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From: hugh lichtenwald <>
Subject: [GV] Die Welt-Post, January 12, 1922 (George Repp)
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2008 08:00:58 -0700 (PDT)

Hallo List:
The following article is translated to the best of my ability.
Page 7, Die Welt-Post, Thursday, January 12, 1922
Mr. Repp's Latest Messages
Mr. Repp's latest messages to his wife, sent out from the Portland, Volga Society, are of general interest and read as follows:
Saratov, 30 November,---
My Dear Wife:
  I just now got into Saratov and picked up your letters. Don't worry yourself about me. I have never felt better and as far as security is concerned, I would not be any safer at home than I am here. It may be that you have read about Banditry and shootings. Don't torment yourself with such. Everyone, no matter who it is, takes the Americans into their protection because all of the people of Russia look to America for assistance. They can already recognize us from a mile away. I often hear behind me the remark: "He is an American." Further to the north they have Gezaenke (quarrels, squabbles, feuds?) from time to time. One of our people was in a village during such a quarrel and this is what occurred: He was a guard of our food convoy and in addition to him the convoy was protected by both sides in the quarrel, who were under orders to immediately shoot anyone who tried to seize our people or the commodities.
  It is pleasing to see the children coming to the Kitchens with their plates and forks, but to see them eating gives one complete satisfaction when one considers that if an American had not stood up for them, many of them would not be alive. I saw a widow in the Kitchen with 8 children sitting all in a row, and oh, how emaciated they were! Without food from us they would not have lived much longer. After the children were fed a few weeks they took on a better color and were livelier. Many mothers come and thank us.
Balzer, 12 November--
Dear Wife:
  I have been busy lately. The work requires that I spend a lot of my time traveling back and forth. I opened the first Kitchen in Schilling. I began there because the Food Depot for my district is located there. I presently feed 9,085 children in the following villages:
  Schilling 250; Beideck 360; Balzer 400; Kutter 300; Huck 600; Norka 500; Doenhof 300; Moor 400; Anton 400; Messer 450; Bauer 400; Grimm 800; Franzosen 400; Schuck 400; Degold 200; Merkel 300; Kratzke 400; Seewald 400; Rothammel 250; Dietel 580; Kautz 375; Neu Balzer 300; Neu Doenhof 150; Neu Messer 250.
  It is not possible to organize our work based on the number of inhabitants becuse some of the villages are worse off than others. It is bad enough in all of them. Conditions are indescribable, in every village 5 or 6 people are buried each day. The number of residents varies between 3,000 and 7,000. There you have the entire picture --a high death rate-- before your eyes. Illness prevails amongst the population which, to a large extent, is attributable to malnutrition. Until spring the famine will be indescribable, -- Everywhere I go we are asked: How can I get to America? That is the single hope that the people have. If it were possible, whole villages would emigrate. Even so, many people are leaving after they have sold off what little they have, on their way, in hopes of reaching our shores over time.
  Mr. Hergert from Brunnental, brother of the Pastors Hergert in Portland and Fort Collins, paid me a visit. He is very eager to travel to America to his brothers. From here he traveled home on food, a distance of 50 Versts. -- My advice to you in America is: work hard at getting Food Drafts. The food supply is diminishing daily; only a few people will have enough to last until the next harvest.
  "To give is more blessed, than to receive."
  The people are happy to see an American because they know it means food for them; and oh, how their faces shine, it is the next best thing to Heaven for them. In every village I give our address to the Pastor or Schoolmaster and tell them to write about our work in their village. This should bring many letters into our hands.--- It seems as though I am never able to collect myself because my writing is always interrupted by people wishing to see me. It took me the entire morning to write this letter.
Balzer, 25 November--
Dear Wife:
  In Doenhof I visited Conrad Hahn's mother, Heinrich Gomer's brother and Mrs. Heinrich Gomer's mother. They were very pleased to hear from me about their relatives in America. In Messer I stayed over night at the home of Schoolmaster Karl Rusch. Mrs. Rusch was born a Spady from Norka.
  Seventy percent of the adults will perish before the next harvest unless they get help. All that the people have to eat are Pumpkins, Cabbage, Potatoes and a few have some meat. Some have Black Bread, of the sort that will in time, probably bring them to their knees, as strong as it is. Potato peelings are eaten, even Watermelon rinds are not thrown away. (Watermelon rinds in America, if properly prepared, are a delicacy---Editor). Thank God that you are in America, the garden of the earth.
Hugh Lichtenwald, from the farm in Monetta, SC
VC, Wiesenmueller

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