My dear Madam:
I am very happy to have your kind answer to my letter. It is not easy to explain all details in writing, and no wonder you find fault with one matter or other. Maybe in August I shall have a chance to come to Chicago and it will give me great pleasure to see you again and to explain everything to mutual satisfaction.
Vilna is still in the clutches of the Polish imperialists, but we have the assurances of one of the big Powers that the Poles shall evacuate Lithuanian territory in a few months; Vilna shall remain the capital of Lithuania. There are old buildings of the previous University, and we intend to use them again for the same purpose. At present the Higher Courses (meaning University courses) have temporarily been established in Kaunas.
Lithuania is not dying of starvation. Improvement in sanitary conditions is urgent. Food, shelter and clothing is sorely needed for the refugees in Russia who now are returning home by thousands in distressed condition. Otherwise the [illegible] do have bread, pork and sugar in plenty. Lithuania is feeding the Letts in Courland, and their countrymen in the occupied territory; even the Russians get supplies by way of smuggle. The monetary system is dependent upon the German mark, and hard pressed are the working people who do not possess land and therefore lack the food supply. But soon even these people will be cared for -- because the large nobility estates are going to be parceled out and workers will get farms. [page 2]
Political uncertainties will not end very soon, because France and the U.S. are hoping against hope to restore great Russia and to establish big Poland from Sea to Sea. France and the U.S. are in the background of the political uncertainties, and [subsidize] anyone who promises to fight the Bolsheviki. It was Kolchak, Denikin and [Yudenich] in 1919, and Wrangel and [Guchkov] and Poland nowadays. I am not a friend of Bolshevism, but I believe the Bolsheviki will smash to pieces the hopes of France and the U.S.
In the mean time Lithuania cannot wait in idleness until a settlement in Eastern Europe arrives. Education cannot be deferred from one year to another, and we must try to do what we can to help the nation which is making tremendous efforts on all sides, but particularly in educational lines. Remember, please, that not funds alone are needed, but school equipment, laboratory appliances etc. as well.
I know there are great difficulties in our way at present. Yet, whatever we may accomplish now is of greater importance and value than what we may do in two or three years. Help is appreciated when it comes in time of need. It is not luxuries that we are after. You would be struck with wonderment at the devotion of teachers and professors who work on half-pay or unpaid, and at the eagerness of students who are obliged to get along with a few text-books, or sometimes with none whatever.
Such is the situation. And we should [strike] a plan, a scheme, by which we could succeed in giving the University even the scantest supplies. My heart is throbbing with joy when you are consulting teachers and trying to make propaganda for this matter, and I know that your efforts will not be made in vain.
Thanking you cordially for the interest you are taking in matters of education in Lithuania, I beg to remain
Yours very faithfully
John Szlupas MD