Letters from Russia to Renners in North Dakota

Gregor & Barbara Renner

“By and by almost all the men came to the school, and then the hellish work started . . .”
Johann Renner
January 1, 1922

This collection of 12 letters from the 1900s were written to North Dakota siblings Joseph and Mathias Renner, and their sister Anna Marie (Renner) Yantzer from various extended family members who lived in South Russia. A brief descendants outline of the siblings’ father, Andreas Renner, follows the letters along with Joseph Renner’s chronology.  This information reveals how the letters’ writers were related to their American family members.

Letters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, & 8 were translated by John Joseph Renner, oldest son of Joseph Renner. Letters 5, 9, 10, 11, & 12 were translated by Christa Hollerbach from Sutterlinschrift to German, and then Fr. Louis Renner (grandson of Joseph) translated them to English in the summer of 2008. (Sutterlinschrift is a script, created by the Berlin graphic artist Ludwig Sütterlin (1865-1917), which was taught from 1915 to 1941 in German schools. In 1941 this form of German handwriting was banned.)

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