Lucy Biddle Lewis to Jane Addams, January 18, 1921


Dear Miss Addams.

I have been having a little visit of recreation [with] my son's family, and [enjoying?] my [three] grandchildren [illegible] [Christmas] their parents. Nothing rests me so much; this explains my tardy answer to your letter. The discussion in regard to holding the Congress in Vienna evidently came [illegible] after I left, for Frau Scheu [Riesz] had no thought of any question about it & Miss Balch I think had it [no mind?] as the place all countries could reach. The housing question is serious, but evidently they felt it could be managed. Conditions apparently got worse & worse in Vienna. I have no [page 2] very late news, except the paper reports, but I am not surprised at the very worst. My brother as a relief worker with our [Unit] was in close touch with leading men of Vienna in politics & business and he is terribly pessimistic over any hope for the future. The hotels are full of the worst type of "profiteers" who live there luxuriously on the depreciated currency. The true Viennese starve out of sight, while really striving to find a means of subsistence. I have no advice to offer as to wisdom or possibility of holding the Congress there, as changes come overnight & no one can predict for a few months hence. [page 3] When I was there I felt it would be a fine thing to meet there, as the people would greet us heartily as a group who could sympathize with their agony -- & they long for friends and sympathy -- have lost faith in the world -- & are rapidly losing courage & strength of body or mind to continue the hopeless struggle. Economic conditions may be such that we could not go, but my inclination would be to leave it to those nearer by to decide & if the Viennese women still want us to go & try to help with the sympathy they crave & appreciate. I am very sorry you cannot be with us on the 3rd, it would be [page 4] so good to have your presence and counsel. But we would love to have you as you are in Pa. on the 18th and either that night or the night before or both would suit us perfectly. Let me know where you come from & we will meet you at the station & be so glad. I am sorry Mother will be away. She will go to Florida Jan. 28th. I have lots to talk about.

Did you know how miserable poor Rosika Schwimmer is? I saw her in the hospital in Vienna.

Hoping for a nice visit from you & a good talk, affectionately yours

Lucy Biddle Lewis.