Collection: Rustemeyer Papers

Author: August Stockebrand

Recipient: Bernard Rustemeyer

Description: Letter from August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, June 29, 1923.

August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, June 29, 1923

English Text

Dear Cousin Bernard! I answered your letter of January 31 in February, and up to today have not received a reply from you. Hopefully you and yours are still healthy. I had also expected a letter with some news from you dear brother, but have not received any. Now today, on the feast of Peter and Paul, I set myself down to write to you again, dear cousin, since the postage will be raised again on July 1. Dear cousin, so far we are doing fairly well, but the neediness grows daily and without end. I will not complain, but it is really bad here in Germany. I'll just give one example: 100 pounds of potatoes cost 80,000-90,000 Mark; a pound of meat 20,000-30,000 Mark. That will tell it all. Germany certainly has a severe famine this year for nearly six months as a result of the French occupation. Added to that the weather has been bad and cold, always raining and cold since the first of May. We had to heat the stove every day until today so as not to freeze. Today we are without heat and therefore it is too cold to sit around. Our newspaper tells of the heat wave you are having; would that we had some of that! As a consequence of the wetness and cold, the prospects for a harvest are very poor. Where shall we get grain for bread? We can't buy any from you because our money has no buying power. A dollar costs right at 150,000 Mark or more. Therefore we can't buy from America, and so there is no end to the famine. Today it is already the same in the cities. Bread and potatoes are scarce. Dear Bernard, it has come to the point that it was announced in church today that a holy Mass would be reckoned as two to four pounds of bread. What is this all coming to? Dear cousin Bernard, we still have bread and lard. You said in your last letter that you wanted to send me coffee and rice; Up to now it has not arrived. Did it get lost, or have you not been able to do this? What is more, I don't know what I should give you for it. Our money is worthless in your country. If you can help us with these items I'll be grateful to you. Here, there is almost nothing to be had any more. Oh, how fortunate you are in America! The people in Germany, with few exceptions, are tired of living, and we must all wait according to God's will. The worst times are only beginning unless we get help from America, and there is little hope for that. Now, dear Bernard, please write again. Now, in our need, we seek help. I will not complain any more now. Greet all of you brothers. My brother Ferdinand sends his heartfelt greeting. He was here with us this Spring, and asked about your welfare, and said that you always think of us and said that you were going to send us something, coffee etc. Then he expressed a wish to have a cup of coffee at the high altar if it would be all right. Now I will close, hoping to receive another letter from you very soon, and if I stay healthy I promise to write again immediately. Farewell! All of you are greeted by all of us thousands of times. Greet all your brothers too, and tell them how things are here in Germany. I sent you newspapers several times. Did you receive them? So farewell, loyal cousin Bernard, and don't you forget Germany now! Accept our heartfelt greetings. Especially greeting you in constant love is Your cousin Aug. Stockebrand