From Russia Government Odessa
"From Russia Government Odessa." Das Nordlicht, 18 June 1925, 4.
Neu-Beresina, May 1925.
Dear Friends in America!
When we received your valued letter in 1922, it was a great joy to us that our friends over there still thought of us. It pleases us that they all still live in good circumstances, and where everyone is located. Above all, I would like to know if you have received the letter which we wrote in 1922; if not, then I will make up for it. We have received the two food drafts and express to you again the greatest thanks for them. My parents wrote immediately, but as no answer has come up to now, probably you did not receive the letter. And so you must pardon us, because the reply is long overdue, we were waiting on your answer. And now, at the instruction of my parents, I write to you and hope, if it is agreeable to you, to no longer break off the correspondence. I am August, the son of Jakob and Karolina [Breitling] Schopp. In my first letter I will be very brief, but after a welcome reply, I will describe our situation in detail. Although I do not know you, having heard however much about you from my parents, and besides, we are still close relatives, it would be my desire, a very great joy, if one of your boys would also write something. I am very interested about the youth there.
We still live in Neu-Beresina; our family is large. There are ten of us, four boys and six girls, of whom two boys and three girls are already married here in the village. The situation in the last year was very critical for us, but now it is already much better than it was. Next time I’ll describe it, just introducing that we have experienced a year of famine. The crop in the year past was pretty bad; our winter was dry. No snow, little rain, and in spite it, the winter crops are still about average if the good promise of spring holds; if not, we are again facing a big obstacle, which we hope won’t happen. The economy is greatly depressed, was in desperate condition, but now it goes again just step by step; of anything extensive, I can address nothing more. The land is scarce, we work on a fixed norm, set for us by the government, but hopefully in the future it will be reduced, they say now better to work. Also many have been employed by the government to change to a formal civilized economy.
Jakob Breitling is also here, family of four boys and three girls, of whom one boy is married, here. Farmstead small, as is about us all over. Mother’s sister Barbara is in Woinitschew, married to Adolf Mehlhaff, family of three boys and two girls, still all at home. Sister Pauline is married to Jakob Mössner and lives in Olgino, family of six boys and four girls, all at home. Both have farmsteads as is usual now. Grandmother died in 1912. I hope the brief writing will satisfy you for the present, and hope that you will not take offense that the reply is long overdue. We sincerely greet you and your entire family from parents and siblings and hopes the letter finds you and yours in good health, as we also are. I wish you everything good and hope you will gladden us with a quick report. And so we remain your friends and relatives in the old homeland. With greeting, August, Parents and Siblings.
We greet heartily yet the other close relatives. Grandmother’s siblings: Christian, Johannes, Jakob and Gottlob Strobel, as well as grandfather’s brother[s] Gotthilf, August and Jakob, from all their relatives here in Russia, and ask that they might let us know how they are, etc. It would be a great joy for us. We ask you to convey this to them if it isn’t difficult. About the charity for the needy next time. With greeting to all one more time Jakob and Karolina Schopp and family.