Collection: Weinhardt Family Letters

Author: Johann P. Weinhardt

Description: Letter from Johann P. Weinhardt to his cousin, William W. Weinhardt, June 25, 1923.

Johann P. Weinhardt to William W. Weinhardt, June 25, 1923

English Text

Schwabach, June 25, 1923

My Dear Mr. Cousin,

Please excuse the salutation I have used, but unfortunately the German language provides only the salutation Vetter (Cousin) to describe our relationship.

I learned about you through my son Hans who has written to you and received news from you.

My grandfather Johann Georg Weinhardt, forester, born on October 23, 1795 in Schwabach was the brother of your grandfather who emigrated with his son Hermann in 1848 to Fort Wayne in North America and whose wife and other children followed later. My grandfather had 3 sons and 1 daughter, all of whom have died. My father Heinrich Weinhardt was born on February 3, 1842 in Schwabach and died May 22, 1906 also in Schwabach. I myself turned 54 years old in May. I am married and the father of 4 children. I have 2 sons, 15 1⁄2 year old Hans and 14 1⁄2 year old Philipp. My older daughter is an office clerk for a large machine-tool business in Nürnberg. She travels there early in the morning and returns home in the evening. My other daughter is a seamstress here in town. My son Hans works for the Schwabach city government as an intern and my son Philipp is in the 5th year of Realschule here in town. I myself was born in Schwabach in 1869, learned goldsmithing, which I pursued until my conscription into the miltary in 1889.

For 13 1⁄2 years I wore the King’s uniform. During the time of my service, I married my wife, a farmer’s daughter from Friedrichshofen near Ingolstadt. After my military discharge, I received the Civil Service Employment Certificate (Zivilversorgungsschein), and received a job as a jail overseeer in Munich. From there, I was transferred to the local court in Neuburg on the Danube, a city about 50 miles from here. I stayed there until May of 1910. I was then transferred to Rotthalmünster in Lower Bavaria where I stayed until October, 1918. Since October 1, 1918, I have been the jail administrator for the local courts in Schwabach.

Up to 1914, we lived contented and satisfied lives. Through diligence and frugality we had saved one thousand marks, and believed that we would be able to live comfortably in our old age. Unfortunately, things changed. The war cry sounded. Even I had to shed my civilian clothes and offer my skills and strength to the Fatherland. Fortunately, I did not have to go to the front, but for 2 years served in a military hospital in Germany. During my active military service, I had been in the medical services, and was assigned to the same duty during the 2 war years. At the end of the war I was transferred to my home town, where we currently reside. During the war everything was rationed, and shoppers had to spend half the day in line in order to purchase basic food necessities of marginal quality. In November 1918, the German Revolution started. Although this was good for some fellow countrymen, it brought a lot of grief and sorrow for the majority of German families. We had to dip into savings in order to purchase the basic necessities for the family. Prices for food, clothes and shoes rose and rose constantly and unendingly.

For instance:

[page 2] [table breaks across page]
1 pound stale bread 4000 Mk.
1 pound flour 5000 Mk.
1 egg 800 Mk.
1 pound lard 30000 Mk.
1 pound margarine 28000 Mk.

Men’s shoes

Women’s shoes the same

400000 marks

An average men’s suit is at least 7 to 800000 marks. Even though incomes have gone up, they are not enough to purchase the most necessary items. Oh poor Germany! While some live in the lap of luxury, thousands starve and die. How much longer will this go on? Things will not change as long as France refuses to specify how much longer we have to pay. It is getting worse by the hour. And now, enough with the whining.

When I transferred here in 1918, a friend told me that in 1912 or 1913, a family with a car was visiting from America, visited the cemetary, and asked about the Weinhardt family. Since at that time no Weinhardts were living here, these ladies and gentlemen drove on to Nürnberg. I wrote then to Mrs. Allen in Terre Haute, however have not received a reply from her.

In closing, I would like to inform you that my two daughters will soon become engaged. The older daughter, Marie, with a businessman, the younger, Johanna, with a goldsmith.

Since you, dear Mr. Cousin, are not able to read this letter, I ask Mr. Jungmeier to translate it.
Mr. Jungmeier’s friends are still living except for the butcher Konrad Hechtel who died years ago. Mr. Teacher Roth and Mr. Justus Schmauser send their best regards to Mr. Jungmeier.
Now, dear Mr. Cousin, may you and your loved ones receive our heartfelt best wishes and kisses.

Your Cousin,

Hans Weinhardt sen.

with wife and children