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Dear Children, Come Soon, is a Father's Plea to Russia

Schlender, Adolf. "Dear Children, Come Soon, is a Father's Plea to Russia." Hazen Star, 26 May 1988.


Among the early German-Russian settlers north of Hazen were Adolf and Maria Schlender who arrived in 1889 with three children, Gustave, Christian, and Rosina. Two married children, Adolf and Amalie, remained in the Crimea. In February, 1893, Adolf Sr., sent an urgent plea to his son, Adolf, and his wife, Sophie, and to the son-in-law, Christian Miller and Amalie to join them in the United States.

Subsequently the two young couples came to the United States and lived with Schlenders as suggested in the letter, according to Herb Schlender of Hazen, who is a son of the late Gustave Schlender.

The letter also suggested that the couples bring along a suitable girl for Gustave who wasn't interested in any of the girls available in the North Hazen area at the time. Whether or not it was in response to the letter, Herb doesn't know, but Theresa Nesper, who became Gustave's wife and Herb's mother, came to the Krem area in 1893 with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gottlob Nesper.

Here is a translation of the letter:

Krem, 13 February, 1893

Dearest children Adolf, Sophie, Christian and Amalie:

We have received your cherished letter. We would have answered sooner but we were waiting for Adolf's letter because I had written to the government about the flu epidemic. On Feb. 10 I received their answer which I have enclosed. It states that the flu does not present any obstacle to prevent you from coming. You can come with confidence and without concern. Since there have been so many deaths from the plague in Hamburg, I suggest you some via Bremen, or more economically, via Rotterdam with the help of the Odessa agent, Carl Kemper.

As a matter of fact, many immigrants come on Rotterdam ships.

Dear children, please come as soon as possible. You could leave there as early as March. It is with great longing that we look forward to embracing you again. We can hardly wait for your arrival so we can be together until we receive further information from the authorities here.

Gustav still has no plans to marry. Girls are scarce around here. There are many young men, but few girls, and those who are in the area don't interest Gustav. It would be nice if you could bring some along. Now plowing and seeding time are approaching, and we are short handed, for I am unable to do much work because of my hernia. Christian has suggested Johannes' and Emilie's son might help, but they need their children themselves, and so we urge you to be here in early April.

When you come, bring along a square and a couple of small saws that you can pack in your bedding. Adolf, you can bring along your sheepskin and a fur robe. And you, dear Christian, if possible it would be nice if you could bring along your brother Adam. The wife of Christian's in-law, blacksmith George Tschaikowski, died in January, 15 days after the birth of a daughter. The child is well, but the mother left eight children.

Be sure to write and let us know when you will be leaving.

Heartfelt greeting and kisses from Gustav, Christian, and Rosina together with our sincere wishes that this finds you in good health. Special kisses to the children. Greetings and kisses to all from your parents, Adolf and Marie Schlender.

Three weeks ago I wrote to Fredrich, and Gustav wrote a special letter to you Adolf, which must have arrived by now. Dear brother, Adolf, bring me a big, black fur with a big collar. You can buy one in Odessa, if at all possible.

Reprinted with permission of the Hazen Star.

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