Aug. Stockenbrand Corn Liquor Distillery KOERBECKE December 6, 1922 Yesterday evening I returned from a trip to Dortmund and so will take this night as the time for completing my writing tasks. Dear Cousin Bernard, I still own in Dortmund a large business place, which I myself built in 1909, and consequently have to look after the mintern [wintern?] now and then. I had a beer and lunch there. A small meal with a glass of beer cost 500 Mk. You cannot imagine today's inflation. I wanted to buy from my supplier 1000 cigars like the ones I've smoked for 15 years. Before the war they would have cost 100 Mark per thousand; now the cost is 100,000 thousand Mark. That was going too far! I did not buy them. Besides, the quality left something to be desired. All merchandise has gone up in similar fashion. Before the war a liter of good liquor cost 1 Mark; now it is 1600 Mark, and so on. That is not the worst. The food situation in the city is very, very bad. I have already written enough about that, and to tell more might give you more heartache. Germany is exhausted if America doesn't give us aid. Much is being written about the fact that America wants to credit us with 50 million dollars worth of food. [The sentence that follows is cryptic; the sense seems to be that if America doesn't come through there will be no end to the complaints]. Now, all you dear cousins with your wives and children, I call out a hearty farewell from your once beautiful fatherland, along with the wish to see someone again sometime. And if that doesn't happen, then we'll see each other again in Heaven. Again, sincere Christmas greetings to you all. Hopefully, dear cousin, by that time you will have this letter in your hand, if it makes the passage as did your last one. And also hearty wishes for a happy new year, because it might well be the last from me. Now, dear Bernard, I will close. Once again, all hoped-for good fortune and sachgend wishes all together. I send you, dear Bernard, an "auf wiedersehen". You are dear and important to me, since in every one of your letters you are thinking of the old homeland and of your mother who reposes here. So, during Christmastime, go into your church there. Here I have requested a Holy Mass, and will attend it during Christmastime. That way it can happen that your dear mother will be remembered here at the same time as you send your child's-prayer for her heavenward. My dear wife sends her fondest greetings. My children are all gone. I remain in constant love Your Cousin August Stockebrand If I have forgotten to write about something, please forgive me. My memory and my eyes are not at their best any more.