March 1, 1932
I begin (this letter) in the name of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Dearly beloved brother Jacob,
I your beloved sister Efliß feel compelled to write you again to ask whether or not
you still think about your brothers and sisters. And so, I, your sister Efliß, who
loves you so much, am sending you, your wife and children my love and kisses and it would
make my heart so happy to hear that my letter finds you to be in as good a health as I. Up
to now I have been in very good health but am very poor and my people (i.e., family members)
are all off looking for work [or working]. Our son-in-law and youngest daughter are
in Zarazen, working, and Eva is with her two siblings (brothers and sisters) at son-in-law
Batt's. They want to keep her [or them] until spring and so my husband and oldest
daughter and (her) two children are at home and have nothing to eat. We were never this
poor in our whole lives; even in a bad year we were never this poor. But the reason for it
is this: everything has been taken from us. Dear brother Jacob, our entire village is
now a collective and all the livestock has been put together. We did have three horses and
three cows and ten sheep and two ?? [illegible] and a plow and two harrows, but all
of that is gone now and the crops/fruit we cultivated was also taken away so that anyone
who revolts has no bread.
And so I come to you with a request. Please send us a package of food -- that is something
we need. Don't send money, because I can't buy anything with it, so be so good and send
me something to eat: flour, rice and meat, or whatever you can or would like to. If all
three of you [meaning Jacob, David, and Peter ... the three brothers in America?]
were to each send a package, I might be able to make it through the winter,
for we have reached the point where we don't know anymore what else we can find to cook, as
everything has already been eaten. It is a good thing that our son-in-law is off working
and sends something every week, but we need that for the two children since they can't get
along without bread. Still, they can never send us more than 15 pounds and that is never
enough. But we haven't seen the worst of it.
Dearly beloved brother Jacob, please be so charitable as to help your sister Efliß out
of this great poverty, for I hardly know anymore how I can survive. Our poverty is so
great, that I can hardly find words to describe it, for everything is gone and I don't know
what else to do. And so I turn to my brother, knowing he will help us out a little. You
can send whatever you happen to have at the moment. I'm happy with anything, as long as I
can cook it. I don't want to tell you what you should send -- just send whatever you have.
Dear brother Jacob, I'm sure you'll know where my husband's brother, Johannes, is. Please
be so kind and let him know how things are here and ask him to also please help. Heinrich's
youngest sister is also still staying with me and is still unmarried, because she can't get
married this winter when there isn't even any bread. Dear Jacob, please do what I ask. Our
love to both of you and your wives and children. We sincerely hope that you are all well.
We are still in good health.
Dear brother Jacob, please don't let me and my problems become a burden to you and just do
what you would like. It isn't easy for me to have to do all this, but when you're standing
on the brink of ruin, you try anything. I never thought my life would come to this, but
here it is. Tell brother-in-law Johannes and Heinrich to send us their addresses since we
don't have an address for either of them and maybe they could help. Our poverty is so very
great that it almost defies description. Please write as soon as you get this letter and
let us know if you can and will send us something. We wait every day for packages from
America. I'm sure you know and will, no, must hear what great need we are in -- or
perhaps you don't want to hear it? With best regards, I remain your loving sister
Efliß David and husband Jorg David. Please write and do everything I have asked.
[It is not clear who are some of the people mentioned by name. One of Jorg David's
brothers who is mentioned, Johannes, could be the same person as John David, married to
Sophie's half-sister, Eva (Ruff) David. John and Eva David lived in Colorado so it is likely
that Jacob and Sophie would know how to find them.]