Wendish Postcard by George Nielsen

This article appeared in the July 2009 Newsletter of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society of Serbin, Texas. (www.texaswendish.org)

The postcard pictured here is part of the Anne Blasig Collection which was donated to the Wendish Museum in 1991 by Carolyn Walther. The collection, along with other significant items, is stored in the museum’s vault, which provides a protective environment. The postcard is important because it first of all illustrates handwritten Wendish and also shows that the Texas Wends maintained ties with the European Wends well into the 20th century.

The person who wrote the card was Professor Dr. Ernst Mucke (Karol Arnost Muka). Mucke was born in 1854, the same year the Ben Nevis sailed for Texas. Until his death in 1932 he lived and breathed things that were Sorbian (Wendish). He was an editor, writer, teacher, linguist, folklorist, ethnographer, demographer, and founder of theSorbian Museum in Bautzen. The postcard is dated November 6, 1922 and the address is Wilhelmstrasse 16.

Both of the persons to whom the postcard is addressed were second generation Wends and were born in Texas. They would have learned Wendish in the home from their parents and from Pastor Kilian’s instruction in grade school.

Messrs. [August} Wukasch and [J. Herman] Bjarsch [Biar]

Church Council of the Ev.-Luth. Church

Giddings near Serbin, Texas, North America

Very honorable fellow Countrymen!

Do not be concerned that I, as unknown to you, am asking you for a favor. The matter of Rev. (emeritus) Matthaeus Urban leads me to do this. He permitted to let a large Wendish book to be printed , which ‘ cost a lot of money, and on which he worked fourteen years. Now the printer would like to be paid and there is no money. He has already written about this in the spring but received no reply. As brothers in the faith you certainly will want to help and I ask you to send him 100 dollars, perhaps from each person 10 or perhaps from others of our fellow country men in Texas 10 or 5 dollars each and send it to the “Serbske ludowu banku” (Wendish Peoples Bank) Bautzen, Saxony and please let know when the money was mailed . This is a noble thing to do.

With high regards, Your Dr. Ernst Mucke

[Thanks to Jan Slack for calling the postcard to my attention; to Trudla Malinkowa for translating the note from Sorbian to German; and to Bill Biar for translating the German to English.]

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