Danube Swabian Community
ďNever underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.
In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

Villages Helping Hands

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors


Letters from the Homeland
Translations by Alex Leeb (Sandy1936)
Published at DVHH.org by Jody McKim Pharr.

This Homeland Letter and Postcard Translation Assistance Program has proved to be instrumental not only to learn primary insights into past family matters but also to make genealogical connections with others. ~ Alex Leeb, Translator

This program has been retired.

When the ancestors left the Homeland for different parts of the world, it took close to 4-5 months before they communicated with relatives and friends back home.  When communication did begin it was on a regular basis, every month or every second month. They were excited to be able to hear about the new life in the new country.  And those who immigrated were happy to also learn the situations in the Homeland.

The village people's education was limited and their letters weren't professional written. At the beginning their letters were only one page. They didn't know what to write to fill a page and many sentences were repeated.  For example; "...My dear brother in-law and my dear sister in-law. This must've been repeated about four or five times on one page. Rather using second piece of paper, they wrote on both sides of the page but after writing a few letters they began using two pieces of paper.  Some letters were adorable.


  • Only letters and postcards written in original ďFrakturschriftĒ will be accepted for translation, no books or documents.

  • All submissions indicate permission is granted to DVHH Project to have your translation [including names & addresses mentioned] published on the internet at www.dvhh.org and will remain the property of DVHH.

  • All submissions indicate you are the owner of the original letter / postcard or have authorization from the owner for submission.

  • You understand the letters will be translated by volunteers and make no claims about the accuracy or style of the translation.

Submit your letters or postcards to ďSandy1936ď and your letter will be translated and published as soon as possible.

We ask the readers to honour the copyrights of each item submitted. 




Bauer, Andreas
Binder, Adolf (1)
Binder, Adolf (2)
Anna Fichtner
Ingrisch, Johann & Marie Durr
Anna / Recser (Reiser)
Stemper, Anton
Theresia Lambing
Irma Unterweger

Translation Assistance Program Coordinator

Alex Leeb 


Written by Gisella - Year 1913
Submitted by Debbie Burns

Date: April 19, 1906


My dearest Bandi (Andreas)!

I received your letter, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas Season and
also to my friend Anna, greetings to her also.
It would be so wonderful if I could be with you. My dear Bandi, please write
to me and tell me that you still love me like you did before.
My dear Bandi, now I go back to the other girls and entertain with them, but
I don't feel comfortable because you are not with me.
When I see others walk hand in hand, then I feel like hiding because of my
Now I close my letter and I'm waiting for your reply.

Good bye.
Your dearest W. Gisella.

Translator notes -

(Bandi = nickname for Andreas, - a pet name, a term of affection)

Hungarian Translation into German by Maria Bocsardi Herlett
German Translation into English by Alex Leeb

Written by Anna - Year 1913
Submitted by Debbie Burns

Date: September 28, 1913

Anna (Fichtner)
c/o Fidtler Miklůs,

Tiroler Strasse 28

My dear Bandi! (Andreas)

I tidied and cleaned everything yesterday, so nothing will stand in our way any more.  If everything would be here, what I asked in the letter, then I could be on the way.  We get the separation papers from the attorney Dr. Rosenberg, are you convinced now that I love you.  I administered my hardest decision.  How is it going my dear Bandi?  Where do you like it the best?  I like it the best over there with you my darling. Your mother agreed that I'm coming?  Write me immediately.

With hugs and thousand kisses, your Mucika.

Greetings to Elisabeth and mother.
Your sister/brother and greetings your faithful Anna.

Translator notes -

Off the record; Mucika, Hungarian for "darling - sweetheart.

Hungarian Translation into German by Maria Bocsardi Herlett

Written by Andreas Bauer - Year 1954
Submitted by Dennis Bauer

Date: October 7. 1954

Pest County, Hungary

To: Herrn Jakob Bauer
Lincoln Highway
Fallsington Pa. USA

Dear Jakob and your family !

I must write you that I received a package from Stamford (CT), actually from my dear brother Joseph's son, Jakob Bauer.  It weight 18 pounds.  He wrote that you gave him $20.- to mail to me.  He knew we do not get much for that in our country.  So he bought several pieces of clothing (good quality) for me and my children and mailed that to me.   So dear friend Jakob and your family, thank you for remembering us. It is sad we do not know or have even seen each other, but still the heart that lives in the family Bauer also lived in my brother Kristian, your cousin (sic, should be ďyour fatherĒ). Dear Jakob and Family thank you.  My children and I send you and your family, friends that we have in America, our best wishes.  

Greetings from my family and me, your uncle Andreas Bauer.

Szob  1954, 10-7
My children are
Sanyi, Mariska, Iren & Szob

Note: Translated for Dennis J. Bauer (grandson of Jakob Bauer) by Eva & Adam Martini of the Trenton Donauschwaben Club on 28 October 2004.

Andreas & Family were originally from Palanka, Batschka and relocated to Szob before the genocide in Yugoslavia.

Written by Binder (1) - Year 1932
Submitted by Debbie Burns

Date: March 9, 1932.  

Binder Adolf
17 Ė Gasse, No 26.
Temesvar,  Neufreidorf

Dear brother in-law and sister in-law!

It sure has been a long time and it sure is strange for me to take a pen in my hand and write a few word to you. But Elisabeth wonít have it otherwise unless I promises to write to you again. So we probable get an answer from you.

I donít know brother in-law and sister in-law, we only have friends in America, absolutely no relatives with us. Not even two months go by, that we donít get a letter from them.

We are supposed to get visitors from Portland. If you still remember Spring Jakob, you went to school together, he talked just about you and my sister Elsa, who is 22-23, years old. We never received a single letter and we donít know the reason, why?

Dear brother in-law and sister in-law, there is a lot to write but I wonít write all at once.

First of all, I am retired and have been on pension for two years. Our daughter has been married for 3 and a half years already. We have our own home and we are living together. We seem to healthy, only I have stomach problem and the miserable cold which we have now and all the work to do. Which makes a person not feeling good.

I just finished writing a letter to Niki. He never writes and mother is complaining about one of our letter to Niki, she said that he was rough with her. So I wrote him a nice letter, to find out, what is going on amongst them .

Now I am closing my letter.

With best regards and kisses, from all of us to you.

If you donít answer now, then I wonít take another pen in my hand to write to you again.


Translator's notes -
Freidorf - appx 2-3 miles South of Temeswar (in 1932), today it belongs to the city of Temeswar.  Also the home of Johnny WeiŖmŁller "Tarzan."

Written by Binder (2) - Year 1932
Submitted by Debbie Burns

Date: unknown

Binder Adolf
17 Ė Gasse, No 26.
Temesvar,  Neufreidorf

Dear brother and sister in-law!

Itís been a long time since I last wrote, but  enclosed  is a family picture for you. So I waited until I received a letter from you, but nevertheless I didnít find the time until today to write to see if you are still alive and what you are doing, especially the children.

How big is your family, are they very big?  We would love to see them while they are alive not only on the photograph, they must be lovely children.

Dear brother and sister in-law, have you been thinking coming home? How does it feel in America? Also here,  there are bad hardships. But there are people who come back and stay here and returned  again.

Dear brother, if you still remember your school colleague Ohring (?) Jakob he is also in America, in Portland, he was there before the war, then he returned at the age of 14. He immediately was forced to join the army. In 1924, he left with the family to America again. Now his wife passed away and he didnít want to get married to a girl one in America, Now he is coming to visit us and will get married to a girl from here. He still has a good memory of you.

We were in the Filoggi street, and I looked for his family and Elsa is also his daughter, we had no problem finding it. We all were happy and visit together and the children are going to write to us today.

Dear brother and sister in-law, why donít you write to us at least once a year. You donít know how often I think about you and my heart is yearning for you. I have no relatives here and a mother and a brother in Budapest and one brother in America and nobody writes to me.  From Niki we seldom get a letter. From mother more oftener, but that is a letter which we always have to worry. Now she wrote again, she is not feeling well and is very sick since Christmas. She fell and got a cold. Niki has no work now, and thatís how bad it is now. I have to write you what happen to mother. Now she is at Nikiís place.

Already it is the fourth time he left her. When Elsa got married, she was at our place  for the wedding. Then the youngest from his children also got married, Mother didnít find out until she came home. Then he told his mother, ďnow, all my children are secured and looked after.Ē But she is too old for him, he doesnít need her, now he found himself a younger girl.

Mother complained because she raised the children for 21 years and did all the work. He started to drink but to this day she never received a penny from him. He always talks his way out of it, because he has no work and unable to pay. Now itís really hard for her. Now she is old and is unable to work, and she wants to come to our place. I really want her, even Adolf wants her but itís too bad because she is in Hungary, and we are in Romania and she needs her willpower. I will look after her but the trip will cost lots of money and Adolf sure is not happy and the cost will be 22 to 23 thousand lei. Not very many have lots of money and donít give you anything. She could stay at our place for one month. Last year she was at our place. Then we extended it and the cost for every month was 600 lei, but she only received money for 3 months, then she had to go home. Now I donít know what I should do, if she becomes sick and they are her children, I should write and ask her if she still wants to stay with you.

Dear brother, donít you want to write a letter to her and comfort her,  after all she is our mother. You know she is forgetful and really sick. She says, if you only would write to her once. Now Iím closing my writing, With many regards and kisses to every one of you.

From all of us, write soon.

Elsa, Adolf, Elisabeth and Luci

Translator's notes -
Neufreidorf - appx 2-3 miles South of Temeswar (in 1932), today it belongs to the city of Temeswar.  Also the home of Johnny WeiŖmŁller "Tarzan."

Written by Johann Ingrisch & Marie Durr Ingrisch - Year 1921
Submitted by Jody McKim

Date:  December 2, 1921

Merysoara (Mercydorf)

Dear Niki, we received you letter with much joy. It was your first letter to your grandparents and we thank you with our hear for that. For that, I am sending you the picture for a memory on your first letter. Frame it and if you look at it, remember on your grandparents, your grandfather made it in 1919, for Christmas, it is much nicer in nature.

Dear Niki, I heard you are a good student. I would like a favour from you.
I am old already and it seems I donít know how to start.

Your grandmother and I, were born in March, I am 70 years old and your Grandmother is only 66, years old, how come?

 Best regards from your Grandparents.

(Johann Ingrisch & Marie Durr Ingrisch)

Owner notes:  This was written on the back of a picture of a little model church.  Grandma Honich had the photo in a nice little gilded frame.  The photo and letter is in possession of Jeanne Honich of St. Louis.

Submitter notes: Grandma Honich was Theresa Ingrisch (of Mercydorf) who married Joseph Honich (of Neubeschenowa). Their son Nicholas "Niki" b. 1908 in Mercydorf, who this note is addressed to. 

Written by Anna (1) - Year 1932 & Written by Recser (Reiser) Year unk -
Submitted by John Reiser

Two letters from John Reiser's father, who came from Bruckenau.


Dear nephew and Elis(abeth)!

It gives us a heartfelt feeling to write a few words. God the Almighty gave you the children and gave you a healthy life to live.  Dear mother is so happy that you are back in the homeland dear nephew.  We all are still healthy and hope the some from you.

Heartfelt wishes.



Dear sister-in-law.

Here we are sending you a picture.  Hans (John) is missing, because he was not at home, when we took the picture. Their son photographed us while he was on a visit.

Heartfelt greeting and kisses, from all of us.

Recser (Reiser)

Written by Anton Stemper - Year 1913
Submitted by Barbara Hilderson

Date:  Jan 12, 1913


Stemper Anton
Ferencvaros, Temeswar

Dear children !

With sad heartfelt, I take my pen to write you a few words, and let you know that grandmother passed away.  She was sick for 14, days before she died. She gave her greeting and kisses to all of you.  She claimed that she was still healthy. I wanted to write while she was still alive, but she never survived. Eight days before I wrote, she never spoke and she only was breathing through her nose. The I asked her, "mother is something bothering you?'  she doesn't know, she replied. Then she laid down and spoke with a low voice, I had to hold my ear to her face, so I could understand her. At the end we could see that she wanted to talk, but we couldn't understand her.

Grandmother passed away on the 8th, at 10:30, and on the 9th she was buried.  She was buried with the club (CWL) and the music
(*1) and her coat. It cost 60 fl. and the total come to 80 fl. I gave the death certificate to Barbara(*2).   She should take the money out from her club in Baratzhausen(*3).   Now she is taking the money out and doesn't give anything away.  But nobody and nobody wants to keep it.  But when it comes to take something, they all are there. But I hope that God will give us our health.  It was nice and dry at the funeral, it was a nice funeral.  But now the last 11 nights it snowed two (2) (shoes high).

It will be gone by July. Your parents are also healthy. Phillip, was drafted into the army. It is uncomfortable. We have 5 Joch (acres) of wheat. One is our own, and two acres of corn, we leased. 5 1/2 Joch (acres) our own, 1 1/2, we leased, all total of 11 Joch. We have two working horses and a filly, 9 months old, 80 fl. in value. It is totally uncomfortable here. We butchered 2 pigs (hogs), and 4 of them died on us. They were two months old, it cost us 30 fl. and the two we butchered were 30 fl.

Breselmeier Franz, also died and old Schwarz Toni.  July should also write and let us know about her husband, is he still working, did they get something, if he is coming, so July can keep herself occupied through her lifetime. What are the grandchildren doing? Are they still healthy? Why don't you send your total income of your money it will pay interest. But you have to pay taxes, but the guarantee would help, that should never happen.

Greetings to everybody, old and young. Wishing you good health, until next time.  Grand mother was 86, years old.

Anton Stemper

Translator's notes -
*1: music (yes, at some funerals, the band with be in the procession, all the way to the cemetery)
*2: (Bewie, dialect for Barbara)
*3: Baratzhausen (village, 5Km NE, from Knees)

Ferencvaros, Temeswar is FerenczvŠros, Hungarian for Mehala one of the suburbs of Temeswar. 

Written by Sussi - Year 1922
Submitted by Klara Bischof

Dater: December 10, 1922

Kalatscha, Jud. Timis.             

My dear husband Jakob!

I want to write to you before Christmas, because it is getting closer to Christmas. Then I wonít have much time to write to you, my dear husband. The children have grown since you left for America over a year ago. They both are doing very good in school. Josef, is singing in the Christmas choir and Elisabeth, is an Angel in the Christmas Pay at their school.

Your parents are still in good health. Your father is preparing everything for butchering next week. Your father told me the swine (pig), weighs close to 200 kilo. He plans on doing lots of sausage this year. He said, ďÖI have to make lots of sausage, just in case my son Jakob, comes home from America..Ē When he said that, tears came out of his eyes. Your parents miss you so much, especially at Christmas time.

My dear husband Jakob, we will miss you for Christmas, I wish you could be here with us and spent time with the children. Mrs. Nuss, asked about you, her husband passed away suddenly last month from a heart-attack. Her children are all married and moved away. Mrs. Nuss, visits us every second day, she is only and likes company.

Mr. Joschkaís dog was killing some of our chickens, so your father told Mr Joschka, he better shoot the dog, before he makes Paprikasch with the  dog. Mr. Joschka shot his dog the next day. Now we get more eggs from the chicken.

My dear husband Jakob, how are you doing in America? I hope you are healthy and you eat lots. Mrs. Schwartz told me, there are many people in America from here, they work hard and make lots of money, then they come home again. I hope this is what you want to do, come home again and buy a house for your parents. If we have money left, maybe we will send the children to school in Temesvar, for better education.

My dear husband Jakob, I have to close now because I have to go and feed the animals and milk the cows and make supper for you parents and us.
I miss you so much my dear Jakob, and pray to God, we will see each other again soon.

Kisses from all of us.

Your wife, Sussi

Written by Theresia Lambing - Year unk
Submitted by Julie Agne

Date: unknown

Theresia Lambing

Dear Aunt,

With heavy regrets, I have to inform you that my dear husband passed away, on August 3rd.  Dear aunt, I would like you come down, because I don't know what to do.  I am half recovered, it was a hard shock for me.  Josef and brother-in-law. were in Philadelphia to visit his parents.  I am alone, I haven't given Anni anything yet, I am waiting for you.

Hope to see you soon. 

Theresia Lambing,

Greeting and kisses, Good bye

Written by Irma Unterweger
(Josef Unterweger's wife)

Submitted by Jody McKim

24 April 1960

From: Irma Unterweger
Str. Tudor Vladimirescu 81, Pancota
Regime Timis, Rumania


To: Michael Unterweger in NY

My dearest,


Here is my second letter to you. I want to inform you our dear father and your brother Jossi (Josef), died on 13, October 1959.  After the funeral, I wrote a letter covering everything, six months have passed and I havenít received any answer yet. I wonder about my letter if you received it or did it get lost; I donít believe you forgot about the bereavement.


2. - Now I will try a different way to write to you and hope you will receive it.  And if you donít answer it. Ė So, in Godís name, - I did my duty, wrote you twice and notified that Jossi died.  Very sad, he had a hear attack during the night. It only took a few minutes and I loved him so much. now I lost Jossi.  He was only 58, years old, he was only 10 month in pension and he still could be with us.  It is sad, we lost our good father, we are heartbroken and we miss him.


3. - He was lying in his dying bed so peaceful. He had a nice big funeral, lots of flowers and wreaths. The people were singing and escorted him to his peaceful place.  I am enclosing a small picture of him. That is the last picture of him, you may keep it for a memory of him and pray for his soul.  I also held a High Mass at his birthplace in Merzydorf, for Josef, Jakob and Christina Unterweger, exactly on Jossiís Birthday, on 12th of April.


My parents are still living. Father is 78 years old, mother is 74, years old, and they both are still healthy. But since Jossi, passed away, they both are broken-hearted. 

4 - I probably will get a small pension for Jossi, about 300 lei. Then I still have the garden. Now I know what I have to do.  My children are grown up; I also have two lovely grandchildren. Two boys, Dieter and Gerhard. They really loved their grandfather.  They go with me to the cemetery and water the flowers on grandfatherís grave. I hope you will answer me soon, not so you will forget it.

Hearty greetings to all of you.

Your friend Irma.

Your dears and the old ones.

Translations by Alex Leeb
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Last Updated: 26 Oct 2020

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