William Scharsmith to Jane Addams, May 26, 1921


May 26th 1921.

Miss Jane [Addams],
Hull House
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Friend,

Upon his return to this country after a three months' stay in Germany, Rev. Wm. H. Lawall said: -- "I have been all over Germany, I have seen suffering wherever I went, but none that could be compared to that in the Occupied Territory; whatever is done for the poor, the sick and the children is insufficient, and done in a perfunctory way, just like a prison keeper will help a convict, not as a mother would help her child. ... In all the weeks of my stay in the Occupied Territory I have not even seen a drop of milk!"

Rev. Lawall, who enjoys the reputation of being one of the most experienced social workers, immediately recognized the pressing necessity of help; he did not stop to ascertain the reasons for existing conditions or to lay the blame to one party or another; he felt that SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE, and he went ahead and did it as far as he could do it singlehanded.

He saw the most prominent men in Germany who, without a single exception were anxious to see the work started and were only too glad to join the supervising board (see list of names overleaf); he succeeded in getting HOME FINKENBACH for the purpose of receiving such children as need skilled care and wholesome food; moreover, he succeeded in obtaining the permission of the French authorities for foreign units of charitable [organizations] to commence work in the Occupied Zone.

Having accomplished whatever could be done at that time, Rev. Lawall returned to America, formed a committee on this side and is now appealing to the public to help him in the continuation and completion of the work which he started. A fund of $25,000 is needed to guarantee the operation of HOME FINKENBACH for one year; as soon as $5,000 will have been raised the work will be taken up without delay, and we sincerely hope that this sum will be available within a few days.

Please help us to the limit of your possibility! Please help those poor people who are under the double disadvantage of being destitute and under foreign rule. Please contribute your share towards the bringing up of a generation which will still be strong and healthy, capable and willing to work when the occupation will be ended.

We appeal to you in the name of human feeling and divine mercy, do, oh do help the Occupied Territory.

Very sincerely yours
For the Committee
Dr. William Scharsmith [signed]

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