February 14, 1923 Letter To George Hamm From His Sister Anna

The last letter, previous to this one, from Germany was in 1900, so there is a large gap in time between correspondence. It is unknown if letters were sent but never kept. From the tone of this letter it appears that there probably was a large chunk of time where no one was keeping in touch, this gap included the events of World War I. His sister and brother-in-law give a good sense of what the German’s were going through after the war.

None of George’s siblings or their children left Germany, even with all the hard times they were having. George’s sister gives a good accounting of the family, and shares the tragic list of dead due to the war and time.

Schwabsburg [Germany], February 14, 1923

Dear brother and family,
Your dear letter that you wrote on December 25 arrived on January 13, 1923. We were very pleased to receive the nice gift. Many thanks. Your letter came quickly. We would have written sooner, but I am still sick. then we wanted to wait until we had the money, which we still don’t have today. Dear brother, I could tell you so much if we could just be together. It’s impossible to write everything. Dear brother, you wanted to know where our brothers and sisters are. Brother Andreas is 1918 goes [?]1 He has 2 sons and 2 daughters. One son was killed in the war. Brother Johannes has been dead a long time. Sister Kathchen died in 1902. She lived in Bodenheim. She had 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters, and three of them are still living. Sister Gretchen died in 1911. She had 4 sons. They were all in the war, and the eldest son was killed. She lived in Sachsenhausen. Brother Heinrich died in 1885. Sister Lieschen died in October 1920. She had 12 children. They are not all living. Most are married. Brother Jakob lives in Bitteborn with his second wife. His children from his first marriage are married, and he has 2 sons with his second wife. Fritz lives in Nierstein and has 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters. Brother Karl lives here and has no children. You heard from sister Lischen that I was sick. Well, I am still not well even today. Brother Karl and I are still alone here. Dear brother, you also wanted to know who of your good friends are still around. Still left of those in your generation are Adam Josten and Adam Zimmermann, called Bettevatter, and Mrs. Heinrich Horn nee Eimermann. I don’t know of any more other than these. Your good friends Johannes and Heinrich Muller have been gone a long time. Peter Klaus has also been dead for a long time. Dear brother, we sympathize with you that your wife has died, but be consoled. She was not supposed to go on. Naturally it’s hard when one is taken from the other.


Parting hurts. Then it is surely in God’s plan that we have to part from those who are dearest to us. My husband and I have also been heavily afflicted with illness. Then one is doubly poor when one has no one. Dear brother, just the day before your letter came, we had spoken of you and commented that our brother doesn’t write any more. We often talk and yearn like that. Dear brother, during the war you wrote to us, and I also answered you, but unfortunately the letter came back. I still have it, and if postage weren’t so expensive I would send it along with this. Dear brother, with the money that you sent us, we want to buy a little pig and a pair of shoes for my husband. He has to walk all day long. There is no use thinking about clothes or food, because everything is so terribly expensive. I would gladly go without meat and sausage if he had some fat. A pound of American lard costs 10,000 marks, butter 20,000, one egg 400 marks, a pound of wheat flour 2,000. Where will it all end? One is supposed to enjoy life, but those who have already gone to their rest, one has to envy them. Dear brother, you asked whether I needed dresses. I could use them, yes, but what we need most is underwear, something warm. There are many things I could use, but I’m not that demanding. If you want to send us something, we’ll be grateful, but only if you are able and are in a position to do it. Dear brother, you didn’t say anything about your children. How many do you have? Does one of them live with you? There is a lot more I could write you. Your godfather, Gerd Knobloch, is still living. He has 6 children, 2 daughters and 4 sons. Two were killed in the war. He is doing very well. I will close now, with fond regards from far away to your children and especially you, dear brother.
Your dear sister and aunt, Anna Marie Eigelsheimer

Dear brother-in-law,

I want to add my thanks for the lovely gift, which was very welcome and much needed, because my wife has been ill continually for the last two years, and especially now, as we go through these hard, expensive times, anyone who doesn’t have a good income and can’t set aside any of his farm produce must have serious doubts about how he can go on living. We have no other income other than my monthly salary, and this has been very low from the start. I have been a police officer since 1899, and I was still getting the same starting salary of 600 marks until 1919. My salary has now been increased a little, but food and all the necessities of life have gone sky-high, so that you can hardly buy anything any more if you don’t have the means to spend so much every day. Groceries get higher day by day, and our German mark is hardly worth a penny. Dear brother-in-law, for the 10 dollars that you sent is, I want to buy myself a little pig weighing 60 to 70 pounds, for a pound live weight costs 3000 to 3500 marks according to our mark. We still face hard times here. All the railway stations here are occupied by the French and they are also riding the trains, and hundreds of railway employees and laborers are out of work. What the future will bring, well just have to wait and see. Its almost impossible to get coal or wood any more. A hundred metric pounds of coal costs 5,000 to 7,000 marks. All railroads and ships are barricaded and have stopped running until further notice.

Again, thank you so much, and many German greetings from your brother-in-law and uncle and aunt and sister,
Jakob Eigelsheimer & Anna Marie Eigelsheimer

Letter January 20, 1900 Peter Klaus To George Hamm

‘Isserstedt’ is totally mangled in this printed invite.

                                                                                                                Schwabsburg [Germany], January 2, 1900

Dear Georg!

I received the invitation to your silver anniversary. I was pleased to be invited and might have come, but it was already December 20 when I received the letter, so I would have gotten there too late, and the sea voyage is also not very pleasant in the winter. I gave the letter and card to your brothers and sisters to read. Last winter we had neither snow nor ice, and the vintage year 1899 was very good for us. Grain, wine, fruit, and potatoes were all plentiful.

We had about 3 weeks of cold weather, but now its warming up. Your brother-in-law Eigelsheimer has become a policeman. He and your sister are doing well and send their regards. Grandmother is also still well and sends her regards. You didn’t say anything about the picture that I sent you. You can probably still sing it. I can’t think of anything else in particular to write about. Best regards from all of us, especially to you,

                                                                                                                from your friend,
Peter Klaus         

Letter July 7, 1897 Elizabeth Hamm Müller To Her Brother George Hamm

Schwabsburg [Germany], July 7, 1897

Dear brother, sister-in-law, and family.

We received your picture and note and were very pleased that you finally thought of us.

I would have written you earlier, but didn’t have a proper address. We have often spoken of you, and Erhard keeps saying, ‘Doesn’t he remember the prank that he played in our house? If he could write to Peter Glaus [Klaus], he could write to us some time too.’

I didn’t know but what our father had written to you that I am marred to Erhard Müller. Dear brother, please excuse me for not writing right away. On July 1 we were blessed once again with a little son. Now we have 2 boys and 3 girls, and 3 have died. Our oldest girl is 12 years old. We have had a heavy burden of illness with our children. 

We had your name recorded with our little one. I hope it will be fun for you to have another godchild in Germany.  My brother-in-law Heinrich stood in for you at the baptism. We don’t want to burden anyone else, because if you have too many, you probably know very well how it was with us earlier. I heard that our sister Maria was miffed at me because she didn’t get a picture. What an ass she is. We haven’t spoken a word to each other for 13 years. She didn’t want me to marry Erhard. I couldn’t have gotten a better one. But we agree. That’s the main thing. Brother Fritz has probably already told you, one by one, where our other siblings are. We live in Erhards fathers house, and we have made a lot of changes. And when you have a lot done, that costs a lot of money right away. But it was necessary. You remember how it was before.

Dear brother you probably know very well that as long as the children are still small you don’t have anyone to help you. It must have been that way for you too. But now you are a wealthy man, so I hear.

I have shown your picture to various friends, and they don’t even believe its you. But Erhard said right away that if you didn’t have the beard you would look the same as ever. Our aunt Mrs. Matter complains that you’ve never even sent her a greeting. She and Christina are still alone, i.e. not yet married. When I showed them your picture, they laughed again and said I should remind you about the time when there was such a severe thunderstorm that you and her Johannes prayed, but you were holding the prayer book upside down.

Dear brother, I wish I could talk with you in person, but that cannot be. Were too far apart.

If our father had allowed it, perhaps I might have been with you right now. When Mothers Lischen was in Germany, she absolutely wanted to take me with her. She even wanted to pay for my passage. But he wouldn’t give in. I was 18 years old then. That would have been the best age, and I would have gone at once. If our little one stays healthy, we are thinking of having our picture taken this fall, and then well send you our picture too.

My sister-in-law, Eva Müller, sends you her best regards and also would like you picture. I wont need to write you our address. There is only one Erhard Müller in Schwabsburg. Erhard wants to write to you next time. He is currently working in Nackenheim, where they are building a dam. He comes home so tired at night that he doesn’t get around to writing.

Dear brother Georg, Ill close now, until next time. But don’t keep me waiting as long as I did you.

[Elizabeth/Lieschen Müller]