Collection: Rustemeyer Papers

Author: August Stockebrand

Recipient: Bernard Rustemeyer

Description: Letter from August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, August 23, 1923.

August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, August 23, 1923

English Text

August Stockebrand Corn Liquor Distillery KOERBECKE August 23, 1923 Dear Cousin Bernard! Since I haven't received any reply to my last three letters, I take pen in hand to write to you again. Now, dear cousin Bernard, I ask, did you not receive my letters and postcard? In your last letter you said that you wanted to send us something if we were in need. Now, dear Bernard, we have come to the point where all of Germany is hungry. Worst of all, the potatoes are very poor this year. In the large cities one Centner of potatoes costs 1-1/2 million Mark, and there are none to be had. Bread and lard are frightfully costly and almost unavailable. We still have everything, but there is prospect for the most terrible thing, namely, a civil war. We don't want to despair of God's help, but many, many already have. How gracious our dear God was to you, dear cousin, that he brought you over to that land where everything can be had. Oh, that unfortunate war! Now it is being felt. The taxes can't be raised any higher. The million has to be paid every month. Businesses are done for, except for the major industrialists, and they are now on the edge as well. Millions are unemployed in the Ruhr district. Only God knows how this is all going to end. If you can give us any help we old folks will now gladly accept. I would be very grateful if you could send us some coffee, tea, and things of that sort. Our money has no value anymore. I would gladly send you some. As evidence I enclose for you some bills. Among them is a thousand-mark bill that you will still recognize. Your dollar bills have the highest conceivable value. If you dear cousins could spare something I will gladly have Masses offered here for your dear mother, and for your dear father and sister. I don't know what else I can do. Surely you have not received my letter, or I would have heard from you, dear Bernard. Or is it something else? In earlier years a letter came here in 14 days, and now, no more. Also, we don't need to live like dogs here yet, and if that happens we have to place ourselves in God's hands. Who would have said, ten years ago, that beautiful Germany could have become so poor? Are its residents to blame? My dear cousin, if you get this letter I hope that I will receive some sign of life from you in return. Beginning tomorrow a letter to you will be costing 100,000 Mark. That's why I am writing to you today, even though I don't know very much. If I don't receive any answer this time, I will assume that my letters are not being delivered. I have sent you newspapers several times; they too may not have been delivered. Now, dear Bernard, in closing, if I dont get an answer now, fare well, all you dear cousins. Then our reunion will likely take place in Heaven. Greet all, Josef, Anton, and Ferdinand, and accept from us all heartfelt greetings. And you, dear cousin Bernard, accept every intimate greeting also from my wife and children for your wife and children. Finally, dear Bernard, I remain forever Your loyal cousin August I think often about your mother who is buried here, and also about your dear deceased uncle and niece Maria, Again, farewell Your cousin, August