Collection: Community Contributions

Author: Wilhelm Dickel

Description: This letter, written by Wilhelm Dickel of Hörde, Westphalia, to his cousin Daniel Dickel of Kalona, Iowa, in March, 1922, shares details of the effects of the fluctuation in the value of the mark on everyday life for the Dickel family.

Wilhelm Dickel to Daniel Dickel, March 23, 1922

English Text

Hörde 23 March '22

Dear Daniel:

We received your letter and thank you very much. A few days ago I wrote a letter to your father and I thought you would receive the same. Since I did not receive an answer, I decided to write you.

Perhaps you can not read my letter as I could not read yours. I had to have it translated. I hope you received my first letter from your father and know my condition. I correspond already with my cousin Carolina Heinze, in Amana. My family and I are very happy we found you after a 2 years' search.

Dear Daniel, we have a very strong winter with a lot of ice and snow. But the last weeks it was warm. Trees & shrubs turned green and people were working in the gardens. Now it has turned cold again and it has been snowing for 24 hours uniterrupted. Prices rise steadily and we hardly know how to support a family.

The dollar stands today at 372.9 marks. Therefore our mark is only 2 pennies' worth.

100 lbs. of potatoes, once 3 marks -- now 450.00 marks. 1 lb. of meat = 47.00 marks, 1 loaf of bread (6 lbs.) = 30 marks. Many factories are shut down because workers are striking. In Hörde, too, workers ask for more money and there might be violence.

Last Sunday our second daughter had confirmation. It was quite a worry. It cost us 2000.00 marks, we are glad we overcame the burden. I believe Germany in its calamity will experience an economic collapse. This week we received from Carolina Heinze in Amana $10.00. We were very happy.

Dear Daniel, I hope you received my letter from your father and hope this letter will find you in the best of health. Please respond soon, becaues I am glad to hear from you.

With heartfelt greetings to you and your family and father, your cousin Wilhelm Dickel.

Hörde, Westfalen

Steinkühlerweg A6

My wife and children extend their greetings.