Rosika Schwimmer to Emily Greene Balch, April 29, 1920



Vienna, Hotel Bristol, altes Haus,
29th of April 1920.

My dear Miss Balch,

Your letter of March 7. with enclosures reached me nearly six weeks ago. I put off answering from day to day, hoping always to get the help of an English stenographer, since one of the symptoms of my awful nervosity is the disability to write with my own hands. But as I have to give up hope even to get the necessary help I force myself now to write to you and to Miss Macmillan.

I cannot yet tell [whether] I can manage to get to Switzerland for the triple reasons given in Miss Macmillans letter. Will you please, ask her to show it to you.

30th April.

You asked whether I met Mrs. Wagner: oh [yes]. She was of great help to me in Budapest and we spend a good deal of time together here. She has not yet left. I hope she will attend the Geneva congresses. Miss Woker wrote about one you intend to hold in connection with the Suffrage Congress. Would you, please, let me know particulars about it? I do hope women pacifists will get in numbers to the Suffrage Congress. I urged Miss Courtney to have some English pacifist-suffragist go as representative of Great Britain.

Things look every day more gloomy here and I am preparing for another flight. Should the reactionaries who are greatly encouraged and by the way also financed and morally -- or rather immorally -- backed by the Hungarian reactionaries -- continue their little game they started a few days ago, we political refugees would have to take our heels again.

It is awful to live like this. Torn away from your old sick parents, homeless, viewing helplessly the horrible atrocities continually committed in your country, and spreading all over the world. No plans for future work possible. It is terrible.

I hurried myself here in welfare work for political refugees and for the last 6 weeks or so for the [organizing] of the Birmingham home for Austrian children. I am glad to contribute with that work to the help for Austria, which so generously shelters us, who are now outlaws in our own country and have no other country ready to receive us and endure our presence.

I wish women all over the world would at last awaken to their womanly and human duties. Commissions, as my dear friend Lola suggested, would long ago have been sent round our countries. To talk over what should be done, and to tell you and other understanding international women what is wrong with the Entente people crowding these countries here with the best intentions and very bad results is one of the things that urge me especially to make every effort to go to Geneva.

I never understood why Miss Courtney spoke of an opening for me in Sweden. Your enclosure of Mrs. Waern [Bugge’s] remark made me see where it came from. I never heard from Mrs. Waern Bugge to whom I wrote a letter of thanks for your kind intentions.

I concentrate now on the effort to go to Geneva, but wonder very much [whether] I shall succeed.

Will you please, send me the copies of the News Sheet of February-April here.

Hoping to hear about your Conference plans with best wishes

cordially yours,

(Signed) Rosika Schwimmer.