Collection: Rustemeyer Papers

Author: August Stockebrand

Description: Letter from August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, March 8, 1923.

August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, March 8, 1923

English Text

Dear Cousin Bernard! I received your letter, dated January 31 but mailed on February 13, this morning, and since at this time I have a lot of time, I take pen in hand to write to you. My eyesight is poor these days, and so I beg you at the outset to excuse whatever shortcomings you find in my handwriting. Now, dear Bernard, you will have seen how things are here in the newspapers I sent you. Eight days ago I sent you an issue of Goest Blaetter. In it you will see how we are faring. I will send you more from time to time. You commented on the price of postage here. But then, that is not so bad. We have plenty of paper money. Dear Bernard. before I forget, I will answer your questions. The weather this winter was unprecedented. In November we had a few days of snow, and then almost every day rain, and more rain. In a small garden in front of our house (you might still remember it) the grass is the length of a finger. Never in my life have I ever experienced such a thing. Because of this, the crops don't look good. The rye is bad following the constant wetness, for we haven't had two dry since last August. Last year's oats harvest was total destroyed by rain, and so you can imagine that the Fall planting consisted only of Rye, and that cannot fill the bins here. As you may recall, we used to break some land every year and seed it to rye, and it never failed us. But this year that didn't work. We did reseed rye and wheat 2 and 3 days before Christmas when we had a few dry days. Hopefully this will yield something, otherwise O Poor Germany! Dear Bernard, it looks bad in the cities. Very bad. I won't write about that, since I know, dear cousin, that it would break your heart. All of us must suffer. The dear God must and surely will help us soon, or else the jaegere generation will be lost, along with our youth. The latter no longer know the meaning of order, because they get their hands on too much money, and carelessly spend it all on bear, whiskey, and cigarettes. But now we have unemployment. Along with that beer is very expensive. A liter of beer sells for about 1000 Mk, and a liter of spirits for 8500 Mk. You can image in how much money I have to reckon with overall. Since September the State has not released any spirits for drinking liquor. Earlier, I had laid in a good supply, so that I earned millions. But for what? Our paper money is no longer worth anything. Hopefully we will not die of starvation. All of us have to reconcile ourselves to putting up with shortages. But, Dear Bernard, we as well as all your cousins and Altekoester still fare well. But that is not the case for millions in the Ruhr district and the large cities. [Remainder of letter is lost] [Post-scripts, page 1:] A newspaper clipping from today is enclosed. There you can see how terrible it is for us here. Oh, poor Germany! My earlier letter reached you for Christmas. Hopefully this will reach you for Easter, and so I wish you all a happy Easter. Hopefully for us a feast of getting back up again, God willing. Your cousin, August