Dorothea (Bohnsack) Studier was the twin sister of my 2nd great-grandfather, Carl Hermann “Herman” Bohnsack. Rev. Hermann Emil Studier was born in Germany in 1859, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1869. His older brother, Wilhelm, was Dorothea’s husband. In 1939, Dorothea received a letter from her brother-in-law, Rev. Studier. While Dorothea and Rev. Studier were both born in Germany, the letter was written in English.
In the letter, Rev. Studier talks about his various ailments and daily activities. What interested me the most, and why I’m sharing the letter, is he writes about the war and Hitler. Rev. Studier spent most of his life in the United States, so I find his views interesting.
Rev. Hermann Emil Studier’s Letter to Dorothea (Bohnsack) Studier
October 28, 1939
Dear Sister-in-law Dorothea!
I received your lovely letter the first of this month and now have the first chance to answer it. You can thank God that you are healthy so far. In our older days it (health) does not come as freely as in our youth – that time is past. One is happy that one can always come around again. With me it comes and goes but for a couple weeks I was very sick. During the long hot time I probably drank too much ice-water, then I caught an awful cold when the weather became cool. Then I had problems with the gall bladder, a fever, an earache, headache, pains in the liver, so I felt very miserable.
Then I had to travel, when I was not feeling completely well. Than at 8:15 I had to deliver a sermon for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the community in Barnston [sic, Barneston], where we were for 12 years. It went, thank God, very well, Now I feel completely well again. This week I was again gone for 3 days. The war occupies one so much, one must hear and read all the lies. With that, much time passes. Outside in the garden since the frost, there is no more work. You have probably had already had a harder frost than we have had. The leaves are now falling off the trees. In my garden this summer we did not have much that was bad – what I saw at the beginning has not sprouted again. This year we barely had any, last year we had so much. We did have strawberries and black raspberries this spring, also a few peaches & plums for the first time! took flowers to the fair and won 75 cents as a prize. I had many beautiful flowers.
Yes, with the war it is unpleasant. However, it is not Hitler who wants the war but the English who want to exterminate Germany – it does not please them that Germany is again numbed. Now they want to cut Germany down again, they will not succeed this time because God will provide through Hitler. Hitler is the last who wants war but what does one want to do, if their neighbor does not want peace. Hitler did not declare war, but the French & English and our government wants to help the enemies of Germany. That is the great injustice. Therefore, I fear that our land will come in (to the war). Roosevelt even wants it and here are so many English, whom we Germans hate so much. Suschie Schink and family were not with us, if they could have only come. At the beginning of December I must travel again, because I should give a nice sermon for the 30th year anniversary, in Johnson, where we were for 5 years, and were I had the nice church built thirty years ago. Now, hopefully, you are again healthy. God be with you. With heartfelt greetings.
Your brother -in-law,
Hermann Emil Studier
Greet all the relatives and acquaintances!