Letter from Lidia Karaseva, daughter of Antonia

Limanskoje, Ukraine
6 November 1998

To: Stuart & Cynthia Mitzel Longtin
8th Street South
Fargo, ND 58103 USA

Hello, my dear Stuart and Cindy!

I apologize for writing this letter in Russian (unfortunately, I do not know any foreign language). I've made several attempts to inform Mr. Miller about the tragic events that happened recently in our small family. My beloved mother, Antonina Welk-Iwanowa, passed away October 8th, 1998, at 10:20 in the morning, after a vast heart attack. I still cannot come back to normal after such a tragic and terrible disaster. She suffered only 12 hours and 50 minutes, but it was impossible to save her life. I called emergency, the doctors came in, but nothing could help her.

All people of our village are deeply touched by her death, they all came to our house to say the last good by to my mother. They also helped me during the funeral, and I will be always grateful to them.

I ask you to contact Father Thomas Welk in order to do everything necessary in such occasions according to Catholic traditions. What I did was in accordance with Russian Orthodox traditions, but they are different. My mother will was to be buried in the presence of a priest, and to have a cross on her burial place. And I did it exactly this way. I go to our church, I pray, and I ask the God for forgiveness. Long ago, when I was a child, she used to tell me how these things are done according to German traditions. Here this is impossible to do.

I cannot visit the place where my mother lived, this gives me too much suffering, and I cry. My blood pressure became very high after all these events, but little by little it comes back. My pain is very strong. I hope that time cures everything, and it will cure my pain too.

I will continue to live at my place - this is what I decided together with my children. All " precious" things from the mother's apartment we have already brought here, and the apartment itself will be sold by Andrei to whom my mother left it in her will.

The economical situation in Ukraine is now catastrophic. The pensions are not paid regularly, and people even got their salaries only three times during the whole last year. The prices for electricity and gas are rising. As a result, the prices of food and other necessary things also go up. We often have no electricity, and our refrigerators, TV sets are getting out of order. It is already for the sixth year that my apartment has no heating. If we have no electricity in wintertime, people will die. And in springtime people will die from starvation. People have no money, no food, and no electricity.

We wear out very old clothes. Nastja doesn't have winter boots, and her winter topcoat already too small for her. It is possible to go mad from such life! Nobody cares about poor people. Everybody get out of a scrape by his own way.

I asked my mother many times to help our family to immigrate to Germany. But she answered: "I was there (in Germany) during the war, and I don't want to go there any more. I was born here and I want to die here." She said and she did it.

If you think that Red Cross helps poor people, you make big mistake. Somebody makes money from it, but poor people almost don't see this help.

There is one place in Odessa where everybody who suffered during the War can be helped. But my mother wasn't called. She considered going there without calling it uncomfortably, and she didn't have extra money to go to Odessa.

Excuse me for so many complaints.

Thank you very much for everything.

Best regards from Lidia, Andrei, Natalija and Nastja.

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