Lucy Hoesch Ernst to Jane Addams, March 14, 1921


1259 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago Ill, 14. 3. 21

My dear Miss [Addams],

I have the feeling, that you [too] are amongst those, who find my attitude in matters of the "occupied territory" are strange and certainly unkind. I often wish to explain for I hate to be so misunderstood. On the other hand I hate also to intrude on your time.

Now I read the other day the [enclosed] note in the Tribune. There you have in a few words explained what I think, in the words of the Labor Unions.

They know what they are about those workmen. They know that they are better protected by the occupation [army] than by their government, as long as it is so [weak]. They fear the reaction and they know, who has to suffer by the occupation. That are those people who used this war to get out of the general disaster enormous riches. The Stinnes and so forth. The spectacle which is made against the immorality of the French troops, blacks are scarcely there [anymore], issues also from these quarters. They are wild because the French [officers?] sit in their palaces. In reality it is so: the Rheingegend [where] the occupation army was is the only place in which we can live in moderate quietness, [where] the children do NOT look like walking [corpses] and where a certain morality and order prevails, because people are afraid of the foreign soldiers, I mean such people who would commit crimes. You know as well as I do that there is no better University for the different faculties in crime [page 2] than the war. Now [add] want and hunger and there you have the morality of the "White European" in a country which is conquered and poor and in a [transient] stage from one form of government to [another]. The foreign troops at present stand in the middle and [where] they are there is less chance of a complete disorder [than elsewhere]. I do not think that to have them is a desirable condition for the long run to have and it is to be hoped that they will not stay as long as is feared now, in fact I am sure they won't. But by continual complaining and "resolutions" being [sent], the Americans who want to help, do not make the thing better -- in the [contrary]. It will only tend to [aggravate] the other party and as they can't let their [aggravation] out on the Americans, who send the [competition?], they will only make it harder for the Germans. The act of the "Labor Unions" is far more diplomatic and far more helpful to us than any "resolution" American women could make. Please, please give this a thought! You all may find it very wrong, the occupation, I mean, but it is better you do not speak about it.

I wonder whether you have ever, when you [condemned] my speaking as I do, whether you have ever understood that I personally have much to [lose] by this very occupation. I would not need to run round trying to sell books, if it had never come -- yet I can abstract from myself.

Yours very truly

Lucy H. Ernst. [signed]

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