American Volga Relief Society (Lincoln, Neb.) [RG4879.AM]


RG4879.AM:  American Volga Relief Society (Lincoln, Neb.)

Records:  1921-1938, n.d.; mostly 1921-1925

Lincoln, Lancaster County and McCook, Red Willow County, Neb.; Portland, Ore.:  Humanitarian organization

Size:  1.75 cu.ft.; 4 boxes


Russia experienced mass starvation from 1920 to 1924. The years 1921-1922 saw the largest number of deaths from starvation. The cause of the starvation was the Lenin government’s policy of forced grain requisition carried out as part of the kulak (wealthy private farmers) extermination campaign. The ethnic Germans living along both banks of the Volga River in the Saratov and Samara provinces of Russia had resisted the grain requisition. As a punitive measure, Lenin ordered that the Volga area settlements be completely stripped of all grain and that mass executions be carried out. Over 30% of the Volga German population was deliberately starved before Lenin allowed international famine relief organizations into the area. The relief was reluctantly allowed after the Lenin government began to fear that food shortages among the military and city workers (who were considered the backbone of the Bolshevik Revolution) would lead to mass rebellion. As the Volga region, along with Ukraine, was the main bread basket of the area, Lenin (who was pragmatic and willing to improvise policy as circumstances dictated and unforeseen events arose) recognized the need to save the Volga German population (which was extraordinarily adept at farming) to help ensure a successful harvest, feed the military and city workers, and thus save the Revolution. After the relief project was completed, the government continued to persecute the Volga German population, and starvation continued until the end of 1924.

In 1921, George Repp of Portland, Oregon, organized the Volga Relief Society (VRS), which solicited funds from the Volga German communities in America for the relief of relatives in Russia. A separate organization with similar goals, the Central States Volga Relief Society (CSVRS), arose at the same time in Lincoln, Nebraska. On 4 November 1922, the two organizations consolidated to form the American Volga Relief Society (AVRS). The first president of the AVRS was Dr. H. P. Weckesser of Lincoln.

The AVRS operated through the American Relief Administration (ARA) headed by Herbert Hoover. The CSVRS chose Jacob Volz of York, Nebraska, as its representative in Russia to personally oversee the operation in the Volga area. The main areas of operation in Russia were the Saratov and Samara provinces of the future Volga German Republic, the Samara-Koshki German settlement area, and the German settlements in the Siberian Omsk area. In 1924, operations were also conducted in Germany, mainly in the form of donations to orphanages and missions. The AVRS officially disbanded in 1926, though private relief efforts continued into the 1930s.

The records of the Lincoln AVRS were entrusted to Hattie Plum Williams, a professor at the University of Nebraska, because she was known as the foremost scholarly researcher of the Volga German ethnic group in Lincoln, Nebraska. When Dr. Williams’ papers were donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1961 as manuscript collection MS1872, the AVRS materials came with them. In January of 1996, it was decided to move the AVRS materials, describe them more fully, and file them as a separate collection.


This collection relates to the starvation of the Volga German colonists in Russia, and the efforts of the American Volga Relief Society to supply food and other aid to the region. Though the collection contains items spanning the dates 1921 to 1938, the bulk of the materials are dated 1921-1925, the most intensive years of the famine. The records are written predominantly in German, and contain materials of the following varieties: letters written by Volga German village leaders recording population statistics before the Revolution and after the famine in 1923; lists of donors with amounts donated; receipts for food/clothing packages and cash; religious confirmation lists; collections of letters from Volga German professors and pastors; ARA and AVRS office correspondence, including newsletters; correspondence of Jacob Volz; letters of appeal for donations from Germany; CSVRS subscription coupons; bank statements and other miscellaneous items relating to the AVRS and the Volga German communities of Lincoln, Nebraska, McCook, Nebraska, and Portland, Oregon.


Series I: Letters of response to a questionnaire sent out by the AVRS regarding animals and human population statistics for each village, and what the village needs most (food, clothing, etc.). These letters are arranged chronologically by month and day, then by village and province. Village and province subdivisions are numbered (Arabic numerals) within each month on acid-free, labeled dividers within the folders.

Series II: Lists of Food/Clothing Package Recipients, often with letters expressing gratitude for the assistance received. The Lists are arranged alphabetically by name of village. Village subdivisions within each folder are numbered (Arabic numerals), and separated by labeled dividers.

Series III: Saratov: Alphabetical list of recipients of food packages from Pastor Behning’s parish, 1922. Contains the amount and kind of staple foods received and the signatures of many recipients.

Series IV: Lists of Recipients, various villages. The contents of the lists are also variable. Some compilers of the lists are known: Professor Peter Sinner, J. Grassmuck, J.S. Seydlitz. The lists are separated by labeled dividers within the folder.

Series V: Confirmation Lists. This series is composed mostly of lists from Dietel (Oleschna) parish. The Dietel parish lists are arranged alphabetically by village name. Bauer and Neu-Straub villages are also represented; and one unidentified village list. The lists are separated by labeled dividers within the folder.

Series VI: Letter Collections of six village leaders have been arranged into six subseries:

Subseries A and Subseries B relate to Professor Peter Sinner of Saratov. Subseries A consists of Sinner’s outgoing correspondence to Henry P. Weckesser of Lincoln, Nebraska, and two items sent to Jacob Volz. The letters are filed chronologically and separated by labeled dividers within the folder. Subseries B consists of miscellaneous lists and incoming correspondence of Professor Sinner.

Subseries C contains a lengthy letter, written by Professor Friedrich Konstanz of Saratov, to H.P. Weckesser.

Subseries D contains letters from Pastor Behning of Saratov to AVRS representatives Jacob Wagner and Jacob Volz.

Subseries E is a single letter from Pastor Friedrich Wacker of Norka to Jacob Volz.

Subseries F consists of the correspondence of Pastor Arthur Kluck of Frank. The letters date from 1922-1924. Of interest are letters concerning a devastating fire in the village of Hussenbach in May of 1923 at the height of the famine, with an appeal for assistance and a list of victims. The letters are filed chronologically and separated by labeled dividers within the folder.

Series VII: Professor Peter Sinner Receipt Collection. This series contains receipts collected by Peter Sinner of Saratov for relief packages distributed in the Wiesenseite [Meadow Side] and Bergseite [Hill Side] villages, 1922-1923. The receipts are arranged alphabetically by recipient or village.

Series VIII consists of receipts, 1922-1923, for food and/or clothing packages received in the Saratov and Samara provinces of the Volga German settlement area (Subseries A). Receipts for money received in those areas form Subseries B.

Series IX: Jacob Volz Correspondence. This series consists mostly of letters from AVRS representative, Jacob Volz, to AVRS President H.P. Weckesser. Following Weckesser’s death in early 1923, the letters are addressed to either John Rohrig, the 1st Vice-president, or simply to the “American Volga Relief Society” in Lincoln. The letters themselves are essentially reports from Volz to his parent organization. Volz often sent more than one letter in an envelope, along with other enclosures such as receipts, pamphlets, invoices, etc., relating to his work in the Volga colonies. Materials in this series are arranged in a roughly chronological order, since the multiple enclosures of varying dates made strict chronological order impossible to maintain without destroying context. The contents of each envelope have been left in the order in which they were found at the time of processing, and are separated by labeled dividers within the folder. Some materials relate to the American Relief Administration. A collection of short notes with thanks from Saratov province villages in 1923 is also included.

Series X: Correspondence, American Volga Relief Society Office, Lincoln, Nebraska, is divided into three subseries:

Subseries A includes correspondence and enclosures sent from the ARA to the CSVRS/AVRS during the period of 6 June 1922 to 4 June 1923. The materials are arranged chronologically, and relate to administrative issues such as distribution policies, financial matters/receipts, ending the relief operations, etc.

Subseries B consists of chronologically arranged letters, 1922-1924, sent to the AVRS from America regarding various aspects of the relief operation.

Subseries C includes materials sent to the AVRS from Germany, 1922-1924, chronologically arranged.

Series XI: Miscellaneous materials, American Volga Relief Society, Lincoln, Nebraska. A 1924 pamphlet describing the Lincoln AVRS (published in Lincoln) is of particular interest.

Series XII contains financial records, mostly about AVRS/CSVRS benefactors, arranged in five subseries:

Subseries A: Subscription coupons, [1921]-1922, for the Central States Volga Relief Society. Three versions of the coupons are present in the collection. All contain the names of the benefactors and the amounts donated; the most common form of the coupon also contains the address, the amount donated, and space to indicate whether the donation should go to the general fund or to a specified colony.

The typed subscription list in Subseries B is undated, but contains both the names of benefactors and the recipients of the donations, as well as the amounts donated.

Subseries C is composed of chronologically arranged lists, mostly 1921 and early 1922, with the names of benefactors and amounts donated to the relief effort.

Subseries D consists of two letters from March 1922 regarding fulfillment of pledges made by Anna Sinner and Alex Weckesser of Lincoln.

Bank receipts for the Central States Volga Relief Society form Subseries E.

Series XIII contains material relating to the Portland (Oregon) office of the AVRS, arranged in three subseries:

Subseries A: Correspondence, in English, includes letters from George Repp reporting on conditions in Russia; printed letters from Volga German village leaders; reports and updates about VRS/AVRS operations; and amounts donated for particular Volga German villages. The materials span the period from August 1921 to August 1925.

Subseries B: Correspondence, in German, includes letters from John W. Miller and others, reporting on conditions in Russia; printed letters from Volga German village leaders; general reports and updates spanning the period from September 1921 to March 1924.

Subseries C contains three lists of American benefactors with addresses and amounts donated.

Subseries D contains miscellaneous materials, dated 1924-1938: AVRS committee members list, June 1924; business cards; and anniversary, convention, and reunion items.

Series XIV: The Ledger Book of the McCook (Nebraska) Chapter of the American Volga Relief Society contains lists of benefactors and amounts donated for the years 1921-1923. The original ledger was loaned to the Nebraska State Historical Society for microfilming from the collection of the Archives of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Series XV contains miscellaneous AVRS documents.


Series I – Letters of Response

Box 1

Folder 1


A: October, 1923

    1. 25 October, Holstein, Saratov

    1. 27 October, Malousensk, Saratov

    1. 28 October, Alexandrovka, Samara

    1. 30 October, Neu-Warenburg, Rovnoe

    1. 30 October, Oberdorf, Samara

    1. 31 October, Dietel, Saratov

B: November, 1923

    1. 1 November, Konstantinovka, Samara

    1. 1 November, Kana, Samara

    1. 2 November, Alexandrovka, Samara

Box 1

Folder 2


    1. 3 & 10 November, Kraft, Saratov

    1. 3 November, Katharinental, Samara

    1. 3 November, Reinisfeld, Koshki-Samara

    1. 4 November, Hoffental, Koshki-Samara

    1. 5 November, Moor, Saratov

    1. 5 November, Schoendorf, Saratov

    1. 6 November, Rosendamm, Samara

    1. 7 November, Orlovskoi, Samara

    1. 7 November, Franzosen, Saratov

    1. 8 November, Neu-Bauer, Samara

    1. 8 November, Anton, Saratov

Box 1

Folder 3


    1. 9 November, Avilova, Saratov

    1. 9 November, Strassburg, Samara

    1. 12 November, Krasnojar, Saratov

    1. 12 November, Blumental, Lokot

    1. 12 November, Zvonaryev-Kut (Novinka), Omsk

    1. 14 November, Köppental, Samara

    1. 14 November, Saratov

    1. 14 November, Neu-Yagodnoye-Polyana, Saratov

    1. 15 November, Dinkel, Saratov

    1. 15 November, Friedenberg, Samara

Box 1

Folder 4


    1. 15 November, Stefan, Saratov

    1. 16 November, Rosental, Samara

    1. 16 November, Klein-Konstantinov, Koshki-Samara

    1. 16 November, Friedental

    1. 16 November, Alexandertal, Tomsk

    1. 17 November, Prishib, Odessa

    1. 17 November, Lokot, Rubtsovskaya, Letter from two prisoners of war

    1. 18 November, Krasnoyar, Omsk

    1. 18 November, Silberfeld, Odessa

    1. 20 November, Alt Galka, Saratov

    1. 20 November, Orlovskoi, Rubtsovskaya

Box 1

Folder 5


    1. 20 November, Baskakovka, Samara

    1. 20 November, Nikolayev, Samara

    1. 20 November, Neu-Straub, Saratov

    1. 20 November, Dreispitz, Saratov

    1. 21 November, Baskakovka, Samara

    1. 21 November, Neidorf [Neudorf], Semipalatinsk

    1. 21 November, Popovka, Sosnovka

    1. 21 November, Furstenstein, Samara

    1. 23 November, Susannental, Saratov

    1. 25 November, Straub, Saratov

Box 1

Folder 6


    1. 25 November, Friedenfeld, Samara

    1. 25 November, Popovka, Sosnovka

    1. 26 November, Alexandrovka, Omsk

    1. 27 November, Gross Konstantinov, Koshki-Samara

    1. 28 November, Schoenfeld, Samara

    1. 29 November, Kaisersgnade, Samara

C: December, 1923

    1. 1 December, Walter, Saratov

    1. 1 December, Klein Romanov, Koshki-Samara

    1. 18 November & 12 December, Hannovka [out of order]

    1. 3 December, Maiorovka, Obeydinennaya

Box 1

Folder 7


    1. 5 December, Stepanov, Samara

    1. 5 December, Romanovka, Revolutionnaya

    1. 7 December, Zvonaryev-Kut, Sosnovka

    1. 8 December, Schilling, Sosnovka

    1. 12 December, Warenburg, Sosnovka

    1. 12 December, Novokronstadt, Promyshlennaya

    1. 1 December, Rosenfeld, Samara [out of order]

    1. 13 December, Novinka, Sosnovka

    1. 13 December, Samara-Lokot

    1. 16 December, Volinsk, Akmolinsk

Box 1

Folder 8


    1. 18 December, Popotschnaya, Odessa

    1. 19 December, Samarkandskoye, Akmolinsk

    1. 16 December, Roshdestvenskoye, Revolutionnaya [out of order]

    1. 20 December, Novinka, Sosnovka

    1. 20 December, Karaganda-Doplatit

    1. 21 December, Pokornoe Akmolinsk

    1. 23 December, Krasno-Kut, Promyshlennaya

    1. 24 December, Donhoff, Saratov

    1. 25 December, Samarska, Lokot

    1. 25 December, Popovka, Sosnovka

    1. 28 December, Sarepta, Obeydinyennaya

Box 1

Folder 9


D: 1923 Undated

    1. Neu-Kronstadt, Promyshlennaya

E: 1924

    1. 2 February, Srednie Prava, Koshki-Samara

    1. 13 February, Baltika [also contains statistical information on Bikovka, Sabalovka, Kivijirv, and Liflanko]

    1. 10 December, Popovkino [Popovka], Sosnovka

F: AVRS statistical extracts from letters, 3 pages typed, for the villages of Rosental, Klein Konstantinov, Holstein, Franzosen, Neu-Bauer, Konstantinovka, Moor, Dietel, and Kana.

Series II – Lists of Food/Clothing Recipients

Box 2

Folder 1


    1. Alexandertal, 6 December 1923

    1. Anton, 12 January 1923

    1. Balzer, Request for school supplies, 19 March 1923

    1. Balzer, 27 March 1923

    1. Balzer, List of poorest families [no date]

    1. Baratayevka, List of poorest families [no date]

    1. Basel, List of poorest families [no date]

    1. Beideck, 27 October 1922 [Located in Box 2, Folder 6, #4]

    1. Beideck, 4 January 1923

    1. Beideck, 16 March 1923

    1. Beideck, 22 March 1923

    1. Beideck, 24 March 1923

    1. Beideck, 17 May 1923

    1. Beideck, 26 May 1923, Protocol

    1. Blumenfeld, 31 March 1923

    1. Brunnental, 12 March 1923

    1. Brunnental, 3 June 1923

    1. Degott, 22 March 1923

    1. Dinkel, 19 June 1923

    1. Dinkel [no date]

    1. Donhof, 9 January 1923

    1. Donhof, 25 January 1923

Box 2

Folder 2


    1. Frank, 23 May 1923 [Located in Box 2, Folder 9, item F.6]

    1. Frank, undated [Located in Box 2, Folder 9, item F.7]

    1. Glarus, List of poorest inhabitants [no date]

    1. Grimm, 2 January 1923, List of poorest inhabitants

    1. Grimm [no date]

    1. Huck, 22 May 1923

    1. Hussenbach, 12 July 1922

    1. Hussenbach, 24 September 1923

    1. Hussenbach, 30 May 1923

    1. Kautz, 18 February 1923

    1. Kautz [no date]

    1. Krasno-Yar [no date]

    1. Krasno-Yar, List of widows [no date]

    1. Kutter, 1 November 1922

    1. Kutter, 1 November 1922

    1. Kutter, December 1922

    1. Kutter, 19 March 1923, to Die Welt Post, about relief operations in Kutter

Box 2

Folder 3


    1. Lesnoi-Karamish, 10 November 1922

    1. Lesnoi-Karamish, 6 December 1922

    1. Messer, 11 January 1923

    1. Moor, 8 January 1923

    1. Moor, 16 May 1923

    1. Morgentau, 2 April 1923

    1. Muller, 2 March 1923

    1. Neu-Donhof, 17 February 1923

    1. Neu-Donhof, 25 March 1923, to the Dakota Freie Presse

    1. Neu-Donhof, 25 March 1923, to the Welt-Post

    1. Neu-Donhof, 27 March 1923

    1. Neu-Donhof, 17 May 1923

    1. Norka, 22 May 1923

Box 2

Folder 4


    1. Orlovskoi, March 1923 [Located in Series VI: Box 2, Folder 8: VI.B.3]

    1. Rosenberg, 12 March 1923

    1. Schilling, 27 February 1923

    1. Schilling, 23 March 1923

    1. Schuck, 1 December 1922

    1. Schuck, 1 January 1923

    1. Stefan, 5 July 1922

    1. Stefan, 4 April 1923

    1. Stefan, 8 January 1924

    1. Stefan, 10 pages with addresses of American benefactors

    1. Straub, 12 February 1923

    1. Tscherbakovka, 14 January 1923

    1. Tscherbakovka, 28 May 1923

    1. Tscherbakovka, 1 June 1923

    1. Tscherbakovka, 9 June 1923, with numerous signatures

    1. Yagodnaya-Polyana [no date]

    1. Zurich, 22 March 1923, List of the poorest inhabitants

Series III – Alphabetical List of Food Package Recipients from Pastor Behning’s Parish, Saratov, 1922

Box 2

Folder 5: Alphabetical list of food package recipients from Pastor Behning’s parish, Saratov, 1922

Series IV – Lists of Recipients, Various Villages

Box 2

Folder 6


    1. Winter 1922, J.S. Seydlitz: Paulskoi, Niedermonjou, Beauregard, Cano, Phillipsfeld, Katharinenstadt, Schaffhausen, Glarus.

    1. Typed lists: various villages by Peter Sinner; Brunnental by J. Grassmuck [cf. handwritten version, Series II, Lists of Food/Clothing Recipients, II.16]

    1. 12 July 1922, Saratov, Kosakenstadt-Pokrovka, Schwed, Krasnoyar am Karaman, Kohlerhof, Rosenheim, Katarinenstadt, Kautz, Hussenbach, Urbach, Yagodna-Polyana, Reinwald, Holstein, Mariental, Eckheim, Lisanderdorf (Neu-Messer), Merkel, Neu-Donhof, Morgentau, Kutter, Enders, Rosenheim, Alexanderhoh, Dittel, Mariental, Fischer, Sininka by Schilling, Krasny-Kut

    1. 27 October 1922, Donhof, Neu-Donhof, Huck, Dietel

    1. 1 May 1923, goods distributed in Nischnaya-BanNovemberka, Schilling, and Nischnaya-Dobrinka

    1. Undated, recipients of relief packets sponsored by the Portland, Oregon, community

    1. Undated, list of remittances

    1. Undated, statement of undelivered receipts

Series V – Confirmation Lists

Box 2

Folder 7


A: Dietel (Oleschna) parish

    1. Letter from F. Mollmann of Dietel, 13 December 1922

    1. Dietel, 13 December 1922

    1. Kautz, 11 December 1922

    1. Kratzke, 8 December 1922

    1. Merkel, 8 December 1922

    1. Neu-Donhof, 8 December 1922

    1. Neu-Balzer, 8 December 1922

B: Bauer, 25 September 1922, Confirmation material

C: Neu-Straub, with three attached notes (including numerous signatures), dated 20 May, 30 May, and 10 June 1923

D: No village indicated, confirmation list, signed “Nazarenus”

Series VI – Letter Collections

Box 2

Folder 8


A: Professor Peter Sinner of Saratov to H. P. Weckesser

    1. 22 October 1922, appeal to subscribe to the Wolgadeutsche Monatshefte

    1. 23 October 1922, about the conditions in the Volga German colonies

    1. Undated, marked “highest level of confidentiality,” about relief operations

    1. 22 December 1922, marked “confidential”

    1. 23 December 1922

    1. 29 December 1922, marked “confidential

    1. Undated letter with poem by Peter Sinner [Located in Box 2, Folder 13: IX.F.1]

    1. Letter about death of H. P. Weckesser, 27 January 1923 [Located in Box 2, Folder 13: IX.K]

B: Peter Sinner, miscellaneous lists and incoming correspondence

    1. List of recipients assisted by Peter Sinner in Fischer, Enders, and Rosenheim, 20 March 1923, handwritten version; list of 30 packets

    1. Typed list of 15 relief packages distributed by Peter Sinner in various villages, 28 January 1923

    1. Orlovskoi recipient list addressed to Peter Sinner, March 1923

    1. Letter from Gnadentau expressing gratitude for assistance and requesting further assistance, 9 April 1923

C: Professor Friedrich Konstanz of Saratov to H.P. Weckesser, 5 December 1922 [Includes a list of the faculty of the Saratov German School founded by Professor Peter Sinner]

D: Pastor Behning of Saratov

    1. To Rev. Jacob Wagner, September 1922

    1. To Jacob Volz, 8 June 1923

E: Pastor Friedrich Wacker of Norka

    1. To Jacob Volz, 30 October 1922 [Located in Box 2, Folder 13: IX.F.5]

    1. To AVRS, 17 December 1922

Box 2

Folder 9


F: Pastor Arthur Kluck of Frank

    1. To Jacob Volz, 4 November 1922

    1. To Jacob Volz, 3 May 1923

    1. To Jacob Volz, letter with Hussenbach fire victim list, 10 May 1923; note from Pastor Kluck appended 15 May 1923

    1. Hussenbach fire victim list, 14 May 1923

    1. To Jacob Volz, 15 May 1923, about Hussenbach fire victims

    1. Frank recipient list, 23 May 1923

    1. Frank recipient list, undated

    1. Five receipts for relief packages signed by A. Kluck, May 1923

    1. To Jacob Volz, 7 March and 6 April 1923

    1. Kluck to Volz, 28 May 1923

    1. To the President of AVRS, 30 July 1924

Series VII – Professor Peter Sinner Receipt Collection

Box 2

Folder 10: Professor Peter Sinner collection of receipts for relief packages distributed to the Wiesenseite and Bergseite Volga German villages

Series VIII – Reciepts from the Saratov and Samara Provinces of the Volga German Settlement Area

Box 2

Folder 11

A: Receipts for packages received, 1922-1923

Box 2

Folder 12

B: Receipts for money received, 1922-1923

Series IX – Jacob Volz Correspondence

Box 2

Folder 13


A: Undated envelope addressed to H. P. Weckesser, with enclosures:

    1. Lists of remittances [June 1922?]

    1. Lists of remittances, n.d., with note from Volz to “Herr President”

B: Envelope addressed to H. P. Weckesser, postmarked 5 January 1923, with enclosures:

    1. Receipt for food from the ARA Russian Unit offices, 23 October 1922

    1. Incoming message, ARA, from Moscow to Volz, 24 November 1922

    1. Outgoing message, ARA, 19 October 1922

C: Envelope addressed to H. P. Weckesser, postmarked 18 December 1922, with enclosures:

    1. Two pamphlets in Russian describing the ARA

    1. ARA Russian Unit Invoice regarding 17,544 kilos of clothing, 20 October 1922

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Saratov, 26 November 1922

D: Envelope addressed to H. P. Weckesser; postmarked 18 December 1922, with enclosures:

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Saratov, 26 November 1922

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer, 8 November 1922

E: Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer [Goloi-Karamisch], 5 December 1922

F: Undated envelope, with enclosures:

    1. Undated letter and poem by Professor Peter Sinner of Saratov

    1. Typed agreement between Nemobsoyus and the Hilfswerk der Wolgadeutschen, Pokrovsk, 15 December 1922

    1. Letter, Volz to H. P. Weckesser: Saratov, 22 December 1922

    1. Letter, F. Mollman of Dietel to Volz, 29 November 1922

    1. Letter, Friedrich Wacker of Norka to Volz, 30 October 1922

    1. Address of Volz in Russia [in German and Russian]

G: Envelope addressed to H. P. Weckesser, postmarked 2 December 1922, with enclosure:

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Beideck, 2 December 1922

H: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked 25 May 1923, with enclosures:

    1. Two letters, Volz to AVRS: Balzer, 16 April 1923

    1. Letter, Volz to AVRS: Balzer, 12 April 1923

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Saratov, 20 December 1922

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer, 8 December 1922

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer, 11 December 1922

    1. Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer, 10 December 1922

I: Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer, 19 January 1923

J: Letter to H. P. Weckesser: Balzer, 20 January 1923

K: Letter to John Roehrig: Saratov 27 January 1923

L: Envelope addressed to John Roehrig, postmarked 16 February 1923, with enclosures:

    1. Letter to AVRS: Saratov, 29 January 1923

    1. Letter to John Roehrig: 31 January 1923

Box 2

Folder 14


M: Envelope addressed to John Roehrig, postmarked 16 February 1923, with enclosure:

    1. Letter from Peter Sinner to AVRS, 27 January 1923, about the death of H.P. Weckesser. Signatures appended: Peter Sinner; Kamilla Sinner (wife of Peter Sinner); Jakob Sinner (brother of Peter Sinner); Pastor Eduard Seib; and Jacob Volz.

N: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked March 192[3], containing a collection of short notes expressing gratitude for relief assistance received in 1923 from the following Saratov province villages:

    1. Schwab, 27 February

    1. Oberdorf, 25 February

    1. Galka, 27 February

    1. Nischnaya-Dobrinka, 25 February

    1. Dobrinka, 26 February

    1. Stefan, 27 February

    1. Galka, 27 February

    1. Gobel, 25 February

    1. Typed letter from the Heimkehrlager in Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany

    1. Wiesenmuller, 21 February, receipt for 1000 rubles

    1. Holstein, 25 February

    1. Tscherbakovka, 27 February

    1. Balzer, 2 March

O: Two letters to Volz from J.J. Stroh, 23 March 1923, and n.d., regarding lost relief packages. Volz’s replies (29 April 1923) are written at the bottom of each letter.

P: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked 16 June 1923, with enclosures:

    1. Letter to AVRS: Saratov, 24 May 1923

    1. Letter to AVRS: Saratov, 30 May 1923

Q: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked 25 June 1923, with enclosure:

    1. Letter to AVRS: Saratov, 3 June 1923

R: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked 23 July 1923, with enclosure:

    1. Letter to AVRS: Warsaw, Poland, 28 June 1923

S: Envelope addressed to AVRS, German postmark missing, with enclosures:

    1. Letter to AVRS: Berlin, Germany, 6 July 1923

    1. Letter to [AVRS]: Berlin, Germany, 7 July 1923

T: Envelope addressed to AVRS, German postmark missing, with enclosure:

    1. Letter to AVRS: Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 15 July 1923

U: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked 30 July 1923, with enclosure:

    1. Letter to AVRS: London, England, 30 July 1923

V: Envelope addressed to AVRS, postmarked 1 August 1923, with enclosure:

    1. Letter to AVRS: London, England, 31 July 1923

W: Envelope addressed to AVRS and Volz in Lincoln, postmarked 17 January 1924, with enclosure:

    1. Two letters from Heinrich Ehlers to Volz, about the death of his father, Heinrich Peter Ehlers, Saratov

X: Two empty envelopes

Series X – Correspondence, American Volga Relief Society, Lincoln, Nebraska

Box 3

Folder 1


A: Incoming items, ARA to AVRS:

    1. Receipts, ARA to AVRS, Lincoln, 6 June 1922

    1. Receipt, ARA to AVRS, 14 September 1922

    1. ARA to Volz, 20 October 1922

    1. ARA to H.P. Weckesser, 2 December 1922

    1. ARA to H.P. Weckesser, about clothing distribution policies, 2 December 1922

    1. ARA to H.P. Weckesser, 4 December 1922

    1. Receipt, ARA accountant to AVRS, 2 August 1923

    1. Receipt, ARA (Volz) to AVRS, 12 February 1923

    1. Receipt for medical supplies, 7 March 1923

    1. ARA Outgoing Message, 16 March 1923

    1. ARA to Volz requesting that he write the history of the AVRS, 11 April 1923

    1. ARA to AVRS indicating that the relief effort in Russia will be ending, 12 May 1923

    1. ARA incoming cablegram, “all clothes arrived Volz,” 19 May 1923

    1. ARA to AVRS, to accompany #13

    1. ARA to Saratov, about ending relief operations in Russia, 23 May 1923

    1. ARA to AVRS, regarding $1,000 sent to Volz, 31 May 1923

    1. ARA to AVRS, regarding $1,000 sent to Volz and Volz’s departure from Russia, 4 June 1923

Box 3

Folder 2


B: Correspondence from America:

    1. American Friends Service Committee article “A Pen Picture of Russia’s Misery” with reprint of a letter from Herbert Hoover to the American Friends Service Committee, 10 September 1921

    1. American Relief for Russian Women and Children/American Friends Service Committee: letter, n.d., with flier, 20 April 1922, and enclosures

    1. American Committee for Russian Famine Relief, Bulletin No. 7, 2 May 1922

    1. Karl Fritz to H.P. Weckesser, 4 November 1922

    1. Reply of Weckesser to Fritz, 7 November1922

    1. Article from Dakota Freie Presse with invoice for services rendered, 15 November 1922

    1. George Repp, AVRS Portland office, to the AVRS Lincoln office about distributing the book, The Kingdom of Jesus on Earth, 23 November 1922

    1. B. Ostermiller to Weckesser, 25 November 1922

    1. B. Ostermiller to Weckesser, 6 December 1922

    1. Postcard, J. Metzger to Weckesser, 8 December 1922

    1. John Krum, Sedgwick, Colo., to Weckesser, 12 December 1922

    1. Envelope, Verne Hedge to J.J. Stroh, 5 January 1924

    1. A. Kobald, Parkston, S.D., to J.J. Stroh, letter with fliers of the Berliner Stadtmission enclosed, 9 February 1924

Box 3

Folder 3


C: Materials and letters sent from Germany to AVRS

    1. Envelope fragment with address of Pastor Kuehne

    1. Advertisement and index of the book Ein Tagebuch aus dem Reiche des Totentanzes (A Diary from the Kingdom of the Dance of the Dead)

    1. Refugee letter, n.d.

    1. List of German Relief Organizations

    1. Poem about famine from Hilfswerk der Wolgadeutschen-Berlin

    1. Berlin Cablegram receipt, 9 September 1922

    1. Dr. Dietrich Neufeld, Emden, Germany, to H. P. Weckesser, 18 November 1922

    1. Stieglitz to Hilfswerk: Report on conditions among the Volga German villages and an appeal for further assistance from the Hilfswerk der Wolgadeutschen in Berlin, 3 February 1923

    1. Receipts from Germany, 12, 16, 24 July 1923

    1. Receipt, Jakob Riffel, 26 July 1923

    1. Volz to AVRS, 26 July 1923

    1. W. Mittendorf to Roehrig, 5 November 1923

    1. Karl Tiegel to Roehrig, 4 January 1924

    1. Mosbach Altersheim-Reudter to Roehrig, 11 January 1924

    1. Postcard, R. Kuehne to H.J. Amen, 18 January 1924

    1. Leipzig Catholic Parish Office to AVRS, 25 January 1924

    1. Magistrate of Dobrilugk to AVRS, 20 February 1924

    1. Scholz to AVRS (Amen), 25 January 1924

Series XI – Miscellaneous, American Volga Relief Society, Lincoln, Nebraska

Box 3

Folder 4


    1. List of names with towns in America

    1. Request for a more legible receipt, 14 February 1922

    1. ARA package receipt, 14 November 1922

    1. American Organizations List, 16 November 1922

    1. Request for information, 7 December 1922

    1. Russian villages note, n.d.

    1. AVRS booklets, 1924

    1. Programs, 1924 AVRS Convention

Series XII – AVRS Financial Records

Box 3

Folder 5


A: Subscription coupons, alphabetically arranged, for the Central States Volga Relief Society, with names of benefactors and amounts donated, [1921]-1922 This section actually consists of five separate folders: 5.1 through 5.5.

    1. A through E (5.1)

    1. F through K (5.2)

    1. L through R (5.3)

    1. S (5.4)

    1. T through Z (5.5)

Box 3

Folder 6

B. Subscription coupons, Central States Volga Relief Society: thirteen unused subscription coupons.

Box 3

Folder 7

C: Undated AVRS list of benefactors and recipients

Box 3

Folder 8


D: Subscription lists with names of benefactors and amounts donated (various dates):

    1. Five pages undated

    1. One page dated 3 October [no year]

    1. 19 September 1921

    1. 29 September 1921

    1. 8 October 1921

    1. 10 December 1921

    1. 22 December 1921

    1. 11 January 1922

    1. 16 February 1922

    1. 22 February 1922

    1. 4 April 1922

    1. 29 May 1922

E: Pledge Inquiries:

    1. Anna Sinner, 7 March 1922

    1. Alex Weckesser, 9 March 1922

F: Bank receipts

Series XIII – Portland AVRS Office Records

Box 3

Folder 9

A: Letters and updates (in English) written 26 August 1922 to 7 August 1925. Includes letters from G. Repp from Russia reporting on conditions in Russia, printed letters of Volga German village leaders (pastors and schoolmasters), amounts donated for particular Volga German villages, reports and updates about the operations of AVRS.

Box 3

Folder 10

B: Letters and updates (in German) written September 1921 to March 1924.

Box 3

Folder 11 Item

C: Benefactor Lists-Oregon, with addresses and amounts donated:

    1. 18 August 1921

    1. 25 August 1921

    1. Undated alphabetical benefactors list-Oregon

D: Miscellaneous

    1. AVRS Committee Members-Roster, June 1924

    1. Flier for 50th anniversary of Volga Germans in America, 24-27 June 1926

    1. Program notes: AVRS meeting at Ebenezer Congregational Church

    1. AVRS Convention Program, 23-27 June 1926

    1. Balzer Reunion Jubilee-Program Notes and Newspaper Notice, 28 August 1938

    1. AVRS-two business cards, one with G. Repp’s signature

    1. Two ribbons from the AVRS Convention, 30 September to 4 October 1925

Series XIV – Ledger Book of the McCook, Nebraska AVRS Chapter, 1921-1923

Ledger Book – Contains lists of benefactors and amounts donated. Copy to be filmed from the original in the collection of the Archives of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Lincoln, Nebraska, call # Reserve HV 99.M32V64x.]

Series XV – American Volga Relief Society Documents

Box 4

Folder 1

A: Programs, announcements, and correspondence regarding AVRS Conventions

Box 4

Folder 2


B: AVRS: Repp and Schwabenland letters

    1. Letter from Mrs. George Repp to John H. Werner, dated 12 December 1938, with a typed copy of an article, “The Famine in Soviet Russia” that summarizes the history of the Volga Relief Society.

    1. Two letters from Emma Schwabenland to [John H.] Werner, dated 17 November 1940 and 24 March 1941. [Note: Emma Schwabenland was the niece of George Repp.]

    1. “The Goloi Karamish District, German Communes”: report to the Volga Relief Society and the Hoover Commission by Russell Cobb, Saratov District [in English].

    1. “Affiliated Organizations”: report by J.P. Gregg on the cooperation (1921-1923) of the National Lutheran Council and the Volga Relief Society [in English].

Box 4

Folder 3


C: Miscellaneous

    1. Blank form for recording VRS contributions [1921].

    1. Title page from a songbook, Der Kostliche Schatz, 13th edition, along with a copy of one hymn entitled “Ich werd’ sie droben seh’n.”

    1. Copies of several newspaper articles, 1925, 1927, 1930.



American Volga Relief Society (Lincoln, Neb.)

American Volga Relief Society (McCook, Neb.)

Famines — Soviet Union

Genocide — Soviet Union

Germans — Soviet Union — History

Germans from Russia

Kluck, Arthur

Repp, George

Russian Germans — Volga Region (Russia)

Sinner, Peter

Volz, Jacob

Wekesser, Henry P.


SS   03-30-1996

KFK   05-24-1996

RQ/TE/BM/tmm   11-04-2009

01-22-2010   Revised TMM

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