Köhler cousins (page 2)



1948 - 1952


Letters sent by Anna Michaelis in Germany to her cousin, August Maas, in Walnut Grove, MN. 


See page one for additional information about these letters.  

[The accession numbers (A/N) are for reference and cataloging purposes.]




A/N - MIC005  -  [translation by Siegfried Krause]



19 December 1948

Dear cousin together with the family!

I must write a short letter to you once again. I hope, that you have received my letter, that I have written about your dear package. Now I also want to advise, that the second package with the beautiful dresses and the wonderful suit arrived well. My husband is delighted about the beautiful suit, he didn’t expect this, above all it fits him well. Also the pretty little skirt and clothes together with the shoes. Also the good cocoa should taste good to us at Christmas.

You dear ones! Now, we thank you from our whole heart for everything, everything good. We are grateful to our dear God that so much good is given to us by you dear ones. We have the firm conviction that our dear God will reward you triply again for what you have done for us innocent relatives. How sad it would be for us if we would not have been helped by all you loved ones. Also our old Aunt Block together with family already did much for us, and aunt writes such dear letters in her old age, one must be amazed about it. Also we don't want to forget Gust and Anna Lau.

We never would be in a position to buy ourselves clothing at the present time because my husband only makes 50 DM in wages in the whole month and the prices are awfully inflated here. I will also be unable to earn money. I worked until the fall; unfortunately, I am not able anymore, the nerves have suffered too much. Also, I have much problems with my heart. Yes, it is no wonder, after all the dire straits that we had to endure.

I probably already had mentioned in the first letter that a daughter of my sister, Bertha, is dead. It is very sad for her, may our dear God give her power to overcome. One often thinks today that those who have died have it best. If you dear ones also would have to see once how we must live here, in a small room where we also must rest. My daughter is still with us.  She has been married since August and can't get any bit (place to live?) and she expects a child in January. Our son-in-law already has run so much to the housing office; we still always hope that she will get a small apartment before her delivery. So we are homeless and we don’t believe we will see our dear home ever again.  We want to endure patiently and entrust all our worries to God, he will help

You dear ones! We wish you once again everything good and God’s rich blessing for the new year! Once again a thousand thanks for all the good things that you did for us, that still supports (sustains?) us, because our joy is always very great when such a dear package arrives.

Now you are all greeted many times from far away by your dear family.

A. Michaelis.

Hopefully you have spent well the dear Christmas celebration.  

Dear August! Please write once a few lines too, again many greetings,

Your cousin, Anna Michaelis

A/N - MIC006  -  [translation by Siegfried Krause]


8 May 1949

Dear August together with family!

Must inform you that your dear package arrived safely. You can’t imagine at all, how great our joy was, as your dear package arrived so unexpectedly. We thank you loved ones now a thousand times for all these valuable things. My daughter was completely besides herself with joy about the wonderful baby linen, that she can use well. Above all, also quite cordial thanks for the beautiful coat, outfit clothes and ?. The coat fits our daughter like a glove, didn't have any summer coat either, I can wear the outfit well, am ? slim. Therefore many, many thanks again.

You loved ones! You probably have found out from the G. Steffen family where I had written that we had been burned down in January. One must patiently again and again start from the beginning, the dear God still thoroughly protected us, despite the severe strokes of fate. It is true we have saved some things, but, nevertheless, some was destroyed. Uncle and Aunt Block also have given us packages. If you loved ones would not have supported us with the dear packages, then, it would be sad for us; I then believe we would be already completely despondent, that holds one still upright (keeps our spirits up?). Fire is a bad guest, for what one so laboriously has gotten, is destroyed in a flash. The community also collected something for us, so we were able again to purchase a bedstead and some furniture . My husband continues to work for the farmer, probably this summer we will build again. Now we live everyone for themselves, our son-in-law and daughter live one-half hour away from us and we often go there and take pleasure in our little grand-daughter.

Our health is good; we also hope, however, that you loved ones also are healthy. Now in the month of May, when everything is in full bloom, the longing rises again and again for our beloved homeland! This will never become our homeland, these people don't properly understand us and also they didn't undergo anything.

Our letters probably always take a few weeks? We wish you loved ones at the same time a healthy, happy Pentecost! Dear August! Please write once again a few lines, it was still good to read. Now I want to come to the end, deepest thanks again for everything good; my husband also thanks you many times for the nice underwear. Many greetings to all of you from us all.

Anna Michaelis

The daughter together with her husband greet you many times and thanks again for everything.

A/N - MIC007  -  [translation by Siegfried Krause]


7 January 1951

Dear cousin together with family!

Now (we) must inform you, that your dear CARE package has safely arrived. In fact, we got it on January 4, the joy was great, to get such a valuable package so unexpected from you. Even if it arrived after Christmas, it still now tastes good; we have shared it all with my daughter, of course; also our children were delighted, since our son-in-law is unemployed for the winter and the support is not high enough. We thank you now quite heartily for the gracious gift, may our dear God bless you again triply.

We have spend the Christmas celebration with best health and we thank God that we came healthy into the New Year. Aunt and Uncle Block have given us a Christmas package, the old people really do much, sending packages to 22 families, this must be said. And our dear, old aunt then must write also to all, and it still is so easy to read.

We have a cute little grand-daughter who becomes 2 years old soon, this is the only family we still have; the children live ½ hour away from us and we are often together. My husband still has work, of course, always as a farmhand with the farmer and is glad that he is not counted among the many unemployed persons. He shifted, however, now he is with a large farmer. Here we also have an apartment, we are no longer so constricted and live already a bit better.

Dear August! You probably already heard that 2 years ago we were burned down at our first farmer, that was a second serious blow for us. But the dear God kept us healthy, I’m also working what I can do; then if we buy ourselves one item, we must take it already as deferred payment, the wages are simple too low against the high prices. Dear cousin! If you, or your sons, still have discarded things, please, please think of us and sends them to us, also I would be very grateful for discarded garments. My husband would like to have a jacket, but it isn't acquirable for us, maybe you loved ones can spare an old jacket?

You loved ones! Don't resent me, that I write again a letter of request; you also know what one wears out working. My husband would gladly work again as a shepherd, but there is no outlook for it, because here large manors are missing. My sister Berta is often sick, has many problems with her heart. I would like to visit her once, but money for the trip is missing.

Whether we will see our beloved homeland again, only our dear God knows. During the holidays, we were there again very much in our thoughts. So one year after the other passes and no real peace wants to come on Earth. Hopefully, you loved ones arrived healthy in the New Year; we wish you good luck and God's blessing. Now again, a thousand thanks for your dear packages, also my daughter thanks you heartily.

Dear August! Please write once a short letter, try it, it will surely work, we would be very happy.

Now be greeted many times from your grateful cousin.

Anna Michaelis

Our address has changed a bit, no more with Buscher

Heeslingen 22. over Zeven

near? Bremen

A/N - MIC008  -  [translation by Siegfried Krause]


2 January 1952

All you loved ones!

We want to answer you now immediately that your dear package and also the letter arrived. The package was here already sooner than the letter. Now, you loved ones can probably imagine our getting your beautiful package so unexpectedly. It arrived on the 29th of December and we got your dear lines with the pretty Christmas card on the 31st of December. Now, we say cordial thanks for all the beautiful things, as well as the food, above all, the wonderful coffee. We drank the good coffee yesterday on New Year's Day and thought of you.

The suit fits our son-in-law perfectly; he was tremendously happy. At the moment, he is unemployed again. Our daughter must economize very much with their small benefits. In October, their second child was born. So, the dear God has given us again a grandson, he is also called “Willi" in place of our dear son who was killed in the war. And you loved ones have sent such cute coats and cap for the babies. One has joy with the grandchildren; we often are together with the children. However, they do not live in this place, we must travel for one-half hour. The daughter can well use the pretty clothes; the colorful one fits well; our daughter, Anni, also thanks you for all.

Otherwise, we are healthy and attend to our work, bettering ourselves as we serve this large farmer. I milk daily, in summer; I have still done easy work. However, one still wants to make some money to purchase the most necessary things. It is very difficult with the beds because the feather beds (mattresses?) are so expensive. How nice we had everything in the homeland, and the trousseau for the daughter was also there, and now, what does she have for a beginning? My husband often feels sorry that he must permanently slave as a farmhand for the farmer. How well he had it as a shepherd in the homeland. However, he often tried in vain to obtain a shepherd job. Therefore, we don’t want to grumble against God, on earth all is transitory. We are grateful to our dear God, that He keeps us healthy, He will show us also the right way into the new year. We all ask that there might be peace on Earth, because we have had tough times behind us and wouldn’t like to experience another war.

That Uncle Block had to die so suddenly has saddened us very much, the good folks did much for us. One probably can ask for nothing more from our old aunt. Also we are happy that our aunt still writes such beautiful letters to us at her age. Whether we will see again our old, beloved homeland, we hardly believe, but during Christmas time it is very much in our thoughts.

Thus your children are all married, and as we read, you are both living in the city. One becomes old fast. I become 56 years old in February, Berta is 10 years older. The youngest sister in Thuringia is 50, also already a widow, is now with her children. Our eldest brother Franz, living not far away in Hamburg, visited us already a few years ago. There is still no trace of our brother Fritz, whom the Russians kidnapped, he probably is no longer living; his wife lives near Lübeck.

Thus you loved ones! Thank you once again for the beautiful package. We wish you now good luck and God’s blessing for the new year! Greet your children and you both are greeted many times from far away.

August - Anna Michaelis



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