The Michael Lang Letters
Letter 23


PRAISED BE JESUS CHRIST! 

      I must tell you about my journey from Russia to Berlin. We rode from Moscow to Libau, Latvia. There we had to change cars and had to wait about an hour. I was looking around the depot and spied an agent of the North Lloyd Co. I asked him if I could see the American consul. He gave us his address. Mrs. Rak and I went there. He examined our papers and asked us if we were farmers. We told him yes and that our papers recorded us as farmers. He said that the affidavit which my brother in-law sent has him signed as a smith, and on that he could not enter America. But he said if you are farmers and Mrs. Rak’s husband is in America and a farmer so let him send you an affidavit then you can still come to America. That was good news and we thanked him and returned to the depot. Our train had left some time ago and we were obligated to take the next train. This however got us into trouble. Our papers were examined and we were told we had no right on that trai nand would have to be sent back. We were afraid and I took heart and asked the police if he would let us through we would gladly pay him for it. And so it happened now when we arrived in Berlin we went to the American consul and showed him all our papers and we told him we wanted to go to America and he told we too that my affidavit would not allow me to go America. We wrote to Mrs. Rak’s husband and my brother in-law and they sent me an affidavit. Upon receipt of this I again handed in our names for America. “Yes” he said I’ll let you know when to come. Now that wasn’t so bad. I worked and we had a place to live and this was across the street from St Michael’s church. A large statue of St. Michael stood at the top. My wife and I prayed and prayed that our great desire would be granted. So I worked all summer on the streets, but autumn and winter came and the cold was severe and we could no longer work on the street. So I asked one of the men of the Caritas Society and he drove me to the Good Shepard convent and asked the superior for a job for me. The convent was outside of Berlin and so I went to work Monday and came back home on Saturdays. It was nice to work and the good Sisters helped us a great deal. Already a whole year had passed and still we had no answer from the council. We were on the verge of giving up all hope of ever getting to America. I wrote to my brother in-law he should collect the money for the fare since we cannot come. While we were still waiting my wife received a letter from her youngest sister in Russia, a young girl who had married a rich Mohammedan. This was a terrible blow. My wife told me to write her a letter and tell her how she had disgraced the family and had committed a mortal sin. She answered that her sister and brother in-law had done what they wanted to do and so did she. Again I answered the letter and asked her if she did not love her father and mother and if they could not have done what she did.  Again we received a letter and she wrote that she was sorry for what she had done and had also left the man. Now she is working by a farmer. Later on we heard that she had been sick and she thanked me for the letters I had written and that she had again returned the God she had so basely forsaken, so that lost sheep was found again. We were about a year in Berlin When Mrs. Rak received word from the American Consul that she could go to America. We rejoiced with her and wished her happy journey. We had received no notice. But a long wait brings happy ending may yet come true.

Your dear Parents,
Michael and Katherina Lang




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