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Author: Subject: Serbske Nowiny: 1870
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[*] posted on 8-3-2016 at 03:54 PM
Serbske Nowiny: 1870


22 Jan, p. 19: Wucžah, s Australiskeho lista. Translated from Upper Sorbian by Gerald Stone.

An extract, from an Australian letter.

Near Kapunda, 10 October 1869. –

Dear Editor,

Seeing we been reading your “Serbske Nowiny” for many years in this distant land, I take the liberty of sending you a letter and of writing in it something for the Wendish children at Christmas, because my letter will reach you around Christmas.

Christmas should be an important and precious festival for every Christian child and for every Christian grown-up too, because it is really the beginning of Christianity. This feast falls on the same day here as where you are, except that gifts are given 9 hours earlier than in Lusatia; but the weather here is quite different, because at Christmas we are in the very middle of summer. The days are long and the nights are short, and the sun is shining almost straight down on us; the heat is intense and we have our busiest time and most hard work. And, although I have already celebrated this festival fourteen times in Australia, I still cannot get used to such warm Christmases. Among the English, who are in the majority here, “Bože dźěćo” (Child of God) is completely unknown. Only the Wends and the Germans here follow the old customs, and we prepare all possible kinds of treats for our children.

We have no walnuts here, but all kinds of almonds and some of them have such tough shells that you might need to use a Krupp’s sledge-hammer on them. We have apples here too, as well as lemons and oranges, and the cherries are already ripe. We are not short of toys or gingerbread and other tasty things, as you can imagine. And, if we want it, we can even get ice, because there is an ice factory in Adelaide, and ice is brought nearly every day to other towns. I have seen these great lumps of ice with my own eyes.

We have cakes and Stollen too for Christmas, because we are never short of wheat flour. We almost every day eat meat, but we have to go short of potatoes and other vegetables.

Parents here are not obliged to send their children to school, and a teacher has to behave according to the wishes of the people, because here there is complete freedom in church and school matters, and in this respect everyone can behave as he pleases. Children run around idly here, more than where you are, because there is no spinning here or threshing, and there is never any winter and there is no snow to hold anyone up.

Easter here comes in our early autumn, and Whitsun [Pentecost] in the late autumn. We celebrate harvest thanksgiving on 2 April. There is no kermis (church-fair) here.

Now I shall end my letter and wish the children much joy and gladness at Christmas. To each reader of Serbske Nowiny I wish good health and God’s blessing in the New Year.

Your true friend G.D. [George Doecke]

16 Apr, p. 118-119: List s Ameriki. You can read the English translation of this letter by Carl Lehmann at 110.000 Texas Wends: Letters and Documents.

18 Jun, p. 191-192: List S Ameriki. Letter from John Pallmer, 23 May 1870. Translated from Upper Sorbian by Gerald Stone.

Letter from America

Baden, St Louis, Bo. Mo. 23 May 1870.

My dear Mr Smoler,
Accept with this my hearty greetings from the distant west of America! For a long time I have been intending to send you, my old friend and acquaintance, a long letter about my experiences in America, as I promised, but my great work, which I have found here from the beginning, has made that impossible, and even today I cannot yet fulfil my intention.

In all brevity I wish only to mention that I studied one year in St Louis at Concordia College and on 24 December 1869 I passed my examinations. I then came to the Evangelical-Lutheran Ebenezer parish in Baden, near St Louis as a pastor and, thanks be to God, am getting along really well.

What provokes me to write to you today is the following. In this great city of St Louis there are many Czechs living and they have occupied one whole section of the town. Most of them are Catholics, who have their own Czech school and intend in the near future to build a church. Among them, however, there are also many Protestants. The District President of our Synod, Rev. Bünger, has already asked me several times whether I, as a Wend, could not do something for these Protestant Czechs. I would gladly do that, but it will always be fairly difficult for me. I have almost forgotten the Czech language, which I learned from you in 1847 and 1848, but I could find my way back to it quite quickly, if only I had Czech books. Here I have been able to buy only a Czech Bible. You, however, are very well acquainted with Czech literature, so I ask you to supply me with all the necessary Czech books. – (That will be done, as soon as possible. Smoler.) –

I believe I shall soon be able to hold Czech church services with them with the help of good and necessary Czech books.

I hope that in a few weeks’ time I shall be able to send you a few numbers of the Czech newspapers that are published here. Last week I could not get my hands on any; after all, St Louis is very big.

Rev. Brohm of St Louis is at present on a visitational trip in Texas and he is also visiting the Wendish parish there. I am very curious to hear what news he will bring home from there.

Forgive me for writing so little. I have much to do. In Saxony pastors often complain they have much work and teachers likewise. But I am here a pastor and teacher in one person!

I wish you all the best! – Yours J. Palman [Palmer] from Bederwitz, united with you in love.

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