Lucy Hoesch Ernst to Jane Addams, January 8, 1921

Chicago, 8.1.21.
1344 N. Dearborn Street. c/o Mrs Jones

My dear Miss [Addams],

I was very sorry that it was impossible yesterday to have a quiet half hour with you, as I had hoped and was let to expect according to the [telephone] appointment you were so kind to give ↑me↓. I am still more sorry for something else:

It seems to me that you have an antipathy against me, or that you -- let me say -- are generally [unfavorably] impressed by me. I am very sorry at that and I wished I knew what it is, for [then] I might alter it. I had so hoped that you would take a kind interest in my endeavors to help in the cause for which we are all working. I had so hoped to get a friendly welcome from you, as a friend, as coworker. It is true [I am?] not a President of any [organization]. But I thought you knew that all through the war I have sacrificed my health, my social position and also to great extent also financially in order to help to bring about a greater understanding between the different parties and to open the peoples mind for a truer conception of internationalism, which later is the only way towards a lasting peace. Before the war I had never occupied myself with politics, I had quietly worked out scientific research in the line of educational reform. Only since 1914 I took an active interest in politics, and with regard to the war [I] have unflinchingly and fearlessly outspoken what I knew was right. Early 1916 I was effectively silenced by the German Government. So it [came] that I am not generally known. But what does that matter, as long as one IS a helper faithful to the cause? [page 2]

I have no ambition to be a [public] leader, but I have the wish to be of active help.

But how can I do it if those whom I regard naturally as my "Gesinnungsgenossen", my "Friends" and my "coworkers" have no time for me, will not give me a hearing -- because I have no worldwide reputation, because what I did was done behind the scene!! Or what is it, I wished I knew, why I am treated almost with antagonism!!?? I come over the ocean. Generally a member of an International Society is welcomed at such an [occasion]. And the members like to hear some report. Privately they did. You asked me what I wanted, but I could not finish my sentence. Of course not, it is impossible to receive or say good bye to a large number of people and have a private interview at the same time.

Röttcher, the "Generalsekretär" of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft had asked me to report in [America] what was going on in the minds of people. These ↑are↓ not things one can read in a Newspaper. Frau Stöcker wrote to me and asked what our friends in America [were] going to do, to help our party against the "[Reaction?]" and the "Militarists" in Germany, which later are getting stronger and stronger. Herr von Gerlach from "Die Welt am Montag" also wrote and asked that I should try to interest our friends in the endeavors of the few [antimilitaristic] papers. The editor of the "[Süddeutsche] Presse" the only paper in Bavaria who takes a firm stand against militarism and royalism asked me to interest influential Americans in this young paper, which at present because of financial difficulties, can appear only once [a?] [page 3] with ↑under↓ personal [sacrifices] of Dr. Endres, the editor. Nearly [all] the other papers have been bought by the royalists and reactionary military party. They try to undermine slowly the public opinion.

The "Süddeutsche Presse" ought to appear [daily] to be of any weight. A few thousand dollars would make this possible.

If you [American friends] are really for peace, a [practical] help, spiritual and material, to the antimilitaristic party in Germany would be of much greater use than [passing] resolutions [among] a few [hundred] or even [thousand women], what they are to do in case of [another] war. As some one said, it is much better to help to prevent [another] war. If our [illegible] ↑American↓ friends would know more of the mental position, of the psychological make up ↑of↓ the party in Germany, which is naturally their Ally in the desire for lasting peace, it would also [make] towards a real union and understanding.

That is why I am doing what I can to spread the [excellent] book by Prof Foerster: "Mein Kampf mit dem nationalistischen und militaristischen [Deutschland]."

Also I have held ([quite] humbly and without any personal ambition) the view that it [might help], if Americans and German-Americans would have the [occasion] to hear references about the mental and [physical] condition -- not only about the material needs -- in Germany from some one like I who has lived through it all during the whole war and was right there up to last Sept. and who at the same time is not [biased] and [prejudiced] by any national feelings and preferences ↑for any nation↓ and has proven that through the whole trying time. [page 4]

About all that I had wanted to speak to you. And I also had hoped that you would give me [some practical] advice and [practical] information, as to what you think best, that I should write about the present status of pacifism in [America] to the 5-6 Papers in Germany, who anxiously await reports from me. I could not do so until now, because it seems that I am missing the right contact. I knew that it would be difficult for me, for as I said until the [beginning] of the war I have been living the [quiet] life of a private scientist. But I did not expect that I should meet with a kind of [passive] resentment, instead of helpfulness on the side of those people to whom I mentally belong.

It is always said: "We need the help of you all, come and join us, become member." Yes with all my heart! But membership is not done by paying a dollar or a quarter or even 5 Dollars and to say: "Yes" or "I" in a general "[Ábstimmung]" or ask a few "questions" to the chairman or even to speak for "three" minutes by the clock for or against a resolution -- resolutions of which generally, when it comes to the point, nobody takes any notice.

The German Miners have refused to work and send coal to Bavaria -- if -- Bavaria will not finally consent to abolish the militaristic Bürgerwehr and deliver the weapons to the Entente, as it is her duty to do according to the signed Peace-Treaties. That is really an active Resolution, which counts. Towards such a thing we must work, we all, All Nations together. WE MUST LEARN TO LOOK ON HUMANITY AS ONE ORGANISM.

And each nation has to clean up [their] ↑[own]↓ old militaristic rubbish and its ↑her↓ own sin [before] her own door, [and] [page 5] not wait until others do likewise.

And all we, who want to help, have, and must be willing to [sacrifice] ourselves. All we, who belong together now, and are largely of the same mind and have the same great goal in view, WHICH IS THE TRUE BROTHERHOOD OF MANKIND, should stand by each other, regardless of smaller differences in views and bearings, which do not matter in comparison with the [great common] goal.

And [therefore] I had hoped that you would ↑have↓ [stretched?] out a welcoming hand to me, be really glad to see me on this side of the ocean, because I came with the honest wish to help.

I have admired and loved you for twenty years. I shall continue to do so for all that you have done in warm love and understanding for suffering humanity ---- but I am sorry that you seemed to have no use for me, because I have no public record.

I shall leave Chicago in a weeks time, but I should be glad to have an [uninterrupted] quiet talk with you, if you think it worth while after all.

Believe me to be Yours very truly.

Lucy Hoesch Ernst [signed]