Carolena Morris Wood to Jane Addams, July 1919


Berlin -- Tuesday 5.30 --

Dear Miss Addams:

I am hoping to get another wire from you saying where I can meet you or Dr Jacobs on Friday. Telegrams keep coming wanting you in Breslau and I should like to go there but cannot think I should be much use in Vienna. Still I can't bear to prevent Dr Jacobs going. The Committee is slow in forming here and Col. [Coombs], who has taken Col Ryans place while he is in Hamburg, telephoned this morning that they had no supplies we wanted except wheat flour but would buy in the open market for us in Holland. The last ships are loading for them in New York so the question must be settled at once.

The committee will give their advice tomorrow as to the quo types & places for the food & I will order it. Then [page 2] I shall be more free to run about.

A high authority of government close to us has just returned from the Ruhr Valley and gives the following points in his report which has this moment come from the office.

The birth rate has fallen to half of the prewar rate. The [death?] rate has largely increased -- nearly doubled. -- Deaths exceed births. The general health is very bad especially young chn. For the last two years the food of the population in general has been only 2/3 required to maintain health. The miners have not sufficient food to keep them fit. Unless more food can be supplied, the output of coal must continue to fall, thus causing a stoppage in industries and causing sooner or later general anarchy. Owing to want of manure & unfavorable weather the harvest prospects are not good.

Proportion of deaths from tuberculosis in Essen -- 1914 -- 9.6 in [1918] -- 15.8.

In Dortmund patients attending outpatient for children -- 1913 5000 -- 1917 45,000.

Two thirds one third of the nurses are absent [through] sickness. [page 3] The whole population is [anemic] & incapable of sustained mental or physical exertion. The prevalence of Rickets will doubtless result in very many dwarfs. Children excluded from school on account of ill health run up to 50%. All chn are suffering from [anemia] & are at least 2 years behind their normal growth they are unable to carry out school curriculum owing to brain fatigue. 40% of chn have no shoes or stockings or no shirts. The cost of food has increased 425% -- result whole country underfed. The actual value of the present food ration for ordinary workers in not over 1000 calories.

If fodder & oil cake can be supplied the present yield of milk can be [trebled] in a short time but the sending of 140,000 milk cows to France will kill 600000 children within six months.

If I cannot see you again I shall be sorry. It has been a great pleasure to have these weeks with you [page 4] and Dr Hamilton. I should be grateful if you have a chance to call up my brother in New York John 2505 -- L. Hollingsworth Wood 20 Nassau St. -- and tell him I am well. I still hope to see you and will pull out here [if] Dr Jacobs really needs me. Meanwhile I am deeply interested in the situation here.

Marion Fox & Joan Fry have come here to the hotel and we still keep very busy.

Sincerely yours

Carolena M. Wood

Siegmund Schultze says the most needy places are the Ruhr-Chemnitz & Berlin.