The Michael Lang Letters
Letter 7

Praised be Jesus Christ

      It was in the year of 1915 we were still at war with Germany. A Number of our German Russian soldiers having fled to Germany the high command issued the order that all German Russian soldiers were to be sent to the Turkish border. I was summoned to the office and my captain told me that since I had merited the George's Cross I would not need to go. I replied that since my comrades were not good enough for him I would also join them.

      We left the l5th of May for the Turkish border expecting to find something better but we were sadly disappointed. When we arrived at the border and left the train we still had 200 miles to go. It was so hot that we could move and we still had to walk 30 miles a day in order to get something to eat. If we didn't make it we went hungry. By keeping together in groups and helping the weak we all managed to get nourishment. So with God’s help we arrived at the Turkish front where they were fighting. Here we were divided into groups. The most of us were with the canon and had to accompany the infantry. I was ordered to be by the machine guns which was not so hard as being by the infantry. The fighting was not so hard as on the German front. All told I fought in two battles. The rest was not so bad in summer but here in winter and here in the high mountains with no way of procuring the necessaries for our daily needs. We suffered but with God's help we survived the first winter. But the second winter was worse. We were in the fox holes high up in the mountains cold with little or nothing to eat. Owing to these conditions the soldiers succumbed to the various diseases of weakened and undernourished bodies. I too was growing weaker right along. One morning I decided to leave the place. I arose and fell in a dead faint. The doctor ordered me to the field hospital. When I got there very sick, but others much worse off than I was. They sent me along with a few others of the better ones to Baky a town in Russ1a. But that was a terrible two wheeled cart drawn by one horse conveyed us over rock and ruts for 200 m1le from one hospital to the other unt1l we arr1ved at the Russ1an border. There we boarded the train and rode until we arrived at Baky. Here I found that I was a cripple. The muscles of the one leg had contracted so that I could not walk on my toes only, the other l1mb was crooked. The doctor diagnosed typhus. In my next letter I will tell you how I spent my 3 month's in the hospital.

Greetings to our dear daughter Thomas Marie from father and mother M1chael and Catherine Lang.

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