May 14, 1933
It has been quite awhile since I have heard from you in America. As far as we are concerned, including those in Siegelau, we are well, which is something which I hope is true of you too. To be sure I have not been home since last summer. Father's sight has not improved, otherwise he would certainly like to write himself. Father instructs me again and again to write to America.
At home Father is suffering under this terrible tax burden, for agriculture is in bad shape.* Due to the gigantic change in government, agriculture hopes for some aid. Timber and cattle are two main items for sale; have poor prices and sell poorly. Actually it was really necessary all right that Hitler brought this mix-up of political parties to an end.** Foreign countries did indeed sometimes write terrible stories about the events in Germany. Viewed correctly things are like this: all those or only those who acted against the welfare of the whole people by political destruction of the state or by usury, have been put behind lock and bar, regardless of whether they were professors or workers.***
Of course I do not agree with the idea of rearmament for such things always lead to the same final misery as was demonstrated by the last war. But, dear Uncle, as I look out the window toward the West what I see in front of me is the Upper Rhine, dammed, and the Kembe Power Station. Just now I can see steamers going by and I can hear their signals. The Kembe Power Station is a power plant of gigantic dimensions. It was only last night that I was inside the plant. To give the appearance of guards at attention, there are several French military regiments stationed at the border.**** That presents a serious provocation. It is certain that another war would not only lead to the collapse of Germany but all of Europe would fall prey to communism and complete poverty as well as to complete enslavement by big capital.*****
Well, in the meantime we hope for recuperation of the whole economy. I believe that it is the same in America too, as with us here, that is, that the middle man profits three to four times as much as the producer. America has again returned to the "wet" means of joy and thus the farmer will probably have more demand for his products.****** Unemployment has taken on bad manifestations in America tool With me in my shop things have been improving slowly of late. I am glad that up to now I have had a secure position. At present we have 60 men again.******* Whoever was unemployed or was about to become unemployed, found it almost impossible to find any employment whatsoever.
Last Wednesday I saw the "Count Zeppelin" go by at ten o'clock at night. It has not returned yet. This summer it goes by regularly every two weeks. The Zeppelin is quite a good piece of machinery. The Americans had quite a lot of bad luck with the "Akron." It is a pity that the many people and such a product were lost. The largest one of the world ("Ohio") passed its test flight well, however. New times always bring something new and in the course of time we ourselves grow old and the times take their proscribed course to which the most far-reaching technical capabilities do not add anything new.
We would be most happy if Miss Helen could send us a few words. Father keeps asking about what they might be doing in America. Please let us hear from you soon.
I want to conclude now, hoping that all of you are well and we wish you everything good.
Greetings from all of us.
* See pages following letter, section on Agriculture.
** See pages following letter, March 5, 1933, Parliamentary elections.
*** "Usury" in Hitler's propaganda meant principally the Jews in banking, or anyone who could be charged with exploitation as they might define it. As to the professors, they, as well as many other workers, were hired by the Government and were Civil Service workers.
**** The last of the Allied troops, army of occupation following World War I were evacuated from the Rhineland in summer of 1930, five years ahead of schedule. The peace treaty had originally specified 15 years. But the French must have been uneasy on their side of the Rhine with recent developments in Germany.
***** See pages following letter. This shows results of the propaganda.
****** Even they found our repeal of prohibition act newsworthy and probably regarded the whole idea as a rather curious one.
*******Vitus writes of 60 men working where he works. According to his obituary, he worked for a Schumacher Construction firm before World War II, and after the war he went into business for himself, as a Master Mechanic.