Tina Regehr's Letter

Back to Main Page
Back to Tina's Biography

March 8th, 1932

Dear Lieschen,

Finally I have received a letter from you dear cousin. This is the second letter I have received from you here in the Urals. I go to the mail every day and always I walk home without a letter. But today I finally got one. Received two parcels from Cbepdrobck, one with flour and one with porridge and one kilo sugar. That takes a very long time to get here. I go to the Russian school and am in the 3rd group. It is very hard for me to learn when only Russian is spoken. I am “ydaprin” [unknown word] in school. It is very beautiful outside and the frost has melted off the windows.

My family is at work-- all of them. Papa has been taken. Here about 50% have been taken because of the bread. The government has no more. One horse's head costs 40 rubles and one pound butter 25 rubles. If we had not received parcels we would have starved to death long ago. Many people die around here. Uncle Hans has died too. Aunt Susie and the children have typhus and nothing to eat [her relatives in Altonau]. It is very sad in this Russia and everyone is without bread. We never have enough to eat and it is so terrible to be hungry all the time.

Dear Lieschen, I thought you might be able to collect money from your fellow students and send me money for a dress. I have only one green dress and that is already so very torn that I am sure you would never wear it. But even more than that, I would like a package of food. Send it via Finland and addressed to me. Jascha was overjoyed to receive those “Abdruksbilder” [duplicated pictures]. I do not know what else to write and had better close. A greeting and a kiss from your cousin, Tina Regehr.

It is already late and everyone is sleeping. I and Mama are sitting and writing letters. We have had supper. We had “Pripps” [coffee substitute] and cookies -- but the cookies are the ones the pigs refused to eat. They tasted good to us. Today is March 8th and is “Ladies Day” and a holiday. Dear Lieschen, if you would see me in my torn dress you would be embarrassed to call me cousin. When the weather is nicer I will go to work again because then I can get a bigger piece of bread. God has saved you from this country and we, grandmama, Aunt Susie and our family must starve; it is so sad!

Dear Lieschen, thanks so much for those “Abdruksbilder” and the verse which says, "Never return evil with evil". That verse does not flourish in this soil! Imagine -- we have been robbed of absolutely everything and then sent into the high North. How can we ever be reconciled to this? One cannot even say a word in protest against such treatment! But God will judge them! If only we could get together in our homeland. Well, I had better close. Have a nice sleep. Our Jascha can speak everything in “laterisch,” [latin] a budding little kolonist. Are you learning Bible stories or also “Cobemez” [Communist propaganda] like we are? Your cousin, Tina.

Dear Franz, you must also write a letter sometime. Miechi has just come from work. I have to go for bread tomorrow and again stand in a line-up from 6 until 9 to get it. What a “verschissenes” [shitty] Russia!