Liese Regehr's Letter

Back to Main Page
Back to Liese's Biography

January 24, 1932

Dear Aunt Liese and Uncle Franz and Children,

Since it is Sunday today, I will try to write and answer your very precious letter. When I came home from work yesterday Lena came to meet me and she was so happy, "You have a letter from America, from Aunt Liese!" Yes, Aunt Liese, I felt proud and privileged over the others to personally receive a letter from you. I value it very highly and am so delighted. It was not meant to be as grim as you seem to interpret it. I regret that I hurt your feelings and will never do it again.

Now I wish all of you the very best of health, which we also enjoy to this very day. Recently Jascha was rather sickly. But we gave him extra “Speck” [pork fat] from our meager rations; -- now he is quite cheerful. We are so very thankful for that package from you. We exist on a very slim diet. It is so sad that my dear brother's portion has been lost. Peter, that poor fellow, has now been imprisoned for 7 months and daily gets only his little piece of bread for which he must work very hard. He is often very close to despair. He cannot understand why he must suffer so in his best years. He and P.D and J.F. and H.W. have tried to flee from here -- but were caught every time ! Elder H. Voth from Melkg. was here last week Sunday, and he told us the last time they were caught they were sent to jail for 3 days without even 1 piece of bread. Then Voth put in a good word for them. They were freed then but driven and chased back to their forced labour.

I have very dangerous and hazardous work as well. I must chop down trees in the forest. It is often very cold and an average of 1 meter deep snow so that you often sink into the snow up to your hips. We are about 20 klm. [kilometers] away from Aynebka in a barracks filled with nothing but Russian prisoners -- and we are 9 children of Mennonites. We do not have many joyful experiences here in the Urals. We hope things will change again. Not so long ago a young girl was killed by a falling tree and crushed into the snow so far that only the corner of her dress was visible. And so we are full of fear from one day to the next. I am tempted to use the weapons of the rabbits [run away] but who knows if that will happen. Here you cannot live on what you earn! You wrote that Santa Claus was very poor at your house; well, he went right past our place without stopping. We were not even allowed to take a day of rest.

Hearty greeting from your loving L.R.

Now Mama will write too!