. Möllmann, Secretary Muth, Friedr. Wambold, Georg Steinmetz, W. David Weinmeister. There was also a clothing distribution in Dietel from which 55 poor children aged 10 to 15 years received clothing.

      Stefan, Stephan Parish. There is one list from 10 July from this community. The other lists are lost or are still outstanding. Pastor Max. Maier writes that he is so overloaded with work.-- serving 2 parishes, providing his Sexton/Teacher officials in his Parish villages for the management and overseeing of the American Kitchens -- that it was not possible to make a lengthy report. However the reports are still to be expected. In Stephan, 24 Food Packets were distributed among 287 persons.

      Shcherbakovka. In this parish 24 packets were received for distribution. The list consists of over 300 names and is signed by the Church Council: Stricker, Reissig, Ehrlich.

      Kraft, Stephan Parish. According to the available report, 25 packets were received and distributed among 479 needy persons. It is known that each packet contains 49 pfund flour, 28 pfund rice, 10 pfund sugar, 10 pfund lard, 3 pfund tea, 20 cans of milk. Thus everyone can figure out how much each soul received. It was little enough but yet it was a great great help. Many of the weak and elderly were kept alive by it. Church Council members of Kraft: Fr. Groh, G. Geist, H. Ruppel, H. Siegwart, P. Schmidt, G. Herber, P. Maier, Reinhart Siegwart.

      Müller, Stephan Parish. This village received 19 packets from the National Lutheran Council. The food therein was distributed to 198 persons. The name list was in Russian and the majority of the recipients added their names in German. The members of the Church Council are: Schäfer, Georg Weinbender, Heinr. Hoffmann, Heinr. Jekel, Friedr. Ebel.

      Norka, Norka Parish. 2 reports from Pastor Wacker in which he states that in March 1922, for the 3 villages of his parish, namely NorkaHuck and Neu-Messer, a bimonthly grant is received as follows: Norka, 9 packets, Huck 7 1/2, and for Neu-Messer, 2 1/2 packets.

In April Norka received a 2 month grant of 36 packets, Huck 28 packets and Neu-Messer 10 Packets. In May and June the villages received the same quantities as in April. There are as yet no reports of the later distributions. The food was distributed to regional districts, of which there are 37, each with a district leader who accomplished the distribution. The 3 lists from Lysanderdorf (Neu-Messer) contain over 70 persons who received food. The Huck list had over 100 names of needy residents who received portions. The lists from Norka and Neu Messer are signed by Pastor Wacker and the list from Huck by the Church Council: Chairman Ph. Kindsvater, Schoolmaster Rusch, elders F. Huck, Joh. Lickel, Reu. C. Huck.

      Galka, Galka Parish. For this colony there is only 1 list of 177 persons for which 15 packets were received and distributed. A list is required here, as well as for the other colonies in the emergency who were given monthly grants but the reports are either not being sent or have not come to New York. Church spokespersons: Heinrich Schick, Christian Alsässer, Heinrich Helwer, Heinrich Lang.

      Holstein, Galka Parish. In Holstein 17 packets were received and distributed; the count of those receiving gifts is 198. Village Church Council: J. Jauss, chairman, F. Weiss, Georg Kölln.

      Dreispitz. From this community only 1 list was received; 18 packets were allotted for 199 people. The Church Council representatives are: Georg Schulz, chairman, Reinhard Galjard, Heinrich Schiera, A. Eichhorn, Schoolmaster.

      Dobrinka. Here there is also only 1 list that was sent; 179 poor and sick have received a portion of the distribution of 20 packets. The representatives are: Reinhard Paul, Reinhard Rau, replacement Schoolmaster R. Legler.

      Schwab. 182 families are on the lists of elderly, sick, poor and most in need. 15 packets were transferred and distributed. The Church Council: Daubert, J. Feil, Heinr. Herdt, F. Stucker, H. Schmunck.

      Dietel Parish, Neu-Balzer. 4 lists from this community indicating distribution from March to July. 55 souls were noted for support. In total 9 packets were received and distributed.

      Merkel. 4 reports and a clothing list have been received. For the months of April, May, June and July 1922, 6 packets were allotted and distributed to 43 elderly and sick. Also 30 items of clothing were received for distribution to poor children.

     If the reports from every colony were present up to the end of 1922, then one could see exactly how large the sum was that had to be brought to the Bergseite alone in order to help all of the poorest somewhat. Also it would be clearly seen by those who want to do so, that the National Lutheran Council has done everything within its power to assist our unfortunate brothers with existing means in this great emergency. This is done without fanfare. It is not necessary. The thanks belong to God alone who will bless the few and the untiring donors who again and again filled the hands of the N.L.C. for this great and blessed work of brotherly love, donating in order to buy food for the elderly, sick and weak in the Volga Region, or for specific villages, donating as well, old and new clothing, women's clothing, men's clothing, children's clothing, work clothes, in bundles, or in crates and barrels, sending them directly to New York.

You can send money to the National Lutheran Council
                         437 Fifth Ave.,
                         New York City

Clothing to the National Lutheran Council
                          c/o H.D. Wagners Warehouse
                          31 Perry St.,
                          New York City

The undersigned Committee will gladly provide additional information.

                         National Lutheran Council
                          Relief Committee for Russia
                          Rev. L. Hopp, Chairman, Hastings, Nebraska


This translation provided courtesy of Hugh Lichtenwald.