Germany in 1924 was in deep turmoil, with a distressed economy and heavy poverty that eventually gave rise to Hitler coming to power. We’re offering a superbly written, 8 pp, 5 x 6 ½, written by a teacher from Rockville Centre, NY, to her friend, Olive, on October 2, 1924, relaying information about Germany. Our teacher is relaying the experiences of her friend Miss Brown in minute detail. Brown had spent the summer there. She speaks of the Bolsheviks, the raiding and vandalizing of Weimer, poverty, the work of Quakers for children, mistreatment of German prisoners. Her narrative concludes with a discussion about a Jewish student who was absent from school during Rosh Hashanah, and she includes a newspaper article from Freeport (very possibly Freeport, NY) regarding the Jewish celebration. Very nice period letter.
“First, I want to tell you about the conditions in Germany as they were explained to me by Miss Brown, one of the teachers who spent most of the summer there. She had spent a year in 1911 and the summer of 1914 or until…there were a great number of German-Americans over there who had heard stories of great hardship and gone to see for themselves. They took much money too. She said that the government (republican) was fairly stable. The men most of them seemed satisfied with it but the women were terrible. They kept talking about the Kaiser and wanted him back. The thing of it was that many of them had lost brothers or husbands in the war and without reasoning it out they associated the Kaiser with the good days. She said there were about fourteen different parties in the state and they held public meetings at times to win support. One held a meeting while she was in Weimer – the Socialists, I think. The Bolsheviks were to hold one later but she did not stay for it. I asked her about the Bolsheviks. She said it was a menace for a while before she was there they had had a raid and vandalized the city. As thieves do so the women were taking the precautions to have no carpets down in the halls…
“There was much poverty among the people. The rich men moved into Switzerland after the war and thus escaped the taxes. The government doesn’t get much revenue so can pay the unemployed and the aged only twenty-five cents a day, enough to buy soup and bread. Miss Brown thought it was a matter of time how long they could hold onto that. The Quakers are doing a fine work for the children. “She said conditions are not dangerous for her. She was not even asked to show her passport going in or coming out of Germany. The new government was easy going—very different from the old regime. The women – people – thought America entered the war for money and they paid …The women spoke of how bad the French treated the German prisoners and how well they treated the French. Miss Brown had a cousin who died from the effects of a German prison. She started to explain this to the women but she couldn’t even finish her sentence when the women burst out crying and as they were in the public restaurant, she desisted. “I thought you might like to use this for your modern history course when it fits right. It is as near first-hand information as you could get.
“Here is a clipping of the Jewish holidays. I had a joke on myself. In one class, I have a boy by the name of Cooper, a bright, interesting bright and a good student. I missed him two or three days. Then I saw him in the hall. I said, ‘where have you been?’ He answered to my complete surprise, ‘I was out for the holidays. My father is quite orthodox and insists on my being home.’ You expect Weinstein and Steinbock, etc. to be Jews, but Cooper took me off my guard…”
Folds. Letter is unsigned by appears to be complete. Very descriptive and easily.
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