Friday, September 20, 2013

Great-Grandpa Koleber's German Letter to Dad

 In this photo are my paternal grandmother Amalia Koleber (1902-1986) with her two older brothers, Daniel (1898-1916) and John George "Jager" Jr. (1895-1962) and their parents John "George" Koleber (1875-1952) and Catherine Elisabeth "Katy" Dietz Koleber (1874-1929). This family immigrated to America, through Ellis Island, in July, 1904 from Kratzke, Saratov, Russia. 
This photo shows the entire family in the late 1920s. From left are Albert (1916-1983), Victor (1911-2002), Henry (1909-1980), Amalia "Mollie" (1902-1986), George "Jager" (1895-1962), Fred (1907-1979), and Emil (1914-1974). Seated are parents George and Katy Koleber. 
Katy Dietz Koleber died in 1929 and George remarried to Mary Elizabeth Mehling in 1931 (pictured above). They were residents by this time at Fort Collins, Colorado. 
Pictured here are my father Ernest L. Margheim with his maternal grandparents, George and Mary (Mehling) Koleber. This photo was taken about 1942 before Dad went into the Army.
This picture of my Dad, Ernest L. Margheim, was taken 60 years after the previous photo. 

I've inherited letters that Grandpa Koleber wrote to my dad's parents, that being his daughter Mollie and her husband John Margheim, when they lived in Hoisington, Barton, Kansas. They were written in German, Grandpa's native language, as he was born in the Volga German colony Kratzke, Russia. Dad has told me that Grandpa Koleber, a farmer, served in the White Russian Army before he immigrated to America at age 26. 

I've recently been blessed beyond measure by my cousin Dawn Faber who has a neighbor, Silke, who reads German and offered to translate one of Grandpa Koleber's letters that was written to my Dad when Dad was in the Army in 1943. This is the letter that Silke translated, with the help of her mother in Germany. 
This week I received the following translation from my new "German Translating Angels": 
September 18th, 1943
Fort Collins, Colorado

My dearest Ernest,

With great joy, we received your lovely letter on September 9th and heard you are healthy and well.  I and Mother are doing well too, and we are not in distress.
We heard in your letter, that you went home in July and got married to the girl, who was with you, the last time you visited us, we are truly happy for you. 
Your uncle Henry is in the Army, and also Albert and Adam are in the Army. They are all still healthy and they are doing well.
Write real soon again
With greetings 
Your Grandfather and your Mother
                                              Goodbye Goodbye 

With a generous and very gracious offer from Silke and her mother to do further translation work for me, I've scanned 6 more letters written in German that I'm going to send them next week. I'll post the results when I get them.

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