My dear Miss Addams:
Relying upon your wish and that of other Americans to relieve the distress caused by the war in Europe, I come to you today with a request, which it may give you particular pleasure to [fulfill].
English books are needed for the prisoners here, good historical, or biographical works, and interesting novels -- anything of intrinsic value, which does not concern the war. Especially now in the long winter days, we desire to furnish the camps with small libraries. The books sent in must be clean, with no [penciled] footnotes -- but not necessarily new editions.
Many of the prisoners' camps are [page 2] fully supplied, but the commanders of other camps write us of the increasing need of the men for literature.
As far as possible, German and English citizens here have depleted their own libraries, and many of the publishing firms have been generous in their aid, in order to meet this need -- but more books are needed than we can possibly supply.
Would it be possible for you to make known in Chicago and New York this need -- and to help us?
Mrs. L. Grosse, of Olivaer-Platz, Berlin W 15, whom I had the pleasure of presenting to you at the Lyceum Club, expects to go over to America next month in the interest of the Red Cross. She has kindly responded to our request to bring back with her boxes of books from America, if their expenses are paid to Berlin. Each box of ordinary [page 3] trunk size costs on the ocean $1.25 I believe, if brought by a passenger. Besides this, would be some minor expenses, and freightage to Berlin. We would assume the distribution and further expenses here. As we are, however, overburdened with large outlays for the needy and the prisoners, we could not well meet the expenses of sending the boxes hither from America. I estimate, that a large sized box, if supplied with rope, or iron handles in order to facilitate its transportation, might be sent for about $15.00.
Will you kindly consider the possibilities before you in this matter? Mrs. Grosse will write you upon arrival in New York. Later she will be in Chicago. If we could, either through her courtesy, or through the agency of [someone] else returning here, receive and distribute the books here for Christmas, it would certainly bring relief to [page 4] many, who are in need of mental sustenance.
I trust that you are well, after your strenuous trip of last Summer!
With kind regards to Dr. Hamilton as well as to yourself, I am,
Very sincerely Yours,
Neena Hamilton Pringsheim.