Collection: Rustemeyer Papers

Author: August Stockebrand

Description: Letter from August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, November 1, 1923.

August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, November 1, 1923

English Text

Dear Cousin Bernard and Family! Today I finally get around to begin to write about your letter of September 9 and the love package which we have received. Dear Bernard, you cannot imagine what joy your long anticipated letter brought me. It arrived on October 6. I had just had a bad eye inflammation, which isn't gone even today. My wife read the letter to me, and we both wept when we came to the part where you said you sent us a love package. Thank you, dear cousin! In all my life I never believed that something like that would be needed. We have money to burn, but unfortunately conditions are such in Germany that our money no longer has any buying power whatsoever. Therefore we can no longer buy anything from beautiful America nor from other countries. Hence it is inevitable that millions of people will be ruined unless God helps us. I'll quote a few prices for you. A Cate [?] of wheat and rye costs about 200 million. A loaf of bread 40 billion, eight times as much as damage from the 1871 war with France. A pound of butter, 120 billion. Bills under a million buy almost nothing anymore. I will enclose some. You can share them with your other dear cousins. Next time I'll enclose some million and billion mark bills, if you'd like to be pampered. About the harvest this year. We had a bumper crop of oats and wheat, but rye and potatoes were poor. A hundred pounds of potatoes cost 2-3 billion, and a pound of beef 15-20 billion. And so, dear cousin Bernard, Germany is now temporarily ruined in all respects. We fear that the worst is yet to come. Now dear cousin, about the package you sent. It arrived on October 30 in good condition, with 2 packets of coffee, 2 packets of tea and with sugar and rice unspoiled, and without a penny of postage due. The whole of it was filled with your love. I was speechless as we unpacked those wonderful things, tears and joy all at the same time. How can I ever repay you? We have plenty of money but it is nothing. I have requested some Masses to be said for the living and deceased of the Rustemeier family, which will be said in November and published from the pulpit. What more should I do for you, dear cousin? We are all well. We still have bread, etc. We would have to do without the good things such as you sent us. I and my wife send you our heartfelt thanks. You have spent a great deal on costs and postage. If I can only make it up to you, I will. On the day in November when the Holy Masses pray for you all, God will reward you and bring you still more good fortune. Especially you, dear Bernard since you are committed to us heart and soul. Greet all cousins, Joseph, Anton and Ferdinand. Don't tell them about Germany's woes. Tell them the other cousins, Giese and Bunson, and also Altekoesters all have bread to eat and all that is needed. If we don't see a string of robberies, which we do fear, we will live. I asked about Heinrich Altekoester. He is a bailiff in Ruhrort. He is well, though he must put up with privations like everyone else. When he comes here sometime I will give him your greetings and bid him drop you a line. Now, dear Bernard, I must close for today because my eyes can't go on. I'll write more next time if I am still alive. Enclosed you will find a letter for Josef; be so kind as to give it to him. Once again, our many, many thanks for the package of splendid things that you sent us. Our dear God will reward you. I will give my brother Ferdinand, who is 77 years old, a packet of coffee when he comes here. He sends you all his best greetings. He lives in Muenster with his wife and is still healthy. Brother Franz is still living with his daughter in Dueren and Gertrud lives in Neheim. They are all well. The cousins in Loest are all dead except for Berhard and August. Berhard is at the court in Bigge and August with the post office in Soest. They are well. They property in Soest has been sold. I passed along all the greetings that you sent me. I will greet Heinrich Altekoester personally when he comes here. Now, farewell to you all. And you, dear Bernard, accept our many-thousandfold thanks for the articles. In any event it cost you a lot, and it pains me that I can't send you a bottle of liquor in return, for I still have a great deal of it on hand. One liter costs 300 billion today. And now, dear Bernard, don't make me wait so long for a letter. But you have not received three of my letters, nor have you received many of the newspapers. One again, I close. Farewell! And many millions of sincere greetings to you and your wife and children, as well as all the others, Joseph, Anton, and Ferdinand, their wives, and their children. And you, dear Bernard, accept my sincere greetings. With love, your cousin August Stockebrand P.S. If I receive an answer from you around Christmas, then I pass along herewith best Christmas wishes. May God look after you. Farewell to you all.