GER-VOLGA-L ArchivesArchiver > GER-VOLGA > 2009-10 > 1255640408
From: "Ted Gerk" <>
Subject: [GV] Frankfurt a.d. Oder: Das Wolga Journal, April 1928
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:00:08 -0700
Frankfurt a.d. Oder
by Dr. Rothermel
From: Das Wolga Journal, April 1928
Translation courtesy Hugh Lichtenwald
The other report comes from Titus, the brother of Mr. Sallet who publishes
the Dakota Free Press. Titus had, through the Press, collected money for
the camp refugees and he reported on its distribution in the March 5th
edition under the title: Titus among the Refugees at the Frankfurt Camp.
Some portions are reprinted herein: After his discussion with Pastor
Altenhausen and his visit with Mother Leimann, he continued:
Dr. Rothermel, the Camp Physician.
Wherever I went with Dr. Rothermel, in the hospital, in the orphanage, all
eyes turned to him expectantly and hopefully as he passed among them
comforting, advising, encouraging, joking and amusing each patient. Every
patient was addressed, the young ones as well as the adults, the sick, even
the seriously ill children were compassionately caressed and the
hard-hearted made to smile happily, and he questioned a sick Russian woman
clearly and pleasantly in her native tongue. This I have seen only once
before in my long life, as you Neu-Ulmers see daily with your physician, Dr.
L. A. Fritschehuman beings at the peak of humanity.
The minutes I spent and the steps I took with Dr. Rothermel among the
small children, the youths and the older adult patients at the refugee camp
have joyfully rewarded me over and over for my Frankfurt trip. Dr. Rothermel
is in fear of losing his position. He comes to you, Americans, listen to him
and trust what he says. He has richly served your poorest, most distressed
blood relatives in the Frankfurt Camp.
Thus is the report of Titus, who captured the hearts of the refugees in
their turmoil with his open and straightforward nature.
He mentions that I should go to America in order to raise money for our
brethren in Germany so that their lives here could be somewhat bettered.
Although this does not exactly fit the theme of this essay, there has been
so much said that the fact of the matter is that my attempts to collect
money did not meet the expectations hoped for. Various reasons for this can
be examined in detail which would lead to me talking too much. Nevertheless
I did succeed in drying some tears and satisfying some hungry mouths.
We return to our description which was interrupted by these 2 reports.
Please look at the attached Photograph. You see before you the camp
kitchen in which mainly Volga Germans were employed, now mostly staffed by
East Germans doing the menial labor. This employment was in high demand and
certainly a little of it should have been reserved for the hungry. The
kitchen has to cook for the Main Camp and for the Hospital. Soup was
brewed in enormous cauldrons as it was one of the mainstays of the daily
food ration. Our people were very content with it, though this soup would
never be found in any Volga German home. Even if one, after a long time
fishing found only a few scraps that looked like meat, it was nevertheless
always strong and healthful. Grains, potatoes, grits provided some variety
to the sameness of the daily meals. When dollars from America began to
arrive, more sumptuous meals were prepared, to which I was often invited.
Thoughts of the Kreppel ((fried dough)) made by Mrs. Gerhardt (now a
resident of Kansas City) and the Kartoffeln und Klümp ((potatoes and
dumplings)) as well as the Kraut und Brei ((Sauerkraut and Mashed
Potatoes)) of tiny Mrs. Gross (presently in Sheboygan, Wisc.) still make me
hungry. There is no amount of money I could receive that would equal the
satisfaction I found among my friends.
Each camp inmate had his own Meal Card which was naturally held to be of
high value. I will speak more about the Meal Card later since it played an
extraordinarily important role in the life of the refugee.
The people in Maywood will recognize Alex Heinze in the photo, who worked
for a long time in the kitchen. To the right of the table is Seifert, the
kitchen Boss, who was, in his sphere of influence, a little god.
|[GV] Frankfurt a.d. Oder: Das Wolga Journal, April 1928 by "Ted Gerk" <>|