Emily Greene Balch to Jane Addams, October 22, 1919

Bureau International:
GENÈVE, 19, Boulevard Georges-Favon.

Oct 22/19

Dear Miss Addams,

Miss Manus has sent me her accounts, is sending [on] 1000 German Marks which have never been exchanged and is keeping the balance of Francs to meet bills if any more come in. So all is now serene. She asked to have the account published in the News Sheet. I told her I thought this went to too many strangers and was too expensive, but I would send ↑[illegible]↓ [page 2] ↑the accounts↓ to all the sections, direct, instead. I hope this is O.K.

I wish that, if Mrs. Karsten can make time, she would send me more news. I feel entirely out of touch. She told me you had arrived and gone to a Com. meeting in Boston. [illegible] ↑In↓ a [illegible] Swiss paper I saw a reference to you doing something about famine relief. This is all I have heard of our affairs. I have sent things numerously to Miss Wald but never a postal card ever. Elinor [Byrne] [page 3] sends a sad account of the [N.Y.] situation. Yet [America] is the key to the pacifist situation -- military training, conscription, amnesty, Mexico, Hawaii, ratification or no ratification, Oriental mandate yes or no, Siberian prisoners, Russian and renewed German blockade, famine and the rest. And all the news that has reached me (and that was before your return) was that Mrs. Karsten did not think there was anything to be done in America. Of course I know she [page 4] never meant it in the sense that I am suggesting, even if she ever said it at all, but you can see why I long for news and American support. The British Branch send in a monthly account ↑report of new activities↓. I go to London next Tuesday (Oct 28) for the annual meeting of their Section (Oct. 30, 31) and the Economic Conference of the Fight the Famine Council (Nov 4, 5, 6); then I shall see our friends in Paris & meet Helen Cheever Nov 10 (if she comes) and then come back here & get out the Nov. News Sheet & then go to Zurich for their annual meeting. Meanwhile Miss Moore, who was to be here to [page 5] help get out the Zurich report has not been able to get here because of delay at Berne in giving the permission and Miss [McNaghten] is kept back by a bad foot & Mr. Herron has taken our nice little Russian helper so you can and I am putting all Fräulein Wössner's time in trying to get out the accounts. So you can guess I am not making rapid progress with the Zurich report.

But after all that is only part, and in a sense a past part, of our work. I never felt this little international [ganglion?] more needed or more useful.

Frau Hertzka is going to Paris about the prisoners. Miss Marshall [page 6] is there but will be returning for the British meeting. Miss Burritt left here Sunday (Oct 20) and is in Paris too.

I am in a dozen minds whether to telegraph Helen Cheever not to come. The office is pretty comfortable, somewhere in the "early sixties," but then it is not cold weather. The open fire places, it seems, are after all not "practicable" -- the installation of [so-called] "central heating" having stopped them up; but the central heating, with a radiator in each office, "[marches?]."  But in my ↑own↓ rooms the coal [etc], ordered in the summer, and promised every day for delivery the next, is as yet not come and I can't [page 7] get coal of another dealer as the first one has the "authorization." But I have now got wood. (I could not get this till Sat'y [though] we have had snow on the mountains for weeks). I am quite all right & heaven knows any partial discomfort is nothing in this ghastly European winter with the widespread lack of both coal and food but I don't like to have Helen, who is delicate, come into it; and yet when she has set her heart on coming and we may be able to keep our rooms warm, I hate to cable her not to come at the 11th hour. I shall be easier when this is decided. [page 8]

If this letter sounds [illegible] complaining -- and I hope it doesn't -- it does not express my real feeling as you will well know.

Just as you know how devotedly I am always yours

Emily Balch

And I am thankful I was here and that I have the immense privilege of just this piece of work. I only wish I did it better.