Alice Salomon to Jane Addams, December 11, 1911



11. Dec. 1911.

Dear Miss Addams:

I suppose you will not remember my name and that we met some years ago when the International Council of Women held their meeting at Toronto and when we all came to Chicago. And I will not take much of your time, but I feel bound to express how deeply your book "Twenty Years in Hull House" has moved me and how very very deeply grateful I am to you for it. It is a book of power --  and it truly gives strength to know how you have fought with all the inner as much as with the outward difficulties, which all of us who try to help and to better the social conditions have to meet.

I really came across the book by [page 2] mere chance -- and it is a shame that people hear nothing about American books in Germany. Miss Münsterberg, whose father was a very close friend of mine, talked to me about the usefulness of a translation -- and in order to advise her I sent for it -- and literally spoken I have lived under its impression since long weeks. I have written something about it for our magazine, "Das Frau" and I shall send a copy to you as soon as it is out and I hope and trust that you will feel that you are well understood at this side of the Atlantic as well as on the other. It was all like a dream to me to read of your life and work. It is all so different from what we have to do here -- and yet (I have worked since 14 years in Berlin along very [voluntary] lines) I feel, that the real [page 3] conflicts and difficulties are just the same. The subjective needs of Settlements or of social work as we do it almost expresses the same words <thoughts> which have been the "Leitmotiv" of my life since I was first awakened to see the way out of the unnatural lives of the wealthy girls, and all the different attempts of socialists and "single tax people" and others brought back all the days of my youth, when "Bebel" and "[Damaschke]" and all these people thought it worth while to try and convert me to their creeds and much more than that: all the same thoughts and troubles about the way of really helping our poorer brothers, the constant difficulty, how to arrange our own life according to our belief in social justice: but [after] all this the difference [page 4] between your strength of mind and soul -- and my poor small attempts, the difference between what you have done for your country and my small influence.

But I know I must not keep you any longer. I only wish to let you know how wonderfully your book will help us in Germany. I think of reading it together and discussing some of the problems [next winter with the advanced people at my School for Social Service. I know it will help many of them in their struggles and doubts.

I hope Hull House will have a peaceful Xmas -- not one with a coal-makers strike as we are going to have, it seems. And I do wish with all my heart your work will be successful during the coming year.

Will you kindly remember me to all Hull House residents who know me: Miss Lathrop, Miss Abbott, the Borosini's etc.

Yours very truly
Alice Salomon