Collection: Rustemeyer Papers

Author: August Stockebrand

Recipient: Bernard Rustemeyer

Description: Letter from August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, January 13, 1924.

August Stockebrand to Bernard Rustemeyer, January 13, 1924

English Text

Dear Cousin Bernard, wife, and children: I received your letter of November 19, 1923, on the 8th of December on the feast of Mary's Immaculate Conception, along with the two enclosed pictures of brother Anton and family, and the photograph of Franz, the soldier. Hopefully we won't have another war like the last one. Brother Anton is a big man. Hopefully he is as well as the picture shows him to be. Give them all our sincere greetings and tell him he can be glad he is no longer in Germany. And thanks from us all for the good wishes you passed along. I would have answered you right away, but I had certainly hoped to get a few lines from your brother Joseph as well. That probably won't happen now, and so I have begun today to answer you. First of all, I hope that you had good celebrations for Christmas and New Year. The same good wishes to you from us. It would take too much to write about us in Germany these last weeks. The French have now been in Germany for a year. That, dear cousin, will tell you the whole story. We have the necessities of life, to be sure, since my farm takes care of that. And so I won't complain. Some small deprivations have to be borne. The small package from you, with the coffee and other things, was wonderful. Once again, my sincere thanks. The coffee has been used up and is frequently received from you. Unemployment now makes its appearance. I firmly believe its going to come to one person killing another. It was fortunate this year that the potatoes were good. Otherwise, I believe that the workers from the factories would already have come to us out of the cities in order to plunder. Even if the dear God looks after us, we are prepared for the worst. As far as clothing is concerned I won't say anything about that today. The poor folks are faring the worst. Thousands of children in the cities haven't had a shirt on their body for a long time. I'm going to stop now, dear Bernard; I don't want to give you a heavy heart. All of your loved ones are faring well indeed. How happy I would be if Joseph, Anton, and Ferdinand would let themselves be heard from. See if you can't get one or the other to write. I won't come a-begging to you. We still have food and we can do without the things we don't have. I liked to smoke a cigar or a pipeful of tobacco. During the past month the price of things of that kind has soared a hundredfold, and no longer available. What we have the most of is paper money. There's no lack of that. There is no more gold and silver unless someone has laid some away. Now what more shall I write? I will quit for now because my eyes can't and won't go on. Please, you must forgive my bad handwriting. Dear Cousin Bernard, I will take pen in hand once again to write a few more things. As I said, we and all the cousins are well so far. God knows what is still to come. How all of you dear cousins are to be envied that you are there. We dare nothing of our future. Nobody can know it, or what might happen. You can all consider yourselves fortunate. You write that millions have been collected there for the needy in Germany. You have it right -- these moneys don't all reach the place for which they are intended. Here, it is nothing but lies and deception. Theft recognizes no "mine and thine," and the newspapers are daily full of robberies. You write that no liquor is available there any more. Here we have had a surplus for the last two years. We have millions worth of it in storage. It is made from barley. But in the last two months the price has gone from 100 Mark to 1600 Marks per liter. I would gladly send you some if that could be done. I also have some corn liquor that I put away in 1882 and so is 40 years old. A fast troepchen. And so as far as this in concerned I can't be of any help to you. And so I will have a Mass said during this Christmastime for your dear mother who reposes her with us. Now I must close because I am coming to the end of the sheet. In closing I send you all an "auf wiedersehen". I keep thinking that these lines will be my last ones to you, because every day it can go kopfaelen. Dear Bernard and your wife and children and all cousins with their wives and children, accept sincere Christmas greetings and also a happy new year from us all. Especially, accept sincere greetings from Your cousin August