Otto Leopold Schmidt to Jane Addams, January 31, 1920


January 31st, 1920.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
800 So. Halsted St.,
Chicago, Illinois.

My dear Miss Addams: ---

There is no doubt that something ought to be done and that much could be accomplished by the right committee in Chicago.

The situation is interwoven with many conflicting features, one of which we see by the title of the New York organization, viz. "American Relief Committee for German Children." Even yet it is considered advisable not to use the phrase for the German people.

There are also very few German names on the New York Committee. The list of names sent from New York is excellent, but it requires some organizer backed by names well known to them to get their [cooperation].

In case of further action, I will very gladly furnish you with a list of names of German-American citizens, who would be influential, and many of them, I am sure, would be very willing to help if under the cover of such prominent [illegible] names as mentioned in the list.

Even at the risk of a lengthy letter I will add that the German-American Relief, for which you had kindly consented to speak, but were prevented by a cold, is now incorporated as "The American Relief for the German People". I am still the President, although I have had nothing to do with it since my becoming sick early in December.

This organization is the result of an action of the German societies of this city, comprising the middle and laboring classes. On account of its early start in the matter of this charity, it either was antagonized or received no aid as a general thing from the wealthy German-American citizens of this city. This association would almost surely hold aloof from the other even if there was no other reason than that the New York Committee is for the German children only.

It has now collected over $73,000.00, a really paltry sum for the wealth of the German-American population of this city, and even this sum has to a large extent come from donations from outside circles, especially Protestant churches. As you surely know, the Catholics have their own system of collection.

I am able to go out and although I will not be able to be active in any new committee, kindly consider me at your call and advice for organization in case of further word from New York.

I herewith return with thanks the interesting printed matter.

With kind regrets, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

O. L. Schmidt [signed]