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To have been unable, owing to sad circumstances over which I have had no control, to keep in close and constant touch with you, the beloved children of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, since His passing from this world, is to me a cause of sad surprise and deep and bitter regret. To say that ever since the Dawn of a New Day has broken upon me I have in the least felt reluctant or disinclined to enter into relationship with every one of you, or felt indifferent to a Cause which is so close and dear to your hearts, would indeed betray every sentiment of love and fellowship which animates every one of us in our servitude to His Holy Threshold. It was rather my utter exhaustion, my profound feelings of sorrow, the overwhelming sense of my own position and responsibilities and the extreme pressure of work that have caused me to maintain such a long silence and seem forgetful of those brave and valiant lovers of the Master in that land.
Of the thoughts that sustained and comforted me during my hours of restful retirement was the realization, never dismissed from my mind, that in the German friends the Master will surely find loyal and grateful children who will repay the tender love and paternal care which He had for them with a devotion and service, so profound and lasting that will prove worthy of the many blessings that have been theirs in the past.
The news of your most spiritual gatherings, since the Great Plan of the Master as revealed in His Testament has been unfolded to our eyes; the formation and functioning of the National Body with efficiency and harmony; the extension of your activities; the widening of yourPage 8
correspondence; the generous and spontaneous help you have extended us in connection with our difficulties in the Holy Land and above all the spirit of ready devotion and ever-increasing zeal which is back of it all - these are sweet thoughts that cheer the bereaved Ladies of the Holy Household and encourage here and abroad the many friends who look forward to the hour when all the Master has promised His friends in Germany will come to be fulfilled.
Having returned to the Holy Land with a renewed vigour and a refreshed spirit, I shall not fail with the help of the Master to do my part in enabling you to carry on further and still further the Glorious Standard of Baha to the very heart and uttermost confines of Germany and thus hasten the Day when the Spirit of Faith and Peace as revealed in the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh will fill the world and the darkness of strife be no more.
In sweet remembrance at the Three Holy Shrines of your labours of love for His Cause, I am and remain your brother and coworker in His service.19 January 1923
The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout Germany,
Care of members of the National Spiritual Assembly.My dearly-beloved friends!
Ever since I have resumed my work in the Holy Land I have been awaiting with eager and particular interest the detailed letters, individual as well as collective, of my lovedPage 9
ones in Germany, who, I am sure are arduously, devotedly and efficiently carrying on the Great Work which the Master has destined for them in this world.
Much as I desire to correspond individually with every one of you, yet I find that in view of the marvellously rapid extension of the Movement all over the world to start and maintain individual correspondence with the vast and ever- increasing number of Bahá'ís in the East and the West would entail so much time and energy on my part as to prevent me from paying adequate attention to my other duties that are so urgent and vital in these days.
I shall therefore very regretfully and reluctantly have to content myself with direct correspondence with every Bahá'í group in each locality, be it a city or hamlet, keeping in constant touch with them directly and through their respective local assemblies and co-ordinating their spiritual efforts and activities through the National Spiritual Assembly (National Body), representative of all the believers and local assemblies throughout the land.
I am exceedingly anxious, as a preliminary to the faithful execution of this plan, to receive as soon as it is convenient an official, comprehensive and detailed report from the National Spiritual Assembly, stating accurately the actual standing of the Cause in Germany, describing the progress of the activities of the friends throughout that land and the adjoining countries such as Austria and Northern Switzerland, and setting forth the names, the numerical strength, the history, the needs and the activities of every locality throughout these regions, however small in size, where the Light of the Cause has so far been able to penetrate.
I hope by this measure to enter into direct and constant communication with every locality, however small it mayPage 10
be, where a single friend or more is striving to teach the Cause and establish a Bahá'í centre.
It has been my great pleasure to read some of the letters addressed during the past months by the German friends to the Greatest Holy Leaf, and their perusal, I assure you, has filled me with intense satisfaction and made me still more confident of that glorious era of spiritual reawakening which the unseen Hand of our Master is sure to unfold to our eyes in the near future.
Your labours are unceasing, your effort knows no bounds, your devotion and selflessness are indeed worthy of the many blessings our Beloved has bestowed upon you and the Guidance of Bahá'u'lláh and His unfailing assistance will, I am certain enable you to crown your ceaseless endeavours with glorious and well-deserved success.
In my hours of prayer and meditation, I remember you most tenderly and beseech every time I visit the Sacred Shrines a fresh outpouring of His Grace and Spirit upon your efforts for the spread and triumph of His Cause.
As I was the other day studying various Bahá'í documents I came across a most inspiring and encouraging message from our Beloved written in his own handwriting and bearing no date and sign as to the place and circumstances in which it was revealed. I enclose a copy of its translation together with various Bahá'í prayers and Tablets all of which I trust will be of great help and assistance to you in your work of service to the Cause. I submit them all to the members of the National Spiritual Assembly for translation into German and circulation among the friends.
I have asked a very experienced Persian teacher, by the name of Jinab-i-Avarih, who is at present in England, to pay a special visit to the various Bahá'í centres in Germany and endeavour with the hearty cooperation of every one of youPage 11
to arouse deep and widespread interest in the Movement throughout that land.
I am eagerly anxious to receive a copy of your Bahá'í organ which I trust you will be able to publish both in German and in English and which I hope will truly and fully describe the great effort which is now being made in those regions for the diffusion of the Bahá'í principles and teachings. With the introduction of an English section into your Bahá'í Magazine the number of its subscribers will I am sure greatly increase as the many friends in America, Great Britain, France, India and Egypt would be most pleased and grateful to gather from its columns the full news of the onward march of the Cause throughout Central Europe.
It would be a great encouragement to the friends in America and India if the German friends would through their respective assemblies subscribe to the two leading Bahá'í organs in the world, namely the Star of the West and the Bahá'í News, and contribute regularly reports of their own activities and submit for publication carefully written articles, sanctioned by the members of the Spiritual National Assembly, and bearing upon spiritual matters in general, that the East and the West may be closely linked together and the friends the world over may know of one anothers activities and services to the Cause.
The time is sure to come and the signs are already apparent, when the various and distant members of this great world community will find their activities co- ordinated, their purpose unified, their efforts re-inforced and the effect of their combined efforts manifest throughout the world. May the Power of Bahá'u'lláh breathe the dynamic spirit of Life into the combined and systematized efforts of the friends the world over and revive throughPage 12
them the body of stricken humanity and give it the peace which it yearns for and which the world cannot give.Your devoted brother
========================================================16 February 1923
The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout Germany,
Care of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.My dearest brethren and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Bahá!
I have received with mixed feelings of sadness and gratitude your long expected letter, sent on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly (National Body), and written by our sincere and devoted brother Consul Schwarz. It made me feel relieved and grateful at receiving at last the news of your safety and the assurance of your unwavering determination to serve with heart and soul and to the very end the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh; and it filled me with sorrow to hear of the grievous calamity that has befallen your land and the hardships that are afflicting your country.
Let me assure you, at the outset, of the deep sympathy of the Ladies of the Household, of the friends the world over, and of myself, in your great suffering, and our unfailing prayers to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, that He may dissipate these gathering clouds of animosity and strife, and relieve your great and beloved country from its present state of uncertainty and peril.
Why fear and sorrow? Have we not the express promise of the Master, uttered after the termination of the GreatPage 13
War, that Germany, now humbled and weakened, will no doubt be freed from its fetters and will develop, materially and spiritually, and shall one day emerge from this sad turmoil strong, united and prosperous, ready to take her place in the great Family of the advanced nations of the world?
I am enclosing for you all my translation of a number of selections from the Master's soul-stirring and comforting words, revealed some twentyfive years ago, and during the darkest days of his incarceration in the prison-city of 'Akka. You will I hope translate them and publish them in your Bahá'í organ the "Sun of Truth", copies of which I shall be most pleased to receive and share with my friends in the Holy Land.
I am enclosing also a copy of my last letter to you, wherein I have asked you, among other things, to send me a detailed report of your activities, and I sincerely hope that I shall soon be in receipt of a detailed answer from you on all the points which I have raised in my last letter.
I am also enclosing my revised translation of the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, both Arabic and Persian, and hope to send you more of His Words and Teachings in future.
Awaiting your news, and wishing you the highest success in your glorious work of service,I am your devoted brother
What a joy to correspond with you again, and express, after a long and unbroken silence, my warm sentiments of love and affection for those tried, and yet steadfast, lovers of 'Abdu'l-Bahá! Your trials and sufferings have been a constant source of anxiety and painful sorrow, not to me alone, but to the Ladies of the Household as well as to the friends at large.
True, humanity is to-day widely afflicted with unprecedented ills and calamities, but you, the chosen and favoured children of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, have, by some wisdom inscrutable to us all, received the fullest measure of this distress, and are carrying the burden your cares with heroic fortitude, unflinching faith, and undaunted courage worthy of the admiration of even the most severely tried of your fellow-sufferers in far-away Persia.
Your only consolation lies in the ever-living words of our departed Master, who confidently declared that the days are not far distant when Germany, will shake off her present humiliation, and will emerge, mighty, united and glorious, not only to take her destined place in the councils of nations, but to raise high the triumphant banner of the Cause in the very heart of Europe.
Your ceaseless activities since His departure from our midst have been steadily extended as your tribulations and anxieties have multiplied, and I feel hopeful that ere long the true Faith of God will blaze worth in that land, and willPage 15
herald publicly the Message of Salvation to that distracted continent.
I am so desirous to receive from the National Spiritual Assembly, frequent, comprehensive and up-to-date reports on the present position of the Cause throughout Germany, with an account of the activities of the various Bahá'í centers recently established throughout the land.
Your Bahá'í Magazine, I have regularly received and read with deep interest. I strongly urge you to devote a section of it, written both in German and English, to an account of the current activities of the Movement throughout the length and breadth of Germany, a step which I am sure will rejoice the hearts of our spiritual brethren and sisters the world over.
The members of the holy Family and myself have joined lately the resident friends in the Holy Land in contributing towards the relief of the present distress in Germany, and we trust our modest efforts will mitigate to some extent the rigours of this coming winter in that afflicted country.
Hoping to hear from you, individually and collectively, and remembering you always in my prayers.I am your brother and co-worker
===========================================================28 December 1923
To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful in Leipzig, Germany,Care of his honour, Mr. Herrigel.
I need not emphasize the deep and genuine pleasure I felt when I received and read your most welcome letter dated November 11th. 1923. With what pride and gratitude I learned from it that already, through the ever-present and omnipotent spirit of our departed Master a fresh start has been made and a promising center established in that beautiful city of yours, one of the leading centres of thought in your beloved country.
True, your fatherland is now fallen a prey to chaotic conditions and severe distress, yet in this hour of trial and suffering we should all remember the inspired words of our Beloved who, more than once, declared that out of this humiliating turmoil Germany is sure to rise again, united and mighty, ready to render her services, spiritual as well as material, to the cause of mankind.
Let these words cheer us, let them sustain us with hope and confidence, and inspire us to serve His Cause and spread His Message, however trying the conditions may be.
I await lovingly and eagerly your letters, individually as well as collectively, and will be delighted to hear of the progress of your activities, of the full account of your meetings, and of your plans for the promotion of the Bahá'í Movement.
May His spirit, amid these trying circumstances and vicissitudes of your domestic life, sustain you and guide you in rendering distinct services to our beloved Cause.
Assuring you of my earnest prayers on your behalf,I am your brother in His love
========================================================31 December 1923
The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful in Hamburg, Gera, Schwerin, Rostock and Warnem/uunde.
My dearly-beloved brethren and sisters in the love of God!
The letter of our beloved and highly-esteemed fellow- worker, Dr. Grossmann, together with the enclosed Bahá'í leaflets and reports, as well as the most welcome and encouraging circular letters sent out by the Hamburg and Gera Bahá'í Assemblies, have all been received and read with pride and gratitude. So unexpected were these messages that were conveyed to us from those uttermost corners of Germany, and so beautiful their spirit, that we all felt at once surprised, gladdened and inspired. How wondrous, how all-conquering is the Spirit of our beloved Master which, despite the terrible distress now reigning all over Germany, and notwithstanding the confusion and the gross materialism in which mankind is now sunk, is causing these vigorous, radiant and hopeful Bahá'í centres to be established, linked together and strengthened, in even the uttermost regions of your great country.
I have shared all your news with the friends in the Holy Land, and will forward them to all the Bahá'í centres throughout the East, that the friends of 'Abdu'l-Bahá may realize more deeply than ever how His promise is being fulfilled. The Haifa Spiritual Assembly will soon send you a special message acknowledging the receipt of your circular letters and will be glad to share your news with the friends throughout the East and the West.
Germany is at present in the throes of unprecedented afflictions, and the immediate future may seem still dark and disquieting, yet we, who follow in the Master'sPage 18
footsteps will ever bear in mind His sure and emphatic promise that your fatherland's present plight will erelong be turned into a material prosperity and a spiritual regeneration more glorious than ever before, and will offer to the eyes of the world a vast, rich and ready field for the propagation of the Bahá'í principles.
Let us then take heart, and endeavour to deepen in spirit, to reinforce our numbers, so that, however depressing and distracting the conditions around us may be, we may persevere, with clear vision, steadfast hope, and united effort to achieve the triumph of the Bahá'í Revelation throughout the world.
I am eagerly awaiting the news you may wish to send me, for I thirst after the glad tidings of the progress of the Cause in your mighty and promising land.Your fellow-worker,
To my dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
My most precious brothers and sisters in the love of God!
Your most welcome letter bearing the signatures of those who have attended your Annual Bahá'í Congress recently held in Stuttgart filled my heart with a joy that I cannot express. As I read it over and over again I could feel from every word, nay every syllable, of that soul-stirring message of yours the promised quickening power of the Word of Bahá'u'lláh and the love of 'Abdu'l-Bahá which will, in time,Page 19
I am certain, achieve the most far-reaching transformation throughout Germany.
Your great and promising country, dear to you all, blest by 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í sacred feet, and the object of the hope and affection of Bahá'ís in every land, is in a most startling manner rising phoenix-like from the ashes of humiliation and despair, determined now to raise aloft victoriously and serene the Standard of Bahá'u'lláh and with His love set all the world aflame.
From the reports of the marvellous progress of your work leading to the establishment of an ever-increasing number of Bahá'í Centres and Assemblies in the North, South and Center of Germany I can well realize how faithful and loyal you have been to the last wishes of our departed Master, how the showers of His promised help have rained upon you, how gloriously triumphant you must feel now that the hour of a re-awakened Germany has struck. I should be so pleased to receive a general and up-to-date report on the present activities, position, and strength of the Cause in Germany together with a list of the various Bahá'í centres recently established.
Persevere in your task, redouble your efforts, spread on to the remotest corners of your vast and mighty land, approach fearlessly both the high and the low, infuse deeper and deeper the Bahá'í Spirit into every heart, and do not for a moment relax till all your land may from end to end throb with the joy of the recognition of this Most Great Cause.
Behold what 'Abdu'l-Bahá saith: "The triumphant hosts of the Celestial Concourse, arrayed and marshalled in the Realms above, stand ready and expectant to assist and assure victory to that valiant horseman who with confidence spurs on his charger into the arena of service. Well is it with that fearless warrior, who armed with the power of truePage 20
knowledge hastens unto the field, disperses the armies of ignorance, and scatters the hosts of error, who holds aloft the Standard of Divine Guidance, and sounds the Clarion of Victory..."
Be assured my dearest friends of my unfailing prayers. On this day when with bleeding hearts we commemorate the passing of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Bahá we remember you most tenderly, we pray for your success at His Holy shrine, and feel confident that you will soon achieve the greatest victory.Awaiting eagerly your joyful news,
To my well-beloved Bahá'í brethren and sisters throughout Germany.Care of the German National Spiritual Assembly.
Loyal and capable children of our beloved 'Abdu'l-Bahá!
I have received with the greatest pleasure from the National Spiritual Assembly, through our dearly-beloved Consul Schwarz, the report of your activities that reflect so vividly the unquenchable spirit of love and self-sacrifice which animates you in your service for the Beloved's Cause. Your unremitting labours are worthy of the highest praise, the success you have so far achieved is well deserved. The refreshing vitality of your work, the unity of purpose and the concerted action attained recently by your fast-growing community are resplendent features of your activity. TheyPage 21
continually remind us of the Master's intense love for you, His high hopes in you, His often expressed admiration for the ardent devotion, the unquestioned sincerity, the unrivalled capacity of His loved ones in Germany. By what you have already accomplished, and by what you are determined to achieve in times to come, you have merited His abundant blessings and proved in the highest sense worthy of the unsurpassed affection He had for you.
The signs of the promised revival of your sorely-tried Fatherland can now be easily discerned. In material prosperity it is steadily advancing, its power and worldly prestige are being fast regained, and above all the dawn of a spiritual awakening, unparalleled in your history, seems at last to have broken upon it. His sure and often repeated promise will erelong be fulfilled.
Let your National Assembly, therefore, redouble its efforts, inaugurate a fresh campaign of ever-expanding activity, and make a solemn determination not to relax till their one aim is attained. Let them, with the full and sustained support, moral as well as financial, of the vast company of the believers throughout your land, send forth their teachers far and wide, that they may scatter to the very confines of Germany and endeavour by every intelligent and effective method to lend a fresh impetus to the newly- established centres, add to their number, satisfy their needs and coordinate their efforts.
Let him who desires to hasten the advent of the day when all Germany will waken to the recognition of this one Message of Universal Salvation arise to contribute his share to the work, so gloriously begun, so effectively pursued. Let him by his written and spoken word, in private as well as in public, in the course of his travels and in his association with all sorts and conditions of men teach the Cause of GodPage 22
with purity of heart, with unflinching determination and complete understanding.
I assure you, dear friends, we shall all remember you most tenderly, most affectionately, whenever we visit the Three Holy Shrines. We will supplicate for you the aid and assistance from on high. We will implore Him Who loved you most dearly to bless you even more richly than before, shield you from the malice of the ungodly, bind you closer one to the other, deepen your faith, clarify your vision, widen the scope of your activities, and reinforce your noble endeavours.
We all love you, we all pray for you, we all await the joyful tidings of your land.Your true brother
To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful in Vienna.
My dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Bahá!
Your joint letter dated February 13th. 1925 has rejoiced my heart and has served to deepen my admiration for the splendid efforts displayed by your spiritual teacher, our never to be forgotten Bahá'í brother Mr. Herrigel. As I read the full list of your beloved names, I could not but feel a thrill of joy and gratitude for the manifold blessings of our departed Master who has graciously called upon you and chosen you to carry on the great work to which He dedicated His whole life. It is indeed a great privilege forPage 23
you all to be able to labour in this Divine Vineyard, and to lay down the basis of the spiritual as well as the material development of your ancient and beloved country.
I shall be so glad to receive frequent and detailed reports on the progress of your activities individually and collectively, and assure you of my ardent desire to help you in any way I can for the expansion and advancement of your work.
Persevere in your task, endeavour by every means at your disposal to add to your numbers, study profoundly the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá, devote a special attention to the proper education of your children, and arise to start and maintain constant correspondence with the various Bahá'í centres throughout the East and the West. Be assured of the emphatic never-failing promise of our dear Master that whoso ariseth to deliver this Message with purity of heart and sincerity of purpose the hosts of the Supreme Concourse will enable him to achieve in a short period of time what all the nations of the world combined can never accomplish.
I will specially pray for you at the Three Holy Shrines that the All-Bountiful may bless richly your efforts, that the seeds sown by our Beloved in Vienna may germinate through your persevering efforts and usher in the era of true felicity and peace for your sorely-tried and illustrious fatherland.
Awaiting eagerly the glad-tidings of the progress of your work, and assuring you of my brotherly love,I am your true brother
========================================================27 May 1925
The beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout Germany.My dearly-beloved friends:
Our well-beloved brother and fellow-worker Dr. Esslemont acting on medical advice is proceeding to the Black Forest for treatment and recuperation. He has been suffering of late from ill-health which has interfered with the unique and most valuable work he has been doing in Haifa. His past service, his selflessness and devotion, his book of unsurpassed excellence, his noble character and great industry entitle him to the highest esteem and warmest affection of every true Baha'i.
He has been advised to spend the hot summer months in a dry and cool climate and to secure proper medical treatment in a quiet and restful place. I am sure that the German friends who have already learned to love and admire such a precious and capable servant of the Cause will do all in their power to extend to him every facility and ensure his full and speedy recovery.
He will be accompanied by our dear Bahá'í sister, Mrs. Lowell, who is returning to America via Germany and whom you will be glad to welcome in your midst.Assuring you of my affection and prayers,
==================================================26 October 1925
To the esteemed editor of the "La Nova Tago", the International Bahá'í Esperanto GazetteMy dear fellow-worker:
It has given me the greatest pleasure to receive the first issues of the Bahá'í Esperanto Gazette, and to learn of the splendid start you have made along a path which I am certain will lead you ultimately to glorious and abiding success.
I hail the inauguration of an international Bahá'í Organ, so vitally needed at the present stage of our work, and destined to render services that are unique in their character to the component parts of the ever-expanding Bahá'í world.
Though limited in its sphere of influence, and modest in features, yet it shall, due to the vital position it fulfills, grow from strength to strength and vindicate its claim as the one medium of international Bahá'í intercourse. That it may achieve this purpose, it is incumbent upon those who are responsible for its publication and development to devise ways and means for the establishment and maintenance of regular and frequent communications with the various Bahá'í National Spiritual Assemblies, that in time this promising Magazine may faithfully portray with force and beauty the diverse achievements of Bahá'í communities throughout the world.
I assure you of my deepest interest in this fresh field of Bahá'í enterprise, and of my great desire to promote in such parts of the Bahá'í world as present circumstances permit the study of an international language which is of such anPage 26
obvious and practical utility to our steadily advancing Cause.May 'Abdu'l-Bahá bless richly your efforts,
===================================================5 November 1925
To my dearly-beloved brothers and sisters in 'Abdu'l-Bahá the members of the National Spiritual Assembly,
Care of the Secretary, Mrs. Consul Schwarz, Stuttgart, Germany.My dear fellow-workers:
It is always a great pleasure to us all to receive from the German National Spiritual Assembly, in whose members we have the greatest hopes, detailed and frequent reports regarding the work entrusted to their charge. I shall always welcome with the greatest joy and satisfaction any suggestions you may wish to offer, would be gratified to share in the study of your plans, in the consideration of your manifold difficulties and problems as well as in the joy of your individual as well as collective accomplishments. I therefore earnestly request you to inform me as regularly and as frequently as possible of the various features of your work, of the plans and schemes which you have in mind, of the various obstacles in your path, and of whatever is needed to ensure the peaceful and steady progress of your work and the consolidation of your devoted labours.Page 27
An active, united, and harmonious National Spiritual Assembly, properly and conscientiously elected, vigorously functioning, alert and conscious of its many and pressing responsibilities, in close and continuous contact with the international center in the Holy Land, and keenly watchful of every development throughout the length and breadth of its ever-expanding field of work - is surely in this day of urgent necessity and paramount importance, for it is the corner-stone on which the edifice of Divine administration must ultimately rest. It is my hope and prayer that the ever- watchful Spirit of 'Abdu'l-Bahá will guide, reinforce, and bless your unceasing and unsparing efforts, and crown with brilliant success the services which His well-beloved and loyal German friends are rendering to His Cause.
I am enclosing a general letter of appeal addressed to the declared believers throughout the Bahá'í world, acquainting them with the present situation of the land in close proximity to the Shrines of Mount Carmel and urging them to do all in their power to safeguard for the future the surroundings of this cherished and sacred Spot.
I am also enclosing a copy of the list of transliterated terms commonly used in Bahá'í Literature, and ask you to distribute them throughout the various Bahá'í centres in Germany and Austria, that the friends the world over may adopt in their writings one common, authoritative, and uniform system of spelling and thus avoid inevitable confusion in future.
I have already acquainted you by cable of the sad and grave situation in Baghdad in connection with the House of Bahá'u'lláh, wherein He passed the greater part of His sojourn in 'Iraq, which He explicitly designated as sacred, object of Bahá'í veneration and pilgrimage, and of the future of which He spoke and wrote with glowing praise andPage 28
majestic confidence. I am certain that every true believer in Germany and Austria, conscious of the gravity of the present situation, will after due consultation and deliberation, do all in his power to safeguard such an infinitely precious and sacred edifice.
The publication of "La Nova Tago" the first International Esperanto Gazette, has given me genuine and deep satisfaction and I trust that this promising Magazine, properly directed and nurtured, will achieve great things for the Cause in future. I strongly urge you to support it, guide it and direct it along the most profitable channels, and make of it in time a true mirror reflecting the world-wide activities of the Bahá'í Cause. May it achieve its great and laudable purpose!
In my hours of prayer and meditation at the three holy Shrines, I particularly and most tenderly remember my unforgettable German friends, in whose ability, ardour, thoroughness, sagacity and constancy our Beloved had the greatest belief and confidence, of whose land He spoke so highly, and on whom He lavished His loving kindness and blessings. We follow your present activities with no less admiration and affection, and feel certain that you are destined to play your part in securing the ultimate and universal recognition of the Bahá'í Faith.
Awaiting eagerly your individual and collective letters, and assuring you of my undiminished affection,I am your true brother and fellow-worker
=======================================================3 December 1925
The beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful in Dresden. c/o Mr. Herrigel.My Dearly-beloved friends:
I have learned with feelings of gratitude and satisfaction, the welcome news conveyed in Mr. Herrigel's letter regarding the establishment of a Bahá'í centre in Dresden. I hasten to offer you in the name of all Bahá'ís the expression of our warmest welcome, and our best wishes for the expansion, and the consolidation of your newly-established centre.
The efforts of our indefatigable and self-sacrificing brother, Mr. Herrigel, have at last yielded the promised fruit, and we feel confident, that by the unfailing assistance of the power of Bahá'u'lláh, and the fostering care of our dear brother, your numbers will increase, your knowledge of this Most Great Cause deepen, and your opportunities for the service of mankind in accordance with the Sublime principles of Bahá'u'lláh multiply.
I assure you, one and all, of my keen interest in your work, your plans and hopes for the future and of my fervent prayers for your happiness, success and welfare whenever I visit the Holy Shrines.
I trust and pray that some day we shall meet face to face in Haifa, and visit together the various historic sites, that have been hallowed by footsteps of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l- Baha.
I urge you to take up earnestly the study of the Bahá'í history and teachings, and to read most carefully such parts of Dr. Esselmont's book as have been already translated into German.Page 30
Wishing you success from all my heart, and assuring you again of our hearty welcome to the Abha fold,I am your brother and well-wisher
=========================================================================1 April 1926
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated Baha, 1, 83. He always looks with great expectation to the news of the progress of the Cause in Germany. That country together with the other states of central Europe have come out of the war, and the later developments of the political conditions almost ruined. They all feel the need for some new spirit which will pull the world out of the morass it is in. If the teachings of the Cause be properly set forth, if its solution of the social problems be clearly expounded, the people will undoubtedly grasp its significance and further its progress.
Shoghi Effendi prays to God that you may all be guided in your services so that the hopes of the Master may be realized in Germany even before it was expected.
There is no especial news here in Haifa. Pilgrims are coming and going, taking with them the beautiful spirit they obtain at the Blessed Shrines.
All the members of the family are well and eagerly await the news of your success. ...
==================================================================My dear co-workers:
Your letter has greatly encouraged me in my work. I have great hopes in your future work and am deeply grateful forPage 31
what you have already achieved. I will remember you in my prayers at the Beloved's Shrine and will supplicate for you that you may attract many a soul to this mighty and wondrous Revelation.Your brother and well-wisher,
====================================================================28 June 1926
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of those few kind words of love you all signed and sent. The picture which your secretary sent under a separate cover was also received. He hopes that more of such congresses will be held in that land and the youth awakened to the duty that has been laid upon them. Unless they are aroused, unless they begin to feel their responsibility, unless they rise to active and effective service, the Cause will not really spread and quickly attain its desired aim.
The geographical position of Germany has given her a unique position in the spread of the Cause in Europe. She stands actually in the center of that continent and from it can branch out tentacles which will gradually unite the whole Europe. The signs that she can undertake such a task are clear. We see there the largest number of the European Bahá'ís most active and promising. The only thing is, that the more united they are, the more devoted and steadfast in their faith they become, the sooner they will attain their goal and bring their task to a successful and glorious ending.
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to assure you of his prayers. He hopes that the German friends will leave a memorablePage 32
record on the annals of the Cause and fully justify the expectations the Master had in their spiritual future. ...My dear fellow-workers:
Your most welcome letter has rejoiced my heart. Your magnificent endeavours, your tenacity of purpose, your firmness of faith, the ardour of your love and your grasp of the Divine Teachings are assets which I greatly prize and value. My hope and prayer is that Bahá'u'lláh may shower upon you His infinite blessings that the promise of our dear Master may erelong be fulfilled and that Germany may arise with one voice and one mind to champion the Cause of God and in the spiritual realm direct the nations of the earth to the path of true Brotherhood and Peace. Yours is a great privilege and a noble mission; may He enable you to achieve your heart's desire.Your true brother,
=========================================================8 April 1927
The beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, thanks you for your good Naw-Ruz letter to him, dated 1 Baha 84.
He is very pleased that you have good hopes for the future and he will pray at the Holy Shrines for you, that you may be abundantly blessed - and that you may be enabled to draw many souls to the light of these Divine Teachings.
He is very interested to hear of your plan to build a wooden house on your new piece of land, to be a home for the young and the aged - and also that is to be used as aPage 33
home for poor children, to give them a change and rest during the summer. It will be a very good and excellent work to build this house - and Shoghi Effendi hopes that you will have great success with it, and that you will find it of the utmost use and benefit for those who are poor in the world's goods.
==================================================================My dear co-workers:
Your sweet and touching message of loyalty and love has greatly cheered and encouraged me. I rejoice to learn of your steadfast love and devotion to our beloved Cause. I am greatly heartened by the thought of your constancy in service and your splendid achievements. I am deeply thankful for your aid and assistance in safeguarding and promoting the interests of the Cause. I will continue to pray for you, one and all, from the depths of my heart, that the Beloved may deepen your understanding, broaden your vision, remove obstacles from your way, and enable you to become the purest mirrors reflecting the beauty and radiance of the Divine Revelation.Your true brother,
====================================================================3 April 1929
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your joint letter dated March 21st 1929 in which you extend to him hearty New Year greetings. He wishes me to reciprocate those sentiments and assure you of his prayers. He hopes that through your combined efforts this coming year will bring to the Cause, especially in that country,Page 34
wonderful success. May God hear our prayers and grant us His blessings...My dear co-workers:
I am deeply impressed by your message. I will assuredly remember you in my prayers, that your numbers may increase, your influence extend, your understand of the Cause deepen, and your efforts be richly blessed by our beloved and departed Master. Persevere and study the Teachings. Rest assured that He will continue to reinforce your endeavours and enable you to realize your heart's desire.Your true brother,
========================================================4 April 1930
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated March 22nd 1930, as well as the enclosed note signed by a number of the friends. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the Master's spirit will assist you and guide you through these days of great tests.
There is always an important difference between friends and tested friends. No matter how precious the first type may be, the future of the Cause rests upon the latter. Up to the present the German friends were considered as loving Baha'is, from now on they can be ranked as tested ones.Page 35
In every country where such difficulties arise, they generally end with added energy and more intensive service of the Cause. Shoghi Effendi hopes that in Germany also Mrs. White's activities will only arouse the friends and make them redouble their energy. They can now see what enemies the Cause has to confront and how essential it is to strengthen its following.
In the Bayan the Báb says that every religion was meant to be universal and also deserved to become so. The only reason why they have all failed to stand up to that mark was due to the inability of the followers who where entrusted with that task. Let us endeavour lest we also fail to realize that ideal which Bahá'u'lláh set before us.
Please convey to all the friends Shoghi Effendi's loving greetings and assure them that during his moments of prayer he will ask God for their guidance and help. ... My dear and precious co-workers:
I am so pleased to have received your noble assurance of faith and loyalty to the Cause. These days of storm and stress will serve to invigorate the Cause, purify and consolidate its foundations.
Persevere in your efforts, and be assured of my prayers. The Master will surely fortify, guide and bless His loyal, faithful and persevering loved ones. I trust that my last circular letter which I sent to Germany a week ago, will clarify the vision and deepen the understanding of the friends. May Bahá'u'lláh's almighty arms surround you and fulfill your hearts' desire.Lovingly and affectionately,
=============================================================4 April 1930
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated March 25th 1930. He hopes and prays that you will stand firm in these days of tests and appreciate the light and seek it steadfastly. Miss Wright comes from a country where the friends have at several occasions been put to test and therefore she appreciates the difficulties that the friends are confronting. Shoghi Effendi hopes, that coming from the Holy Land she will import to you the spirit she obtained at the Holy Thresholds.
Ever since the inception of the Cause we have been experiencing constant attacks. Sometimes they came from outside. Other times they came from souls most trusted and loved. In every case however they have proven to be for the good of the Faith. It is such events that arouse the friends to added service.
Shoghi Effendi hopes that as a result of Mrs. White's activities the friends will become more united and feel to a greater extent the importance of their task. Perhaps, if we had endeavoured more, if we had sacrificed to a greater extent, if, following the explicit wish of the Master, we had sought to spread the Cause even more than we have done, Mrs. White and her like could not criticise us to such an extent and say that the administration has killed the spirit. Let us therefore take a lesson from what has passed and render to the Cause services still unseen in the history of the movement.
In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's prayers and loving greetings, ...Page 37
The expression of your loyalty and perseverance has rejoiced my heart. You are truly the heroic pioneers of the Cause of God. I will supplicate for each one of you at the Beloved's Shrine, that your understanding of the Faith may deepen, and that each of you may grow to become a shining star in the firmament of our beloved Cause.Your true brother,
========================================================14 June 1930
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 31-5-30. Concerning his translation of the Iqan, Shoghi Effendi has finished it, but it needs going over and retyping, and this he cannot as before summer. By the next autumn he believes it will be ready for publication.
Shoghi Effendi would therefore advise you to wait until then before you take any decision as to your German translation.
Shoghi Effendi much appreciates the service you are rendering. The Iqan is the most important book written on the spiritual significance of the Cause. I do not believe any person can consider himself well versed in the teachings unless he has studied it thoroughly. To publish it therefore in a comprehensive German will be one of the greatest services rendered to the Cause in that land ...
In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's loving greetings and best wishes. ...Page 38
I trust that the day will soon come when you will be able to visit Persia and meet the Bahá'ís and visit the shrines of the martyrs. I pray that the Beloved may guide your steps, cheer your heart and bless your efforts.Your true brother,
===========================================================20 June 1931
I am directed by our Guardian to thank you for your letter of June 5th.
He learns with extreme pleasure and satisfaction of your gathering at a meeting at which all the dear friends of Vienna together with our good friend Mr. Adam Benke of Leipzig were present. And he deeply appreciates your loving message of greeting above your individual signatures. Such messages are always a source of pleasure to him, but he is especially glad to see the newly established centre in Vienna so full of enthusiasm, of love and of devotion to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. He prays from the bottom of his heart that our precious Master may fill your souls with His beautiful spirit and may help and guide you to serve His Cause and humanity.
He is so glad to know that Mr. Benke is going to Sofia to help Miss Jack, and he trusts that he will be of very great help to her.
With the assurance of Shoghi Effendi's loving greetings to you all, ...Page 39
I was so pleased to hear from you and to learn of your steadfast loyalty to the Cause. The friends in Vienna are ever in my thoughts and heart and I will continue to supplicate for them the Master's richest blessings.Your true brother,
========================================================23 December 1931
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to drop you these few lines to inform you that few days ago he sent to your address c/o Mrs. Schwarz a copy of his translation of the Iqan which has just come out. He hopes that it will help you in revising your translation into German which you have already made. This is in fulfilment of the promise he made last year to send you a copy of his English translation when out of the press.
Shoghi Effendi has, through various channels, been hearing of the wonderful services you are rendering to the Cause. He sincerely trusts that the young and educated Baha'is, who have their spiritual faculties fully developed, and who as a consequence appreciate the significance of Bahá'u'lláh's mission in the development of the world, will with one accord, arise and establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth. The world around us is in a pitiable condition and its ills seem daily to increase. It is for us, we Bahá'í youths, who have been entrusted with this divine mission, to do our utmost and rest only when the task has been carried to its successful conclusion.Page 40
In his moments of prayer and meditation at the Shrines Shoghi Effendi will think of you and ask for you divine guidance and help.
========================================================24 February 1932
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated Feb. 13th, 1932. He was very glad to know that you have recovered your health and can resume your work as well as services to the Cause. We surely cannot afford seeing the competent servants of the Faith handicapped by their health. They are too few to be spared so easily.
Shoghi Effendi was very glad to know that the new edition of the Iqan has reached you safely and that you are going to use it in going over your translation into German. He is surely very sorry that not knowing Persian you cannot go to the very original. He sincerely hopes that before long we will have some of the younger members of the German Bahá'ís who would make translation their life-work, and with that object in mind make a thorough study of Persian and Arabic. They would surely be rendering a wonderful service to their nation as well as to the Faith as a whole.
In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's prayers and best wishes. He will always be waiting to hear of the wonderful progress the Faith is making in Germany and of the role you are playing in it.Dear co-worker:
I wish to add a few words in person and assure you of my keen and heartfelt appreciation of your high andPage 41
painstaking endeavours for the spread and consolidation of the Faith in that land. The German believers have undergone tests of unprecedented serverity. They have weathered the storm in a marvellous spirit and with fine and praiseworthy determination. These tests were God-sent, and will serve to deepen the roots of the Faith in that promising country. Wishing you success in your devoted labours and assuring you of my prayers in your behalf.Your true brother,
========================================================30 March 1932
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter written at the occasion of the Naw-Ruz feast and conveying the greetings of the season. He wants me to reciprocate these feelings and express his hope that during this new year, which has just begun, the Cause may make a progress in Germany unsurpassed in the history of the Cause in that land.
The world as a whole, but especially the people of that continent of Europe, is suffering great calamities as a result of wars, social dissatisfaction, fear, hatred and jealousies. And these forces of darkness are leading humanity to absolute destruction. This state of affairs shall continue until the world is awakened to the importance of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh - a Message especially sent by God to heal human ills in this present day.
Should we not, we who have been entrusted with this divine Cause, arise and with one accord proclaim the WordPage 42
of God throughout the world? Should we leave humanity writhe in its suffering and prove ourselves untrue to the covenant with the Master - the covenant, that we will to the last moment of our life strive to save God's people from complete destruction?
In his moments of prayer Shoghi Effendi will think of you all and ask God to guide your steps and re-enforce your efforts in proclaiming His divine message through the length and breadth of that vast continent. He read your circular letter with deep interest; may the one you will write next Naw-Ruz have still more inspiring news of the progress of the Cause to share with the friends throughout the world. ...Dear co-workers:
I wish to add a few words in person, and assure you again of my deep affection and deep interest in your activities. Your loyalty and perseverance, in the face of formidable tests, are indeed worthy of the highest praise. May the Beloved continue to guide and bless your high endeavours, and enable each one of you to render great and memorable services to His Cause,Your true brother,
========================================================19 May 1932
Some time ago I received a letter from you in Persian. So happy I was to see you study that language that I showed your letter to Shoghi Effendi. He thereupon gave me the Iqan and also a booklet containing the Hidden Words, thePage 43
Seven Valleys and some Odes of Bahá'u'lláh to send to you. Being very busy I did not accompany them with a letter. I sincerely hope you have received them and are trying to read them. In any case, if you have received them please drop me a few lines to that effect.
========================================================10 September 1932
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 20th, 1932 and to extend to you all the expression of his heartfelt appreciation and thanks.
The news of your successful "Sommerwoche" greatly comforted his aching heart. He hopes that such important gatherings will serve to deepen the understanding of the friends and inspire them with renewed faith and courage to consolidate the work already inaugurated through the precious efforts of our German friends.
Shoghi Effendi wishes you to persevere in your services and be confident in God's unfailing help. The Master has given us the assurance that He will bless our efforts and will not leave us alone and unaided.
With the renewed assurance of Shoghi Effendi's best wishes and of his fervent prayers on behalf of every one of you.Dear co-workers:
I cannot refrain from adding a few words in person as a token of my admiration for the manner in which you are conducting your activities for the spread of the Cause. You are often in my thoughts and are the object of my fervent and loving prayers. The work you perform in summerPage 44
should be extended, its influence must spread, its attendance increase, and its foundations be strengthened. May the Beloved guide and sustain your high endeavours,Your true brother,
========================================================14 September 1932
I am in receipt of your letter dated September 4th 1932. Regarding your question on the subject of holding the usual festivals during this year when we are mourning the loss of the Greatest Holy Leaf; inasmuch as Shoghi Effendi has not yet returned from his summer vacations I cannot put your question to him and answer you immediately. The friends in America, however, who were confronted with the same problem, put to him the same question by telegram. I could, therefore, do no better than send you a copy of Shoghi Effendi's answer. I believe it will give you the necessary guidance in solving your problem. His cable runs as follows:
Bahá'í New York festive anniversaries should be suspended administrative gatherings including nineteen day feasts should be held with utmost simplicity.
========================================================30 November 1932
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your joint letter dated November 12th 1932 written on the occasion of the birth-day of Bahá'u'lláh.Page 45
We should feel deeply gratified and thankful to God that at a time when all humanity seems to be struggling in despair we can come together and, with great assurance, feast and be merry over the dawn of a new day; that in the darkness which envelopes the world we see the approach of a new light and the breaking of a new era. This is a true blessing and a bounty from God to those who believe in Him and accept His Revelation.
To express our deep appreciation for this gift bestowed by God we should arise and spread this message of hope to the suffering humanity around us. Such is the nature of this gift that the more we give from it to others the greater will be our remaining share. For what pleasure can compare the pleasure of bringing joy and hope to other hearts. The more we make others happy the greater will be our own happiness and the deeper our sense of having served humanity.
In his moments of prayer at the blessed Shrines, Shoghi Effendi will think of you all and ask God to guide and assist you in spreading His message throughout that land and the neighbouring countries. He trusts that, through your persistant efforts, innumerable souls will be guided to see the Truth and flock to its support.Dear co-workers:
Your joint and welcome message brought strength and comfort to my sorrow-stricken heart. The burden of my sadness and grief has been considerably alleviated. I value the sentiments you have expressed. Each one of you is near and dear to my heart. I will continue to pray for you all, that the Beloved may protect, guide and bless you in your constant efforts for the spread of this mighty and precious Cause,Your true brother, Shoghi
========================================================3 May 1933
The Guardian wishes me to thank you for your kind words of April 23, 1933, expressing the greetings of the season.
He is deeply gratified to learn that when the friends assemble at such gatherings, and remember the occasion they are celebrating, they renew their determination to serve and ask God to shower upon them His infinite blessings and help them in the realization of their noble aim.
The more society is threatened by wars, and the more humanity is seen desperate before the problems that confront it, the more should the Bahá'ís take courage and redouble their energy in diffusing the teachings. For it is only through such divine precepts that the world can obtain peace and tranquility, and become an environment within which man can spiritually progress and attain his noble destiny.
In his moments of prayer at the Blessed Shrines the Guardian will think of you all and ask God to guide and aid you in the service of His Faith. May through the light that emerges from your gatherings all the people of those regions receive the light of God and find their way towards eternal salvation.[Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
May the Beloved guide your steps, cheer your hearts, enable you to promote far and wide the interests of our beloved Faith and aid you to consolidate its rising institutions,Your true and affectionate brother,
========================================================16 May 1933
The Guardian ... does sincerely hope that the reports we receive here about the sentiments rampant in Germany are untrue to fact, that it is a regeneration of the people rather than a retrogression towards a dead past. Because whatever we say of Germany, we have to admit that its people are endowed with a spiritual vitality quite superior to many other races. Being in the heart of that populated continent and being inspired by such a strong religious spirit, Germany can easily achieve a wonderful task in regenerating the world. The eyes of the world are surely centered around it expecting to see what it will do.
Yet we Bahá'ís should remember that we stand above politics. That that field does not interest us; that we attribute importance to things of the spirit, that we await salvation to come from the Faith that burns in our hearts.
In his moments of prayer and meditation at the Blessed Shrines, the Guardian will think of you and the other friends in Germany and ask God to guide you and assist you in playing your important role of spiritualizing the whole world - so immersed at present in material pursuits and interests.Dear and precious co-worker:
I was so pleased to receive your letter. I long to hear more fully and more frequently from you. You are a tower of ... and a pillar of His Faith in that land. Germany has a glorious future under the banner of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. Its mission is to champion the cause of God in Europe and establish it firmly in the heart of that continent. The tests and trials which have beset the Faith in that land werePage 48
necessary and providential. It is for the German believers, who have weathered the storm, to arise and promote the Cause, to proclaim the non-political character of their Faith, to establish its nascent institutions and prove by their words and acts their freedom from every taint of particularism and prejudice. May the Almighty guide their steps, sustain them in their efforts and bless their activities.Shoghi
========================================================14 June 1933
Many thank for your letter of June 4th 1933. I presented it together with the enclosed report on the Summer school to the Guardian who was very pleased to read them.
He kept the report but wishes me to inform you that as the Bahá'í World Volume five will not be compiled and made ready for the press except after the coming summer, you could write another and fuller report to include the one that will be held this year. There will surely be some further points of interest that could be mentioned; and it is always better to have such reports as up-to-date as possible.
The Guardian hopes that this summer a great step will be taken in developing the School and that you will play an important role in that connection.
In case of the need of further correspondence on this or similar subjects please write directly to Shoghi Effendi, it will avoid unnecessary delay.
In closing may I express the Guardian's prayers and best wishes for the progress of your work in serving the Faith. ...Page 49
Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge on his behalf the receipt of your letter dated May 11th, 1933, together with the enclosed Program of the Bahá'í meetings held in Stuttgart and Esslingen, all of which he has carefully read and deeply appreciated.
In regard to the transliteration of Oriental names and words into German he wishes me to inform you that the system of transliteration actually in use in the Bahá'í world has been adopted and approved with only slight changes by a general Orientalist Congress representative of world's greatest orientalists including some outstanding German authorities in various branches of Oriental history and literature. As you see, therefore, it is a highly recommendable system of transliteration and this is why the Guardian is so emphatic about its universal adoption by the Bahá'ís the world over. Any departure from that system, he strongly feels, may lead to incalculable difficulties and misunderstandings in the future. He would certainly urge you to adopt it yourself and then advise our German friends to do the same in all their official Bahá'í publications and particularly in the forthcoming issues of the "Sonne der Wahrheit" wherein some chapters of the "Dawn-Breakers" are going to be published.
Concerning the date of the anniversary of the Báb's declaration the Guardian feels that it would be preferable to postpone the consideration of this problem until the Universal House of Justice is established. In the meantime he would advise you to follow the system actually in use in the Bahá'í world, i.e. (year 9.) even in Germany. According to this system the hundredth anniversary of the DeclarationPage 50
of the Faith should be celebrated in May of the year 101, that is when we enter the second Bahá'í century. By year 90 we should not mean that 90 years have elapsed since the declaration of the Báb but that we are in the 9th year. But whether it is preferable to adopt this system or that suggested by you and which, you remark, is in use among Christian and Moslems, the future House of Justice has to decide.
Touching the Bahá'í funeral service the Guardian would like you to know that it is of an extreme simplicity, consisting as it does of a congregational prayer which has not yet been translated into any western language but which Shoghi Effendi is planning to have it translated and circulated among the friends. The friends and relatives of the deceased who are unwilling to attend the service should not be forced to do so
In closing may I extend to you the loving greetings of the Guardian.Dear and valued co-worker:
This is to assure you how glad and gratified I feel to learn that the German believers are taking so active a part in the international activities of the Cause. Their thoroughness, ability, patience and open-mindedness highly qualify them to assume such responsibilities and undertake so great a task. I trust that the letters you will soon be sending to the British High Commissioner for Palestine will be a prelude to the brilliant services you are destined to render to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.Your true brother,
========================================================9 August 1933
I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to inform you of the receipt of your letter dated July 13th, 1933, together with the enclosed copy of the petition addressed by the German Bahá'í National Assembly to the British High Commissioner in Jerusalem and the report of the Bahá'í activities in Stuttgart, all of which he has read with great care and deepest interest and for which he has asked me to offer you his heartfelt thanks.
Your petition, though short is, nevertheless, strongly worded and very substantial. It is hoped that it will impress the authorities in Palestine and will enable them to realize the gravity and the urgency of our case.
Assuring you of his best wishes and of his ardent prayers for the success of your work, ... Dear and prized co-worker:
Your prompt and able response to my request has greatly touched me, and I wish to express again my lovely appreciation and abiding gratitude. I cherish great hopes for your future contributions to the spread and consolidation of the Faith in that land, and will continue to pray for your success from the depths of my heart.Your true and affectionate brother,
========================================================1 October 1933 (Summer School)
The Guardian has just received your beautiful message of Sep. 3rd, 33, written through the kindness of Miss Jack, and he has directed me to thank you all for the success that has attended your summer school classes at Esslingen. The importance and significance of such annual gatherings are immense, since they offer each and every one of you a unique opportunity to come and discuss together the ways and means whereby the Faith can extend and develop throughout Germany. By the collective spirit, the unity and the enthusiasm they create, these meetings serve to strengthen the bonds of amity and cooperation among the friends and to give them a new vision of the Cause, of its imperative needs and requirements in these days of political agitation and strife. The social and political conditions in your land are, indeed, very distressing, and if they remain unchanged for a long time, may hamper the progress of the Faith. It is now that you should work in utmost unity and in the spirit of an unflinching devotion to the ideals and teachings of the Cause.
Shoghi Effendi hopes that your summer school will increasingly develop and will become an important center for the spread of the Message. You should try to raise its intellectual as well as its spiritual standard and to pave the way for its future development into one of the foremost Bahá'í universities in the West. Much stress should be laid on the thorough study of the history and of the teachings of the Cause, and particularly of the nature, basis and outstanding features of the Administration. The severe tests and trials through which our German brethren have passed during the last few years clearly demonstrate how muchPage 53
they are in need of a full comprehension of the administrative basis of the Cause. It is hoped that in the coming years much progress will be achieved in this respect.
Assuring you all of our Guardian's best wishes and of his ardent prayers on your behalf. ...Dear co-workers:
It is such a joy to learn that you have had the pleasure and benefit of the companionship of our dear and distinguished Bahá'í sister, Miss Jack, whose recent and exemplary services we all deeply appreciate. I will remember you all in my prayers at the holy shrines, and will supplicate for you the Beloved's richest blessings. May He guide your steps and cheer your hearts in the service of His glorious and sacred Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================11 February 1934
I am charged by the Guardian to thank you for your letter of Jan. 30th as well as for the enclosed pamphlet containing the address delivered by Herr Hitler on Oct. 14th, 1933, on the subject of Germany's attitude towards peace, all of which he read with deepest care and sustained interest. He wishes me to convey to you and to all the members of your German National Assembly and through them to all the followers of the Faith in Germany his views on the present conditions in that land, and particularly in their relation to the nature and scope of the Bahá'í activities of our German believers.Page 54
At the outset it should be made indubitably clear that the Bahá'í Cause being essentially a religious movement of a spiritual character stands above every political party or group, and thus cannot and should not act in contravention to the principles, laws, and doctrines of any government. Obedience to the regulations and orders of the state is indeed, the sacred obligation of every true and loyal Baha'i. Both Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá have urged us all to be submissive and loyal to the political authorities of our respective countries. It follows, therefore, that our German friends are under the sacred obligation to whole-heartedly obey the existing political regime, whatever be their personal views and criticisms of its actual working. There is nothing more contrary to the spirit of the Cause than open rebellion against the governmental authorities of a country, specially if they do not interfere in and do not oppose the inner and sacred beliefs and religious convictions of the individual. And there is every reason to believe that the present regime in Germany which has thus far refused to trample upon the domain of individual conscience in all matters pertaining to religion will never encroach upon it in the near future, unless some unforeseen and unexpected changes take place. And this seems to be doubtful at present.
For whereas the friends should obey the government under which they live, even at the risk of sacrificing all their administrative affairs and interests, they should under no circumstances suffer their inner religious beliefs and convictions to be violated and transgressed by any authority whatever. A distinction of a fundamental importance must, therefore, be made between spiritual and administrative matters. Whereas the former are sacred and inviolable, and hence cannot be subject to compromise, the latter are secondary and can consequently be given up and evenPage 55
sacrificed for the sake of obedience to the laws and regulations of the government. Obedience to the state is so vital a principle of the Cause that should the authorities in Germany decide to-day to prevent the Bahá'ís from holding any meeting or publishing any literature they should obey and be as submissive as our Russian believers have thus far been under the Soviet regime. But, as already pointed out, such an allegiance is confined merely to administrative matters which if checked can only retard the progress of the Faith for some time. In matters of belief, however, no compromise whatever should be allowed, even though the outcome of it be death or expulsion.
There is one more point to be emphasized in this connection. The principle of obedience to government does not place any Bahá'í under the obligation of identifying the teachings of his Faith with the political program enforced by the government. For such an identification, besides being erroneous and contrary to both the spirit as well as the form of the Bahá'í message, would necessarily create a conflict within the conscience of every loyal believer.
For reasons which are only too obvious the Bahá'í philosophy of social and political organization cannot be fully reconciled with the political doctrines and conceptions that are current and much in vogue to-day. The wave of nationalism, so aggressive and so contagious in its effects, which has swept not only over Europe but over a large part of mankind is, indeed the very negation of the gospel of peace and of brotherhood proclaimed by Bahá'u'lláh. The actual trend in the political world is, indeed, far from being in the direction of the Bahá'í teachings. The world is drawing nearer and nearer to a universal catastrophe which will mark the end of a bankrupt and of a fundamentally defective civilization.Page 56
From such considerations we can well conclude that we as Bahá'ís can in no wise identify the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh with man-made creeds and conceptions, which by their very nature are impotent to save the world from the dangers with which it is being so fiercely and so increasingly assailed.
The Guardian hopes that these brief explanations will be sufficient to guide our German National Assembly in their efforts to safeguard and promote the interests of the Faith, and that through them they will be give a new vision of the Cause and a fresh determination to carry forward its message to the world at large.
With greetings and best wishes to you and to all the friends in Germany,Dear and valued co-worker:
I wish to add a few words in loving appreciation of your strenuous, your intelligent and devoted efforts for the spread and consolidation of our beloved Faith. May the Almighty bless your endeavours, deepen your understanding of the essentials and requirements of our beloved Cause, and enable you in these difficult and challenging days to promote its interests and consolidate its institutions,Your true brother,
========================================================21 February 1934
At the instructions of the Guardian I am writing these few lines, requesting you to contribute an article in German for publication in the forthcoming issue of the "Bahá'í World".Page 57
In view of the fact that the Biennial is an international Bahá'í organ, Shoghi Effendi feels that it would be appropriate and in full consonance with its nature and purpose to further widen its scope by publishing in it, from time to time, articles in various important languages which are of sufficient use among the friends. This would greatly enhance the nature and render effective the circulation of the "Bahá'í World" by enabling non-English speaking believers to better acquaint themselves with some of its major contents.
Two articles in French have already been contributed to this end. One of them is from the pen of a newly-converted and capable believer from Paris, a Princess, and the other is from a certain professor connected with the Sofia University. Though not officially recognized as a Baha'i, yet he is very sympathetic to the Cause.
The Guardian hopes, therefore, that you will be kind enough to respond to his request. He feels certain that our German believers will greatly appreciate your contribution, and will be glad to witness that one of their members is taking such an active part in representing them in the preparation of this international Bahá'í record. You need not write too detailed an article, and you can choose any subject you wish, provided it agrees on every point with the spirit as well as with the form of the Teachings of the Faith. ...
P.S. The Guardian can wait till the end of April for your article. Will you please send it directly to his address and not to America?Page 58
========================================================8 May 1934
I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter dated Apr. 29th, as well as for the enclosed article and poems in German from your pen which you have kindly contributed to the "Bahá'í World". He is planning to have them published in the forthcoming issue of the Biennal. The German believers will, it is hoped, greatly enjoy reading them, and will be certainly encouraged to contribute more frequently in the future towards the publication of so important and so significant a record.
With the renewed assurance of the Guardian's good wishes and of his supplications for the expansion of your Bahá'í activities ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
With the assurance of my deepfelt appreciation of your prompt response, and of my continued prayers for your welfare and success,your true and grateful brother,
========================================================30 July 1934
Your letter of June 19th written on your behalf by Miss Kostlin has been received, and its contents as well as the accompanying documents and notes have been carefully read by the Guardian. He wishes me to thank you for themPage 59
all, and to convey to you his deepfelt appreciation of your painstaking labours for the consolidation of the administration in your community. It gives him real pleasure to learn of the spirit with which you are toiling for the attainment of this supreme objective, and he is fervently praying for your guidance and assistance that you may speedily and effectively attain the goal of your heart's desire.
In view of the fact that there are no competent and fully reliable persons here to undertake for him any translations from German, the Guardian would prefer that henceforth you should send him a translation of the minutes of your meetings into English, so that he may be in a position to read them without any difficulty. He fully realizes the difficulties which such a rendering would entail, and for this he wishes to assure you of his abiding appreciation and of his deepfelt gratitude.
In closing may I also express his hope for the success of your next summer school. From various communications and reports recently received from the friends, he gathers that a large number of believers both from Germany and abroad are planning to attend the summer classes. May such a gathering prove to be the right medium for bringing the German believers closer than ever, and for fostering among them the spirit of initiative, of service and of selfless and wholehearted cooperation in the path of service to the Faith.Dear and precious co-workers:
The message you have sent me is indeed most welcome. It has filled my heart with joy and thanksgiving. I am continually urging the friends and pilgrims to visit the German Bahá'í centres and particularly the Esslingen Summer School, as I attach the greatest importance to thisPage 60
vital national institution. I will continue to pray for your success from the depths of my heart.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================8 September 1934 (Summer School)
On behalf of the Guardian I wish to thank you for your deeply-appreciated message of August 11th which conveyed the gratifying news of the successful conclusion of the meetings and classes held at the annual Bahá'í summer school at Esslingen. He was deeply impressed by the large number of the believers who have attended these gatherings, and particularly by the fact that they were representative of so many different communities both in Germany and abroad. It is his deeply-cherished and long-wished hope that these annual meetings will in the next few years develop into an important center for the teaching and training of Bahá'í teachers, and that through them the knowledge of the Cause will gain an increasing ground throughout Germany and in the neighbouring countries and regions. He would urge each and every one of you to make an effort to attend as regularly and as whole-heartedly as you can the future classes and meetings at Esslingen, and to advise your friends to do the same, so that through the collective and continued labours of you all these annual gatherings may develop both in their scope and in their influence.
The Guardian is ardently supplicating on behalf of you all, and is praying that Bahá'u'lláh may continue to bless, enrich and widen the scope of your labours for thePage 61
promotion and consolidation of the Faith in your respective communities. With his warmest greetings to you all...Dearly-beloved co-workers:
Your message, which I regard as a compelling evidence of the regenerative power and irresistible march of the Cause of God has brought immense joy to my heart. The convocation of such a representative gathering at such a historic spot, and on the morrow of the unprecedented trials which, through the mysterious dispensations of Providence have so severely afflicted the German believers, is indeed a historic event that every well-wisher of the Cause should heartily and joyously welcome. A splendid beginning has been made. I pray that as a result of the unshakable faith and the persistent endeavours of the German believers this institution may grow in effectiveness and scope and lend a mighty impetus to the spread of the Cause in your promising country.Your true brother,
========================================================25 September 1934
I am directed by the Guardian to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated August 29th, and to express his appreciation of your highly-valued efforts for the translation of the "Kitáb-i-'Ahd" into German. He hopes that copies of this precious tablet will soon be made available to all the friends, and that through its study theirPage 62
knowledge of the Teachings will be deepened, and their zeal for their spread stimulated and sustained.
The term "afnan" means literally small branch, and refers to the relatives of the Báb, both men and women. As the Báb's only son died while in infancy, the former had no direct descendants. The "afnan" are, therefore, all directly related to the Báb.
As to "aghsan", it also means branch. But it is a bigger branch than "afnan". It refers to Bahá'u'lláh's descendants.
The "Kitáb-i-'Ahd" is, as you know, Bahá'u'lláh's "Book of Covenant". It is entirely written in His own handwriting. And in the light of the objections raised by some of the believers concerning the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l- Baha, it is highly significant to note that this Book of Covenant by Bahá'u'lláh bears neither signature, nor seal, nor any date. It was shown to the believers, and was read in their presence nine days after Bahá'u'lláh's ascension. The manuscript was in the possession of 'Abdu'l-Bahá all through His ministry, and after His passing it was found enclosed in His own will. These two precious documents, namely the book of Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh and the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá have both been carefully preserved and are now in the possession of the Guardian.Dear and valued co-worker:
I greatly value these fresh evidences of your continued, your intelligent and most helpful labours for a better understanding and a wider diffusion of the essentials and fundamentals of our beloved Faith.
Your are indeed a pillar of the Administrative Order, which, despite the storms and tests of recent years, is rearing its head in the heart of your beloved and promising country.Page 63
Persevere, be happy and confident. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================3 November 1934
The Guardian has received and deeply appreciated your message dated October 8th, and he has directed me to thank you for it.
He is, indeed, gratified to learn of your projected visit to the Holy Land, and wishes me to hasten in extending to Mrs. Muhlschlegel and yourself a most hearty welcome.
It is his sincere and much-cherished hope that this pilgrimage will, in addition to its manifold spiritual blessings, give you a full opportunity to discuss with him in detail about the conditions of the Cause in Germany, and particularly as to the ways and means whereby the friends can best extend and consolidate the foundations of the Administration throughout that country. You will be welcome anytime in February or March - which time seems to be the best for visiting Palestine.
With the renewed assurance of Shoghi Effendi's best wishes and of his prayers on your behalf, and with his hearty greetings to you and family, ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
With the renewed assurance of my love, my admiration and prayers for you and extending to you both a warm welcome.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================5 November 1934
Your message of October 20th addressed to the Guardian is just at hand. He has read it with deep interest, and was profoundly touched by the expressions of love and devotion which it contained. He wishes me to thank you for it, and to reciprocate, fully and to each and every one of you, the warm greetings and good wishes which you have been moved to extend to him on the occasion to the celebration of the birthday of the Báb.
He wishes me also to take this opportunity for conveying to you all his deepfelt appreciation of your labours for the study and the spread of the Cause in Esslingen. He hopes and prays that your community may, in the years to come, play an increasingly vital role in promoting the Message throughout Germany, and particularly in strengthening the foundations of the Administration in that land. Your centre is one of the oldest and best we have in Germany, and has tremendous possibilities. You should, therefore, feel confident and to strenuously toil, so that your community may develop both in number, in strength and in influence.
With the renewed assurance of the Guardian's best wishes and of his supplications on behalf of you all,.Dearly-beloved co-workers:
I am deeply grateful to you for the many and repeated evidences of your splendid devotion and firm determination to serve the best interests of our glorious Faith. The work in which you are engaged is dear and near to my heart. My prayers are always with you. Persevere in your labours and never feel discouraged, however great the obstacles thatPage 65
may stand in your way. The Beloved is surely watching over you. Be happy and confident.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================10 January 1935
The Guardian has received your letter of the first instant and he wishes me to thank you for it.
In regard to your visit to the Holy Shrines, he is sorry indeed that your coming has been delayed but hopes nevertheless that it will materialize very soon, and that the obstacles standing at present in your way will be completely removed, enabling you thereby to carry out your plan in its entirety. He is fervently praying for your assistance and success in this connection.
With reference to the decision passed by your N.S.A. to publish in booklet form certain of the important writings revealed by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master, Shoghi Effendi wishes you to express to the National Assembly his full approval of their plan. He feels, indeed, that the time has come for the German believers to acquire a thorough knowledge as well as a full understanding of such important Tablets as Bahá'u'lláh's "Book of Covenant" and 'Abdu'l- Bahá'í Will and Testament, both of which constitute the very bedrock upon which the entire administrative system of the Faith has been raised and established. As to the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" it also constitutes an invaluable supplement to these afore-mentioned Tablets. In connection with the "Kitáb-i-'Ahd", the Guardian thinks it preferable that it should be published in a separate booklet,Page 66
and that the "Tablet of the Branch" and the "Lawh-i-Aqdas", both of which have been rather poorly translated from the original, should not be included in it.
As to the Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the N.S.A., he wishes to re-emphasize the importance of your Assembly's adhering to the exact wording of the text of the constitution adopted by the American N.S.A. which, as he has repeatedly stated, constitutes a modell for all national Bahá'í constitutions. Anything not specifically mentioned in this national charter is left to the full discretion of every N.S.A. inasmuch as it constitutes a matter of secondary importance. In fundamentals, however, strict conformity should be maintained throughout the Bahá'í world, and to this category belong all the principles, laws and regulations set down in the text of the national constitution. As an example of the loyalty with which the friends are following this principle the Guardian is enclosing a copy of the national constitution of the Bahá'ís of India and Burma which, with the exception of the Article VIII which is now being amended, conforms in every detail to the text of the constitution of the American N.S.A.
With his loving greetings to you and all the friends, ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
With the renewed assurance of my loving prayers for you and of my deepfelt appreciation of your magnificent labours in the Divine vineyard.Your true brother,
========================================================4 February 1935
The Guardian has duly received your letter of the 29th of January last, and has carefully noted the points which you had raised in connection with certain Bahá'í administrative regulations and principles governing the election of local and national assemblies.
First, he wishes me to express the hope that your next National Assembly meeting may be fully guided in its deliberations on the various issues confronting it at present, and also to assure you, as well as your co-workers in that body, of his prayers for the success of your efforts in this connection.
Now, as regards the number of delegates at the annual convention of the German friends, the Guardian fully approves of the practice which your N.S.A. has thus far adopted and enforced, namely to have 19 delegates instead of 95. This, of course, is the only solution possible for the present, in view of the limited number of the declared believers in Germany.
As to the practice of nomination in Bahá'í elections, this the Guardian firmly believes to be in fundamental disaccord with the spirit which should animate and direct all elections held by the Baha'is, be they of a local or national character and importance. It is, indeed, the absence of such a practice that constitutes the distinguishing feature and the marked superiority of the Bahá'í electoral methods over those commonly associated with political parties and factions. The practice of nomination being thus contrary to the spirit of Bahá'í Administration should be totally discarded by all the friends. For otherwise the freedom of the Bahá'í elector in choosing the members of any Bahá'í assembly will bePage 68
seriously endangered, leaving the way open for the domination of personalities. Not only that; but the mere act of nomination - leads eventually to the formation of parties - a thing which is totally alien to the spirit of the Cause.
In addition to these serious dangers, the practice of nomination has the great disadvantage of killing in the believer the spirit of initiative, and of self-development. Bahá'í electoral procedures and methods have, indeed, for one of their essential purposes the development in every believer of the spirit of responsibility. By emphasizing the necessity of maintaining his fully freedom in the elections, they make it incumbent upon him to become an active and well-informed member of the Bahá'í community in which he lives. To be able to make a wise choice at the election time, it is necessary for him to be in close and continued contact with all local activities, be they teaching, administrative or otherwise, and to fully and whole-heartedly participate in the affairs of the local as well as national committees and assemblies in his country. It is only in this way that a believer can develop a true social consciousness and acquire a true sense of responsibility in matters affecting the interests of the Cause. Bahá'í community life thus makes it a duty for every loyal and faithful believer to become an intelligent, well-informed and responsible elector, and also gives him the opportunity of raising himself to such a station. And since the practice of nomination hinders the development of such qualities in the believer, and in addition leads to corruption and partisanship, it has to be entirely discarded in all Bahá'í elections.
In connection with this, the Guardian wishes to draw your Assembly's attention to the necessity of adopting the system of plurality voting rather than that of absolutePage 69
majority voting. For the latter, by making the repetition of elections a necessity, causes, though indirectly, much pressure to bear upon the person of the elector. The Bahá'í elector, as already emphasized, should be given full freedom in his choice. Anything, therefore, which can in the least interfere with such a freedom should be considered as disastrous and hence should be completely wiped out. In all elections, it is always difficult, that more than a few individuals of high position should obtain a majority of the votes of the electorate. Most of those elected have a plurality of votes. To enforce the principle of majority voting, therefore, it requires that the election be repeated again and again and until all the members to be elected have obtained more than half of the votes cast - a thing which becomes the more difficult when it is a matter of electing an assembly of nine persons. So, repetition in elections becomes inevitable. And such a repetition is in itself a restriction imposed upon the freedom of the lectorate. The only course, therefore, is for every elector to write down the name of nine who he thinks are most worthy. These nine who obtain the highest number of votes, irrespective of the majority of the votes cast, will constitute the members of the Assembly.
As to your last question whether the individual voter can conscientiously vote for himself. The Guardian believes that not only the Bahá'í voter has the right, but is under the moral obligation to do so, in case he finds himself worthy and capable of assuming the responsibilities and duties imposed upon the members of every duly elected Bahá'í assembly. It is for every believer to carefully weigh his own merits and powers, and after a thorough examination of his self decide whether he is fit for such a position or not. There is nothing more harmful to the individual - and also toPage 70
society than false humility which is hypocritical, and hence unworthy of a true Baha'i. The true believer is one who is conscious of his strength as well as of his weakness, and who, fully availing himself of the manifold opportunities and blessings which God gives him, strives to overcome his defects and weaknesses and this by means of a scrupulous adherence to all the laws and commandments revealed by God through His Manifestation.
With the Guardian's greetings and best wishes to you and all the friends, ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
May the Almighty protect, bless and sustain you in the historic services you are rendering His Faith, and graciously assist you to lay a firm and unassailable foundation for the future progress and extension of the newly-born institutions of our glorious Faith in your land.Shoghi
========================================================5 March 1935
The Guardian has received and carefully considered your letter of the 24th of February last, and wishes me to thank you for it.
With reference to your questions concerning the "Kitáb-i- Aqdas", he does not think that it would be advisable to circulate at present, whether among the friends or in the outside public, any of the existing translations of this book, in view of the fact that all these versions, both English and Russian, are not authoritative and hence may misrepresent altogether the Teachings.Page 71
He would, however, suggest that your N.S.A. should appoint a Committee for the purpose of undertaking the translation of the "Aqdas" into German. This is of course a peculiarly difficult task, as some of the members of such a committee should have sufficient knowledge of the Arabic language, and in addition should be well versed in the history and teachings of Islam.
The Guardian hopes, nevertheless, that with your knowledge of Arabic and German you may be able to do something truly worthwhile and substantial in this connection. Your translation, of course, will not be considered as final. But for the present it would be of a great assistance to the friends in Germany who, as you rightly suggest, have a great desire to get acquainted with the laws and precepts of the Cause as recorded in the "Aqdas".
When completed, this translation should not, the Guardian feels, be printed entirely and circulated among the believers. But only extracts of it should, with the approval of your N.S.A., be brought to the attention of the friends until such time as the publication of the whole book would be deemed advisable. ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
May our beloved and vigilant Master even keep you under His wings, and inspire you to promote far and wide and in a most effective manner the manifold interests of His Faith and its ever-developing institutions.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================7 May 1935
The Guardian has just received your warm and encouraging message of the 28th of April last, and has been deeply moved by the kind greetings and good wishes you have extended to him on the occasion of the holding of your thirteenth annual Bahá'í Convention in Stuttgart. He wishes me to reciprocate the sentiments you have been moved to express to him, and to assure each and all of you of his abiding appreciation and gratitude for the remarkable unity, efficiency and zeal with which you are fostering and safeguarding the manifold and vital interests of our beloved Faith throughout Germany and Austria. He feels confident that your mighty and sustained exertions will, even as a magnet, draw upon you the blessings and guidance of the Almighty, and thus pave the way for the wider penetration and firmer establishment of the Cause in your country.
The Guardian has been greatly impressed by the unusually wide attendance at this year's national Convention. His hope is that this active and close collaboration among the believers in Germany and Austria will continue to manifest itself in all your local as well as national Bahá'í activities throughout the coming year. He is entreating Bahá'u'lláh, that His confirmations may keep, strengthen and inspire you in the fulfilment of your most urgent and sacred mission.
With the renewed expression of his heartfelt appreciations and thanks, and with his cordial and most loving greetings to you all.Dearest co-workers:
Your impressive and most welcome message has revealedPage 73
afresh the potency of the irresistible power of our Faith as manifested in the renewed activities, the solidarity, the consciousness and determination of the assembled representatives of the German believers. This year's convention marks a turning point in the history of the Cause in your land. It eloquently testifies to the tenacity of your faith, to your grasp of its distinguishing features and essential principles, to your firm resolve to lay an unassailable basis for the rising institutions, to your capacity to weather the fiercest storms and overcome the most formidable obstacles, to your worthiness to rank as the standard-bearers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the continent of Europe. May signal victories crown your high endeavours.Shoghi
========================================================5 July 1935
On behalf of the Guardian I wish to acknowledge the receipt of your welcome letter of the fourteenth of June last, written in the name of the Archives-Committee of the German N.S.A., to convey to you and to them his loving appreciation and thanks. He trusts that his gift, offered to your National Archives through the kind care of Miss Edith Horn, will serve to remind the German believers of the importance and sacred character of that institution, and to encourage them to help in contributing their full share towards its further development and expansion. The institution of the National Bahá'í Archives which all the National Assemblies have already established is, indeed, highly-important, the significance of which will bePage 74
increasingly realized as years go by. It is now that so many precious sacred relics are still in the possession of individual believers, that steps must be taken in order to insure their safe preservation in the National Archives. The friends must be encouraged to cooperate with their N.S.A. for the attainment of this objective.
In closing may I assure you again of Shoghi Effendi's best wishes and prayers for you and family, and to express hope that your long-cherished desire to visit the Holy Land may be realized in the near future.With his cordial greetings ...
I cannot refrain from adding a few words in person and assure you afresh of my deepfelt love, appreciation and gratitude for the energy, the ability and loyalty with which you are promoting the vital interests of the Faith. My prayers for you and your dear and valued collaborators will be continually offered to the throne of Bahá'u'lláh.Your true and grateful brother.
========================================================10 August 1935
On behalf of the Guardian I wish to acknowledge the receipt of your beautiful message dated July 8th, and to convey to you his loving thanks and appreciation for the kind sentiments which you have been moved to express to him on the eve of the anniversary of the Báb's martyrdom.Page 75
He is, indeed, very much pleased, and feels greatly encouraged, to learn of the beautiful meeting you have organized in order to commemorate this most sad and yet unique event in the history of the Cause, and sincerely trusts that the recollection of these early days of the heroic age of the Faith will have served to fill with fresh enthusiasm and renewed vigour your souls, and that as a result you all now feel the urge to play a more active part in establishing the Cause in Austria.
The Guardian has been also gratified at the news of the marriage of our dear and devoted co-worker Mr. Franz Pollinger to Miss Anny Modlogl. He wishes them both a most happy and successful union and is praying to Bahá'u'lláh that He may continue showering upon them His favours and blessings, and thus render their lives successful and of benefit to His Cause.
With cordial greetings form the Guardian and with his best wishes and prayers for you all,Dearly beloved co-workers:
Your message filled my heart with joy and has powerfully reminded me of the firmness of your faith, the extent of your devotion, and the degree of your self-sacrifice and endeavours for the promotion of the Cause of God. I urge you to maintain the closest contact with the believers in Germany and particularly with the National Assembly, to study and digest the chapters of Nabil's narrative as they appear in "The Sun of Truth" that you may obtain a fuller grasp of the purpose, the influence and the moving episodes of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.Your true brother,
========================================================12 October 1935
I am directed by the Guardian to thank you for your letter dated September 7th, and to express his regret for the delay caused in answering it.
With regard to the "Kitáb-i-'Ahd" and the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, he wishes me to inform you that he fully approves of your suggestion that these two Tablets be printed in one single booklet.
Also regarding the advisability of printing extracts from the Master's Will, he fully recommends that your Assembly should follow the method adopted by the American Bahá'ís in this matter, provided of course it is financially feasible.
The American text of the Will contains, indeed, all the fundamental points that every newcomer who wishes to join the Movement should know regarding the basis, and various vital implications of Bahá'í Administration. The extracts contained in that text are thus what is vitally required of a believer desiring to become a voting member.
Concerning the new German edition of "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era" which the N.S.A. is planning to publish very soon; Shoghi Effendi trusts that this work will be completed in the near future. He would be pleased, indeed, to receive any suggestion which the German Publishing Committee may wish to offer with the view of modifying and improving certain passages of the present text, and will inform you whether the modifications suggested are advisable, and hence whether they should be inserted in the new volume or not.
With his cordial greetings and best wishes to you and to all the friends in Stuttgart, specially to your dear familyPage 77
I wish to reaffirm my deepfelt appreciation to the manner and spirit in which you strive to promote, consolidate and defend the interests of our invincible Faith. Future generations will no doubt extol your services in this formative period of our Cause. Persevere and rest assured that my fervent prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf. Gratefully and affectionately.Shoghi
========================================================22 October 1935
Your message of the first of this month has been received by our beloved Guardian, and its perusal has brought much joy and satisfaction to his heart. He feels, indeed, profoundly touched by the kind sentiments you have been moved to express to him, and wishes me to reciprocate your greetings and good wishes, and in particular to assure you of his abiding gratitude for the ceaseless endeavours you are all exerting for the wider spread and firmer establishment of the Cause in your centre. He cherishes the brightest hopes for the future of the Faith in Esslingen which, he trusts, will as a result of your sustained and collective efforts, and through the continued guidance and assistance of the German N.S.A., develop into one of the most active and flourishing Bahá'í communities not only in Germany but throughout Europe. It has already acquired great fame and importance as an international meeting centre for all the believers throughout that continent, and specially in connection with the annual Summer School of the German friends which has been invariably held there.Page 78
The Guardian is fervently praying that this progress, which has been so characteristic of the development of your community during the last few years, will continue increasing, and will thus fully repay your labours for the establishment and wider penetration of the Faith throughout Germany.With his cordial greetings to you all,
I value the sentiments you have expressed in your most welcome message, and I am deeply touched by its contents. I wish to assure you in person of my loving and continued prayers for you, that you may grow in understanding, spirituality and influence, and play a worthy part in the expansion of the Faith and the consolidation of its institutions.Your true brother,
========================================================12 November 1935
The Guardian is in receipt of your letter of October 26th, and feels very much pleased of the news of the completion of the German translation of "The Seven Valleys". He wishes me to congratulate you most heartily for this great service you have been able to render the Cause, and which no doubt will serve to enrich the record of the manifold contributions you have, during the last few years, so brilliantly made towards the spread of the Faith throughout Germany. He is praying to Bahá'u'lláh that He mayPage 79
continue to guide and inspire you, and assist you in accomplishing still more outstanding works for the Cause in your country.
Regarding the publication of the manuscript, he sees no objection that it should be undertaken by a non-Bahá'í publisher, inasmuch as it will then have a greater appeal to the general public. But, of course, in this as well as in all other local matters of this kind you should seek the approval of the N.S.A. As to the expenses of printing the work, they should be preferably furnished by the national fund.
The Guardian is also very much pleased to learn of the new publications which the N.S.A. is planning to issue very soon. The printing of the lectures delivered at the last Esslingen Summer School in a book form is, no doubt, highly useful. It is hoped that the funds required in this connection, as well as for other important publications, will be generously contributed by both the individual believers, and the local groups and assemblies.
With reference to the publication of the "Kitáb-i-Iqan" into Esperanto, the Guardian also hopes that some action will be taken in this matter by the N.S.A. But obviously the printing of this, and other non-German works, should be subordinated to the publication of Bahá'í literature in German. ...Dear and valued co-worker:
I am so eager to learn that your health is fully restored, for I believe your services are a most valuable asset to the Faith you serve in these troublous days. I welcome your efficient and unrelaxing cooperation, in spite of the obstacles which face you, in so many fields of Bahá'í activity. I am confident that as a result of your strenuous endeavours the administrative institutions in your land willPage 80
be further consolidated and extended and the cause of teaching receive an added impetus.Your true brother,
========================================================5 April 1936
Your most welcome message of the first Naw-Ruz has just arrived and its perusal has brought indescribable joy to our Guardian's heart. He is so thankful and happy that the friends in Vienna are working so unitedly and with such fervour, and he hopes that as a result the Cause will steadily develop, and your centre will become one of the leading Bahá'í communities in the West.
The most vital matter on which the Guardian wishes you to fully concentrate is that of consolidating the foundations of the Administration. Not until your group learns to work efficiently through obedience to the local assembly and under its guidance can there be any hope for future expansion. The friends must all realize the necessity of internal discipline and order which only a properly elected and efficiently functioning body such as the local assembly can effectively maintain. Obedience to the decisions of the local assembly should be unqualified and whole-hearted, as by this means alone can the community work as a united body and achieve something constructive and enduring.
The Guardian feels also the necessity of urging you to keep always in touch with the friends in Germany. The center in Vienna, though outside the political boundaries of Germany, forms nevertheless an integral part of thePage 81
German-speaking Bahá'í community. It is therefore of a vital importance that the ties of fellowship and cooperation between you and the German believers be increasingly strengthened and consolidated so that through your united endeavours the Cause in Germany and Austria may rapidly spread and be established on firm foundations. ...Dearly beloved friends:
I am deeply grateful to you for your constant services, your unswerving loyalty, your firm determination and exemplary devotion to our beloved Cause. Unity and cooperation are absolutely essential and vital at the present stage of your development. Persevere and rest assured I will continue to pray for you all from the depths of my heart.Affectionately,
========================================================10 May 1936
Your letter dated May 1st with the enclosed message from the Annual Convention of the German friends have all duly arrived and been read with deepest interest and satisfaction by our beloved Guardian.
He is indeed pleased to learn of the results of your national elections, and wishes me to ask you to kindly convey to the members of the new N.S.A. his hearty congratulations, as well as the assurance of his fervent supplications on their behalf at the Holy Shrines.
The Guardian very much regrets, however, that the Convention has not been quite representative of the centersPage 82
in Germany, and particularly deplores the fact that the Vienna community has been unable to send any delegate to the meeting. He feels the necessity of urging you to bring this matter before the N.S.A. at its next session, in order that they may strongly recommend all the local communities having an assembly to send every year at least one representative to the Convention. The Convention meeting is indeed a very important gathering, and the friends should be strongly impressed with its importance and significance. With some effort and sacrifice it is always possible for the delegates to be present at the Convention-sessions. ...My very dear co-worker:
I am so glad to receive such a splendid message from the Convention. To you, no doubt, must, in a very great measure, be attributed the success that has been achieved. The days of your pilgrimage will long be remembered, and I trust and pray that both you and your dear wife will as a result be assisted to lend a fresh impetus to the onward march of the Cause in Germany. Upon you rests a high responsibility, and I am sure you will rise to the height of the occasion.Affectionately,
========================================================10 May 1936 (Convention)
Dr. Muhlschlegel has kindly transmitted to the Guardian your very warm message, and he has read it with greatest pleasure and satisfaction, and felt deeply touched at thePage 83
assurances of devotion and loyalty which you have been moved in conveying to him He highly appreciates the sentiments you have expressed, and fully reciprocates your greetings and good wishes. He has been very much impressed indeed at the large number of the attendants of this year's Convention, and hopes that in the years to come that number will continue increasing.
The Annual Convention is indeed a very important gathering at which both delegates and visitors should try their very best to be present. It is a splendid and unique opportunity for the believers to come together and deliberate on the vital and pressing issues facing the Cause. It is for this reason, and also because the Convention is the sole body entrusted with the election of the N.S.A., that the friends, and particularly the delegates, should make every effort to take part in the deliberations and discussions of that annual gathering.
With most loving greetings, and sincere good wishes from the Guardian to you all. ...Dearly beloved friends:
The Convention of the German believers marks another milestone in the notable progress achieved in recent years by the German Bahá'í Community. My heart is filled with gratitude for the manifold evidences of the tenacity of faith, the collective efforts, the consolidated unity, the administrative accomplishments and the spiritual fervour so strikingly displayed by its members. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, whose special care, love and solicitude for the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in that promising country, most of you have recognized and no doubt still remember, is truly proud of your accomplishments and is well-pleased with the spirit that so powerfully animates you in His service. His spiritPage 84
will continue to overshadow you in your labours and to sustain and guide you in your exertions. Persevere and be confident.Affectionately
========================================================10 September 1936 (Summer School)
Our dear friend Miss Kostlin has kindly transmitted to the Guardian the beautiful message which you have addressed to him on the occasion of the holding of the fifth German Bahá'í Summer School at Esslingen, and I wish to hasten in thanking you on his behalf for the expressions of loving devotion and the assurances of loyalty which you have been moved in conveying to him. He profoundly values the warm sentiments you have expressed, and fully reciprocates your greetings and good wishes.
What has particularly rejoiced and cheered his heart is the realisation that the Esslingen Summer School is steadily developing and is speedily attaining the character of an international meeting place for all Bahá'í residents as well as travellers throughout Europe. The success that has attended your school this year, as evidenced by both the wide range and number of the attendants, is truly encouraging and augurs well for the future of that institution which, we have every reason to hope, is destined to develop into a leading Bahá'í University throughout the West.
The Guardian's hope is that the German N.S.A. will, as in the last few years, continue extending to that school the moral as well as the financial assistance which it needs for its further expansion, and for a still wider and morePage 85
effective penetration of its influence in every Bahá'í center throughout Europe.
He also hopes, and indeed would urge each and every one of the believers in Germany to extend full and continued support to the N.S.A. in its highly-meritorious efforts for the extension and development of the Summer School at Esslingen. He is confident that through such a close and whole-hearted collaboration between the individual believers and the N.S.A. that school will succeed in gradually fulfilling its unique and truly noble mission, both with regard to Germany and to Europe as a whole.
With the loving greetings and best wishes of the Guardian to you all, ...Dear and valued friends:
I am thrilled by the tone and character of the joint message you sent me. The splendid achievements that have signalized the proceedings of this year's summer school are a source of abiding inspiration to me in my work, and will as a powerful magnet attract future blessings upon the great and noble work which its organizers are labouring to promote. I will continue to pray for you and for your work in such a promising field and for so meritorious a purpose.Gratefully and affectionately,
========================================================9 December 1936
Shoghi Effendi is just in receipt of the message you have written him through ... dated November 28th. How kind of you to address to him such touching and assuring words onPage 86
the occasion of the anniversary of the passing of our beloved Master 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Your words have sunk deeply into his heart, and have imparted to it fresh encouragement and deep comfort. What a greater satisfaction is there for him indeed than to see the friends, and particularly his well- beloved co-workers in Germany, unitedly and harmoniously striving to spread the glad-tidings of this New Day of God? It is his most fervent hope and the object of his continued supplications at the threshold of Bahá'u'lláh that your community which is already functioning with such a remarkable vigour, unity and efficiency may rapidly gain in numbers and in strength, and become a beacon of light, the radiance of which shall gradually penetrate and envelop all the neighbouring centers and regions.
Esslingen is not only one of the oldest centers of the Cause in Germany, but it is actually one of its most active, prosperous and promising communities. Your center has indeed a glorious tradition behind it, and it is high time that you all, whether young or old, rich or poor, and no matter how limited your resources and numbers, should unitedly endeavour to extend and further consolidate the basis of your teaching as well as administrative activities.
The Guardian wishes you, in particular, to make a supreme effort to widen the scope of your teaching work, but would urge you to proceed in this, as well as in all other fields of Bahá'í service, with the utmost caution and wisdom, so that you may not run the danger of antagonizing or even displeasing the authorities. With this important consideration in mind, exert all your efforts and all your resources for promoting this sacred Cause of teaching in Esslingen and in the surrounding communities.
With warmest greetings and hearty good wishes from the Guardian, ...Page 87
I am profoundly touched by your message. I thank you from the depths of my heart. I feel proud of you, of your perseverance, your devotion and your loyalty. Persevere and rest assured. The Beloved is watching over you and will continue to bless your meritorious endeavours.Your true brother,
========================================================17 March 1937
Your message of the seventh of March is just at hand, and I wish to hasten to thank you for it on behalf of our beloved Guardian, and to renew his gratitude and appreciation for the assurances of devoted love and loyalty which you had been moved to convey to him. He very deeply values your sentiments, indeed, and greatly admires the spirit of sacrifice and of whole-hearted consecration with which you are labouring for the promotion of the Faith. The success of your efforts will assuredly depend upon the measure of unity within your group, and upon your firm resolve to uphold, in words as well as in deeds, those basic verities which the Teachings inculcate.
The Guardian's message to you is that you should constantly strive to mirror forth in your private lives, and also in your social relationships, the beauty, purity and regenerative power of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh. The Bahá'í youth of today should be an example to the youth of the world and should therefore live up to the highest standards of conduct. Nothing short of such a close, unitedPage 88
and concrete adherence to the ideals and teachings of the Faith by every young Bahá'í man and woman can impress and attract to it the serious attention and consideration of the world outside.
It is Shoghi Effendi's hope therefore that your youth group will make a renewed and determined effort this year to put into daily practice the principles and teachings of the Cause, and thus demonstrate to the non-Bahá'í youth of your country the tremendous power which the Bahá'í Teachings have to shape, mould and reconstruct the lives of men.
He is praying to Bahá'u'lláh to bless and guide your endeavours to that end. [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
May the almighty power of Bahá'u'lláh bless you and keep you, shower his bestowals upon you, deepen your understanding of the fundamental verities and requirements of His Faith, and enable you to extend the range and reinforce the basis of your activities and achievements.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================10 December 1937
The Guardian was deeply rejoiced to receive your very cordial message of the first ins., and is indeed happy to know that during the next few months you will be travelling regularly to Zurich, and that you intend in this way to communicate to him any news regarding the situation of the Cause in Germany. He truly welcomes your offer, and feelsPage 89
that it is a most urgent and valuable service you can render the Faith.
Mr. Greeven, as you may know, is in close touch with the authorities in Berlin, and has so far succeeded in inducing the government to give more sympathetic consideration to our case. The secretary of the Minister for Church affairs has promised him that the funds, books and archives will be returned, but that there can be no hope of having the government rescind the rulings entirely. The negotiations, as you see, have not been quite in vain. The friends should not feel unnecessarily agitated, but should have full confidence in the future which, we firmly believe, is gloriously bright. As in the past, the German Bahá'í Community will eventually overcome and crush such forces of opposition, and will arise, out of the storm and stress of its present-day afflictions, stronger and purer and more determined to accomplish its allotted task in the establishment of the New World Order. Assure the believers that they have no reason whatsoever to feel distressed. The Cause is God's and is therefore in safe hands.
Regarding the German translation of the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh"; a copy of the German text of that pamphlet prepared by Miss Grossmann was forwarded to Haifa about two months ago through the care of Frau Brauns. The Guardian wrote her in answer, that he would keep the manuscript until such time when the time and means for its publication would be found.
Now he wishes to know whether the translation mentioned in your letter is the same as the one sent by Frau Brauns, or is a new rendering made by Dr. Muhlschlegel.
To you, to him, as well as to all your children he sends his loving thoughts and greetings. ...
P.S. At the Guardian's instruction I am mailing to yourPage 90
address a copy of the "Bahá'í World" vol. III, as to is not certain whether you or any of the German friends has seen this latest issue of the Year book. ...Dear and valued co-worker:
I wish to assure you and through you our dearly beloved German friends that the trials to which they are subjected are but a prelude to an age of unprecedented glory and activity in the service of the Cause of God. These clouds will dissipate and the splendour of the Faith will be shed with increasing radiance. Let the Cause grow silently and acquire greater depths in the hearts of the tested believers in that land, and the day will surely come when its potentialities will be manifested in a manner that would cause every beholder to marvel.Your true brother,
========================================================2 February 1938
The Guardian was pleased to receive your letter of the 26th January last, and to hear again from you about the conditions of the Cause in Germany.
He feels exceedingly sorry that the authorities have not so far lived up to their promise of returning the books, funds and archives that were confiscated, but still hopes that through the vigilant care, and the sustained and wise efforts of Mr. Greeven some definite results will be eventually obtained. The friends need not lose courage, but have full confidence in the future which, we are all certain, is immeasurably bright.Page 91
Now regarding the manuscript of the German "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era"; the Guardian has learned with satisfaction that the printing of the text has been completed, and he feels that in view of the present restrictions in Germany it would not be advisable to proceed with the binding there. He would advise that the unbound copies be sent over, through the safest means possible, to the Spiritual Assembly of Vienna that they may complete the binding of as many copies as they can arrange for the distribution of the book.
Not only it would be too risky, and even dangerous, to publish anything at present in Germany, but it would constitute an act of disloyalty to the government on the part of the German believers, as you no doubt well know that in such purely administrative matters the friends are under the strict obligation of obeying the authorities.
As regards the manuscript of the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh", the Guardian is sending you under separate cover the copy which was presented to him sometime ago by Frau Martha Brauns, with the hope that the friends may be able to arrange for its publication outside Germany.
In closing kindly convey his loving thanks to dear Frau Vautier and to Mr. Leo Bernhard for the kind words they have appended to your letter. He will remember you all in his prayers at the Holy Shrines, that you may be ever assisted and guided in your efforts for the service of Bahá'u'lláh. ...Dear and valued co-worker:
The services you are rendering in these days of stress and turmoil are highly appreciated and deserve the highest praise. Kindly assure again the dear German believers of my constant prayers for them. The critical stage through whichPage 92
the Faith is passing in their beloved land is but one stage in its evolution, a step that will carry them farther on the glorious path they have chosen to tread. Perseverance is the virtue they mostly need at present. An All-mighty Providence is watching over them. Never must they feel disheartened. I am deeply greatful and feel truly proud of the spirit they manifest.Shoghi
========================================================31 March 1938
Your letter of the 20th ins. sent from Zurich has duly reached our beloved Guardian, and he was indeed pleased to hear from you, and was deeply touched by the messages which you and Mrs. Muhlschlegel, Mrs. Vautier and Mr. Gollmer have so kindly sent him on the occasion of your visit to Zurich. Please assure them of his keenest appreciation of the sentiments they have expressed, and of his prayers for their protection and guidance in these difficult and indeed distressing times.
The Guardian is thankful for the report which you and Mr. Gollmer have given him regarding the situation of the Cause in Germany. He truly deplores the existing state of affairs, but still hopes that conditions may improve sooner or later. With the annexation of Austria, however, there is little chance of the authorities rescinding their rulings at present regarding the prohibition of the Cause, but there is every reason to believe that the assembly in Vienna will too be dissolved in the next few months.
Now regarding the publication of the German edition of the Esslemont book; now that the new regime in AustriaPage 93
makes it quite impossible for the friends there to complete the printing of the book and arrange for its sale, the Guardian suggests that the best course to take would be for you to approach the American N.S.A. and to ask them to purchase the whole order. Owing to the expansion of the teaching work in South America, where as you know, there are many large German communities, particularly in Argentina, there would be a great demand for this book, and the Publishing Committee of the N.S.A. might arrange to sell many copies there, and distribute some, for sale, among various other Bahá'í centers in Europe and in the East.
The Guardian would further advise that you also approach the British N.S.A. who may find it possible to assist you in this matter. ...Dear and valued co-worker:
I am so pleased to learn that despite the anxieties and obstacles that confront and afflict the dearly-loved German believers, their devotion, loyalty, confidence and perseverance remain untarnished and unshaken. I shall be glad to contribute the sum of thirty pounds as soon as I hear that arrangements have been made for the publication of Esslemont's book, and trust and pray that ways and means will be found to bring to a successful conclusion this all- important undertaking.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================25 April 1938
The postcard message which you had sent the Guardian on the occasion of Dr. Muhlschlegel's visit to Vienna, has just been received, and it made him immensely happy to realize that the friends in Germany and Austria have been again drawn together, and are closer than ever in the past. He hopes that the removal of the barriers which have hitherto so sadly separated the German and Austrian communities will mark the beginning of a new era of unprecedented growth and expansion in your affairs. He is certain that you are fully alive to the far-reaching possibilities which the present hour offers, and wishes you therefore to be happy and thankful, and confident in the blessings which the future has in store for you, and your dear co-workers in that land.
I take this opportunity of assuring you once more of his prayers for your welfare, protection and continued guidance, and reciprocating your very kind greetings, ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
Assuring you in person of my incessant prayers for your protection, guidance and happiness,your true and grateful brother,
========================================================21 May 1938
Many thanks from the Guardian for your very kind letter of the 11th ins. just received, and also for the revisedPage 95
manuscript of the German translation of the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" you have sent under separate cover. He indeed appreciates Dr. Muhlschlegel's painstaking efforts in revising the text, and wishes you to assure him that he will pray that a way may be soon opened for its publication.
As regards the German "Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era", it would certainly rejoice your heart to know that in a letter recently received from the American N.S.A. they have suggested to defray the cost of purchasing the types, and of arranging for its publication in Switzerland. The Guardian wrote them in reply approving of their suggestion, and urged them to take immediately the necessary steps, and also informed them of his offer to contribute thirty pounds towards the printing cost. He will send the sum directly to the N.S.A., as soon as he receives word from them that the necessary negotiations have been completed.
Regarding the confiscation of Bahá'í literature and archives in Germany; the Guardian in a recent letter to Mr. Greeven advised him again to continue his negotiations with the authorities, but also stressed the absolute necessity of avoiding the exercise of too much pressure on them. The situation is exceedingly delicate, and nothing short of Divine help and guidance can indeed enable the friends to obtain even this minimum of their demands from the Government.
In closing please convey the Guardian's loving appreciation and thanks to dear Frau Vautier for the word of greetings she so kindly appended to your letter. Also kindly convey to Dr. Muhlschlegel and the friends in Stuttgart his warmest and affectionate greetings. ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
Wishing you and your dear and distinguished husband, the utmost success in your unceasing and noble endeavoursPage 96
for the promotion and protection of the Faith in these days of stress and trial, and assuring you of my abiding and loving gratitude.Your true brother, Shoghi
========================================================7 May 1939
Shoghi Effendi has received your welcome card dated April 20th, and immensely appreciates the message of love and greetings you have been moved to convey to him on the occasion of the Feast of Ridvan.
He too wishes me to extend to you his deep love and good wishes on this happy and blessed occasion, and to assure you, and our dear friends in Esslingen, of his prayers for your protection and guidance in these days of widespread gloom and distress, that your hearts may be strengthened and assured, and that you may emerge from your present- day tests and trials more united, and firmer than ever in your love and loyalty towards the Faith.
However gloomy the immediate future may seem to appear, the prospect which the distant future has in store for the community of German believers is of such immeasurable brightness as it cannot but afford the deepest comfort and encouragement to you in your moments of uttermost sorrow and distress.
More than ever to-day the Guardian's thoughts turn towards you, and our sore-tried brethren in your land, in admiration for the courage and fortitude you have so well displayed in the midst of your afflictive trials, and in thanksgiving to the almighty God for having sustained andPage 97
blessed you so repeatedly through His unfailing grace and mighty confirmations.
May His Spirit continue to aid and guide your Community in the distressing days yet to come. ...Dear co-workers:
It was such a joy to hear from you. You, as well as the other German believers, are often in my thoughts and prayers. I will continue to pray for the realization of your highest hopes. Do not despair, nay be assured that a glorious future awaits you all, more brilliant than any you can imagine.Your true brother,
========================================================6 June 1939
I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to thank you for your letter of May 19th.
Although he was very sorry to hear of the deep misunderstandings and lack of unity that still exists in ..., he is thankful to you for your writing him about it, and he knows full well that you wrote because you are animated with a deep desire to remove all ill-feelings among the friends there.
The fact is that the Guardian is very sad over the present condition and because it is almost impossible for him to intervene from such a distance and without hearing both sides, he has written over and over again asking that the friends should gather, should talk frankly and fully without ill-feeling and should solve their difficulty. This to ShoghiPage 98
Effendi's deep disappointment has not been possible, Mr. Herrigel has been uncompromising and firm and the result is that the Cause in ... is at a standstill. This is why Shoghi Effendi would ask everyone and especially yourself to make every effort and help the situation. ...My dear co-worker:
A trusted friend of ours, Dr. Yunis Khan is proceeding to Germany to visit the Bahá'í centres and I trust he will be enabled to promote true understanding and sustained cooperation in ... . He is most trustworthy and capable. I will continue to pray for you from the depths of my heart. Rest assured and never feel disheartened.Your true brother, Shoghi
========================================================5 November 1945
The message signed by you and other of our dear Baha'i- friends, and dated Sep. 16th, Esslingen, reached our beloved Guardian, and brought great joy to his heart. He wishes you if possible to convey the following message to those who addressed him:
Tell them that it was a source of deep comfort and gratification to him to receive a word of love and devotion from some of the German Bahá'ís after all these years of silence and danger. He was so happy to know they are well and have been able to meet with you and receive news of the progress of the Faith in other lands.Page 99
He hopes that now that the war is over, and the regime which banned all Bahá'í activities in Germany is no more, the believers there will exert their utmost to teach this great religion of ours to their fellow-countrymen. No doubt after so many years of deep suffering and bitter disillusion there are many souls eager for the truth, and more awakened to the need of a spiritual solution for the world's problems.
Please convey his love to them all, and assure them they are, and have been, often remembered in his ardent prayers.
The Guardian was so very glad to know you had been able to meet with some of the German Baha'is. He urges you to help and inspire them all you can.
His loving prayers surround you, you may be sure...Dear and valued co-workers:
I was thrilled by the message you have sent, and feel profoundly thankful to Bahá'u'lláh for having preserved you and your dear co-workers in that land, and for the spirit, which, despite the sufferings and turmoil that have afflicted your country, you so powerfully display and exemplify. I cherish great hope for the future of your work, and I pray from all my heart for the Almighty's richest blessings on your activities. Rest assure, be happy, and persevere in your historic and meritorious labours.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================30 December 1945
Your letter of April 4th has just been received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer it at once on his behalf.Page 100
It was with feelings of great pride and deep sorrow that he read of the sufferings of the German believers for their Faith and the persecutions they underwent so heroically, and with such unflinching loyalty, for our Holy Cause.
All during these long and tragic years of war his thoughts have been with the Community of the German believers, and his prayers have constantly been offered for their protection and the lightening of their heavy burden. Other Bahá'í Communities, like France and England, have also suffered, but not to the extent of the German and Burmese friends who have been in lands ravaged by war and invasion, and in the hands, at the same time, of political parties who persecuted them.
The loss of all the records of the National and Local Assemblies is indeed very great, and he hopes that your family, Dr. Muhlschlegel, Dr. Schmidt, Herr Jorn, Anna Kostlin, Frau Schweizer, Frau Schwarz -, in fact, all the old believers, will try and reconstruct from memory, and write down, as much of the history of the Cause in Germany as they can remember, so that some accurate records for the future will remain. He would also like you to write a comprehensive account of what the Bahá'ís have endured in Germany since 1937 for the "Bahá'í World", vol. X, and send it to him as soon as possible. The news of the German believers' activities has been sadly missed in the last two volumes, and he is anxious to have them take their place again as soon as possible.
He has just written to N.S.A. of America urging them to help, and do all they can to protect the German Baha'is; he has also urged them to make every effort to get German Bahá'í books published, and sent to Germany as soon as possible.Page 101
You all have a tremendous task before you. He knows how great is the suffering for just ordinary German citizens at present as an aftermath of the war - but inspite of these physical hardships the German believers are called upon to establish again the institutions of their Faith, teach its life- giving message to the masses, and help their country to obtain the spiritual destiny 'Abdu'l-Bahá foresaw for it. You may be sure the Guardian and the Bahá'ís everywhere will do all in their power to help the German believers accomplish their tasks.
Please assure all the friends - especially those who have lost dear ones in the war - of his most loving and ardent prayers on their behalf, and of his feelings of pride and gratitude for their devotion and loyalty to the Faith.
To you all he sends his loving greetings, his deep appreciation of your spirit, and the assurance of his constant prayers. ...Dearly-beloved friends:
My heart is filled with joy, pride and gratitude as I witness, thru the receipt of your most welcome letter, the evidences of the protection of the Almighty and of the vitality of the faith of the long-suffering German believers, who have laboured so devotedly and valiantly during so long and crucial a period and who as a community have survived the greatest ordeal in the history of their Faith in that land. My prayers during these years of danger, of stress, of suspense and anxiety have ever surrounded them, and I rejoice to learn of their safety, their unity, their zeal, and their determination to arise and resume the great and historic work they are destined to carry to a triumphant conclusion in the years that lie ahead. The organization of spiritual assemblies, the reestablishment of the nationalPage 102
assembly, the formation of national committees are the immediate objectives, and should, if possible be carried out with the utmost speed and vigour, for upon them will rest the expansion and consolidation of the activities of a sorely- tried Faith. I am appealing to various Bahá'í communities in East and West to lend their assistance in whatever manner possible to the arduous task of reconstruction that now faces the German believers. I long to hear of the news of the friends in other parts of that land and will do my utmost to aid them to resume their activity and services to our beloved Faith. Please assure them all of my great love, of my profound admiration, of my bright hopes for their future, of my heartfelt gratitude for their perseverance and of my fervent prayers for their future success.Your true brother,
========================================================Dec. 30th, 1945
It was with great joy that the beloved Guardian received your letter of Aug. 1st, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
During these long, sad, years of separation his thoughts have constantly been with the well-loved German Baha'is, and his ardent prayers have been offered in the Holy Shrines for their protection and the protection of the Faith there.
Now that the friends are once again free to profess their beliefs, hold their meetings, teach the Cause, and uphold its institutions, he hopes they will exert their utmost to reestablish, as speedily as possible, the Bahá'í Communities of Germany. The Faith in that land had, before it wasPage 103
suppressed and banned, just began to enjoy the fruits of many long years of labour to promulgate it, and create its administrative bodies; he hopes that all the German Bahá'ís will unite to bring it to the former level of prosperity it enjoyed.
He wishes to assure you all, and through you, all your Bahá'í brothers and sisters in Germany, that he will do all in his power to assist you in your labours, and that your fellow-Bahá'ís the world over will likewise aid you as much as they can.
The beloved Master cherished very bright hopes for the future of the German Baha'is. His promises and prophecies will surely be fulfilled, and the Holy Faith not only be reestablished in Germany but grow and expand as never before.
The Guardian has urged the American N.S.A. to supply the German Bahá'ís with literature as soon as possible; this will enable you to bring the teachings to your sore-stricken countrymen, and enlist them under the banner of Bahá'u'lláh.
You may be sure the Guardian's loving prayers surround you all and sustain you in your labours for the Cause. ...Dearly-beloved Friends:
Your joint and most welcome letter brought indescribable joy to my heart. I am thrilled by this latest and indeed most significant evidence of the unfailing protection of the Almighty, and of His manifold blessings vouchsafed to His dearly-beloved and worthy servants labouring so heroically for His Faith in that land. Though I am greatly saddened by the fate that has overtaken a few of them during this prolonged ordeal they have experienced, I rejoice and am filled with gratitude, pride and happiness to realize that thePage 104
Faith itself has survived this fiery test, and has demonstrated its resilience, its vitality and incorruptibility after so crucial a period of stress, of suffering and danger. The duty facing the triumphant community in your land is to reconstruct, with the utmost speed and vigour its administrative institutions, and above all, its national assembly. I will appeal to our brethren in East and West to offer every assistance in their power for the rehabilitation of a community which is destined to play, in accordance with 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í prophecy, so vital a role in the future orientation and expansion of the world-wide Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. I will do everything I possibly can to help it in its task and assist it in the achievement of its high destiny. I will pray and supplicate on its behalf the abundant blessings of the Almighty, that its influence may revive, its number increase, its activities multiply, its resource develop, and its mission be fulfilled.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================8 April 1946
Your loving message, addressed to our beloved Guardian, brought him great joy, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
We all know how dark, and spiritually dead, the world is today, and how desperately it stands in need of spiritual guidance. The Bahá'ís alone, through the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, hold the key to the solution of humanity's ills, and as much of the tremendous work which lies ahead will perforce have to be undertaken by young people, hePage 105
attaches great importance to the activities of Bahá'í Youth everywhere.
He hopes you will all study deeply the teachings, as this alone will give you the foundation you need for your services to the Faith. You should also make every effort to distinguish your lives from those of other young people of your generation, and thus, by the display of Bahá'í virtues and morals, attract the interest and esteem of others.
You may be sure that his loving prayers will be offered for your guidance and protection in the Holy Shrines. ...Dearly-beloved friends:
I was so pleased and thankful to receive your most welcome message, and to learn of the resumption of your activities to which I attach the utmost importance. I will pray for your success from the depths of my heart, and urge you to get in touch, as soon as possible, with the Bahá'í Youth in various parts of the world, and to strengthen the bonds that unite you to them, and to work in close collaboration and under the supervision of your national assembly as soon as it is elected. May the Beloved bless, sustain, and guide you at all times, and crown your activities with signal success.Your true brother,
========================================================4 May 1946
Your letter of March 17th (the copy of which Mr. Eichenauer also forwarded) has been received by thePage 106
beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He is very anxious for the young Baha'is, everywhere, to deepen their knowledge of the teachings, of Bahá'í administration and laws, and to live an exemplary Bahá'í life in order to prepare themselves for their work in the Cause as teachers and administrators. They are the ones who will toil in the glorious and difficult days that lie ahead, and they must now fit themselves to be worthy of their future high responsibilities and duties.
He assures you all he will pray for your services, your progress and development, in the Holy Shrines, and he cherishes great hopes for your future. ...Dear co-workers:
My heart rejoiced and my soul was refreshed at the receipt of your most welcome message, signed by so great a number of ardent and youthful co-workers in a land so rich in promise, so blessed by our Beloved, and so severely tried by the vicissitudes of war. You are, I assure you, often in my thoughts and prayers, and I cherish the brightest hopes for your future work. You are, I feel confident, destined to achieve memorable victories, both in your native land and on the continent of Europe, and you should diligently and unitedly prepare yourselves for this glorious task. Persevere, redouble your efforts, and rest assured that the Beloved will bless and sustain you always.Your true brother,
========================================================30 July 1946
Your letter of June 29th, with its translation, was received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
He was so very happy to hear from your Assembly after all these years, since that important institution was disbanded, and hopes from time to time you will send him reports of your work.
As regards the question you asked him: he feels that the Bahá'ís in Germany should, by all means, follow the same procedure as regards withdrawing from church membership as that in America. You should point out to the believers that, by belonging to other organized religious bodies, we are not acting openly because we firmly believe Christ has come again - so how can we belong to a church which does not accept Bahá'u'lláh and His message as the fulfilment of Jesus' message and the reappearance of Jesus Himself?
He is very anxious that ways should be found for you to receive the money collected in Tihran and spend it on the Cause and its institutions in Germany. The eagerness of the people to hear of the Faith imposes a sacred duty on all the German Bahá'ís to see that they are not denied this Divine Revelation in their hour of need.
You may be sure the Guardian will do all he can to assist you, and his ardent prayers are offered on your behalf, for your assistance, your guidance, and the success of your sacred labours to give to Germany the news of this precious Faith's existence, and to administer with wisdom the affairs of the Cause there.Page 108
He urges you to hold as frequent meetings as possible,
and, in cooperation with the American N.S.A. to get as
much literature printed and disseminated as you can. ...Dear and valued co-workers:
Your letter brought great joy to my heart. I rejoice to hear of the formation of your assembly, the cornerstone of the foundation of the Faith in that land. I urge you to consult and deliberate as frequently as you can on the affairs of the Faith, devise the most effective measures for its spread, extend the range of Bahá'í publications, and the friends to scatter as widely as they can in order to multiply the centres and establish new assemblies, extend any assistance you can to the friends in Vienna and take whatever steps are required to enable you to establish the centre of the Faith in Frankfurt. Your task is immense, the obstacles formidable, the need of your fellow countrymen for the healing truths of the Faith urgent and pitiful, the promised help from on high ready and assured, if you persevere in your task and arise to discharge befittingly your responsibilities. The considerable sums accumulated in Tihran will aid you to extend the scope of your activities and to consolidate your achievements. You should, though these sums have not yet reached you, embark on great projects, and devise, after careful deliberation, effective methods for the propagation of our beloved Faith. I am following the progress of your highly important activities with intense interest. You are, I assure you, often in my thoughts and prayers, and I will continue to supplicate for you the Master's richest blessings.Rest assured, persevere, and be happy.
========================================================31 July 1946
Your letter of July 1st was received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was delighted to hear of the Bahá'í wedding which recently took place in your Community of Stuttgart Bahá'ís and he thanks all the dear friends who were present, whose names you forwarded to him on the list enclosed in your letter, for their greetings and their loving thought of him.
In connection with the National Administrative Center of the Faith being in Frankfurt, he wishes to point out to you the following:
This is a purely practical measure because Frankfurt a/M is so much more centrally located than Stuttgart in the south of Germany. The dear friends of Stuttgart must not for a moment feel that this detracts from the unique place their city occupies in the history of the Faith in Germany.
It is very similar to what has happened in the United States; 'Abdu'l-Bahá conferred many honours on New York and called it the "City of the Covenant", but this did not prevent Chicago from being chosen as the National Administrative Headquarters awing to its central position in America.
The Stuttgart friends should do all in their power to foster the development of this Administrative Headquarters in Frankfurt, and to ensure its success, as this is what is best for the development of the Faith in Germany. But you can be sure Stuttgart holds a unique position and has received from the Master Himself unique distinction.
It is probable, but not certain, that the first Temple will also, for the same reason, be in Frankfurt. The publishingPage 110
work, likewise, should be there in the future, but at present its location is for the N.S.A. to decide.
He was very pleased to hear you are requiring all Bahá'ís to withdraw from church membership and similar organizations; he considers your Community the mother community in spirit, and is confident it will continue to lead the way in its exemplary conduct.
You may be sure his loving prayers will be offered for the success of the teaching and administrative work of the Stuttgart believers... P.S. In the future Stuttgart must naturally have its own administrative headquarters for that city, and he hopes you will soon have found a suitable meeting place.Dear and valued co-workers:
I was so pleased to receive your most welcome letter. The friends in that centre are very dear and near to me, and I cherish the brightest hopes for their future in the service of our beloved Faith. The Beloved poured forth His manifold blessings upon them and greatly admired their spirit. May His Spirit continue to guide, sustain and bless them in their future services and high endeavors for the promotion of His Faith.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================22 November 1946
Your most welcome letter of Aug. 21st reached our beloved Guardian after a long delay, as you can see, but brought him great joy. He has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.Page 111
He is fully aware of the very sad and difficult conditions under which you are labouring to reestablish the spiritual well-being of the German and Austrian believers, but he feels confident that your great faith, determination and devotion will enable you to achieve your ends and the aid of Bahá'u'lláh is surely vouchsafed you as you serve His Cause and seek to bring enlightenment and inner comfort to the war-weary German people.
In connection with the various points you raise in your letter:
He is very anxious to see the "Sonne der Wahrheit" published again; as it will greatly assist you in sustaining and guiding the German believers and in teaching other German-speaking people. He urges you to go on petitioning the U.S. authorities for permission to resume this important activity.
That so many members of the former "Bahá'í World Union" should now be seeking enrollment as believers greatly pleases him, and he feels you should by all means accept them as registered Baha'is, unless you yourselves have any reason to question some individuals' sincerity.
He would like to receive regularly the minutes of your assembly's meetings in German; it is not necessary to translate the whole thing each time, but if a short summary of the important points could also be sent in English he would appreciate it.
The flourishing activities of the Bahá'í Summer School at Esslingen greatly pleased him, and he is so happy to see the way the friends have not only protected this Bahá'í Home during the long years of war and persecution, but immediately rallied around it again and made it once more a source of unity and a center of Bahá'í study.Page 112
The long sessions of your National Assembly meetings are very essential for the promotion of the work in Germany and the rehabilitation of the affairs of the Cause there. In your meetings he urges you to give considerable attention to carrying out the following very important tasks: It is of the utmost importance that the friends be well supplied with not only Bahá'í literature, but with a regular Bahá'í News letter - the organ of your assembly - and also with their own magazine, the "Sonne der Wahrheit". He therefore urges you all to persevere in pushing these publication matters forward. Needless to say the translation work must also go on uninterruptedly and receive first attention, as there is now a wealth of Bahá'í literature in English for you to draw upon and which is much needed by the German friends to help deepen their understanding of the Divine Cause, and better enable them to teach it.
The teaching work is, of course, the most important of all. He has been very encouraged to see the efforts the friends are making in the U.S. Zone and to hear of the good results they are achieving. But the primary responsibility for this great work rests on your assembly, and you must devise as many ways and means as possible for prosecuting your teaching plans on a wide scale and covering a wide field. Now that your country is in such a state of despair, and the people have suffered so deeply, their hearts are more receptive, as you pointed out in your letter, and therefore at this time they must be approached with the Divine Message before internal integration and new problems or new possibilities arise to sidetrack their attention. He hopes that you will continually urge the friends to arise and teach, that you will devise ways and means (such as the summer-school and various conferences, committees, etc.) of training more of them - particularly the youth - as public speakers andPage 113
teachers and, in short, leave no stone unturned in prosecuting this major task.
Hand in hand with this intensification of the teaching work must go the multiplication of groups and their development into Spiritual assemblies.
Another important matter to which he wishes to draw your special attention is that of the Nat. Bahá'í Headquarters in Frankfurt. He fully realizes the obstacles which must be overcome in order to carry out this historic project, but feels sure that Bahá'u'lláh will help and guide you to find a suitable spot and make preliminary arrangements. Ten thousand pounds is now reposing in the special fund he has established in Tihran for the re- habilitation of the Faith in Germany and the relief of the dear friends there. A considerable part of this he himself has contributed to this community which both the Master and he love so dearly - so you see the means to help you carry out the many great tasks confronting you are there. He is most anxious that this money should reach you, and hopes ways can soon be found of sending it to your assembly; you should constantly bear this in mind, and let him know of any possible means you find of transmitting this sum.
I need not assure you of how dear your work is to the heart of our Guardian, of how eagerly he receives news of your activities, of how much he appreciates your many self- sacrificing and exhausting labours for the promotion of our beloved Cause! You are very often remembered in his prayers, and he feels sure that the Master is extending you His own aid in serving His Faith in that country He loved so much.Dearly-beloved co-workers:
It is such a joy, mingled with feelings of deep thankfulness to Bahá'u'lláh, to be able to resume direct correspondencePage 114
with the elected national representatives of a community that has achieved so much in the past for our Faith, that has been so dearly loved by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and is destined to spread, as He foretold, the light of God's sacred Revelation not only in the heart of Europe but throughout that dark, war-devastated spiritually famished continent. Now that the shackles imposed upon that community have been removed, and its chief and central administrative institution is again vigorously functioning, a concerted, sustained and systematic effort must be made, not only by its members, but by the rank and file of its supporters throughout that land, to expand, multiply and consolidate the community's nascent institutions, widen, considerably und rapidly, the range of its literature, establish, firmly and definitely, in however rudimentary a form its national headquarters in Frankfurt situated in the heart of that country, reinforce and develop the work assigned to its national committees, revitalize its summer-schools and other subsidiary institutions, maintain and develop its contact, through correspondence, with national and local administrative bodies throughout the Bahá'í world, devise effective measures for the proclamation, boldly and determinedly, of the message to the masses, fortify and enrich its corporate life and lay and unassailable foundation for its future development. The task is immense, the opportunities are priceless and manifold, the hour is critical and challenging, the promises given by 'Abdu'l-Bahá are clear, unmistakable, and soul-refreshing, His assistance ready and unfailing. All that is required, in thanksgiving for the protection vouchsafed to this community by Bahá'u'lláh is to arise with courage, high resolve and clear vision, to carry out the immediate task in its entirety, and thus prepare the way for the opening of a new and still more glorious chapter in thePage 115
history of the evolution of the Faith in that land. I pray from all my heart for the speedy and complete realization of the high hopes I cherish for that dearly-beloved, long-suffering, richly blessed community.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================18 February 1947 (Summer School)
Your letter sent to our beloved Guardian from the Esslingen Bahá'í Summer School session of August 1946, brought him great joy, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
It is wonderful to see that the German believers are not only free at last to meet and propagate the Faith of God, but that they are also receiving public recognition from officials, and that their numbers are constantly swelling!
All the sufferings the German believers have endured are not in vain; they now see before them many, many of their fellow-countrymen ripe to receive the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, which, some of them, in the past, would never have listened to for a moment.
Now is the time to teach the Cause of God in Germany as never before; inspite of the hardships you are all undergoing, you must be active in building up new Bahá'í Assemblies while the people are still seeking some spiritual food. We do not know what their spiritual condition will be like in the future when their physical lives are once again more stable and secure - so we must seize this goldenPage 116
opportunity, and make every sacrifice to rapidly spread the Divine Message in Germany now.
He will pray for you all, that God may bless, aid and guide you. ...Dear and valued co-workers:
I was deeply touched by your message, and I greatly value the sentiments you have expressed, and the efforts you exert for the promotion of our beloved Faith. I will pray for your success from the depths of my heart. Rest assured, and persevere in your high and meritorious endeavours.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================22 February 1947
Your letters dated Sept. 24th, Oct. 1st and Nov. 12th, 1946, have all been received, as well as the interesting reports you enclosed with them, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was delighted to see that such large study classes are being held in Esslingen, and that so many people are becoming students of the Faith. The German believers must concentrate all their efforts on teaching the Cause, as at the present time there are many truth-seekers; in the future it may be more difficult to reach the people.
The Summer School was also a great success this year, and our Guardian was very happy to see so many attended and that the activities of the Bahá'ís are now receiving public approval, after so many years of persecution!Page 117
You may be sure his loving prayers are offered for the success of your devoted services to the Cause of God. ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
May the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh sustain, guide and bless your meritorious efforts, aid you to render notable services to our beloved Cause, and consolidate its new-born and God-given institutions,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================26 February 1947
Your letter to our beloved Guardian, dated Sept. 25th, 1946, was received, as well as the minutes of your meeting of Nov. 2nd and 3rd., and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
Regarding the question of Herr Jorn: Smoking is not forbidden by 'Abdu'l-Bahá; He advises against it for reasons of health, but we have no right to prevent anyone from smoking. But drinking and the use of drugs are strictly forbidden and the Bahá'ís should obey this command.
The Guardian has received a number of letters from the Bahá'ís of ..., and in the interest of promoting unity among the friends in Germany he is going to write them instructing them to cooperate with and obey your Assembly; he feels that you should send capable Bahá'ís there to teach them and strengthen them in the Faith, and to make sure no political elements are allowed to enter into their discussions or be a part of their group.
He has recently had fifteen hundred dollars sent from the Relief Fund in Tihran to America for the immediatePage 118
purchase of food parcels for the German and Austrian Baha'is, and hopes these will soon reach them. It is very distressing that so much money over ten thousand pounds (10.000 \p) should be held in the name of the German friends, and yet no way of sending it be found. He hopes your Assembly will make every effort to arrange for this money to be received in Germany.
He is also very anxious to receive news of exactly what is happening about the National Bahá'í Headquarters in Frankfurt; he gathers from your minutes that negotiations are in progress for a building in that city? He attaches great importance to this undertaking, and urges you to press the matter constantly.
The reports he received of the young peoples' Summer School and the Summer School at Esslingen were most encouraging, and he is delighted to see that in spite of so many handicaps the friends are so devoted and active! He was also very happy to note that new spiritual assemblies are in the process of formation, and hopes you will concentrate on their establishment and the formation of many new groups. In spite of the conditions in Germany it is of the utmost importance to teach the Cause as widely as possible, especially to the youth, now that through suffering and disillusionment the hearts of the people are more receptive.
You may be sure that his ardent and loving prayers are offered for each and every one of you, and for the success of your devoted labours for the Cause of God. ...Dearly-beloved friends:
The revival and rapid consolidation of the German Bahá'í community after the prolonged and terrible ordeals to which it has been subjected is a striking evidence of thePage 119
irresistible power of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, as well as a magnificent testimony to the vitality of the faith of the German believers. I feel proud and profoundly thankful for the loyalty, the perseverance, the resolution, the unity, the zeal and the devotion which characterize their collective efforts and corporate life in the service of this glorious Cause. The prompt establishment of the national Haziratu'l- Quds in the city of Frankfurt; the rapid translation, publication and dissemination of Bahá'í literature; the multiplication of Bahá'í centers, whether groups or assemblies; the consolidation of the institution of the Summer School; the initiation of effective measures aimed at a close collaboration with the American European Teaching committee; the proclamation of the teachings of the Faith to the spiritually famished, the disillusioned and longsuffering masses - these stand out as the primary and urgent tasks that demand the immediate, the earnest and undivided attention of your assembly. I will pray for your success from the depths of my heart and feel confident that the dearly- beloved heroic German believers will arise, as one man and despite the obstacles confronting them, to achieve these immediate tasks that constitute only a prelude to the tremendous enterprises which it is their destiny to accomplish in the years to come.Your true brother,
========================================================4 June 1947 (Convention)
It was with great joy that our beloved Guardian received your loving message dated April 26th, and signed by soPage 120
many of the dear believers. He has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
The re-florescence of the Holy and beloved Faith in Germany, after so many bitter years of suppression and suffering, has brought great happiness to not only his heart but to the hearts of the Bahá'ís all over the world.
That you should be able, in relatively so short a period of time, and in the face of so many obstacles, to reconstitute your assemblies and National Assembly, be in a position to elect new assemblies, and to hold your Summer School and various conferences, all point the way to a brilliant future for the German followers of the Cause of God.
He urges you individually and collectively to teach the Faith constantly to your spiritually starved countrymen, to support and assist your National Assembly in carrying out its heavy responsibilities and to do all in your power to hasten the day when a befitting National Headquarters, situated in Frankfurt a.M., will have been purchased and established, one that will be commensurate with the importance of the German Bahá'í Community, the strongest and largest on the Continent of Europe.
You may rest assured that his loving and ardent prayers are offered for your progress and success in the Holy Shrines.Dearly beloved friends and co-workers:
I was deeply touched by your message, and I greatly value the sentiments you have expressed, the zeal and unity you demonstrate, the deeds you accomplish, the plans you have conceived, and above all the spirit you so powerfully manifest in your diligent labours for the spread and consolidation of our beloved Faith in your promising country. The German Bahá'í community, emergingPage 121
triumphantly from one of the severest ordeals that have afflicted any of its sister-communities in East or West, now stands on the threshold of a new era in its development. Great tasks confront it. The establishment of a befitting administrative centre in the heart of that country, the multiplication of groups and assemblies, the dissemination of Bahá'í literature and the proclamation of the Faith to the masses are among the most urgent, the most vital and outstanding of these tasks. The entire community, however difficult the present circumstances, must arise and carry them out. Its future as prophecied by 'Abdu'l-Bahá is glorious. Its spirit is magnificent. Its members are distinguished among the followers of the Faith throughout the world by their tenacity, their thoroughness, their great capacity and resourcefulness. Our beloved Master, who watches over them, has greatly praised them, loves them dearly, is ready to bless their labours and reinforce their exertions. Its members must rise to the height of their present and priceless opportunity. They will, I feel confident, prove themselves worthy of the great blessings showered upon them in the past by their Lord and Master.Affectionately,
========================================================19 June 1947
Your loving message, sent to our beloved Guardian on the occasion of the celebration of his twenty-five years of Guardianship, reached him and touched him very much indeed.Page 122
He feels a special affection for the Esslingen Community, as it is not only one of the oldest ones in Germany but he associates it with the important Summer School held in its neighbourhood.
Your love for and devotion to our glorious Faith are greatly appreciated, and the many services that members of your Community have rendered, and are rendering it, deeply valued.
He assures you all he will pray for the success of your labours in the Holy Shrines, and that Bahá'u'lláh may increase your numbers and richly bless you all. ... [Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]
May the Beloved bless your efforts, guide your steps, remove every obstacle that impedes the growth of your Community, and assist you to proclaim the truths of His Faith and consolidate its institutions,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================24 June 1947
Your letter, dated June 16th, has been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
He can quite well understand that after so many years of isolation from the rest of the Bahá'í world it came as a surprise to some of you to hear that we, as Baha'is, must not have any affiliations with churches or political parties. But he feels certain that when you meditate on this matter you yourselves will see the wisdom of it. We, as Baha'is, can never be known as hypocrites or as people insincere in theirPage 123
protestations and because of this we cannot subscribe to both the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and ordinary church dogma. The churches are waiting for the coming of Jesus Christ; we believe He has come again in the Glory of the Father. The churches teach doctrines - various ones in various creeds - which we as Bahá'ís do not accept; such as the bodily Resurrection, confession, or, in some creeds, the denial of the Immaculate Conception. In other words there is no Christian church today whose dogmas we, as Bahá'ís can truthfully say we accept in their entirety - therefore to remain a member of the Church is not proper for us, for we do so under false pretences. We should, therefore, withdraw from our churches but continue to associate, if we wish to, with the church members and ministers.
Our belief in Christ, as Baha'is, is so firm, so unshakable and so exalted in nature that very few Christians are to be found nowadays who love Him and reverence Him and have the faith in Him that we have. It is only from the dogmas and creeds of the churches that we dissociate ourselves; not from the spirit of Christianity.
Very much the same reasons motivate us in withdrawing from all political movements, however close some of their ideals may be to ours. We Bahá'ís are one the world-over, we are seeking to build up a New World Order, Divine in origin. How can we do this if every Bahá'í is a member of a different political party - some of them diametrically opposed to each other? Where is our unity then? We would be divided because of politics, against ourselves, and this is the opposite of our purpose. Obviously if one Bahá'í in Austria, is given freedom to choose a political party and join it, however good its aims may be, another Bahá'í in Japan, or America or India, has the right to do the same thing, and he might belong to a party the very opposite in principle toPage 124
that which the Austrian Bahá'í belongs to. Where would be the unity of the Faith then? These two spiritual brothers would be working against each other, because of their political affiliations (as the Christians of Europe have been doing in so many fratricidal wars).
The best way for a Bahá'í to serve his country and the world is to work for the establishment of Bahá'u'lláh's World Order, which will gradually unite all men and do away with divisive political systems and religious creeds.
He does not force you to do this at once; but urges you all to decide to withdraw from your churches and political groups within, say, a year, and then to help each other to do this. You will find your spiritual strength greater for taking this step.
Please assure dear Mrs. Schwarz of his loving prayers on her behalf.
He will also pray for you all in the Holy Shrines, and urges you to persevere in your services to our beloved Faith.Dear and valued co-workers:
I was so pleased to receive your message and so thankful for the evidences of devotion, of determination and love it contained. The Austrian believers are dear and near to my heart, and I deeply sympathize with them in the ordeal and tribulations which they have suffered, and which have demonstrated the quality of their faith and the depth of their devotion. The funds accumulated for their relief and for the development of the Faith in their land will, I trust, be soon forwarded to them, and will no doubt greatly contribute to the rehabilitation and growth of their beloved community. Persevere in your meritorious labours, and rest assured that you are often in my thoughts and prayers, and that I willPage 125
continue to supplicate for you all the Master's richest blessings.Your true and grateful brother,
P.S. He feels that the German and Austrian believers are one in language and that the Austrian friends should consider the N.G.R. as their National Assembly, the same as before the war. We are Bahá'ís and have no nationalistic feelings in such matters. Our ties are purely spiritual. But you can consult the European Teaching Committee if the NGR is too difficult at present. The Guardian wishes you to know that as soon as there are a sufficient number of Bahá'í assemblies in Austria she will naturally have her own NGR.27 September 1947 (Summer School)
Your letters to our beloved Guardian reached him through Mr. ..., and he was delighted to see that so many believers had been able to attend the school at Esslingen this summer.
It shows the vitality of the German Bahá'ís and their intense desire to further the interests of our glorious Faith in Germany, and build up its institutions.
He urges you all, in your work for the Cause in your local Communities, to stress the need for the greatest love and unity amongst the Bahá'ís themselves. It is this love and spiritual solidarity that is so sadly lacking in the world today, and for which its people are starving. When they see within the Bahá'í Community the true spirit of brotherhoodPage 126
exemplified, they will turn to Bahá'u'lláh and embrace His Message.
He also urges you to exert yourselves ceaselessly in the teaching field, and build up new Bahá'í centers, establish new spiritual assemblies, and convert the existing groups into assemblies by April of next year.
The Cause, we know, has a great future in Germany, and he assures you all he is constantly praying for the success of your devoted labours.Dear co-workers:
Your messages, eloquently testifying to the dynamic faith which inspires and sustains the German Bahá'í Community, now triumphantly emerging from its long and severe ordeal, rejoiced my heart, and served to deepen my feelings of affection and admiration for its members. You who now stand on the threshold of a new era, have great tasks ahead of you and a glorious mission to fulfil. The institutions you are now initiating and developing will no doubt enable you to achieve speedily and effectively your goal. The Beloved is watching over you. His love surrounds you, and His spirit sustains and guides you. Persevere in your glorious task. Rest assured that my prayers will continue to be offered on your behalf, and be confident that Bahá'u'lláh will aid you to achieve ultimate victory.Shoghi
========================================================24 October 1947
Your letters to our beloved Guardian, dated Dec. 4th, 1946, Jan. 6th, March 19th, June 15th, Aug. 27th andPage 127
Sept. 28th, 1947, have all been received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He has also received a letter, on behalf of your secretary, written by Dr. Koller-Jager, and enclosing an English translation of your minutes. This was dated March 13th.
In regard to the various matters you have raised in these letters:
He noted the report of Mrs Grossmann about her meeting with the grandchild of |Subh-i-Azal. He feels that the friends should as much as possible avoid her, as it is very unlikely she has anything but prejudice against Bahá'u'lláh, in view of her background.
He deeply appreciated the message of love and loyalty you sent him on the occasion of the celebration of twenty- five years of Guardianship.
He is extremely pleased to see the way the Cause is spreading in Germany, and the steady growth in the number of the assemblies there. This would be a remarkable achievement under normal circumstances, but in view of the weakened state of the health of the Bahá'ís and the hardships they and their countrymen are undergoing, it is little short of heroic. The Bahá'ís everywhere are watching the labours of their German brothers and sisters with deep admiration.
Concerning your question about forming Spiritual Assemblies this year as soon as circumstances permit, and without waiting until April 21st, 1948: he does not think this advisable. In order to encourage the German friends, so long oppressed and prevented from serving, he made an exception last year, but this year he feels all assemblies should wait until April to hold their elections. He has recently advised the European Teaching Committee to do likewise, as some of the pioneers were eager to formPage 128
assemblies as soon as 9 Bahá'ís existed in a city of one of the goal countries!
He is pleased to hear you have strengthened and assisted the Nuremberg Baha'is, and that there are now so many there. Also he is glad to hear you are protecting them and the Cause from the misrepresentations and ambitions of Mr. ... Great vigilance and wisdom is required in such matters.
Regarding the publication of books for use in Germany in Switzerland: he feels that this is out of the question at present, owing to the fact that the exchange of Persian into Swiss money, (providing it could be made at all), would be prohibitively expensive. You would lose far too much this way. He, therefore, suggests that you get in touch with Mr. David Hofman of England, who is a publisher in a small way, and very anxious to be of help in printing Bahá'í Literature. He is a member of the British N.S.A., and if you arrange some satisfactory way of having him print books or booklets for you, it will be easier and cheaper to transfer some of the money from Tihran, for this purpose, to England. The Guardian has already written Mr. Hofman he favours his doing this, if you and he can agree.
Unfortunately, owing to the fall in the value of the pound, the conversion of Persian money into American dollars involves considerable loss. In view of this the Guardian is going to instruct Mr. Varqa in Tihran to send to the American N.S.A. five hundred pounds for the purpose of buying Care Packages, which will be sent to you for your use in securing the National Headquarters.
There is, in the special Fund held in Tihran on behalf of your assembly, about ten thousand pounds. He feels you should spend a third of this on your National Headquarters. But, as mentioned above, he advises you to try and go aheadPage 129
with the preliminary arrangements through using five hundred pounds in Care packages, and thus not lose too much of this money through the poor exchange at this time.
He leaves details of this matter to the discretion of your assembly, and hopes you will keep him informed of what action you have taken, and of the progress made in obtaining the National Headquarters.
He assures you all of his admiration for your steadfast labours to protect and promote every interest of our beloved Faith in Germany, and of his loving and ardent prayers for the success of your work. ...Dearly-beloved Friends:
The spirit which the entire body of the German believers have displayed, despite the hardships and trials which they have heroically endured, and are still enduring, is a magnificent example to their fellow-workers in both the East and the West, a source of great inspiration to me, and a magnet that will powerfully attract the blessings of the Almighty. My thoughts, though I myself am immersed in an ocean of work and preoccupations, often turn in loving admiration and gratitude to those who, for more than a decade, have in the face of constant peril, held fast to the Faith of God, who have survived the greatest ordeal that has ever afflicted the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the West, and who are now forging ahead, united, resolved and consecrated, in the path leading to still greater victories.
I rejoice to learn of the preliminary steps that are being taken to enable the dearly beloved and highly promising German Bahá'í Community to own its first National Haziratu'l-Quds in the heart of that sorely-tried country. The utmost effort should be exerted to complete the present negotiations, and to initiate the national activities in thatPage 130
centre. I will, for my part, assist in any way possible, your assembly, in the historic enterprise which it has launched, and feel confident that the Beloved will bless your efforts, fulfil your highest expectations in this vital sphere of Bahá'í activity.
The dissemination of Bahá'í literature, is moreover, a matter of vital importance, which must be promoted by every means at your disposal. The multiplication of Bahá'í centres, the formation of new assemblies, the consolidation of newly-established groups, constitute, likewise, the primary objective of your assembly, demanding constant exertion, watchfulness and guidance on your part, as well as full support and still greater sacrifice by the rank and file of the believers.
The promotion of the interests of the Austrian believers, owing to their proximity to your country, their past association with you and their practical isolation from the Bahá'í centres in East and West, should be regarded as one of your outstanding tasks, and I trust that every obstacle will be surmounted, enabling you to enrich thereby the record of your distinguished services to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.
The path you are treading is hard and stony and beset with many pitfalls. The tasks you are called upon to discharge are varied, complex, urgent and gigantic. The resources at your disposal are meagre. The hour, however, for raising the call of Bahá'u'lláh is propitious. The hearts of your countrymen, prepared by bewilderment and suffering, are ready to resound to His message. You stand at the threshold of a new and glorious era in the evolution of His Faith in that land. The opportunities of the present hour are priceless and may never recur again. Time is pressing. The eyes of your fellow-workers in both Hemispheres are fixedPage 131
upon you. Our beloved Master who showered, through His visit and His messages to you, so much love and encouragement and so many blessings, is watching over you from on high, ready to sustain your efforts and lead you on to victory.
That you may rise to still greater heights of heroism, that you may discharge befittingly your sacred responsibilities, that you may adorn the annals of your Faith with still greater evidences of your devotion, courage and perseverance, that you may achieve your high destiny as the torch-bearers of the light of Divine Guidance to the neighbouring countries in that continent, is the object of my fervent prayers at the holy shrines, and the dearest wish of my heart.Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================15 November 1947 (Teaching Conference)
Your message to our beloved Guardian reached him, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf, and to tell you of how delighted he was to learn of your Teaching Conference.
Such gatherings are a great stimulation to the work of the Cause, and inspire the believers to go out and spread the Divine Message. He hopes others will be held, as time goes by, in different parts of the Country, so that many more of the friends can attend them.
He assures you all of his loving prayers for your welfare and your Bahá'í work. ...Page 132
May the Beloved aid you to extend continually the range of your truly meritorious services, win memorable victories in the teaching field, and promote, in a most effective manner, the vital interests of the institutions of our glorious Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================17 January 1948
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY CUT OUT NOTE TO PRAYERS ENCLOSED IN THEIR LETTER DATED DECEMBER 19.SHOGHI RABBANI
========================================================28 February 1948
Your communication addressed to our beloved Guardian, and dated Jan. 25th, has been received, and he has instructed me to answer you all on his behalf.
He was most happy to see that there are so many Bahá'í Youth and children in Vienna. Although your number may seen small to you, it is the beginning of something very important, the beginning of the spread of this Divine Faith amongst the youth of Austria.
He, therefore, urges you to persevere in your devotion to the Cause of God, to study its teachings deeply, and to mold your conduct into the pattern of true Bahá'í life.Page 133
He will pray for you all, that God may bless, guide and protect you in every way. ...Dear and valued co-workers:
I was so glad to receive your message and to learn of your continued efforts in the service of our Beloved despite the severe trials you have suffered and are still suffering. You are often in my thoughts and prayers, and I will supplicate the Beloved to guide your steps, remove every obstacle from your path, and aid you to extend the range of your valued activities, and win signal victories for His Cause and its institutions,Your true brother,
========================================================1 April 1948
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY HAVE INSTRUCTED AMERICA TO SEND FOOD PARCELS FOR SUMMERSCHOOL.SHOGHI
========================================================11 May 1948
Your communications, addressed to our beloved Guardian, and dated January 11th, February 14th, and March 31st, have been received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
The progress the Faith is making in Germany is a sourcePage 134
of great happiness to him, and the list you sent him, showing the large increase in the number of assemblies, groups and isolated Baha'is, greatly encouraged him, and he hastened to share this good news with the friends in other countries.
He was, likewise, very pleased to see that the Esslingen School is going to be so well attended, and that your assembly is so wisely making this spot a rallying point for Bahá'í Youth and their friends. Upon receipt of your letter he cabled Mr. Holley to send the food parcels you required for the Summer School, and he hopes that these reach you safely.
He is delighted over the signs of maturity which are becoming increasingly evident in the German Bahá'í Community. Not only is your membership steadily increasing and the number of your assemblies multiplying, but also the fact that most of the believers are realizing the need for breaking off their church membership and standing forth as members of an independent Faith; all these are welcome signs of progress and maturity. And in view of this expansion in Bahá'í membership, and the consequent rapid increase in the number of Spiritual Assemblies, he feels that from now on you should increase the number of delegates, apportioned to the German and Austrian Bahá'í Community, from 19 to 38, (which is of course, twice nineteen.) This will ensure a fairer representation of the numerical strength of the Bahá'ís at their annual Convention, and enable the assemblies having a large community to receive more proportioned representation.
The Cause of God must be protected from the enemies of the Faith, and from those who sow seeds of doubt in the hearts of the believers, and the greatest of all protections is knowledge: there is no doubt that the silliest of all chargesPage 135
ever made is that the "Will and Testament" of the Master is a forgery! It is all in His own hand, sealed in more than one place with His own seal, and was opened after His death by some members of His own family, who took it from His own safe, in this house, and from that day it has been kept in the safe under lock and key. The charges of Mrs. White were the result of an unbalanced mind. No other enemy, even those who were shrewd and clever, made this foolish accusation! The case of Ahmad Sohrab is, for one who has had any experience of orientals and of psychology, easily understandable. He was, for some years the secretary of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and enjoyed, as a result of this and the fact that he accompanied Him to America, (to be sure with a number of other Persians), a great deal of attention from the Bahá'ís who looked up to him and admired him. However, since the Master's Will was read, and the administrative order, under the Guardianship, began to be developed, he became cognizant of the fact that his personal ambition for leadership would have to be subordinated to some degree of supervision; that he would have to obey the National and local assemblies - just like every other Baha'i, and could not be free to teach wholly independent of any advice or supervision. This was the beginning of the defection which in the end took him outside the pale of the Faith: he refused not to be handled always as an exception, a privileged exception. In fact, if we keenly analyse it, it is almost invariably the soaring ambition and deep self-love of people that has led them to leave the Faith. Towards the end Sohrab used, in the course of his lectures, to incorporate quotation after quotation of Bahá'u'lláh's words in his lectures, without once stating they were Bahá'u'lláh's, and when the believers remonstrated with him over this plagiarism, it had no effect. After he had, of his own accord,Page 136
left the organized body of the Faith and refused to be reconciled with it, he began to attack the administrators of it, first the American N.S.A., then the entire administrative order, and in the end the Guardian. What he teaches at present is so far divorced from our beloved Faith, and so tinged with the doctrines of many "cults" which we see thriving at present, as to be almost unrecognizable. Sohrab's influence and activities in America have waned greatly, and he seems to now feel his only chance of causing mischief is to be active with his "caravan" movement abroad. The books and articles he published attacking the Guardian and, in fact, everything established in the Master's Will, had no effect, and far from succeeding in causing any breach in the Faith in America, some of the very few who followed him out of the Cause, gave him up, and returned to serve the Cause with redoubled enthusiasm!
The Guardian feels that one of the best antidotes to those - Sohrab or others - who seek to undermine the faith of the believers, especially by harping on the subject of excommunication, is to place in their hands a German edition of "God Passes By". For in that book he (the Guardian) has clearly pointed out that the Cause of God has always been attacked from within, and that, beginning in the days of the Báb, the "Sea of Truth" has over and over cast out its spiritually dead. It must do this, even as the body seeks to rid itself of poisons so as to preserve the health of the entire organism.
Your assembly should do all it can to protect and educate the believers so that they will understand that it is not personal ill-will, or lack of love, which leads to the excommunication of a person, but rather the fact that he has become like a cancer which must be removed before the entire body is destroyed.Page 137
He is very anxious to have the work on the National Headquarters in Frankfurt a.M. reported to him, and to receive pictures of the building purchased, for publication in "Bahá'í World".
The way the work your Assembly is doing is progressing, pleases him greatly, and he assures you all of his loving prayers on your behalf, for your protection and your success. ...Dear and valued co-workers:
The marvellous progress achieved in recent months by the virile, steadfast and dearly beloved German Bahá'í community has rejoiced my heart, and deepened the admiration of the followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in every land, for the qualities of mind and heart that distinguish the adherents of this Cause in your country.
The marvellous increase in the number of newly-enrolled believers, the multiplication of groups and assemblies throughout the length and breadth of your land, the purchase and projected restoration of the national Haziratu'l-Quds in the city of Frankfurt, the impetus lent to the translation and publication of Bahá'í Literature, the receptivity shown by your country-men to the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, the consolidation of the various agencies of a steadily expanding Administrative Order in the various zones of your country - all these augur well for the complete fulfilment of 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í glorious prophecies regarding its future.
The doubling of the number of delegates to the next Bahá'í national convention will eloquently testify to this remarkable growth and rapid consolidation of the community you are privileged to serve and direct. The interests of the Austrian Bahá'í community should, whilePage 138
the work is steadily progressing in Germany, be vigilantly and determinedly promoted. Through guidance, assistance, encouragement, frequent visits when ever possible, the community of the believers in Austria should be nursed and prepared to discharge befittingly its sacred responsibilities, until such time, as has been the case with Canada, as it can elect its own national assembly and assume independent existence within the world-wide Bahá'í community.
At this propitious moment in the evolution of the Faith in your country, at a time when the American, the British, the Indian, the Persian, the Australian, the Canadian and Iraqi national Bahá'í communities are busily engaged in prosecuting specially conceived Plans for the systematic propagation of the Faith within their respective countries and beyond their confines, it is only fitting for a community as old and honoured as yours, which has survived such cruel blows, which occupies so enviable a position in the heart of Europe, the recipient of so great a measure of bounty and loving-kindness from 'Abdu'l-Bahá, to formulate its own Plan, preferably a five year Plan, destined to culminate in 1953, the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Mission in the Siyah-Chal of Tihran.
As to the objectives of the Plan, in both Germany and Austria, I feel that your assembly should carefully consider them, and after mature deliberation announce them to the believers and ensure, by every means in its power, the attainment of every goal you set yourselves to achieve.
The launching of such a Plan, after the consolidation of the institutions of the Faith, during the three years that have elapsed since the termination of the war, will constitute a landmark in the history of the Faith in that country, and will, no doubt act as a tremendous magnet, drawing the blessings of Bahá'u'lláh, and contributing, to anPage 139
unprecedented degree, to the establishment of His Cause in the heart of Europe.
I long to hear the joyful tidings announcing the formulation and inauguration of such a Plan, which will greatly stimulate the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in East and West, and enrich the annals of His Faith during the opening decade of the second Bahá'í century.
May the Spirit of our beloved Master, watching from on high over the destinies of this highly promising, this richly endowed community, enable it to usher in this new phase of internal development of His Father's Faith in that country, in a manner that will redound to the fame and glory of His German-speaking followers.Shoghi
========================================================28 May 1948
DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE DELIGHTED PROGRESS URGE PERSEVERANCE FERVENTLY PRAYING GREATER VICTORIES.SHOGHI
========================================================18 October 1948
Your letter of Aug. 29th, with translation of some enclosures, was received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
Regarding the matter of the Fund for Germany now held in Tihran: Unfortunately the exchange rate of the PersianPage 140
Tuman into Swiss (or American or British) money is extremely unfavourable, and he considers that your loss would be far too great to transfer, at the present time, the entire sum from Tihran to Switzerland. It is also extremely difficult to get money out of Persia, which now has financial restrictions similar to so many other countries. However, he is investigating at the present moment the possibility of having a sum to meet your immediate requirements transferred from Persian to Switzerland, and the moment he can arrange this he will notify your assembly.
The devoted services of the Bahá'í youth rendered in clearing the Hazira property of debris, was much appreciated by him, and he wishes you to please let them know he admires their spirit which is demonstrated in such a useful manner!
He was very sorry to hear of the sad and untimely death of dear Mrs. Brauns-Forel. Her services, always rendered with such unflagging devotion, will be sorely missed by her co-workers in Germany. He hopes her daughter will arise to take her mother's place in the active work of the Cause.
He trusts that now your assembly is able to render more active assistance to the Austrian believers and to stimulate them in their work. Recent reports seem to indicate the Vienna Bahá'ís are more active and determined than ever before in their history.
He hopes the construction of the Hazira in Frankfurt will now be able to go ahead at a rapid pace. You may be sure he will do all he can to assist you in this essential enterprise.
You are all remembered in his prayers with much love, and he is very pleased over the way the Faith is progressing in Germany. ...Page 141
I am delighted to hear of the energetic steps that have been taken in recent months in connexion with the establishment of the Haziratu'l-Quds in Frankfurt. This institution, the center round which all national Bahá'í activities must revolve, should be made the object of the special care and solicitude of the entire community of the German believers in the years immediately ahead. Upon it will depend the coordination, consolidation and expansion of the collective efforts of the members of this community, which occupies so vital and pivotal a position in the heart of the European continent. Parallel with this conscious, this determined and persistent effort, assiduous endeavours must be constantly and increasingly exerted by your assembly to multiply the administrative centres, increase the number of the active supporters of the Faith, proclaim its verities wisely, unreservedly, far and wide, disseminate its literature, vigorously and systematically, and deepen, by every possible means, the understanding and the devotion of its adherents. That these immediate objectives may be speedily attained, and enable the members of this valiant and sore-tried community to embark on a carefully conceived Plan in the years that lie ahead, is my fervent and constant prayer.Your true and grateful brother
========================================================20 October 1948 (Summer School)
Your letter to our beloved Guardian, dated September 9th, was received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.Page 142
He was delighted to see so many of the dear German friends had attended the school, for in this loving Bahá'í association and study a closer unity is created amongst the believers, and new plans born for the teaching work that lies ahead.
He urges you all to exert every effort to spread the Faith in these dark days of crisis the world is still passing through, for in the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh alone can the people find hope, peace and comfort.
He assures you all of his most loving prayers on your behalf, and for the success of your devoted services. ...Dear and valued co-workers:
Your joint message truly cheered my heart and served to remind me of the great company of my dearly-beloved brethren who have toiled so devotedly in the past, and are so energetically pursuing their historic tasks at present, in the service of our glorious Faith, I will continue to supplicate the Beloved to bless continually your high endeavours, to enable you to extend the range of your splendid activities, and to lend a tremendous impetus to the onward march of the Faith in your promising country,Your true and grateful brother
========================================================20 October 1948
Your letter to our beloved Guardian, dated Sept. 15th, was received, and he wishes me to thank you on his behalf for your loving thought in sending him birthday greetings.Page 143
He was very pleased to see the Esslingen School program, and to note that four sessions were being held in the summer. This school is a rallying point for the German believers, and greatly stimulates their unity and their enthusiasm.
The world outlook is so dark and over-clouded that the believers must labour day and night to give the people the message of Bahá'u'lláh, and instill in them some hope for the future. We can see more and more of the predictions of the beloved Master being fulfilled, as humanity persists in its waywardness and spiritual blindness. There is no other remedy except this Cause.
He assures you all of his most loving prayers, and he deeply appreciates your devoted services. ...
P.S. I am sending through you the Guardian's answer to the Esslingen Summer School attendants, as their envelope had no address on it. Please share it with the friends."[Following appended by Shoghi Effendi:]"
May the Beloved of our hearts guide and sustain you, reward you abundantly for your valiant deeds, aid you to extend the range of your beneficent services, and enable you to contribute, continually and effectively, to the multiplication and consolidation of the institutions of our glorious Faith,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================14 September 1948
COMMUNICATE GERMAN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY THE FOLLOWING INFORM ENTIRE GERMAN BAHAIPage 144
COMMUNITY DISOBEDIENCE MISCONDUCT FAITHLESS BROTHER HUSSAYN NECESSITATED HIS EXPULSION. OWING HIS POSSIBLE VISIT GERMANY AND HIS PERSISTENT ASSOCIATION WITH COVENANT BREAKERS WARN BELIEVERS ANY COMMUNICATION WITH HIM CONSTITUTES DISLOYALTY TO COVENANT ABDUL- BAHA.SHOGHI RABBANI
========================================================21 December 1948
CONVEY FOR JAEGER STUTTGART DEEPEST APPRECIATION FOR TRANSLATION OF GOD PASSES BY.SHOGHI RABBANI
========================================================5 January 1949 (Summer School)
Your loving message, sent to our beloved Guardian from the 8th Summer School of Esslingen, was received, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was very glad to see dear Mr. Remey had been present at that occasion, as he is a faithful and devoted old believer, and has been serving the Cause since its earliest inception in the West.
He urges you all to concentrate your efforts on the all- important work of teaching the Cause and spreading it to new centers.
You may be sure he will pray for you all in the Holy Shrines, and for the success of your labours. ...Page 145
May the Almighty bless your meritorious efforts, guide and sustain you in your valued activities, enable you to deepen continually your knowledge of the fundamentals of His Faith, and lend a tremendous impetus to the advancement of its new-born institutions,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================24 February 1949 (Summer School)
Your letter to our beloved Guardian was for some time held up in reaching him. But he was most happy to see so many of the dear friends had gathered at Esslingen school for the 3rd session.
It is most encouraging to see the way this important institution has grown since the end of the war and became a focus for Bahá'í students. He hopes it is the foreshadowing of a true Bahá'í University which some day must form part of the activities of our glorious Faith.
The Guardian urges you, one and all, to work together, in the utmost unity and love, to spread the Message throughout Germany, and particularly to teach the Youth and enlist them in the ranks of the Faith.He will pray for you all in the Holy Shrines. ...
May the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh guide and sustain you in your labours, enable you to extend continually the range of your valued activities, deepen your knowledge and understanding of the essential verities of His Faith, and aidPage 146
you to lend a great impetus to the multiplication and consolidation of its divinely-appointed institutions,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================28 March 1949
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY OWING LOSS INVOLVED PRESENT EXCHANGE ADVISED TEHERAN FORWARD FIVE HUNDRED POUND.30 March 1949
TRANSMIT FOLLOWING GERMAN ASSEMBLY DEEPLY GRIEVED SPIRITUAL POSITION GERMAN BAHAI COMMUNITY STEADILY DETERIORATING. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MUST ARISE LOYALLY VIGILANTLY ENERGETICALLY SAFEGUARD FAITH AND CONFIRM BELIEVERS IN COVENANTS BAHAULLAH ABDULBAHA. GRANDDAUGHTER SUBHIAZAL MUST BE SHUNNED ENTIRELY. HISTORY SOCIETY ACTIVITIES COMPLETELY DISASSOCIATED FROM FAITH. ANY MISCHIEFMAKING ORIENTALS MUST BE GUARDED AGAINST. SYMPATHIZERS OF MRS WHITE OR SOHRAB OR DISLOYAL MEMBERS ABDULBAHAS FAMILY INCLUDING MY BROTHER HUSSEIN WHO MAY VISIT GERMANY THIS SUMMER MUST BE WATCHED AND WARNED AND IF NECESSARY EXPELLED. COMPROMISE INDECISION PROCRASTINATION WILL CAUSE CRISIS AS SERIOUS AS HERRIGELS. IF APPEAL INHEEDED GREAT SUFFERINGPage 147
AND LOSS COMMUNITY WILL ENSUE THOUGH FAITH WILL EVENTUALLY TRIUMPH.SHOGHI RABBANI
========================================================20 April 1949
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY HOLDING CONVENTION ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL ALSO ELECTION NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. PRAYING UNITY WELFARE DEAR GERMAN BELIEVERS.SHOGHI
========================================================27 March 1949
TRANSMIT GERMAN ASSEMBLY FOLLOWING ELECTION NATIONAL ASSEMBLY MUST NOT BE DELAYED PRAYING HARMONY UNITY COMMUNITY.SHOGHI
========================================================30 June 1949
TRANSMIT GERMAN ASSEMBLY GREATLY APPRECIATE RESPONSE ARDENTLY PRAYING RESTORATION FULL HARMONY COOPERATION ASSEMBLIES AND INDIVIDUAL WITH ELECTED NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ENERGETICALLY.Page 148
========================================================30 June 1949
Your letters to our beloved Guardian, dated Oct. 17, 22, Dec. 19 - two of this date - Nov. 21, 23, 1948 and Jan. 9, 23, Feb. 28 and May 4, 15, of 1949, as well as their numerous enclosures, have all been received and I am instructed on his behalf to answer them. He regrets the long delay in replying to you, but he is very busy, and he was also anxious to receive as complete a picture of the situation as possible in order to better advise you on the difficult situation which has arisen.
Before going into this matter he wishes to assure you that he was delighted with the 5 Year Plan your assembly has formulated, to which he attaches great importance.
Likewise, he was very pleased that the annual convention, though not a very happy one, unfortunately, was held in Frankfurt.
He was likewise, very happy to learn that the N.S.A. is now in full accord with .. about the work on the National Hazira in Frankfurt, and to hear that the transfer of funds from Tihran via Switzerland to your assembly had been worked out in the way most advantageous for you.
The good news that the much needed Esslemont books are now in Germany, and the "Hidden Words" being printed there, was also very welcome. He cabled you in answer to your letter about the "Hidden Words". But wishes to make it quite clear that the "Anmerkungen" is not correct. The genuflections and washing of hands and face (as clearly put down in "Prayers and Meditations of Bahá'u'lláh", which he himself translated,) associated with the two longer daily prayers (obligatory prayers) are laws ofPage 149
Bahá'u'lláh, applicable to any Bahá'í whether of Muslim background, Christian background, or otherwise. It is blasphemy to suggest otherwise. However, the Bahá'ís have been left free by Bahá'u'lláh to choose one of the 3 obligatory prayers, and those who prefer not to perform these acts can say the very short one. He would like to add, however, that he deeply appreciates the work done on this translation by ... and other of the friends, and is delighted it has been published.
He very deeply appreciates your assembly's assurance of its abiding loyalty to him and to the Master's Will and Testament. As you can well imagine this disaffection of the Master's Family has been a very sad and heavy blow to him; but, although for many years he shielded them with his silence, in the end he was forced to speak out in order to protect the Faith. For a hundred years our beloved Cause has suffered from these internal afflictions, and the way the believers, generation after generation, have met this test with steadfast faith, loyalty and devotion, is one of the signs that this is the Cause of God, divinely protected through the Covenants of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master.
Regarding the crisis which has arisen among the believers because of the charges made by ... and others,, the circular letter issued by your body, etc., etc.
The Guardian feels that although there is no doubt this has produced a very grave situation, threatening the stability and the unity of the entire community, it can be successfully overcome and lead to a new stage of unity and progress in the Faith in Germany. We Bahá'ís can always, with the aid of Bahá'u'lláh, Who is ever ready to strengthen and assist us,, turn our stumbling blocks into stepping stones, and utilize the often violent forces released by sincere but perhaps misguided friends, as a positive streamPage 150
of power by turning them into productive channels instead of destructive ones.
Fundamentally he feels that the cause of this present crisis arises from the fact that the German community so long suppressed, disorganized, deprived of literature, and the visits of friends from countries where the believers have always been free to be Bahá'ís and have, consequently, evolved their administration of the Faith's affairs to a higher point of efficiency, - has had no opportunity to develop the administration of its Bahá'í affairs, and also, no opportunity of maturing as Bahá'ís living within a smoothly-working Administrative Order. Consequently the troubles experienced at present may be said to be largely caused by immaturity in their understanding of the administration.
Linked with this is the fact, which he mentioned in his cable, that the Bahá'ís need to be deepened in their knowledge and understanding of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. They should study this, and the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, for it is obvious that they do not - for the most part - fully visualize the greatness, the glory, the power and the protection which have been conferred on this Faith through the Institutions provided for in the Master's Will.
In going over the correspondence and documents forwarded by your Assembly (which he appreciated receiving as it gave him a clearer picture of the entire situation) he was struck by the actions and statements, of both individuals and assemblies, showing a complete lack of knowledge of how to function administratively. In view of this it may, if the friends make an effort and sincerely seek to unite and progress, prove providential that this whole thing has occurred. He was impressed, in this connection, with the wisdom and tolerance of the remarks of Mr. OskarPage 151
Schmitt in his letter to your Assembly, and he hopes that all of the believers will take this kindly and tolerant view, for the friends, in their desire to do the right thing, and undoubtedly our of their genuine devotion to the Cause, seem to have gone to every extreme in their reactions. In doing this they have paradoxically demonstrated both their devotion to the Cause and their complete lack of a profound understanding of the administration.
Quite frankly, the Guardian feels that the circular letter of your Assembly was unfortunate. You were entirely within your right, as the National Body, to issue such a letter and the violent reactions of the secretaries of various assemblies, and some of the assemblies themselves, and many individual believers as well, showed a complete lack of understanding of administrative procedure. The friends should realize that the National Body has authority over the local assemblies and the believers in administrative matters. One of the fundamentals involved in our administrative order, which we must remember will become the pattern for our World Order, is that even if an assembly makes an ill-advised decision it must be upheld in order to preserve unity of the community. Appeal can be made from the Local Assembly's decision to the National Assembly, and from the National Assembly's decision to the Guardian. But the principle of authority invested in our elected bodies must be upheld. This is not something which can be learned without trial and test. The Bahá'ís in other countries often have their difficulties in learning to live as believers in an orderly community, governed by the administrative principles laid down by the Master. But, having been free, they have, for the most part, reached a more mature understanding than their German brothers and sisters have up until the present time. He hopes this whole episode will stimulate thePage 152
German assemblies and believers to really study the Bahá'í administration.
He wrote the ... Assembly urging upon them the necessity of cooperating with the National Assembly. He also pointed out to them that the attitude of "all for one and one for all" was very incorrect. An assembly constitutes within its area of jurisdiction the Trustees of the Faith. Its members must at all times put the interests of the Faith above personality and impartially go into any matter brought to its attention. Theoretically it is always possible for a member of an assembly to be unworthy or insincere. To take the attitude that any blame cast upon or any charge made against an assembly member is a charge against the body itself is very wrong. An assembly must protect the Faith and neither blindly accuse nor blindly defend one of its members. The ... Assembly has taken the attitude that the remarks referring to ... are an insult to the entire Assembly; at the same time it accuses the National Body of being dominated by one individual, an accusation which because of its own attitude could equally well be aimed at itself! The Guardian feels that all this is only evidence of the immaturity of the friends in relation to their Administrative Order.
The Bahá'ís must learn to forget personalities and to overcome the desire - so natural in people - to take sides and fight about it. They must also learn to really make use of the great principle of consultation. There is a time set aside at the 19 Day Feasts for the Community to express its views and make suggestions to its Assembly; the Assembly and the believers should look forward to this happy period of discussion, and neither fear it nor suppress it. Likewise the Assembly members should fully consult, and in their decisions put the interests of the Cause first and not personalities, the will of the majority prevailing.Page 153
Over and over, in going through the correspondence he received from your Assembly, he was struck by the fact that the friends acted so unadministratively. Instead of taking up their accusations and problems and unhappy feelings with their local Assembly, or the National Assembly, they referred to individuals or individual members of the Assembly, or they refused to meet with the Assembly. The first thing a believer should do is to turn to an Assembly - That is why we have assemblies! He feels this trouble would never have arisen if the Bahá'ís utilized their assemblies as they should. One of the healing remedies Bahá'u'lláh has given to a sick world is the Assembly (which in future will become a House of Justice); its members have very sacred and heavy responsibilities, its power to steer the Community, to protect and assist its members is likewise very great.
..., a most loyal and devoted believer has assured the Guardian she will fully support and cooperate with the N.S.A. He hopes you will give her every assistance in this resolve and, indeed, encourage her to stimulate the believers in their support of their administrative bodies and teach them to turn to them and make better use of them.
In this connection he would like to point out that nay Bahá'í can write to him directly. This is the privilege of everyone.
He feels that ..., a most loyal and devoted servant of the Cause, communicated with ... in her ardent, and very wise desire, to promote closer unity among the German friends. He feels your Assembly should over-look this, as the motive was undoubtedly a very noble one.
He was very glad to receive the letter of ... and he feels sure he will do all in his power do dispel the impression ofPage 154
his attitude towards the Covenant, which has been spread about among some of the friends.Dear and valued co-workers:
The course of recent developments in the life of the German Bahá'í community has given rise to considerable anxiety and caused me grave concern, in view of the eminent position which the collective achievements of its members have enabled it to obtain on the morrow of the severest crisis which it has experienced in its history.
The spiritual vitality which the individual lives of its members have so abundantly demonstrated, the resilience of which it has, as an organized body, shown itself to be capable, the soundness of the foundation on which its collective life has been built in the years preceding the great ordeal which it has survived; the remarkable rapidity with which it has rehabilitated its fortunes since the cessation of hostilities, have evoked in every Bahá'í heart feelings of profound affection and admiration for both the representatives of that community and the mass of believers constituting the body of the faithful in that land.
The hopes that have been raised must never be allowed by those who actively participate in the life of so virile a community to be disappointed. The structure now being reared so laboriously on so solid a foundation must, under no circumstance, be jeopardized through neglect, dissension or deviation from established principles whether spiritual or administrative in character. The process that has been set in motion, after so long a period of forced inactivity, which is lending so great an impetus to the multiplication of the institutions of the Faith and their consolidation, must, in no wise be arrested or even retarded through any misunderstanding, insubordination orPage 155
contention between the voting members of the community and its elected representatives whether local or national.
A strict and undeviating adherence to the spiritual laws and administrative principles constituting the bedrock of the Faith; a constant and complete awareness of the nature, the sacredness and vital importance of the Covenants established successively by Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá; an immediate cessation of every controversy agitating the life of that community in the present and critical stage in its development; close cooperation, complete harmony and continue understanding between the various agencies, whether assemblies or communities participating in its evolution; concentration on the immediate measures required to ensure the total success of the newly launched Five Year Plan, on the part of all its members and their elected representatives; constant vigilance on the part of each and every one of the adherents of the Faith to avoid any act, word or association that would violate its integrity, break its laws, subvert its administrative order, or retard its progress and consolidation - these stand out as the urgent, the sacred and inescapable obligations and responsibilities facing its promoters at this fateful hour in their history.
The immediate past, with all its confused issues and unpleasant memories must be entirely forgotten, if the task that lies ahead is to be efficiently prosecuted. Personal animosities, suspicions, accusations, wounded pride, controversial issues must all be laid aside. Members of assemblies, national and local, must be the first to set a worthy example to their fellow-believers. All thought and discussion must henceforth centre around the measures required to stimulate the growth of the Faith, to deepen and enrich the spiritual life of its members, to familiarize them more intimately with the character and workings of thePage 156
Administrative Order, and enable them to participate more actively in the prosecution of the Plan to which they are committed.
I appeal to them, with all my heart, to close their ranks, purge their hearts, broaden their vision, renew their determination, rededicate themselves to their glorious task, march resolutely forward along the road traced for them by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, beat down every barrier obstructing their path, and press on, confidently, unitedly and uncompromisingly, until their goal is attained, and the first stage in the evolution of their collective task is brought to a victorious conclusion.
May the Beloved Who loved them so dearly, Who participated personally in the initial stage of their evolution, Who cherished such bright hopes for their future and uttered such noble prophecies concerning the greatness of that future, guide their steps, bless their endeavours and fulfil their dearest hopes.Your true brother,
========================================================3 July 1949 (First Pioneer School)
Your message, sent from your school session to our beloved Guardian, reached him, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf, and to assure you he was delighted to see that such a school for pioneering had been held.
He was also very glad to see that the believers are studying the Covenant of the Master. For in the Master's Will and Testament are enshrined the principles underlying the World Order, and unless the believers fully grasp thePage 157
greatness, functions, and purpose of the institutions outlined in that Testament (and elaborated by the Guardian in his book "The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh") they will not be able to properly function as Bahá'ís individually or collectively. The German friends need to acquire a profound understanding of the Bahá'í Administrative Order to enable them to function as a Community, according to Bahá'í laws, and to protect them from tests and the attacks of the enemies of the Faith.Dear co-workers:
I was so pleased and encouraged to receive your message and to learn of the activity you have initiated. I will pray for its success and extension from the depths of my heart. Persevere in your labours, and rest assured that you will be guided, sustained and fully rewarded for your meritorious and timely accomplishments,Your true brother,
========================================================4 September 1949 (Summer School)
Your letter reached our beloved Guardian, and he was delighted to see so many believers and friends were present at the July session of the School, and also to note the excellent course you were given by the teachers and visitors present at the School.
He was also very pleased to see the program for the Youth Week being held in Schwarzwald, and the emphasis which is being placed on teaching the Covenant in both Esslingen and this Youth week he considers very important.Page 158
The German Baha'is, like all the believers everywhere, will be strong, united and protected to the degree to which they are firm in the Covenants of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Master.
He hopes the teaching work in Germany will make great progress, and he urges you all to devote yourselves to this mighty task, and to promoting love and unity amongst the Bahá'ís and a better understanding of the administrative order of our Faith.Dear co-workers:
Your joint message brought joy and gladness to my heart and was a powerful reminder of the staunchness of the faith of the dearly-beloved German believers, their constancy and determination, their thoroughness and diligency in the study of the Faith and of its teachings, and their devotion to the interests of its institutions. I will supplicate the Beloved on your behalf to enable you to acquire a still deeper understanding of the essentials of His Revelation, and to promote, with increasing effectiveness, the best interests of His Cause,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================23 December 1949
CONVEY GERMAN YOUTH COMMITTEE ASSURANCE PRAYERS LOVING APPRECIATION.SHOGHI RABBANI
========================================================6 March 1950
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY MORTGAGE HAZIRA INADVISABLE RELIEF FUND EXHAUSTED. APPROVE RENTING ROOMS.SHOGHI
========================================================13 April 1950
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY PREPARE PROMPTLY MAP GERMANY AUSTRIA SHOWING ASSEMBLIES GROUPS AND ISOLATED CENTRES AIRMAIL HAIFA.SHOGHI
========================================================28 June 1950
Your letters addressed to our beloved Guardian and dated May 26, June 29, August 30 from Mr. Gollmer, November 19, December 7, of 1949,and January 15, February 15, and April 18, of 1950, have been received, as well as their enclosures and other material and photographs sent, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.
The past winter and spring have been very difficult for our beloved Guardian, and this is why he has not been able to reply to you, (or to any other National Assembly), for so long. As you know, he has been carrying on the construction of the first stage, the arcade, of the Báb's Shrine in anticipation of having it finished for the July 9 Centenary Celebrations of His Martyrdom. This necessitatedPage 160
a great deal of excavation of the solid rock behind the Shrine in order to enable the arcade to be built. The Guardian himself supervised this work in order to see it was done the most economical way and as quickly as possible; this took up a great deal of his time and energy.
At the beginning of April, just when he was planning to devote himself to the correspondence of the various N.S.A.'s, Mr. Maxwell, the architect of the Shrine, became very dangerously ill, and until the present time is in the Hospital with special nurses day and night. His condition is now very much better, but the constant worry, and the problems arising daily, have hitherto prevented our Guardian and his secretary from answering any mail. He wishes you to know that these are the reasons you have not heard from him for so long.
In regard to certain matters you raised in your letters: he does not consider it necessary to publish at present "This Earth One Country"; there are other books more urgently needed by the German friends such as "Some Answered Questions" and the "Paris Talks" of the Master.
He sees no objection to your Assembly's renting to suitable tenants some of the rooms in the Hazira of Frankfurt in order to assist you in financing its construction. Also he feels you are free to rent the Bahá'í Hall in that building to groups, who have similar aims to ours, or to the University.
As to purchasing the property next door: although this would be desirable, he feels at present it is out of the question, as you have not got sufficient funds to do so, and are already having difficulty meeting the heavy expenses involved in building the Hazira itself.
The Guardian has already had a sum transferred to Mr. Hofman to meet the expenses of publishing "God PassesPage 161
By". He trusts this important work will soon be in your hands, as it will be of great educational value to the German believers. They are, he feels, just the people to appreciate such a weighty history and review of the Faith.
The whole-hearted response made by the German Bahá'ís to his appeal last year to become united and to deepen their understanding of the Covenant pleases him greatly. He feels this has demonstrated anew the loyalty and faith of this Community, and justifies his hopes for the brilliant future he is convinced lies ahead of them.
The entire Community of friends in Austria and Germany should now concentrate on fulfilling their Plan. The success of the American friends, the remarkable victory of the British Bahá'ís and the Persian believers, the progress being made by the distant communities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as India, Pakistan and Burma, should encourage them to gird up their loins and crown their own efforts with victory.
The Guardian feels sure that, now that a greater degree of unity has been achieved by the German believers, they will find that God gives them far greater strength to carry out their work for His Faith. He assures you he will pray for all the friends to become increasingly as one soul labouring in many bodies.
He will also pray for all the members of your Assembly to be strengthened to perform your historic work successfully.
P.S. He thanks you for the map showing Bahá'í distribution in Germany and Austria, and will publish it in the next edition of "Bahá'í World".Dear and valued co-workers:
The progress achieved by the German Bahá'í communityPage 162
in recent months, under the able direction, and through the constant vigilance and loving care of its elected national representatives, is highly gratifying and fills me with hope, gratitude and admiration for the sterling qualities that distinguish it members in their steadfast service to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. The restoration of harmony and cooperation among the dearly loved, high-minded, great-hearted German believers, the vigorous prosecution of their newly-adopted Plan, the gradual restoration of their newly purchased Haziratu'l-Quds, the steady extension in the range of their publications, and the notable multiplication and consolidation of their rehabilitated institutions, are the latest evidences of the unconquerable spirit and indomitable faith which have consistently animated them in the past, and which have enabled them to weather, in the course of the last world conflict, the severest storm that has afflicted them since the inception of the Faith in their land.
The process of harmonious cooperation and the spirit of mutual understanding, remarkably evident in the life of a newly resuscitated, highly promising, spiritually enriched community must, particularly in its relation with the local communities in Hamburg and Vienna, be steadily fostered, however great the obstacles that may be encountered. The education of the members of the community in the principles and essential verities underlying the Covenants of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá as well as the Administrative Order of the Faith - the twin pillars sustaining the spiritual life and the institutions of every organized Bahá'í community - must, at all costs, be vigorously pursued and systematically intensified. The multiplication and consolidation of Bahá'í administrative institutions, in both zones under the jurisdiction of the elected representatives of the community, and in the neighbouring territory of Austria,Page 163
must be given a fresh impetus through repeated exertions and carefully devised measures. The initial steps, aiming at the incorporation of the National Assembly and of every soundly grounded properly functioning local assembly, should be promptly taken, as a prelude to the establishment of the national and local Bahá'í endowments for the benefit of the entire community. The utmost effort should be exerted to hasten, on the one hand, the completion of the restoration of the national administrative Headquarters, and centralize, on the other, the national activities and manifold agencies of the Faith in that newly-appointed centre established in the heart of that country. Particular attention should, moreover, be given to the vital city of Berlin, its needs, its interests and future prospects. The teaching work, the cornerstone of the Bahá'í Edifice and the primary purpose of every Bahá'í institution, so emphatically stressed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will, should, above all, be reinvigorated and relentlessly expanded. A closer association through correspondence, attendance at Summer Schools, participation at Teaching Conferences and collaboration in publications should be carefully fostered with the sister communities now rapidly emerging on the European continent, in the British Isles, in the North and South American continents, in Asia, Africa and Australasia.
To these immediate tasks, so vital, so sacred, a community, purged in the fires of suffering, revitalized and functioning with unity, zeal, fidelity and enthusiasm, must address itself without delay, with complete dedication and renewed and undefected resolve, as a prelude to the future unfoldment of its mission, beyond the confines of its homeland. For a national community so vibrant with life, so painstaking in its labours, so efficient in its methods, so imperious to the slings and arrows of affliction, occupyingPage 164
so central a position in a continent, so politically confused, so spiritually starved, so socially agitated, and the recipient of such favours and promises, from the lips and pen of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, cannot, if faithful to its destiny, remain confined in its future activities, to the narrow compass of its homeland, and fall behind its sister communities in East and West, which are forgoing ahead and are in addition to their tasks at home, carrying forward the banner of the Faith in both distant lands and neighbouring territories, such as Latin America, the Goal countries of Europe, the Dependencies in the Far North, the Territories of the Arabian Peninsula, Central, East and West Africa, the Islands of the Pacific and South East Asia.
Already this community has, in the years preceding the great ordeal to which it has been subjected, initiated in however tentative a manner, its teaching enterprises beyond the confines of its homeland in one of the neighbouring Balkan Territories, and laid to rest, as an everlasting memorial to its pioneering spirit, the remains of its first martyr in the soil of that Territory.
No more adequate and better field can be imagined, as an outlet for the long-hemmed in energies of a spiritually virile, highly developed outstandingly loyal branch of the family of Bahá'í national communities, than the neighbouring territories situated in the Balkan Peninsula, the Baltic States, and further afield the vast stretches now enveloped in darkness, and whose teeming millions hunger for the Light of God's saving grace and redemptive power.
For so glorious and mighty a mission, this community, however limited its present resource, however circumscribed in its numbers, however formidable the various obstacles that not stand in its path, must, by applying itself assiduously to the tasks of the present hour, prepare itselfPage 165
and acquire the necessary spiritual capacity to launch, in the years that lie ahead and possibly on the morrow of the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's prophetic Mission, the first stage in its historic Mission destined to embrace so vital a section of the European, and so colossal an area in the Asiatic, continents. May this community prove itself worthy of its high destiny.Shoghi
========================================================30 December 1950
NONATTENDANCE FEAST DOES NOT JUSTIFY SUSPENSION VOTING RIGHTS.SHOGHI
========================================================2 March 1951
Your letters dated June 12th, October 23rd, and December 14th, 1950, and February 12th and 13th, 1951, as well as your latest dated 2.3.51, together with their enclosures, have been received, and our beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. The material send under separate cover has also been received.
In regard to the various questions you have raised in your letters, the Guardian does not feel that we are justified in removing a Bahá'í from the voting list just because they resign from the Spiritual Assembly. Although it is considered a moral responsibility on the part of the believers to serve on Spiritual Assemblies if they are elected, if forPage 166
some reason, they feel they must resign from that body - in other words for some really weighty reason - it certainly does not mean that they have lost their Bahá'í voting rights. The friends should be encouraged to shoulder the burdens of the administrative work - on the other hand, they cannot be forced to do so if they have any valid reason to support their refusal.
The Guardian was pleased to note that the Bahá'ís figured on the census for the first time. He hopes that, in the future, your Assembly will be able to establish itself legally in such a manner as to be the absolute owner and the administrator of Bahá'í endowments. If you already have this status, he would like to be informed of it.
A Bahá'í can certainly be an Esperantist. The Guardian does not think that in the case you mention, it is right to ask this old man to resign from his Masonic Lodge. Generally speaking, the friends should not enter secret societies. It is certainly much better for the believers to dissociate themselves from such organizations; but as I said, it would seem unnecessary, in this particular case, to ask a very old man to break this connection at the end of his life.
It is most unfortunate that just as the believers in the eastern zone were beginning to be more active and able to keep in contact with your Assembly and with the Bahá'í in other parts of the world, they should now be suddenly entirely cut off and their activities banned. He feels, however, that your Assembly has taken the wise decision in regard to connection with them. If, through any personal letters, it is possible to assure them of his prayers, he would like you to please do so.
He is very glad to hear that the National Headquarters is now practically finished; and assures your Assembly that he approves of your raising a first mortgage on it, provided thisPage 167
is absolutely necessary, and you are sure that you can handle the repayment of it in the future. He would prefer, naturally, that this building which is of such importance to your national activities, and of which the believers are all so proud, should be free of any incumbency.
The desire of the German believers to participate in the construction of the Holy Tomb of the Báb touches him very much; and he would suggest that, as it is not feasible at present for any funds to be sent out of that country, you accept contributions for this Fund and spend them at present in Germany, until such future time as it will be possible to remit the sum to Haifa.
Naw-Ruz and Ridvan are celebrated all over the Bahá'í world according to the solar calendar - there is no difference in the dates in the east or the west.
In regarding to your publishing work: It is most unfortunate that through the delay in printing "God Passes By", you now require such an exorbitant sum to be expended on it, if it is gotten out in England. The Guardian has explained to Mr. Hofman that he feels that unless some arrangement can be made with your Assembly to get out this book with the sum already forwarded by him for this purpose, that it is not possible to go on with the publication at this time, as the funds of the Cause, limited as they are, must now be concentrated on building the upper parts of the Shrine of the Báb. If there is any way that your Assembly can arrange with Mr. Hofman to receive a certain number of copies - perhaps unbound - at this time, and have them bound in Germany, he would approve of this, and suggests you look into the matter. Of course, if there was any way Mr. Hofman could transmit to you the money he has received, and you could publish the book in Germany, the Guardian would approve of this.Page 168
He thinks that "Some Answered Questions" is more important in the teaching work than "Paris Talks", and recommends to get "Some Answered Questions" out first.
The Guardian has already written to . . ., asking him to reconcile himself with your Assembly and to entirely forget this episode, which he considers to have been due to a misunderstanding, and certainly not worth the amount of feeling that was expended upon it on all sides. He hopes that your Assembly will accept any overtures he and his dear Father may make, and assist them to put the whole thing behind them, and go on with their active service in the Cause to which we know they are both so attached at heart.
In this connection, the Guardian would like to point out to your Assembly that, although it is sometimes necessary to take away the voting rights of a believer for purposes of discipline, that this prerogative of the National Assembly should be used only in extreme cases. It is very bad for the believers to have the feeling that their Assembly will deal too harshly with them, and the net result can only be that a feeling of fear or alienation or resentment may grow up in their hearts towards the body that they should look to as being, not only their elected representatives, but their helper, - one might almost say their father - and the one to whom they can confidently take their problem, and whose wishes and decrees they will respect and obey unhesitatingly.
The Guardian has never heard of any ruling by which a believer who does not attend three consecutive 19 Day Feasts can be deprived of his voting rights. He does not consider that such action is justifiable at all. The whole question is whether a person considers himself a Bahá'í or not, and is willing to adhere to the principles of the Faith and accept the authority of the Guardian and thePage 169
Administration, - whether that individual is able, or always in a condition psychologically to attend Feasts and Bahá'í meetings is an entirely different subject. If a person makes it quite clear that they do not wish to be considered an active member of the Bahá'í Community and be affiliated with it and exert their voting right, then their name should be removed from the voting list; but if a person considers himself or herself a Baha'i, and for various reasons is not able to be active in the affairs of the Community, then they should certainly not be removed from our voting list, least of all at present, when the number of the Bahá'í Community is so small.
Our beloved Guardian regrets extremely the delay in answering many of these questions. This has been, and still is, an extremely difficult period for him. He has so much work to do - there are so many things to be attended to here in Haifa - with the construction of the Shrine and the administration of the many Bahá'í properties here, and also through the formation of this first International Bahá'í Council, that he is finding it extremely difficult to attend to his correspondence - even such important letters as those he receives from the national bodies.
We are all hoping that this is merely a transitional and difficult phase, and that soon he will be able to find some respite from his heavy duties, and devote more time to taking care of his precious health. If he were not so overburdened with details which, alas, are often very insignificant, he would be able to give out so much more to the believers all over the world. The friends should pray that God will lift some of these burdens from their Guardian, and enable them to receive the full bounties of his mind and spirit, which he could pour forth into the body of the Faith if he were only not so exhausted and preoccupied.Page 170
The increased activity of your Assembly, the increased unity amongst the believers and their evident sense of growing responsibilities, the work already achieved in constructing the national Hazirat - all these things augur well for the expansion of our glorious Faith in Germany and Austria, and undoubtedly are hastening the day when this Community will play a more important role in the international affairs of the Faith, and be able to carry out its own final duties in neighbouring countries, and thus enrich the record of its services to the Cause of God.
He assures you, one and all, of his loving prayers for the success of your work; and deeply appreciates the spirit of dedication which animates your Body.Post Script (March 8)
In regard to the matter you raised in your latest letter, the Guardian does not see how, under present circumstances, he can arrange to transfer any more funds to Germany. He regrets this very much; but, as you know, nothing can be sent out of this country, and the International Fund cannot support any additional work on this national headquarters at the present time. He will pray that this obstacle may be swiftly removed from your path.Dear and valued co-workers:
The progress achieved in recent months, in both the teaching field and the consolidation of national and local administrative institutions, by the German Bahá'í community is highly exhilarating and has served to deepen my feelings of admiration for its members who have so faithfully arisen to compensate for the years of enforced inactivity resulting from the repressive policy followedPage 171
during the last world conflict. The one dark cloud on an otherwise bright horizon has been the disabilities suffered by their brethren and compatriots in the Eastern zone of their divided land and their virtual separation from them at a time when their close association and collaboration would have greatly reinforced the foundations of their common Faith and redounded to is fame and glory.
The field now stretching before the believers constituting the major part of a sundered community is, however, still so vast, its needs so great and its spiritual receptivity so pronounced that they cannot afford to either relax for a moment in their efforts or hesitate in the prosecution of their sacred task. To publicize the Faith and disseminate its literature; to lend an ever-increasing impetus to the multiplication and consolidation of its nascent institutions; to accelerate the incorporations of firmly established assemblies; to overcome by any means in their power the obstacles obstructing the completion of their national administrative headquarters; to persevere in their efforts to guide, encourage and strengthen the community of their brethren in Austria; to prosecute with diligence and determination the Plan they have initiated; to remove, once and for all, every trace of inharmony and of misunderstanding which may linger among some of the members of the community; to forge fresh links with the newly fledged assemblies in the goal countries of the European continent and their subsidiary institutions; to reinforce the ties binding them in particular, to their sole sister national assembly in Europe and other Bahá'í national assemblies in general - these may be regarded as the outstanding and immediate obligations devolving upon the national elected representatives of a community which in the concluding period of the Heroic Age of the Faith hasPage 172
been made the recipient of such marked blessings and favours from the Centre of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant, which on the morrow of His ascension played so notable a part in preserving the integrity of the Cause of God and in establishing the agencies of its rising Administrative Order, which demonstrated in the course of the prolonged ordeal it subsequently experienced, its tenacity, fidelity and exemplary devotion, and which is now preparing itself for the gigantic tasks that await to be accomplished by its valiant members in so large a section of the European and Asiatic continents.
The record of service stretching behind them is indeed highly inspiring. The vision of future victories at home and in distant fields now unfolding before them is even more glorious and highly challenging. The more they consecrate themselves to their present tasks, the more faithfully and promptly they fulfil the requirements of the Plan to which they stand committed, the sooner will they acquire the spiritual potentialities that will empower them to qualify for the successful conduct and the ultimate consummation of so colossal an enterprise destined to shed so great and imperishable a lustre on both their community and nation.
That they may be vouchsafed by Providence all the strength and guidance they require for the attainment of their immediate goal, that they may prove themselves worthy of receiving a still greater measure of celestial strength and Divine sustenance for the achievement of their ultimate objective is the dearest wish of my heart and constant prayer.Shoghi
========================================================30 April 1951 (Convention)
ASSURE ASSEMBLED DELEGATES LOVING FERVENT PRAYERS OFFERED SHRINES CONSOLIDATION EXPANSION MANIFOLD MERITORIOUS ACTIVITIES DEARLY LOVED VALIANT PERSEVERING GERMAN BAHAI COMMUNITY. SUPPLICATING BLESSINGS DELIBERATIONS. URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS TO FULFIL OBJECTIVES PLAN AND PAVE WAY STILL GREATER MORE GLORIOUS ENTERPRISES.SHOGHI
========================================================26 July 1951
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY TRANSMITTING FURTHER CONTRIBUTION NATIONAL FUND.SHOGHI
========================================================9 August 1951
Our Guardian was very pleased to see the Post card of the new German National Bahá'í Headquarters, and also to note the official cancellation mentioning the Bahá'í annual Convention.
He feels sure the Faith in Germany, through means such as these, well attract an ever wider interest in the public at large.
He wishes all of you every success in your devoted services to the Cause of God. ...Page 174
May the almighty abundantly reward you for your labours, guide every step you take in the path of service, and aid you to extend continually the range of your accomplishments, and contribute effectively to the consolidation of the nascent institutions of our beloved Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================27 August 1951 (Summer School)
Your letter of July 22 reached our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
He war very happy to see the friends are now regularly enjoying the use of the National Headquarters which they constructed through so much effort and sacrifice. This marks a great step forward in the progress of the Faith in Germany, and will ever-increasingly lead to bounties and blessings.
He assures you one and all of his most loving prayers for the success of your devoted services to the Cause of God. ... [Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]
May the Almighty reward you abundantly for you steadfast and meritorious labours, aid you to acquire a fuller understanding of the essentials of His Faith, and contribute effectively to the consolidation of its nascent institutions,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================28 September 1951 (Summer School)
Your loving message was received by our beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He war particularly pleased to hear the sessions of the School were carried forward in an atmosphere of love and harmony, as this is the very essence of Bahá'í living.
He urges you all to redouble your teachings efforts in your local Communities, and he will pray for you all. ... [Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]
May the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh sustain and guide you in your meritorious activities, bless your high endeavours, and enable you to lend a great impetus to the consolidation of the institutions of His glorious Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================30 October 1951 (Summer School)
Your greeting reached our beloved Guardian, and he was very happy to see your school had been so successful and well attended.
Hamburg is a very important Center, one of the oldest Bahá'í Centers in Germany, and situated in a position where it can favour the spread of the Faith. It is, therefore, essential for the believers there to be firm and united in serving the Cause, for them to keep in close contact with the National institutions of the Faith in Germany, and to bePage 176
active in teaching, and also in associating with travelling Bahá'ís who pass through their city.
He will pray for the success of your Bahá'í work. ... P.S. He was very interested to see the "Rundbrief" you enclosed."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty bless your high endeavours, guide and sustain you in your meritorious activities, and enable you to promote the best interests of the institutions of His Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================30 October 1951
Your letters dated May 31, August 14, and two of September 16, have been received, as well as other material sent the Guardian by you under separate cover, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
Please note that on behalf of the beloved Guardian I have written direct to ... assuring her of his prayers and his sympathy for her sufferings. Cancer is a most terrible affliction, and has taken its toll of some very fine Baha'is, alas!
The Guardian was particularly pleased to hear so many of the German friends could be present at the E.T. Conference in Holland. This association of the friends is a great stimulus to the work, and he hopes will increase in scale as the situation in Europe improves.
He was also very glad to know your Assembly met with ... and ... as Berlin and Vienna are important centers, and the work needs to be stimulated and fostered in both places, especially Vienna.Page 177
The Guardian feels that the financing of the Hazira - so that debts may not pile up too much - and the teaching work are very important.
To concentrate on achieving the goals of your Plan you should, if necessary, make economies in other directions. In America, for years, the publication of "World Order Magazine" was given up, as it was not essential, and the money in the Fund was more urgently needed elsewhere. He feels that, if necessary, "Sonne der Wahrheit" and the Youth Bulletin can be given up. The Youth can have a place in you regular "Bahá'í News" for themselves. However, these are matters for your assembly to weigh and decide upon.
The most important thing of all, now that greater unity has been established in the German Community, is to make the friends pioneer conscious; they must learn to venture forth, putting their trust in God, and go to new cities and towns to establish the Cause. This will mark an entirely new phase in the history of the Cause in Germany, and will give the Bahá'ís a sense of victory and importance they have never had before. When they see how, after years of persecution, of war, occupation, financial chaos and instability, they have built their Hazira, and moved their National Headquarters to it, they must feel both astonished at their victory and immensely proud. Did they ever believe such a thing could happen? Let them, then, with the same faith and determination, arise and build up new assemblies and groups. They will find that they succeed as they succeeded with their Hazira.
The Guardian remembers you all in his prayers, and is very pleased with the progress so far made by the German friends. But he hopes they will now accomplish still greater feats!Page 178
The Plan now being prosecuted with such diligence, fidelity, unity and enthusiasm by the long oppressed, greathearted, indefatigable, much admired German Bahá'í community, despite the exhaustion following a prolonged ordeal, is entering upon its concluding phase. This first collective enterprise, embarked upon by a community which, by virtue of its size, its experience, its past achievements, occupies a preeminent position in the European continent, and is destined, in view of its capacity, its fortitude, its resilience and tenacity of purpose, to play an outstanding role in both contemporary and future Bahá'í history, must, through a concerted and supreme effort on the part of its members, be brought to a triumphant conclusion.
Its successful termination will be but a signal for a series of enterprises, each more glorious than the one preceding it, which will carry the fame of this community, already tested in the crucible of afflictive trials, and richly endowed by the tender favours of its Founder, Who blessed with His Presence its leading center, to regions far beyond the confines of its homeland and as far as the Eastern fringes of the Asiatic continent.
In such a glorious venture, and in the course of so vast, so momentous and sacred an enterprise, it will, if it discharges manfully its present task, be seconded in its noble exertions by the concerted efforts of all the budding communities in the European continent, and will play a notable role, in collaboration with the trustees of 'Abdu'l-Bahá'í Divine Plan labouring throughout the American continents, and with its sister communities toiling in Africa, South East Asia, and Australasia, in achieving, the spiritual conquest of the entire planet.Page 179
Much depends, however, on the manner in which it discharges the responsibilities of the present hour. The administrative base from which it must spread out into Eastern and Southern Europe, and beyond these spheres into the heart of Northern Asia, as far as the China Sea, must first be thoroughly consolidated. The valiant battalions that are to carry the banner of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh to distant climes, amidst alien races, and throughout the length and breadth of immense territories and in inhospitable surrounds, must, to begin with, increase in number, acquire added experience, and deepen in their faith and understanding. The literature with which the bearers of God's redeeming Message must be equipped when launching out beyond the frontiers of their native land must, preparatory to their arduous crusade, be multiplied and adapted to the mentality of those diversified peoples and races inhabiting so vast a section of the globe.
The Bahá'í Administrative headquarters now being completed in the heart and center of this community's homeland must be speedily consolidated and further extended. The assemblies and groups which, as a result of the operation of the present Plan, must be brought into being, must be safeguarded and strengthened. The spiritual life of its participating members must, while this process of administrative consolidation is being accelerated, be continually enriched, their vision broadened, their understanding deepened, their unity reinforced, their enthusiasm enkindled through the institutions of summerschools, conventions, regional conferences, youth rallies and study classes. The unity and solidarity of the members of this community must be vigilantly safeguarded and constantly reinforced. The ties binding it to it neighbouring sister-community in Austria must be greatly strengthened,Page 180
and the administrative agencies operating in both communities must be closely correlated and the cooperation between them continually fostered.
Then and only then, will this community be empowered to launch befittingly its first campaign across the borders of its native land, and manifest, as it projects itself beyond its national frontiers and diffuses over regions, both far and near, the illuminating radiance of Bahá'u'lláh's redemptive Revelation, the potencies with which its Divine Founder, the Center of the Covenant, endowed it in the course of the last decade of His Ministry.
As the centenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Mission approaches, as the Plan formulated by this Community draws to a close, a supreme effort, unprecedented in its scope and intensity, must be exerted collectively by its members, young and old, an effort that will arouse the admiration of the entire world, that will proclaim its worthiness and capacity to shoulder so immense a task in the future, and which will carry to a triumphant conclusion this initial undertaking, embarked upon by the German and Austrian followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in the heart of the European continent.Shoghi
========================================================18 April 1952
========================================================29 April 1952
DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE ASSURE DELEGATES PRAYING FERVENTLY UNPRECEDENTED BLESSINGS ATTAINMENT OBJECTIVES HISTORIC PLAN LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES.SHOGHI
========================================================30 May 1952
The beloved Guardian has received your letters of January 29, February 13, April 7 and April 14 (2), and May 1, 1952, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was very pleased to hear of the progress the German Bahá'ís are making, not only in their teaching work, as witnessed by the formation of new assemblies and the establishment of new groups, but also in the administrative field.
The reports he received about the success of your Convention this year, the free consultation and the unity which prevailed amongst the friends, encouraged him greatly. He feels that this indicates a new maturity on the part of the German believers. They must come to realize that the Administration is a system both living and dynamic, and that, through obedience to its principles and regulations, they will gain greater strength in teaching the Faith, and be able to direct their energies as a united force into the different channels of service that lie open to them.Page 182
One of the main reasons why the Faith does not advance more rapidly is because the friends have not learned to live with, and work within the framework of the Administrative Order. Either they crystallize it into too set a form, or they rebel against what they feel to be a System, and do not give it sufficient support. Both of these extremes impede the progress of the Faith, and the efficiency of the believers.
In this connection I should like to mention that the Guardian states that the Hands of the Cause are eligible to administrative offices except those permanently residing in Haifa and helping the Guardian in the administrative work. Whenever the time comes when the Hands should give up their administrative offices in order to be more free to serve under his direction, he will inform the friends.
The convention - all Bahá'í Conventions - must be held within the Ridvan period; and he was very pleased to see that you had been able to advance the date of your Convention without affecting its success.
As regards the question you asked, the Bahá'í marriage certificate has been accepted by the Israel Authorities. All the Bahá'í properties and imports are exempt from taxation and customs, and the status of the Faith as a religion, recognized. At present, we are planning to clarify our legal position with the Government, and get in on a more concrete footing. We are not incorporated here, but there are the Palestine Branches of the National Spiritual Assemblies of both the United States and India incorporated here, and holding title to property.
He was very pleased to see that the Secretary is now residing at the Hazira, as he considers this both the proper procedure, and important for the national work.
He was very sorry to learn that you are still having so many financial difficulties in connection with thePage 183
Headquarters, and hopes that, through the self-sacrifice of the believers, the debts can be gradually wiped out, and funds be made available for other important forms of Bahá'í activity.
He thanks you all for the expression of your loving sympathy on the occasion of the passing of dear Mr. Maxwell. His services will long be remembered, and he has had a very great bounty in being permitted to design the Holy Tomb of the Báb.
He assures you all that, in his visits to the Holy Shrines, he remembers you lovingly in his prayers, and supplicates for your guidance and the advancement of your work.Dear and valued co-workers:
From the reports and communications received, in the course of recent months, from your assembly I have derived considerable satisfaction, as I have noted the spirit of wholehearted dedication which has animated its members in the discharge of the manifold duties and sacred responsibilities which have faced them in the execution of their Plan. It is indeed highly gratifying, and a source of great pride, to contemplate the progress that has been made, the consolidation that has been achieved, the great sacrifices that have been willingly undertaken, the enthusiasm, the fidelity and the perseverance that have been so abundantly demonstrated, the publicity that has been accorded the Faith, the plans that have been devised, the marked stimulus that has been given to the activities of the Youth, the harmony that has characterized the collaboration of the oriental and occidental believers, the progress made in connexion with the National Haziratu'l-Quds, the steady expansion of Publishing activities, and above all, the notable improvement in the spiritual life of the community,Page 184
as witnessed by the greater unity, cooperation and understanding prevailing among its members.
As the last year of the Plan, formulated by the German Bahá'í community inexorably should be made to ensure that all its provisions, without any exception, will be fully carried out, that the members of this community may thus acquire the spiritual potentiality regarded as indispensable for the launching of a still greater enterprise, on the morrow of the celebrations of the approaching Bahá'í Holy year - an enterprise that will bring the much-admired, greatly loved, highly promising community of the followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, in both Germany and Austria, into direct association with its sister communities throughout the Bahá'í world for the conduct of the world Crusade destined to immortalize the decade separating the two greatest Jubilees of the second Bahá'í century.
Whilst every ounce of energy will be exerted for the consummation of their present task, special attention should be directed towards the consolidation of the ties, both spiritual and administrative, that must continue to bind the believers in the Western Zone of Germany to their brethren in the Eastern Zone, as well as to those living in the Republic of Austria. A special effort must, moreover, be exerted to improve and consolidate the relationship existing between the German Bahá'í community and the civil authorities, both local and central, in order to give greater publicity to the Faith, and facilitate the expansion of its administrative institutions in the crucial years ahead. No less energetic efforts must be made to stimulate the process of the incorporation of the local assemblies, and to obtain a better legal status for the German Bahá'í National Assembly, raising thereby the status of the Faith andPage 185
consolidating the foundations of its highest administrative agency in the heart of the European continent.
The total success of the Plan, now demanding the concentrated attention of the entire German Bahá'í community, is indeed indispensable for the adequate discharge of the still greater tasks that lie ahead of its members, and which, in themselves, will constitute the prelude to the unfoldment of the glorious Mission awaiting them, as soon as the present obstacles are removed, in both Eastern Europe and the heart of the Asiatic continent. The extent of their future undertakings in both continents; their contribution to the Global Crusade to be launched throughout the whole planet; their particular and, in many ways, unique, reinforcement of the work, connected with future Bahá'í research and scholarship, in view of the characteristic qualities of pain-staking thoroughness, scientific exactitude and dispassionate criticism distinguishing the race to which they belong, - these are too vast and complex to be assessed at the present time.
They, no doubt, stand, emerging as they have done, from two successive world ordeals that have served to purify, vitalize, and weld them together, on the threshold of an era of glorious achievements, both at home and abroad. Their present Plan is but the initial chapter in the history of their collective achievements in the service of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh - a service, anticipated in such glowing terms, by the One, through Whose creative power, this community was brought into being, who nursed it in its infancy, and Who, through His personal visit communicated to it, in a direct and effective manner, the impulse destined to sustain its growth, guide its steps and lead it to ultimate victory.
The participation of the Bahá'í community, in both German and Austria, individually as well as officially, in thePage 186
forthcoming Stockholm inter-continental Conference, to which I trust its members will contribute a notable share, in view of the part they are destine to play in the future awakening of the European Continent - will no doubt, launch them upon the initial stage of their glorious Mission beyond the confines of their respective countries. Theirs will be the two-fold and highly challenging task of consolidating, steadily and rapidly, the administrative foundations of the Structure which is being painstakingly established by them in the heart of the rising order of their Faith in the neighbouring sovereign states and dependencies of that continent and even beyond its borders, as far as the heart of Asia.
Time is running out. The work they have to accomplish is immense, exacting, thrilling and inescapable. The hosts of the Concourse on high will surely lead them onward and assure them a resounding victory, if they but keep their vision undimmed, if they refuse to faint or falter, if they persevere and remain faithful to both the spiritual and the administrative principles inculcated by their Faith.
That they may discharge nobly their trust, that they may emerge triumphant from the first stage of their collective and historic undertaking, that they may set an undying example to their brethren in East and West, of Bahá'í solidarity, of tenacity of purpose, of single-minded devotion, of unrelaxing vigilance, of assiduous labour, of harmonious cooperation, of audacity and of absolute dedication to the aims and purposes of their Faith, is the object of my special, my loving and constant prayers at the threshold of the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh.Your true brother,
========================================================15 June 1952
The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you on his behalf, to request that the information relating to Germany and Austria and their activities, contained in the booklet "The Bahá'í Faith", 'Information Statistical and Comparative', be brought up to date as of May 1, 1952, and sent to him here by the first possible air mail post.
One of the features of the Holy Year will be the re-issuance
of this important book; inasmuch as the Holy Year is fast
approaching, the Guardian wishes information as quickly aspossible.
Briefly, the information which your NSA is to provide, brought up to date of May 1, 1952, is as follows:
"Incorporated Local Spiritual Assemblies in Germany and Austria, showing each country with its Local Assemblies separate."
"Bahá'í Centers in Germany and Austria, showing if possible the division between Local Spiritual Assemblies, Groups and Isolated Believers."
Any information not immediately available, should be handled by telegraph, but such information as is available should not be delayed for any one or two delinquents. You can appreciate that if the booklet is to be published early in the Holy Year, the information should reach the Guardian at a very early date.
The Guardian sends his loving greetings to the National Assembly and its devoted membersPage 188
========================================================9 July 1952
========================================================27 August 1952
========================================================4 October 1952
The beloved Guardian is very anxious to secure the date on which your National Assembly was incorporated.
He also wishes information as to the present value of the National Hazira in Frankfurt.
Will you please send this information to him by return Air Mail, as he wishes it promptly, so that a new statistical book concerning the Faith may be issued promptly.
I am pleased to advise you that the health of the Guardian is good. Likewise of course you will be interested to know that the work on the drum of the beautiful Shrine of the Báb is progressing nicely. The columns between the lancet windows are rising higher with each passing day. The beauty of this Gem on Mount Carmel is attracting widespread interest, not only on the part of the Baha'is, but of the public of the State of Israel as well. ...Page 189
Your letter addressed to the beloved Guardian and signed by all the friends, has been received, and I have been instructed to answer you on his behalf. He was most happy to see that such a large number of the believers were present to gain renewed zeal and inspiration from this important Bahá'í institution.
As he has already informed the friends there, great work lies ahead for Germany in the next ten years, and it is of the utmost importance that all the Bahá'ís prepare themselves for that work now. ... [Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian] May the Almighty abundantly bless your high endeavours, guide your steps, remove every obstacle in your path, and assist you to lend a tremendous impetus to the progress of our beloved Faith,Your true and grateful brother,
========================================================29 November 1952
The beloved Guardian is very anxious to conclude the preparation of the new statistical book to be issued during the Holy year, concerning the status of the Faith over the world.
We still do not have the list of Assemblies, Groups and Isolated Believers in Germany and Austria.
Can you send by return air mail a list of the Assemblies, Groups and Isolated Believers in Germany, and also anotherPage 190
list giving the same information for Austria? In other words, a separate list should be sent for each country.
========================================================8 March 1953
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY COMBINATION BONN OTHER CITIES NOT ADVISABLE. URGE INDEPENDENT ASSEMBLY BONN.SHOGHI
========================================================30 March 1953
========================================================19 April 1953
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY NEW STANDARD CIVIL LIMITS SHOULD BE ENFORCED BY APRIL 1954.SHOGHI
========================================================19 April 1953
Owing to the fact that telegrams and cables going out from here are frequently garbled in transmission and the meaning is not clear, I am mailing to you at the instructionPage 191
of our beloved Guardian, his Message to the German Bahá'í Convention.
Please cable him immediately this Message reaches your hands, so that he will know that you have received it in time for the Convention. It is really a cable which is being mailed to you, in order to prevent errors.
The Guardian hopes the German and Austrian friends will have a wonderful Convention this year, as preparation for the great work that lies ahead of them, and assures your Body of his prayers for the success of the Convention and the manifold activities of the German believers.
========================================================19 April 1953 (Convention)
HEART UPLIFTED PROSPECT GLORIOUS MISSION AWAITING LEADING BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITY EUROPEAN CONTINENT. ITS VALIANT MEMBERS STANDING THRESHOLD PERIOD UNPRECEDENTED EXPANSION CONSOLIDATION INSTITUTIONS FAITH BIDDING FAIR ECLIPSE ANY PREVIOUS PERIOD GERMAN BAHÁ'Í HISTORY. TEN YEAR PLAN DESIGNED CONSOLIDATE INSTITUTIONS GERMANY AUSTRIA INAUGURATE MISSION GERMAN BELIEVERS BEYOND CONFINES HOMELAND INVOLVES FIRST OPENING FOLLOWING VIRGIN TERRITORIES CRETE FRISIAN ISLAND GREECE AS WELL AS CIRCUMSTANCES PERMITTING ALBANIA ESTONIA FINNO-KARELIA LATVIA LITHUANIA MOLDAVIA RUMANIA WHITE RUSSIA SECOND CONSOLIDATION FAITH AUSTRIA AS WELL AS WHENEVER FEASIBLE BULGARIA CZECHOSLOVAKIA HUNGARY POLAND RUSSIAN S.F.S.R. YUGOSLAVIA THIRD CONSTRUCTION MASHRIQUL-ADHKAR FRANKFURTPage 192
FOURTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY AUSTRIA FIFTH INCORPORATION NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY AUSTRIA SIXTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS GERMANY SEVENTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS AUSTRIA EIGHTH ESTABLISHMENT NATIONAL HAZIRATUL-QUDS VIENNA NINTH DOUBLING NUMBER LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES LOCALITIES GERMANY TENTH DOUBLING NUMBER LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES LOCALITIES AUSTRIA ELEVENTH INCORPORATION NINETEEN LOCAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES GERMANY AUSTRIA TWELFTH FORMATION GERMAN BAHÁ'Í PUBLISHING TRUST FRANKFURT THIRTEENTH ESTABLISHMENT ISRAEL BRANCH GERMAN NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY FOURTEENTH FORMATION EUROPEAN TEACHING COMMITTEE DESIGNED STIMULATE COORDINATE TEACHING ACTIVITIES PLAN. MAY ENTIRE COMMUNITY GERMAN AUSTRIAN BELIEVERS AFIRE VISION GLORIOUS DESTINY ARISE CONTRIBUTE NOTABLE SHARE PROSECUTION WORLD CRUSADE CULMINATING WORLD WIDE CELEBRATIONS COMMEMORATING CENTENARY ASSUMPTION BAHÁ'U'LLÁH HIS PROPHETIC OFFICE.SHOGHI
========================================================26 April 1953 (Convention)
DEEP APPRECIATION MESSAGE LOVING REMEMBRANCE SHRINES PRAYING SUCCESS GREAT TASKS AHEAD DETAILED CONVENTION MESSAGE MAILED WEEK AGO.SHOGHI
========================================================5 May 1953
The beloved Guardian has been greatly encouraged by the reports which he has received of the teaching activities throughout the world.
Notwithstanding we have just published the statistical book, giving the number of localities throughout the world where Bahá'ís reside, yet the Guardian would like to have accurate information now, based on the results of the elections on April 21, 1953.
Will you therefore please send to me just as quickly as possible, a statement showing the localities in your country and Austria where Bahá'ís reside, and in each instance, indicate whether it is an Assembly, a Group or isolated believers.
========================================================10 June 1953
Our beloved Guardian has been greatly encouraged by reports reaching him from all parts of the Bahá'í World; of the victories already gained, and the plans being laid for the prosecution of the Ten Year Crusade.
They have evoked his awe-inspiring, and soul-stirring cablegram of May 28th, calling for the immediate settlement of all the 131 virgin areas of the Plan, just as quickly as possible. He is convinced, that the Friends will arise and translate their enthusiasm into Action, because the Keynote of the Crusade must be Action, Action, Action.
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write your Assembly to amplify some of the aspects of his dynamic message.Page 194
The settlement of these virgin areas is of such an emergency nature, that he feels pioneering in one of them takes precedence over every other type of Bahá'í service - whether it be in the teaching or administrative fields of the Faith.
In America some 150 people have volunteered for pioneer service, and some of them already are preparing to leave for their posts. The Guardian has informed the American National Assembly, that because of their being the Chief Executor of the Divine Plan of 'Abdu'l-Bahá for teaching throughout the world, their pioneers may be sent to any virgin area in the world, regardless to which NSA it may be assigned. If any of their pioneers which to pioneer to any of the areas assigned to your Assembly, they will communicate with you.
There are some general observations which the Guardian shares with you, and then some specific suggestions which are enumerated below.
1. Every individual who offers to pioneer, should be encouraged and assisted in every way possible by the National Assembly.
2. Every application for pioneering must be expedited, and not allowed to drag in any way, either in the handling by the NSA or any Committee working out the details for the NSA.
3. The National Assembly must make the settlement of their virgin areas, the first order of their business. In other works nothing is more important at this time, than settlement of the 131 virgin areas.
4. More than two pioneers should not be sent to any one place; except of course, unless they are members of one family. In fact, what is wanted is to settle each area with Baha'is, and therefore, 1 Bahá'í will fulfill the initial task.Page 195
The specific suggestions which the Guardian makes, are: A1. Areas close at hand easy of settlement should be filled first. Then the areas more difficult, and finally, those which will be difficult.
B2. Whenever a pioneer enters a new territory, a cable should be sent at once to the Beloved Guardian, giving the name, place, and any pertinent information.
C3. A report should be sent each month by your Assembly to the Secretary-General of the International Bahá'í Council, giving the progress of your teaching work in new areas of the Plan, particularly the virgin areas assigned to your NSA. This does not mean your assembly should correspond with the International Council concerning administrative matters in connection with the Plan, but that only reports of progress should be sent them. Administrative matters, etc., should be handled by your Assembly directly with the Guardian.
D4. The Guardian feels the following areas should be easily settled, and he would appreciate your arranging to send pioneers there at the earliest possible date:Frisian Island.
Greece - (this is very important, because it is the last national community in Europe without Baha'is).Crete.
After these are settled, others more difficult should be considered.
The beloved Guardian wishes the German Baha'is, likewise to assist more actively in the spread of the Faith in Austria. There should be additional Bahá'í Centers in Austria, and he hopes the German Bahá'ís will be most helpful in accomplishing this.
The Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria have a very great responsibility in connection with the development of thePage 196
Ten Year Crusade. 'Abdu'l-Bahá himself visited your countries. He spoke often and lovingly of the German Friends. Their countries are the heart of Europe, and the heart must be strong and vigorous. Now then, is the time for the Believers to achieve the blessings the Master promised them, by "scattering", and continuously settling new areas. The Guardian will await with keen anticipation reports of your activities in the all important teaching field.
As his dramatic cable indicates, the Guardian will have prepared, an illuminated "Roll of Honor", on which will be inscribed the names of the "KNights of Bahá'u'lláh", who first enter these 131 virgin areas. This "Roll of Honor" will be placed inside the entrance door of the Inner Sanctuary of the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh.
From time to time, the Guardian will announce to the Bahá'í World, the names of those Holy Souls who arise under the conditions outlined in his message, and settle these areas, and conquer them for the Cause of God.
Now is the time for the Bahá'ís of the World to demonstrate the spiritual vitality of the Faith, and to arise as one soul to spread the Glory of the Lord, over the face of the Earth. The Guardian is sure, that the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria who have served and sacrificed so long for the Faith, will continue their glorious record by winning many new victories for the Glory of the Lord.
The Guardian will pray fervently for the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria, and for the success of their efforts.
He will pray for the members of the Assembly, whose sacrificial efforts he will cherish for all time.Page 197
========================================================21 June 1953
Your letters of June 18 and 24, July 29, August 11, October 9, November 27, 1952 and January 5, February 26, March 12 and 18, April 5, May 6 and 31, 1953 have been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
The work has been greatly added to, here at the International Center, owing to the inauguration of the ten Year Crusade. In fact, the beloved Guardian is finding it more and more difficult to keep up with his letters, even the important National Spiritual Assembly ones.
In regard to various matters you have raised in your correspondence with him:
The National Bahá'í Convention must be held during the twelve days constituting the Ridvan period. Each national assembly is free to choose the dates that suit its convenience during the period.
The question of adhering strictly to the principle that every Spiritual Assembly must be composed of voting members living within the civic limits of the town, and that the Bahá'í Community of that town must likewise be composed of residents within its civic limits, is of the utmost importance. It is a matter of fundamental principle, and the Bahá'ís all over the world must conform to it, especially now that the Cause is becoming firmly established in so many nations. There is no objection if the believers living in a certain area comprising a number of civic units, join together to commemorate Bahá'í Holy Days, but Nineteen Day Feasts should be held apart by each Assembly in question. There can be no exceptions to these rules, and although it may temporarily diminish the number ofPage 198
assemblies in your country, you should establish the Cause on this firm foundation by next Bahá'í election.
Please send the Guardian ten copies of the "Paris Talks" and ten copies of "Some Answered Questions" for the international libraries here, and ten copies of any future publication in German.
He was very happy to hear that the visit of the Hands and of other Bahá'ís traveling in Europe, was of such stimulation to the friends.
He hopes that as many of the German believers as possible will attend the Stockholm Conference, which is very important for the future work in Europe, and to which they can contribute a great deal by their presence. ...
As regards the purchase of the land for the future Temple: He thinks it does not need to be in the heart of the city; it could be in the suburbs and an area of ten thousand square metres would be sufficient, less if necessary. The Chicago Temple only seats 1200 people so it is not a very large building. Your Temple could be smaller and competitive designs be submitted. But the first step is to investigate the sites available and inform the Guardian.
The step to which he attaches at present the greatest importance is the dispatch of pioneers under the auspices of your Assembly to the virgin territories allotted to the German and Austrian Bahá'ís under the Ten-Year Plan. Naturally, at present it is out of the question to think of sending anyone into the Soviet-dominated countries. but every effort should be made to get someone off to Greece, a very important country and far too long neglected. This Holy Year should witness, or at least this calendar year, the filling of all goal posts which are not behind the Iron Curtain. He hopes that some one of the friends will be able to find a position in Greece, or to be sent there by you.Page 199
Likewise of great importance is the multiplication of centers on the home front, particularly in Austria where such slow progress has been made. If Austria is to have an independent National Assembly the work in that country must be greatly accelerated in order to provide sufficient local assemblies to serve as a firm foundation for the National Assembly. He hopes that members of the German community will visit and teach there, and use be made of any friends from other countries who may be able to work there under the guidance of your assembly.
His loving thoughts and prayers are with you always, you may be sure.Dear and valued co-workers:
The expansion and consolidation of the institutions of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, as a result of the operation of the Plan initiated by your Assembly, on the morrow of one of the severest ordeals which has ever afflicted the German Bahá'í Community, marks a chapter of the highest importance in the annuals of the Faith in both Germany and Austria and will be regarded by posterity as a milestone of historic significance in the evolution of the Faith on the European Continent. I greatly value the exertions of both the German and Austrian Bahá'í Communities which have, in recent years contributed so decisively to the rise and establishment of the Bahá'í Administrative Order in the heart of that Continent, which is destined to play a notable part in the prosecution of the world spiritual Crusade recently launched under such auspicious circumstances by the followers of Bahá'u'lláh in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
The German and Austrian Bahá'í Communities, on whom 'Abdu'l-Bahá lavished His favours, for whose futurePage 200
He cherished such high hopes, occupying such a central position in a continent endowed with such great potentialities, must by reason of their unique, and predominant position, their past history, their virility, tenacity and splendid accomplishments, assume a preponderating role in the conduct of a Crusade in which all Bahá'í communities dwelling on the European mainland, both young and old, are called upon to participate to the utmost of their capacity and with all the resources at their disposal.
They stand, moreover, at this crucial hour in their destiny, on the threshold of a new era in their history - the era that must witness the initiation of their mission beyond the borders of their homeland, and one which must culminate in their carrying the banner of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh across the eastern frontiers of Europe, and as far as the territories lying in the heart of the Asiatic continent.
Their task is a twofold one. On the one hand, they must strive to consolidate, by every means in their power, the work already accomplished in their homelands; on the other they must initiate the meritorious task of opening the virgin territories and islands allocated to them in pursuance of the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan committed to their charge.
On the homefront the most vital, the most strenuous and glorious task confronting them - a task that will have far-reaching repercussions on not only the fortunes of the Faith in their homeland but on the whole continent as well, and is bound to exercise a far-reaching influence on the destines of the Faith throughout the world - is the initiation of prompt and effective measures for the selection and purchase of the site of the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar in Europe to be followed by the adoption of a suitable design and the necessary steps for its execution.Page 201
This enterprise is admittedly colossal, taking into consideration the circumscribed resources of the two communities and their limited membership. It will, however, as soon as it is set in motion, through the initiative and efforts of your assembly, receive, in view of its cardinal importance and world-wide significance, a substantial measure of assistance from the world centre of the Faith and the various National Assemblies throughout the Bahá'í world.
As soon as the site of the projected House of Worship is selected, either within or in the immediate vicinity of the City of Frankfurt, which, owing to the establishment of the Haziratu'l-Quds within its confines, has come to be regarded as the national Bahá'í Administrative Headquarters of your Assembly, - an area that need not, for the present, exceed one or two acres - steps will be taken by myself as well as by your sister-Assemblies in both Hemispheres to aid you in this historic fate-laden enterprise which will enable the continent of Europe, the third in the Bahá'í world, to boast of having raised in its very heart, its own Bahá'í House of Worship and which will, God willing, through its termination, at the appointed hour, contribute an outstanding share to the projected festivities which are to commemorate the centenary of the Declaration of the Mission of the Founder of our Faith.
Second in importance and no less urgent a task is the opening, ere the close of the current year, of the three virgin territories assigned to your Assembly, through the despatch of at least one pioneer...
While these primary and urgent tasks are being diligently prosecuted, the utmost effort should be exerted to stimulate the all-important process of multiplying and consolidating the newly-established assemblies, groups and isolatedPage 202
centres in both Germany and Austria as the essential pre-requisite to the early formation of independent National Assemblies in both continent, and destined to play so vital a part in the promotion of the interests of the Faith in the heart and in the eastern as well as the southern regions of that continent.
The responsibilities devolving upon these two communities, in the course of the coming ten years are enormous, pressing, sacred and inescapable. The Plan committed to their care will inaugurate a new and glorious stage in the unfoldment of their historic Mission - a stage that will enable them to carry, for the first time in their history and in a systematic manner, the banner of Bahá'u'lláh beyond the confines of their homelands.
Every sacrifice should be made, and all agencies, local, regional and national, must energetically, whole-heartedly, and steadfastly participate, to ensure a worthy inauguration and an efficient prosecution of the Ten-Year Plan, on which the immediate fortunes of these communities must necessarily depend. All without distinction of age, sex or calling should arise and lend, to the utmost of their capacity, an impetus to the progress of this tremendously important and dynamic process now operating in the heart of Europe, and whose possibilities can only be dimly imagined at present.
The hour is propitious for the members of your Assembly, reinforced by the continual, the whole-hearted and strenuous exertions of the entire body of the German and Austrian believers, to distinguish themselves in their ceaseless efforts to attain the objectives of their Ten-Year Plan, by deeds of such valour as will eclipse the feats achieved by them in the past.Page 203
Cognizant of the splendid qualities that have characterized their stewardship to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, fully aware of the services, they have rendered, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá'í activity, despite the sever and prolonged tests and trials which they have experienced, I feel confident that these communities, so valiant, so richly endowed, so tenacious in their faith and sterling in their charakter, will, at this challenging hour grasp this priceless opportunity for the display of still greater heroism and of a still more compelling love and devotion to the Cause they love so dearly, to which they have been so unwaveringly faithful and which they have served so long and so well.Shoghi
========================================================4 August 1953
The beloved Guardian has been greatly delighted with the reports he has received from all over the Bahá'í world of the pioneers who have volunteered for service in the virgin areas. It indicates a very enthusiastic attitude on the part of all of the Bahá'ís toward the Ten-Year Crusade; and he feels sure that if this spirit continues, it will assure us of winning all of the goals set for the Crusade.
The Guardian asks that you send me by air mail, or by cable if possible, the number of pioneer offers which your Assembly has received, the number which have been settled, and the number which you are actively handling for settlement.
The beloved Guardian sends his loving greetings to all the members of your Assembly. He greatly values your devotion and sacrificial services in the Cause of God. ...Page 204
========================================================17 August 1953
The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you on his behalf concerning a gift which has been made by one of the very dear believers in Persia, Mr. ... for the international activities of the Faith.
The Guardian has decided that at present he feels the best use for half of this fund is to ask Mr. ... to give it to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria, to be used for the building of the Temple in Frankfurt. He has written Mr. ... to this effect; therefore in due course you should receive 50000 tumans, or its equivalent in German marks.
When this gift is received from this devoted believer, the beloved Guardian would like you to write an appropriate letter of appreciation for the very generous gift; sending the letter of appreciation to the Guardian, so that he can see that it reaches Mr. ... safely.
The beloved Guardian sends his loving greetings to each and every one of you.
========================================================12 September 1953 (Youth Summer Session)
The beloved Guardian has received the letter which you have sent him, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
Now that the World Crusade has been launched, and is very actively operating, as you have no doubt been informed by those believers who were privileged to attend the third Intercontinental Teaching Conference recently held inPage 205
Stockholm, the Guardian is confident that you are fully conscious of the tremendous responsibilities placed on the shoulders of the German and Austrian Communities during the opening phase of this Ten-Year Crusade; and that you are, one and all, arising to fulfill those tasks in a befitting manner.He will pray for you. ...
May the Almighty bless, guide and sustain you in your devoted endeavours, and enable you to win great victories in the service of His Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================26 September 1953 (Summer School)
The beloved Guardian has received the loving letter you sent him, which was signed by all those who attended the Summer School this year; and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He war very happy to learn of the inspiration and the spiritual impulse given to that gathering by those revered Hands of the Cause of God from different countries who were there on that occasion.
Now that you are all familiar with the goals the Guardian has set before the believers in the German and Austrian Communities, and particularly those requiring consideration first, he is confident that you will arise with one accord to accomplish these tasks in a befitting manner.
His loving prayers will surround you, as you proceed with your historic labours. ...Page 206
P.S. - The Guardian appreciates the copy of the Program and the publicity which you enclosed."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty sustain and guide you in your highly valued activities, enable you to extend the range of your services, and win great and memorable victories in the days to come,Your true brother,
========================================================15 October 1953
It is impossible for me to convey to you the great happiness of the Guardian over the results achieved since the auspicious opening of the Ten-Year Crusade.
The Guardian's final cable to the Conference in New Delhi shared with the friends the information that fifty of the virgin areas have been settled as of October 14th, and fifty-four more have been assigned to pioneers.
The Guardian is urging every National Spiritual Assembly to get out its pledged pioneers to the still unsettled virgin areas as fast as possible.
I attach hereto copy of a letter which has been sent to all pioneers, asking for their complete names, and if possible a permanent address. Will you please arrange for this information to be sent to me as additional pioneers go into the field? What the Guardian wants is the complete name of each pioneer with accurate spelling.
The Guardian sends you all his loving greetings, and assures you of his prayers for the success of your arduous labours. ...Page 207
========================================================26 November 1953
Your loving letter of November 9th reached me on my return from a short visit in Switzerland and France.
I did have the pleasure of meeting the Lehnes in Zurich, and was more than delighted to have this contact with two of the sincere and self-sacrificing German Baha'is, who are now winning so many victories for the Faith.
I spoke to our beloved Guardian with regard to the Frisian Islands. He said that regardless of the fact that a number of the islands are Dutch and others German, that the administrative work in all the Frisian Islands should be under the German N.S.A., as assigned in the outline of the Ten-Year Crusade. The Guardian stated that he had likewise informed the American N.S.A. to this effect.
The beloved Guardian is very happy over the reports that are being received of the progress of the Ten-Year Crusade. All but one of the countries, outside of the iron curtain, have now been settled or assigned to pioneers. The total number of areas which have been settled under the Ten-Year Crusade, during this period of a little over 6 months since its launching, now totals 71. It is surely remarkable, and one of the great victories of the Faith.
The Guardian sends his loving greetings to you. He prays for you guidance and confirmation. ...
========================================================14 February 1954
Your comprehensive letter of February 5th, replacing your letter of February 3rd; also your letter of February 7th,Page 208
dealing with the question of site for the Bahá'í Temple in Frankfurt, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has asked me to acknowledge them on his behalf.
The Guardian was very much impressed with the clear and concise outline of the investigations which you have made, giving him the best possible opportunity to understand the situation fully.
The beloved Guardian feels that site "C", Steinbacher-Hohe, appears to be the most suitable for the Bahá'í Temple and future developments. He feels therefore that you Assembly should immediately arrange for the prompt purchase of some of the land.
While it would be desirable of course to buy an extensive piece of property, the finances of the German National Assembly, and the financial obligations all over the Bahá'í world, make it impossible to buy a large piece at this time; and therefore he feels you should purchase approximately 10,000 square meters, which it is his understanding would cost approximately $ 10,000. Should there be available more than the $ 8,000. in the bank to your Assembly, the Guardian would see no serious objection to purchasing a little additional land, so that the entire expense would not be over $ 12,000.
It is noted in your communication you state you have $ 8,000. in the bank in Zurich; but that pledges made at Stockholm bring the total amount up to about $ 12,000. At the Guardian's direction, I am endeavoring to correlate all contributions and funds, so we may know the total amount available.
In order to help clarify this matter, will you please send me a statement of the funds which are available in Zurich, and in Germany, if any, giving a list of the contributions which have been received. If there have been a number ofPage 209
small contributions, the Guardian does not require that information, but simply information as to how much money was contributed at Stockholm, for instance, how much has been received from large donors, how much from the friends in Germany itself, etc.
At the same time, I am writing out to other areas, to see if any money is being held for the account of your Assembly for the purchase of land, in any other areas.
The important thing now is to procure the land. The Guardian states it is not necessary for you to refer back to him any specific details regarding the land; inasmuch as it has now been decided to purchase the land in Steinbacher-Hohe. He leaves it to your Assembly to pick out the best piece of land in the area for the Temple itself. Later on, when financial conditions in Germany, and in the Faith generally, are better, consideration can be given to additional land for Temple accessories, etc.
The Guardian states it is satisfactory to secure designs etc. from architects, both Bahá'í and non-Baha'i, from Germany and also from other countries. In other words, you are free to handle this matter actively, submitting designs to the Guardian as they are received by you. The Guardian of course wishes the Bahá'í architects to have an opportunity to submit their views concerning this sacred edifice.
In connection with your question of how you should proceed, if it is suitable to ask for designs by architects outside of Germany; this of course is left for you to handle in your own way. Of course it is suitable for you to correspond with the Spiritual Assemblies in the countries involved, asking them to be of assistance in this important matter.
The Guardian is very hopeful that you may be able to conclude the purchase of the land, by the middle of April. ItPage 210
will be a great victory for the Faith, if it can be accomplished within the first year of the Ten-Year Crusade.
The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf, that every obstacle may be removed from your path, and your actions be both guided and confirmed. ... P.S. In your letter of February 3rd; the maps attached; and your letter of February 7th, you refer to Steinbacher Hohe as No. C while in you letter of February 5th, you refer to it as No. B. So that all documents may have the same reference, I have changed your letter of February 5th, to show Steinbacher Hohe, as No. C.; and Forsthausstrasse as No. B.
========================================================3 April 1954
The beloved Guardian is very anxious to have full information concerning the pioneers in the virgin areas of the Ten-Year Crusade. In order to complete the records which I have been compiling for him, can you give me the following information:
Frisian Islands: Please let me have the address of Miss Gertrude Ankersmidt, in the Frisian Isles. ...
========================================================17 April 1954
At the instruction of our beloved Guardian, I am forwarding you herewith his Convention Message. He wishes you to have it read aloud to the assembled delegates, and then published and circulated among the believers. ...Page 211
========================================================21 April 1954
I am forwarding you herewith a copy of the Guardian's Convention Message which was mailed you a short time ago. As there is a pilgrim leaving, he is taking the precaution of having this mailed in Europe.I hope it reaches you in time for the Convention.
========================================================30 April 1954
INFORM GERMAN ASSEMBLY 11400 SQUARE METERS SUFFICIENT TEMPLE SITE.SHOGHI
========================================================2 May 1954
WELCOME REDEDICATION DELEGATES URGE INTENSIFICATION EFFORTS ATTAINMENT GOALS LOVING REMEMBRANCES SHRINES.SHOGHI
========================================================28 May 1954
The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you concerning an action recently taken by your National Assembly, as published in your January-February Bahá'í News, that non-Bahá'ís may attend 19-Day Feasts if "the earnestness of their interest in the Faith" is vouched for by a declared believer.Page 212
The Guardian wishes me to direct your attention to the fact that none of the institutions of the Faith nor its cardinal principles may be changed under any circumstances.
The 19-Day Feast is an institution of the Cause, first established by the Báb, later confirmed by Bahá'u'lláh, and now made a prominent part of the administrative order of the Faith. These 19-Day Feasts are for the Baha'is, and the Bahá'ís exclusively, and no variation from this principle is permitted.
Thus the Guardian feels you should rescind the action taken by your Assembly in opening the Feast to "near Baha'is", as it is not consistent with the spirit of the administrative order for non-Bahá'ís or near Bahá'ís to attend the 19-Day Feasts, particularly the administrative portion of the Feast.
The Guardian realizes the spirit which animated you in making the suggested proposal, in order that the teaching work might go forward more aggressively; but he feels in the long run it would be detrimental to the Faith, and therefore should be rescinded as indicated above.The Guardian sends you his loving greetings. ...
========================================================8 June 1954
The beloved Guardian has been greatly pleased with the achievements of the friends throughout the world during the first year of the Ten-Year Crusade. Victories were won in all parts of the world, and on many fronts. The Faith was established in 101 countries of the world, bringing the light of guidance to 229 countries and islands.
We now enter the second phase of the Ten-Year Crusade.Page 213
The Guardian's message to the Convention has outlined the goals to be achieved during this second phase.
One of the important items was the purchase of Haziratu'l-Quds for future National Spiritual Assemblies. The Guardian feels that immediate steps should be taken to fulfil a part of this project. In all, there are 49 Haziratu'l-Quds to be purchased - 4 already are owned. He feels that during the second year of the Crusade, 17 additional Haziratu'l-Quds should be purchased. These should not be elaborate structures, but modest houses, which can serve at the present time, as local Haziratu'l-Quds as soon as the National Assemblies are formed.
The Guardian feels that steps should be taken immediately to purchase the Haziratu'l-Quds in Vienna. A fund should be started so that the friends may contribute to this important project when they wish.
The Guardian has been informed that a small property has been procured in Vienna, to serve as a Headquarters. He is anxious to know if this property has been purchased, or is being rented. If it has been purchased, and is an independent property, it of course can serve temporarily as a Hazira. If, on the other hand, the building is being rented, and it is satisfactory, efforts should be made to purchase it. If it cannot be purchased, then some other small property should be bought. The Guardian wishes it clearly understood that a Hazira must be a piece of land owned by the Baha'is, and not a rented piece of property.
The Guardian will appreciate advice from you as quickly as possible of the steps being taken to fulfill this important task of the second phase of the Ten-Year Plan. He feels this property should be purchased during the current year. ...Page 214
P.S. - The Guardian requests that you inform all the friends that their most important duty at the present time is the fulfillment of the tasks of the Ten-Year Crusade. This calls for the sacrifice of local activities in order that the national and international development of the Faith may go forward uninterruptedly. No local institutions should be started. The National Assembly should see that money is not spent on local centers at this time, and the friends should be encouraged to concentrate on the national and international activities of the Faith.
========================================================25 June 1954
The letters of your Assembly dated June 18, August 11, September 2 (4), 13, October 14, November 9 and 24, 1953, and January 16 (2), February 3, 5 (2), 7, 11, March 7, April 19, May 12 and June 19, 1954, with their enclosures, as well as the material forwarded under separate cover, have all been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He is sorry that pressure of work prevented him from writing more frequently to the National Spiritual Assemblies, including your own. Indeed, he is beginning to wonder how much longer he can go on attending to the multiplying affairs of the Cause of today, and keeping up correspondence as well.
He is very pleased to see that the work in Germany is really going forward at a visibly more rapid rate. The German friends, one of the oldest Communities in Europe, so devoted and loyal, and who have suffered so muchPage 215
during two wars, are beginning at last to see the institutions of their Faith emerging in their native land in a more concrete form than the realm of hope and dreams.
The national Haziratu'l-Quds, which was purchased so shortly after the end of the last world conflagration, has now been followed by the plan for the first Bahá'í Temple on European soil, a truly noble and inspiring undertaking.
In this connection he wishes to say that he is very sorry he could not agree to the proposals you sent him so far. AS your Assembly is aware, the Bahá'ís all over the world are building up national institutions and purchasing, in various areas, Temple sites, etc. It is only natural that each Assembly should feel justified in making an initial suitable investment for its Temple site or its national Haziratu'l-Quds. However, the Guardian, to whom all the news comes from all over the world, is forced to face the fact that if your Assembly, the Canadian Assembly, the British Community, the Italian-Swiss Assembly etc. etc. each pays as heavy sums for its Bahá'í Temple site or national headquarters as they propose to in these reports, which they send him, the Bahá'í world would never be able to get out of debt. Desirable as each place is, when considered from a local standpoint, it becomes on an international scale, a program that is financially impossible. That is why he urged your Assembly to drastically curtail the area and the price. He has done the same thing in many other parts of the world. He hopes that you will shortly be able to purchase the land required.
There now remains the important consideration of a design for the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. It does not matter whether it is executed by a Bahá'í or a non-Bahá'í architect, but the essential thing is that it must be beautiful and dignified. There must be none of this hideous, exaggerated, bizarre style, which one sees in many modern buildings. It isPage 216
not befitting for our House of Worship. He thinks that you should impress this on any architects wishing to submit drawings. The essentials of the design, as stipulated by 'Abdu'l-Bahá are that the building should be nine-sided, and circular in shape. Aside from this, the architect is not restricted in any way in choosing his style of design.
Whenever you have a sufficient collection of drawings, he would be pleased to receive them, and give you his advice.
A very large building at this time is not necessary, as the expense would overtax our resources too heavily; and the Persian Baha'is, who are so much more numerous, will have to, during the coming nine years, build a much larger and more pretentious structure in Tihran, and consequently a more expensive one.
The eagerness of the friends to serve, often carries them away, and they forget that a sound sense of business management is also much needed, if we are to harbour our resources and accomplish all our goals.
He was delighted to see that so many of the Bahá'ís from Germany were present at the Stockholm Conference, and that they were able to meet with their colleagues from Austria. He hopes that your teaching work in Austria will make marked progress during the present year. The Cause there has been too long neglected, and undoubtedly there is a very fertile field, waiting only to be cultivated, in order to yield a rich harvest.Page 217
It has indeed been a great blessing to the German Community to receive the visits of so many Hands of the Cause of God from abroad during the past year.
He hopes that the auxiliary Board for Europe recently established, will be of great help in the work to be carried out by the administrative bodies throughout Europe.
The most important thing is to keep the pioneer territories which have been settled open. There must be no lapse. The friends must be urged to remain at their posts at all costs. They must remember the glorious example of Marion Jack, who recently passed away in Bulgaria, after almost 30 years of devoting her life to teaching the Faith in that country of her choice. As many of you who knew her personally will recall, her health was very bad, as far back as 1935, when she attended the Esslingen Summer School. It certainly never improved. She was bombed, evacuated, she slept in some drafty, cold room in a school in the country, was often, we have reason to believe, almost hungry, and insufficiently clad after the war, due to difficulties in getting money through to her in an Soviet-dominated territory. She never mastered the language, and was without friends of her own country; and yet, she persevered, and, in spite of even the Guardian's pleas that she leave the country during the worst years of the war, remained at her post, and won for herself imperishable fame, her resting-place becoming a shrine in Bulgaria, which the people of that country will increasingly honour and cherish.
It is to this glorious soul that the present generation of pioneers must look for inspiration and example.
He is very happy that the German Bahá'ís have been able to settle in Crete and the Frisian Islands, a great step forward, when one realizes how much their activities havePage 218
been circumscribed, during the past thirty years, by circumstances over which they had no control.
He thanks you for sending him ten copies of each of your new publications, and would like you to continue doing so, as any new literature comes out.
So far he has not received any copies of "God Passes By" in German, but is hoping to do so.
He appreciates very much the sentiments you expressed to him in connection with the loss of our dear Hands of the Cause, Mr. Schopflocher and Mrs. Baker. The friends everywhere must try and make up for the work these devoted and consecrated souls would have done, had they not passed to the Abha Kingdom. In this way they can best express their admiration and gratitude.
He is very happy to see that your National Convention has been so successful, and that the influence of the future Temple is already being felt, and attracting the hearts of the believers, including many previously inactive. It shows what these Bahá'í institutions are going to do as they develop.
You may be sure that he remembers all the members of your Assembly in his loving prayers in the holy Shrines, and supplicates that the German and Austrian Bahá'í Communities may exceed all their past records of achievement during this present Bahá'í year. ... [Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian] Dear and valued co-workers:
The achievements of the German and Austrian Bahá'í communities, since the launching of the Ten-Year Global Crusade, embarked upon by the followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, mark a notable advancement in the progress and consolidation of the Faith in the heart of the European continent. The weighty and historic task so valiantly shouldered by both of these communities has beenPage 219
splendidly initiated, and must, as the Plan unfolds, be prosecuted with increasing vigilance, unswerving resolve, whole-hearted consecration, complete unity, and exemplary steadfastness.
The greatest, most pressing and sacred enterprise, challenging the spirit and resources of all the members of both of these communities - the purchase of the land, for the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of Europe and the prompt initiation of measures for its construction - demands, during this present phase of the Crusade, the utmost concentration of effort, and the most sublime sacrifice on the part of the German and Austrian believers - an effort and sacrifice in which their brethren, in both the East, and the West, will gladly participate, as a token of their appreciation of the historic significance of this mighty institution destined to be firmly established and radiate its beneficient influence in the very heart of that continent.
The purchase of the site must be expedited, the selection of a befitting design for so glorious an edifice must be made with a little delay as possible, and the preliminary steps for the excavation of the foundations must be undertaken with care, promptitude and determination.
The rise of this symbol and harbinger of the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, as yet in the embryonic stage of its development, amidst the confusion, the anxieties, the rivalries and the recurrent crises that mark the decline of a moribund civilization, will, no doubt, lend a tremendous impetus to the onward march of the Faith in all the continents of the Globe, and will, more than any other single act, direct thee attention of the spiritually impoverished, the economically afflicted, the socially disturbed, and the morally disoriented masses of a sorely tried continent to tis nascent institutions.Page 220
Parallel with these measures, destined to contribute so effectively to the rise and establishment of the Administrative Order of the Faith in both Germany and Austria, a systematic effort must be exerted by the national elected representatives of the Bahá'í communities in these two countries to multiply, as speedily as possible, the assemblies, groups and isolated centres, through a wider dispersal on the part of the believers, and the launching of an intensive campaign of teaching designed to increase, swiftly and steadily the number of the active supporters of the Faith.
The pioneers who have so valiantly settled in the virgin areas assigned to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany and Austria, must, however great the sacrifice, safeguard the prizes so laboriously won, and strive, by every means in their power, to consolidate, through extensive teaching work, their splendid and unforgettable achievements.
While this double process of multiplication of Bahá'í centres, and development of the newly opened ares, is being assiduously carried out, a no less notable progress must be made in the consolidation of these two communities, through the initiation of local incorporations which will pave the way for the establishment of local Bahá'í endowments, and will serve to reinforce the foundations of all local Bahá'í communities.
The establishment of a national Haziratu'l-Quds in thee capital city of Austria, as well as of national endowments in that country - measures that will herald the formation of an independent National Spiritual Assembly, and the erection of yet another pillar of the Universal House of Justice, in the heart of the European continent - should bePage 221
regarded as the paramount objectives of this second phase of the Ten-Year Crusade which we are now entering.
No less vital and urgent is the task of establishing, in the course of this second stage in the unfoldment of this world spiritual Crusade, of a Bahá'í Publishing Trust, similar, in its essentials, to the one already functioning in the British Isles, and of lending a fresh impetus to the translation, the publication and dissemination of Bahá'í literature in the German language - a task which will greatly accelerate the all-important teaching work, and enhance the prestige of the Faith, and promote the vital interests of its institutions.
The Community of the German and Austrian believers, the recipient of such signal honours from the Center of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant in the past; born and nurtured in its infancy under his fostering care in the course of the concluding decades of the Apostolic Age of the Faith; eminently successful in laying the foundations of its Administrative Order in the years immediately following His Ascension; emerging, purified and strengthened, from the fire of a severe and prolonged ordeal after the conclusion of the second world war; demonstrating its capacity and resilience through the initiation and prosecution of a carefully designed Plan, despite the exhaustion of a terrible and harrowing conflict that endangered its life and shook it to its foundations, - such a community has now risen to assume its rightful place in the world-encompassing Crusade launched by the followers of Bahá'u'lláh; has splendidly initiated its Ten-Year Plan through the inauguration of its glorious Mission in foreign fields, and is now forging ahead, with magnificent courage, resolution, thoroughness, and fidelity, in tis endeavour to win fresh laurels in the course of this second and newly opened stage in the unfoldment of the Plan to which it stands committed.Page 222
May the vision of its members remain undimmed, their resolution, never flag, their steps never falter. May they, as the years go by, demonstrate afresh the solidity of their faith, the nobility of their motives, the sublimity of their devotion, the tenacity of their resolution, in the service of a Faith they have served so devotedly in the past and which they will, undoubtedly, promote with unabated zeal, in the future,Your true brother,
========================================================28 June 1954
Your loving letter of June 9th has come to hand, telling of the activities of the friends in connection with the development of the teaching work in Germany and Austria, as well as in the pioneering fields.
So far as the questions you ask are concerned, the following will answer question Number 1, as this is a matter which the Guardian has elucidated.
The direction of pioneers is entirely in the hands of the National Assemblies under whom they are serving. The Guardian simply enunciates the principle, and then it is up to the National Assemblies to apply that principle. The principle is that pioneers entering the pioneer field should realize that they are going there to represent the Cause, in fact, to be the Cause.
Their minds and their hearts should be centered in their new tasks and in their new environment. They should not be thinking of when they can return home, or when they can go somewhere else. Only when the Faith is firmlyPage 223
established should they give any thought to moving, and then, only in consultation with the National Assembly.
So far as pioneers taking a holiday is concerned, that is entirely in the hands of the National Assembly. You can appreciate that all of this depends upon location, and to a certain extent, funds. If a person feels they need a little change for a week or two, that of course is something which should be handled in each case.
The Guardian does not wish to make any hard and fast rules on any of these matters.
I will write you again in response to the other questions when the Guardian has given his advice.
========================================================23 July 1954
Will you please refer to your letter of June 9th and my acknowledgment of June 28th, in which you raise certain questions. The beloved Guardian has directed me to give you the answers as follows:
Number 2: He feels your plan of giving individuals, who became Bahá'ís in France, but who have not yet given up their church affiliation, one year in which to do so, is satisfactory.
Number 3: Up to the age of 15 years, children are under the direction of their parents. At the age of 15, they may declare their Faith as a conviction, and be registered as Bahá'í youth, whether the parents are Bahá'ís or not. Children under the age of 15, of Bahá'í parents, who wish to attend meetings and associate with the friends as Bahá'ís may do so. If non-Bahá'í parents permit a child of less thanPage 224
15 to attend Bahá'í meetings, and in fact, to be a Baha'i, this is likewise permissible.
Number 4: The beloved Guardian instructs that whenever an Assembly loses some members between the Ridvan periods, bringing the membership to less than 9, the Assembly reverts immediately to Group status. However, when they get a sufficient number of new members to reach 9, then they immediately become an Assembly again.
The beloved Guardian greatly values your devoted services to the Faith, and the manner in which you are undertaking the heavy responsibilities of propagating the Faith, as well as consolidating its institutions.
He assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends you his loving greetings.
========================================================27 September 1954 (Summer School)
The note of loving greeting, which was signed by all those present at the Summer School, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and this is just a brief note of acknowledgment on his behalf.
He was very happy to see that is was possible for so many of the friends to be present, and that you had the bounty of having the favored Hand of the Cause, Dr. Muhlschlegel, with you. He feels sure such a gathering must have released new strength and zeal; and that each one will now determine to double or even treble his past efforts during the second year of this historic Ten-Year Crusade.He sends you all his loving greetings. ...
May the Almighty bless your efforts, aid you to promote, at all times, the vital interests, of His Faith, and contribute continually to the multiplication and consolidation of its nascent and divinely appointed institutions,Your true brother,
========================================================18 November 1954
This will acknowledge receipt of your kind letter of November 9th, advising that you have received the gift of Three Thousand Dollars, which the beloved Guardian has sent for your Temple fund.
I will inform the Guardian of your deep appreciation of his gift.
So far as the establishment of the Israel Branch of the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria is concerned, there is nothing for you to do in connection therewith at this time. This matter will be handled here in the Holy Land. When it is consummated, it may be necessary and advisable for your National Assembly to pass certain resolutions in connection with it, but I will inform you about this in due course.
At the moment it does not seem propitious for the establishment of further Israel Branches at this time; and the Guardian has therefore instructed that this matter be delayed a little longer. You may be sure however it will be taken care of in due course.
With loving greetings to you and all the members of the National Assembly.Page 226
========================================================12 December 1954
Your letter of November 26th was received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He is very happy to see the spirit of love and unity animating you, because without this no work can go forward in the Cause of God. Personal differences of opinion, of character etc. must melt away in the love of the friends for Bahá'u'lláh, and their desire to serve His Cause.
He hopes that in the near future the Vienna Community will have its Haziratu'l-Quds, to which he attaches the greatest importance, as it will be the visible sign of the firm foundation on which that Community stands.
He will pray for you all, and for the rapid spread of the Faith through your efforts. ..."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty bless your meritorious efforts, reward you abundantly for your valued and constant services, and enable you to achieve great and memorable victories in the days to come,Your true brother,
========================================================10 February 1955
Your loving letter of December 27th is here on my return from Europe.
I am under the impression you asked my when in Germany whether the message of our Beloved Guardian ofPage 227
November 27th, should be shared with the Friends. In any event, the Guardian surely does wish this important message shared with all the Friends. While the wording of the last paragraph might seem a little obscure, yet the Guardian's intention was that all National Assemblies should be sent a copy, and they in turn release it to the Friends.
We have corrected the records to show that the number of declared Adherents to the Faith in Iraklion, Crete is one, and not two.
========================================================10 February 1955
The Beloved Guardian has directed the I write you in connection with the Temple project for Germany.
He is anxious to receive the latest word with regard to the purchase of the site for the Temple, hoping all the problems have now cleared up, or will soon be cleared up and ownership be vested with your body.
He also feels that you should proceed with the preparation of designs for the Temple, which he understands you will arrange by means of a competition of architects. He feels you should proceed with this phase of the Temple regardless of the question of land ownership. Time is moving along rapidly, and he hopes it will not be too long before the design is chosen.
In passing, there is one point to be mentioned; and that is that the Temple in Wilmette does not constitute a pattern for other Temples, nor does it represent a new type of Bahá'í architecture. Therefore it is not necessary for your architects to endeavour to follow that pattern. What shouldPage 228
be done is to follow the Master's instructions as to the Temple, and then create something that will be desirable and appropriate for your area.
========================================================23 February 1955
The beloved Guardian is very closely watching the development of the Ten Year Crusade on all fronts. One of the goals of the second phase of the Ten Year Crusade is the incorporation of local and national assemblies.
The Guardian is hoping that your National Assembly may take this important matter in hand, so that during the coming Bahá'í year, as many as possible of your local assemblies will become incorporated. He feels this is a very important activity, and one which you should follow up just as closely as possible.
Will you please send me a report for the Guardian of any activities along this line which are underway; and if not, what can be done to set such a program in motion.
It is needless for me to comment of course on the fact that another one of the major objectives of the second phase of the Ten Year Crusade is the multiplication of Bahá'í centers, and particularly the development of Bahá'í groups into assemblies. The way in which this can be best accomplished is by the Bahá'ís in the larger centers dispersing to weak areas or to entirely new centres.The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.
========================================================23 February 1955
Please refer to copy of my letter of April 20th to Dr. Giachery, with a copy to you, with regard to specifications for Bahá'í Temples.
The Beloved Guardian has asked me to write to you, explaining that while the question of a Dome for a Bahá'í Temple, is not specified in the Teachings, yet he feels that for the Temple in Germany, you should plan a building with a central Dome. He thinks it would enhance the beauty of the structure now being planned for Frankfurt.
========================================================8 March 1955
The beloved Guardian is very anxious to secure, as quickly as possible, data concerning the Haziratu'l-Quds which have been acquired in connection with the goals of the Ten Year Crusade. To this end, he would very greatly appreciate your sending me by return air mail the information concerning the Haziratu'l-Quds in Vienna.
He would like to know the area of land involved, the size of the building, so far as number of rooms is concerned, the original purchase price of the Haziratu'l-Quds, the expenses of the transaction, and then the total cost.
The Guardian asks that this be sent to me by return air mail. ...Page 230
========================================================11 March 1955
Your loving letter of February 25th has just come to hand.
It was a great pleasure for me to have been able to visit the friends in Frankfurt and Stuttgart; and we will long remember the loving hospitality which was extended to us by all the friends.
I do not know what more can be done in behalf of ... Certain members if the American N.S.A. are in close touch with the authorities in Washington; and if they have written you that nothing more can be done, I think that is the last word; at least I have nothing more which I can suggest.
Please give my deep love to all the members of the National Assembly. ...
========================================================29 March 1955
On April 21st we will enter the last year of the second phase of the Ten Year Crusade. As you know, one of the objectives of this second phase is the rapid multiplication of Assemblies, Groups and Centres throughout the world.
During the past year, a great deal has been accomplished by the friends in their efforts to disperse from the large centres of population in order to build up the goal cities and establish new centres. However we have not accomplished a great deal in the way of increasing the number of Baha'is, nor the number of Spiritual Assemblies.Page 231
The beloved Guardian sincerely hopes you will make it a point of major study and consideration on the part of your Assembly, so that the entire Community may lend itself to the accomplishment of this great goal during the coming year. Foundations must be laid for many more Assemblies. The friends must disperse from the large centers of population. Our teaching work must become so sanctified and penetrating that many, many souls will be confirmed. The friends should go forward on this great task in a very determined manner in order to establish as many new Assemblies during the coming year as are possible.
In letters which have come to the beloved Guardian, he has noted the friends feel there is no need to establish new Assemblies until 1963.
The Ten Year Crusade ends in 1963; but as many of the goals should be won as quickly as is possible. It should certainly be clear to all of the friends that we cannot hold off on winning the various goals of our tasks until the last year of the Crusade. They should be won just as quickly as possible. Furthermore, there are many tasks of the Crusade which the Guardian is not launching until preliminary goals have been won. For instance, it would be impossible to establish National Assemblies in all of the areas proposed until there are more Baha'is, more Groups and more Assemblies in those countries.
On the home front, further tasks are dependent upon the winning of victories now. The Guardian hopes the keynote of the teaching work on the home front during the current year will be the dispersion of the friends on an unprecedented scale, and the winning of as many Assemblies as is possible. ...Page 232
========================================================20 April 1955
I have your favor of April 10th, telling of your visit with the German Architect, Prof. Dr. Bartning, and his explanation to you of the elements to be incorporated in the new Temple for Germany.
The Beloved Guardian explains that there is no requirement for one window to be oriented toward the East. In fact, he feels this should not be done; otherwise it will take on a practice of the Moslems with regard to their prayer niche, etc. I am sending a copy of this note to the German NSA, so they will understand.
The Guardian has also indicated that there is nothing in the teaching requiring one dome for the building, in fact, any dome. It is of course more beautiful, generally to have a dome, or even domes, but that is not a necessary requirement of the Temple.
Likewise the Guardian indicates, it is not essential that there be nine doors.
The real requisite is that the building should be circular in shape, having nine sides; that there should be nine gardens, walks, etc.
========================================================1 May 1955 (Convention)
DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE. URGE DELEGATES ROUSE ALL COMMUNITIES EXERT SUPREME EFFORT COURSE LAST YEAR SECOND PHASE CRUSADE MULTIPLICATION CENTERS ASSEMBLIES CONSOLIDATION ALLOTED NEWLY OPEN TERRITORIES INTENSIFICATION TEACHING ACTIVITIES INCORPORATIONPage 233
ASSEMBLIES ESTABLISHMENT ENDOWMENTS PUBLISHING TRUST. URGE CONCENTRATION EXTENSION WORK AUSTRIA EXPEDITE PRELIMINARIES CONSTRUCTION TEMPLE SUPPLICATING ABUNDANT BLESSINGSSHOGHI
========================================================1 July 1955
The beloved Guardian was very happy indeed to learn of the confirmation of an additional Bahá'í in the Island of Crete.
The Guardian is very anxious to know the racial background of the new Bahá'ís in these new areas. I am wondering therefore if you could let me know what the nationality is of the first new Bahá'í in Crete, as well as this second Baha'i.
The Guardian is anxious to know if either one of these two are pure Greek stock.
========================================================2 August 1955
Your letters of June 11, July 16 and 22, August 30, October 12 and 17, November 2 and 17 and December 10, 1954; and January 31 and February 19, April 28 and May 21, 1955, with their various enclosures, have all beenPage 234
received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
As the work of the Ten-Year Crusade steadily grows, he finds it more and more difficult to correspond with the National Assemblies frequently; and indeed is wondering what will be the situation in a few years' time, when we have so many additional National Bodies. This explains why you have not heard from him before.
He was very happy to hear that the Vienna Haziratu'l-Quds has been purchased, as this eliminates one of the important goals assigned to your Assembly under the Ten-Year Plan. He will be pleased to see photographs of the building.
He feels that your action in advising the Crete pioneers to be very discreet in all respects, and your decision to correspond with them for the time being through their parents, were very wise.
The friends who have gone forth to new lands cannot be too careful. Unless they can stay long enough to convert at least a small group of people, who will be firmly grounded in the Faith, and continue to work if they are forced to leave, a great deal of time and money will have been wasted, and the progress of the Plan suffer a serious setback.
He will certainly pray for the pioneers there, for their protection and their guidance. They should by all means persevere and act discreetly.
He was very satisfied to hear of the progress made at the Teaching Conference held in Frankfurt under the aegis of the European Hands. He feels sure that this helped to stimulate and coordinate the work. Association and consultation, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá so repeatedly emphasized, have a great effect on the friends, and enable them to see the work of the Cause as a whole, rather than as a small localPage 235
enterprise in which their personalities and other people's personalities often conflict; and challenge them to arise and go forth into new fields, in order to spread the Faith far and wide.
The Guardian attaches the greatest importance to the Temple enterprise. He feels that if, for any reason, you do not win the case and get permission to build the Temple on the land you have already chosen, a new piece of land must be speedily bought. He is hoping that the case will be satisfactorily settled, and that there will be no necessity for you to look further.
The preparation of designs for the Temple he feels, however, should not wait upon the conclusion of the court case. It is going to take some time to receive designs, to forward them to him for his advice, and to incorporate any possible changes that may be deemed necessary, if one of the designs is found satisfactory. He therefore advises you to open the competition as soon as you can, and not lose any more time.
He wishes at this juncture to stress to your Assembly the need for economy. The Temple must naturally be a dignified and worthy edifice. He does not consider that any of these modernistic experiments in architecture are at all suitable for a building of this nature, lacking as they so often do, beauty and dignity.
He also considers that the building should be a relatively small one, both because of the size of the Community in Germany and the financial resources of the Faith at present. The important thing of all is to build this first Temple on European soil.
In the days when 'Abdu'l-Bahá was urging the American Bahá'ís to build the first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of the western world, He repeatedly emphasized that it could be a modestPage 236
building, and that the important thing was the spiritual element that this House of Worship in the name of Bahá'u'lláh should be raised in the heart of America. The same thing applies now to your Temple in Germany. Size and pretentiousness are not important. The important thing is that the building should be speedily erected, and be a financial possibility, not placing, as the American Temple, a terrible strain on the friends for years to come.
He is happy to see that the German friends have been able, during the last few years, to move about much more, attend conferences in other European countries, go forth as pioneers, and gradually increase the number of centres in Germany and Austria. He attaches the greatest importance to this because one of the main tasks of your Assembly is to insure that Austria will have an independent National Assembly by the end of the Plan; and she cannot do this unless she multiplies her Spiritual Assemblies in order to build a broad foundation for the National Body. He hopes you will constantly encourage the Vienna Bahá'ís and the isolated believers in Austria to increase their teaching activities, to strengthen the work of the Faith, to pioneer in new centres, and, above all, to be united; as unity is one of the greatest forces at our disposal for achieving the work of the Cause.
He assures you one and all that he remembers you most lovingly in his prayers in the holy Shrine, and supplicates for the removal of every obstacle in your path and the attainment of all your goals. ...
P.S. The Guardian wishes particularly to thank you all for your loving message to him on the occasion of Ridvan, which he appreciated receiving very much. He assures you all that he prays that great victories may attend your efforts to spread the Faith and consolidate its foundations.Page 237
[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian] Dear and valued co-workers:
The steady extension and consolidation of the activities in which the members of the Bahá'í communities in Germany and Austria are so devotedly, so unitedly and strenuously engaged, have greatly cheered my heart, heightened my admiration for them, and reinforced my hopes for the triumphant conclusion of their collective enterprises undertaken in accordance with the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan.
By virtue of the important position they occupy in the heart of the European continent; singled out for special favours by the Centre of Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant among their sister communities in that same continent; distinguished through the appointment to two Hands of the Cause from among their members; entrusted the first Bahá'í House of Worship on European soil; displaying, on the morrow of the ordeals which have for so long and so cruelly afflicted them, a virility, a courage, a fidelity worthy of emulation by their sister communities not only in neighbouring lands but throughout the Bahá'í world, these twin communities, destined through their common language, racial characteristics and traditions to play a notable and distinct part in the world-wide progress of the Faith in both the European and Asiatic continents, must continue to forge ahead, with inflexible resolve, unshakable faith, undimmed vision, and unabated vigour, along the road leading them to the fulfilment of their high destiny.
The steady increase in the number of the adherents of the Faith in both countries and the multiplication of isolated centres, groups and local assemblies is a task of primary importance to which they must direct special attention during the last year of the second phase of this world-embracingPage 238
spiritual Crusade. Equally vital in sacredness and importance is the definite settlement of the issue that has arisen in the connexion with the purchase of the site of the future Temple in the neighbourhood of Frankfurt, as well as the selection of its design, as essential preliminaries to the excavation of its foundations and the erection of its structure. Both of these require the concentrated and sustained attention of the elected representatives of these communities, whose task is to expedite this pre-eminent undertaking destined to exert a far-reaching spiritual influence on the fortunes of the Faith not only in Germany and Austria but throughout the European continent and even far beyond its borders.
Still another obligation that must under no circumstances be lost sight of or neglected is the incorporation of definitely established local assemblies in these two adjoining countries, a process that will greatly consolidate the administrative foundations of the Faith and enhance its prestige in the European continent.
The adoption of special measures by these same elected national representatives, designed to hasten the emergence of an independent National Spiritual Assembly in Austria, is yet another duty which calls for urgent and earnest consideration on their part and one which, if worthily performed, will lend a tremendous impetus to the progress of the Faith in a country occupying so central a position in Europe, so rich in its past history, and blessed by the footsteps of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
The splendid work accomplished by German pioneers in virgin territories in both the North and South of Europe, auguring well for the accomplishment of a similar mission in the Eastern territories forming part of their allotted task under the Ten-Year Plan, must be jealously safeguarded andPage 239
continually reinforced, as it constitutes a prelude to the victories that must needs be won, in the course of future Plans, on the eastern confines of that continent and even as far afield as the heart of Asia.
Nor must the establishment of the projected Bahá'í Publishing Trust be delayed, as it constitutes one of vital objectives of the Crusade on which the German Bahá'í community has embarked.
No sacrifice can be deemed too great for the attainment of these shining goals and the winning of such precious prizes. The members of these closely knit communities must arise as never before, and brace themselves for a still greater output of energy, and a still more convincing display of those qualities that have distinguished their stewardship to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, and prepare to enter victoriously upon the third phase of the Ten-Year pLan during the concluding months of this current year.
The tragic sufferings afflicting their brethern in Bahá'u'lláh's native land, involving a setback in the projects of this persecuted community for the erection of its Mother Temple in Tihran, must reinforce their resolve to speed the erection of a corresponding House of Worship in the heart of Europe. The efforts of their national elected representatives, strenuous as they have been in recent months, must be doubled, nay trebled, in order to offset, in this particular and most important field, the inevitable and deplorable delay in the accomplishment of so meritorious, so momentous and historic a task.
Unperturbed by the clamour of inveterate, powerful and malicious adversaries in the land of the birth of their Faith; undaunted by the opposition which exponents of religious orthodoxy are, to a lesser degree, now beginning to show in their own homeland, these same elected representatives,Page 240
must press forward, resolutely, and confront and speedily surmount whatever obstacles now stand in their path.
Theirs is a responsibility which, at this historic and crucial stage in the evolution of their precious and beloved Faith, they can neither minimize nor neglect. Theirs is a God-sent opportunity to demonstrate, at this grave hour through which the overwhelming majority of their brethren are passing, the incorruptible character of their faith, the indomitable spirit which animates them, the sublimity of the principles which motive their action, providing thereby an abiding and sorely needed consolation to the victims of the brutal, the wide spread and repeated persecutions engulfing so many of their co-religionists in the cradle of their Faith.
That they may prove themselves worthy of their high calling; that they may set an inspiring example to their high workers in both Hemispheres, through the number and quality of their accomplishments; that they may discharge, in their entirety, the manifold responsibilities assured under a Plan constituting so notable a stage in the accomplishment of the Glorious mission envisioned for them by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, is the object of my unceasing prayers when supplicating at the threshold of His Shrine.
May His watchful, His sustaining and ever loving Spirit guide every step they take, bless every effort they exert, and fulfil every hope they cherish, in the pursuit of the victories they have resolutely set themselves to achieve.Shoghi
========================================================23 September 1955
The beloved Guardian is very anxious indeed to have the latest word in connection with the purchase of thePage 241
Templeland in Germany, and the development of the design for the Temple.
Can you write me by return mail, letting me know just what the status is of both these very important matters?
He is anxious that the work on the Temple be expedited in every way; as he is fearful if the work does not begin soon, it may be found impossible to complete the task within the Ten Year period.
If you will write me, giving full details, it will be greatly appreciated by him. ...
========================================================23 September 1955 (Summer School)
This is just a brief note to acknowledge, on behalf of the beloved Guardian, your letter of August 21st.
He often remembers the dear friends in that land in his loving prayers; and supplicates that they may receive the necessary strength and guidance to carry forward in a befitting manner their share in this particular phase in the World Spiritual Crusade. ..."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Beloved bless your continued and meritorious efforts and services, and enable you to extend continually the scope of your accomplishments,Your true brother,
========================================================30 September 1955
GUARDIAN RECEIVED ONE PACKAGE TEMPLE DRAWINGS ARE THESE ALL SUBMISSIONS OR ARE OTHER ENROUTE LOVING GREETINGS. ...
========================================================20 October 1955
YOUR CABLE OCTOBER 15 PRESUME DECISION TEMPLE DESIGN HAS NO BEARING ON COURT DECISION OCTOBER 26 IS THIS CORRECT? DO YOU HAVE ADVANCE INFORMATION AS TO WHAT DECISION WILL BE? GUARDIAN HAS MADE NO DECISION BUT SEEMS PREFER AZAMAT BY HOPFER STUTTGART. PLEASE CABLE PROPOSED HEIGHT AND WIDTH. HAVE YOU ANY IDEA COST OF CONSTRUCTION...
========================================================19 October 1955
I cabled you at the instruction of our beloved Guardian today as follows:
"Your cable October 15 presume decision temple design has no bearing on court decision October 26 is this correct? Do you have advance information as to what decision will be? Guardian has made no decision but seems to prefer Azamat by Hopfer Stuttgart. Please cable proposed height and width. Have you any idea of cost of construction".
As the cable indicates, it is my understanding that the decision with regard to Temple design has nothing to doPage 243
with the decision in the court case, but that you wished the Guardian's decision in order to assist in appropriate publicity. We hope and pray that the decision will be favorable.
In reviewing these specifications which you have set up for the Temple, the Guardian wishes to call your attention to the fact that you have included some items in the specifications which are not necessary, and in fact are definitely not a part of a Bahá'í Temple, as follows:
Your No. 14 - Assembly Hall. The Temple is for worship only, and no Assembly Hall is permissable. (In America the basement of the Temple has been temporarily used as a Foundation Hall.) This has been due to the long time taken to construct the building etc.
No. 17 - Conference Rooms. Inasmuch as the Temple is for worship only, conference rooms are not required.
No. 18 - Library and Archives. These facilities are not required nor desirable in a House of Worship.
No. 19 and 20 - Kitchen Facilities. These are not required, as food is not to be served in the Temple. The Temple is for prayer and worship only.
No. 27 - Air Raid Shelters. These are not required.
No. 30 - Caretaker's House. This is not required at the present time, as the caretaker can sleep in one of the spare rooms of the Temple.
The Guardian feels its important to direct your attention to the fact that the Temple must be built just as economically as possible, and to provide only the facilities which are prescribed for a House of Worship. The Cause is under such heavy expense at the present time that we cannot undertake the construction of buildings which require too great an outlay of funds.Page 244
The Guardian would appreciate your having some preliminary estimates made just as quickly as possible of what it would cost to build the Temple designated as "Azamat". He likewise would like you to send him now just as many details as possible concerning the construction of this building, materials to be used etc.
I presume by the time this letter reaches you, you will have cabled the proposed height and width.
The Guardian would greatly value your giving him the detailed information regarding "Azamat" just as promptly as possible. ...
========================================================28 October 1955
Your letter of September 26th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
As you know, he is most happy that the believers in Vienna have their own Center, and that in a short time it will be ready for Bahá'í service.
These important institutions of the Faith are in themselves great teachers. The spirit of love and unity among the friends in discussing, arranging and carrying out the activities of the Faith in the Haziratu'l-Quds, will become as a magnet which will attract to them divine bounties. The Guardian is hoping from this Center the Faith will be carried, not only throughout Vienna, but to other cities in Austria as well. ..."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty, Whose Cause you serve with such courage, devotion and perseverance, guide and sustain you,Page 245
and aid you to render His Faith notable services in the days to come,Your true brother,
========================================================10 November 1955
The beloved Guardian has reviewed very carefully your recent letter dealing with the designs for the Temple to be built in Germany. He wishes the following explanations to be made to you, and I am therefore enumerating them, so that there may be no misunderstanding.
1. The Guardian has not definitely chosen the Temple design "Azamat" as the one for the Temple in Germany. Of the submissions which have been made up to this time, he feels this is the one that is best susceptible to development for the final design of the Temple. He wishes it clear however that up to the present he has not definitely accepted this design.
2. The Guardian does not wish to interfere unduly with the national tastes nor the actions of the National Assembly; but he attaches the utmost importance to the Temple in Eschborn, as this is the first Temple in Europe, and the only one to be constructed in Europe during the Ten Year Crusade. Therefore he feels that this House of Worship must represent throughout Europe the dignity and spirit of the Faith.
3. The Guardian therefore feels that we should not accept an ultra-modern building, which represents more or less the current spirit of the time, rather than the delicatePage 246
architectural beauty which the spirit of the Faith should engender.
4. The Guardian would be happy if your Assembly could produce a design of a building, graceful in outline, with a dome. If they can do this he will be very pleased. The main thing for the architect to consider is the mass of the building, the outline of the building and its architectural beauty. Most of the sacred buildings, including the Temple at Wilmette, include elements of the previous schools of architecture in an ensemble that seems to present something new. He thinks the architects should study the graceful mass of the Wilmette Temple, of the design of Mr. Remey for the Temple on Mt. Carmel, and the Shrine of the Báb, as well as the outline of the domes of important buildings, particularly the dome of St. Peters in Rome. In this way they will get an idea of proportions which they feel are suitable. The details and the style is somewhat secondary and is left to the architect's taste.
5. The ten year period of the Crusade is running along very rapidly; and the Guardian therefore hopes that your Assembly will present him with your final views in connection with the Temple design at a very early date; otherwise he is fearful this most important project will not be consummated within the Ten Year period.
The beloved Guardian was very sorry to learn of the illness of Dr. Muhlschlegel. He wishes to assure you and likewise to assure Dr. Muhlschlegel of his loving prayers for Dr. Muhlschlegel's complete recovery. He values Dr. Muhlschlegel's services very highly, and he hopes he will soon be able to again become most active in the Bahá'í work. ...
The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf. He sends each his loving Greetings.Page 247
The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you in connection with your recent letter to him concerning the Temple to be built in Germany.
The beloved Master has not given very many details concerning the House of Worship. He has written in tablets, however, that the building must be round, and be 9-sided. The Guardian feels that at this time all Bahá'í temples should have a dome. In other words, the instructions of the Master to have a round, 9-sided building must be very carefully carried out; but in addition the Guardian feels the Temples built now should likewise have a dome.
The Guardian sees no objections to asking other architects to collaborate with the architect of the design "Azamat". However it should be understood that the Guardian does not wish this collaboration or adaptation to result in the ultra-modern type of building which is the motif of the submission which have been made, and which he has rejected.
The Guardian advises that the 2 designs which are favored by your Assembly and the architects of Germany are not acceptable; and therefore correspondence with regard to these designs is no longer necessary.
Time moves on, and the Guardian therefore hopes that the result of the collaboration and adaptation of the Azamat design will be presented to him in the near future.
The Guardian has no objections of course to new designs being presented; but they must carry with them the dignified spirit of the Faith, and must be in keeping with the *Letter without date, was received 23rd November 1955.Page 248
distinction and honor which comes to the temples now being built being the first in their respective continents.
My letter of November 10th outlines in a little more detail what the Guardian has in mind for Bahá'í temples; and he hopes that something suitable may soon be found for a temple in Germany.
The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends you his loving greetings. ...
========================================================23 November 1955
The beloved Guardian has received your letter of November 8th, reviewing further the question of the Bahá'í Temple in Germany.
Your letter crossed my communication to you of last week. The Guardian has asked me to write you further, making the following points:
1. He does not approve of either design No. 11335 or Cupola.
2. As I have written you previously, he feels that the only submission which has come to him which lends itself to adjustment for the Temple in Germany is the design "Azamat".
3. As outlined in my letter of last week, the Guardian does not object to your arranging for another architect to collaborate with Mr. Hopfner. However in this collaboration, the general design of the Temple "Azamat" should be continued; and under no circumstances should it be changed to resemble the ultra modern architectural type of building which was the motif of the other submissions.Page 249
4. As the Guardian has indicated, previously, this building need have seating capacity of only 500 or 600 people.
5. It should be a more modest structure, as has been outlined in previous correspondence. The Guardian feels the height should be not over 30 meters, and the other proportions of the building should be cut down accordingly.
6. The Guardian feels the cost should run about $ 300,000 or a little more; certainly on the outside not more than $ 400,000.
Therefore in revising the plan, it should be simplified in such a way as to bring the cost down, - to a figure near $ 300,000.
It is noted in the details of the "Azamat" there are a number of things still included, which certainly could be gotten along without, for the time being.
With the elimination of the Assembly Hall in the basement, the elimination of the tea kitchen and dining room, as well as conference rooms, library, archives and the other rooms contemplated, this should make a rather material reduction in expense. Likewise the caretaker's quarters should be eliminated, as the caretaker could probably live in the basement for the time being. Elevators need not be considered.
The basement floor of the Temple in Chicago is cement; and it would seem if cement is suitable for that Temple, it would be satisfactory for the Temple in Germany.
Three years of the Crusade are practically over. The Guardian hopes therefore that he will receive at an early date the revision which is proposed of the "Azamat" design, which should not be materially changed, but may be simplified so that work may proceed at an early date on the construction. The Guardian is fearful if this matterPage 250
continues to drag, the Temple may not be completed during the period of the Ten Year Crusade.
The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends you his loving greetings. ...
========================================================15 December 1955
The beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you in connection with the purchase of two endowments for the National Spiritual Assembly of Germany and Austria.
As you know, the Hand of the Cause, Mrs. Amelia E. Collins, has contributed one thousand dollars for the purchase of each of these endowments.
The Guardian feels that 2 small pieces of land costing about one thousand American Dollars each is sufficient to accomplish these two goals of the Ten Year Crusade. He hopes therefore your Assembly will proceed at once to purchase a small piece of land in Germany and also one in Austria.
Will you please let me know in due course what your Assembly will do to accomplish this most important task? ...
========================================================15 December 1955
... The Guardian is quite anxious that the question of the Temple land and the Temple design be concluded at a very early date, as time is passing very rapidly. He has asked me to meet with your Assembly, if the Assembly does meetPage 251
during my visit in Europe, or can meet. I could arrange to be in Germany early in January. ...
========================================================20 December 1955
Your loving letter of December 8th was received and immediately presented to our Beloved Guardian:
He directed me to cable you yesterday, which I did, as follows:
"Guardian approves your asking other National Assemblies write Court. Suggests you write them direct giving full particulars. Does not feel exhibit appropriate until final Temple design approved. Writing."
The Guardian fully approved of your asking the various National Assemblies to write the Court, with regard to the World Importance of the Temple. He felt you should write them direct, giving them full particulars as to what you wish in the letters, to whom to be addressed, and any other pertinent data required. He hopes this will be helpful in working out this important matter.
The Guardian felt it would be inadvisable to have an exhibit of proposals for the Temple, until such time as the final plan is approved. Thus you should hold the exhibit in abeyance until later. I am having sent you by separate mail, the designs, photographs, etc. which you sent to the Guardian.
The Guardian assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends you his loving Greetings. ...Page 252
========================================================3 February 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write to your Assembly explaining his view that now that the National Hazira has been established and is well able to take care of the national office of the National Assembly; that the office of the Secretary of the National Assembly should be established there as soon as convenient.
From the Ha'dzira, all the national administrative activities should emanate, and this cannot be done unless the National Secretary's office is established there. He requests your Assembly study the matter and see if it cannot soon work out some plan whereby the National Secretary's office can permanently be established in Frankfurt in the National Hazira.
The Guardian assures the members of the Assembly of his prayers in their behalf. He sends you his loving Greetings. ...
========================================================20 March 1956
Thank you for your loving letter of March 10th, with regard to the translations into Russian.
I hope the pamphlet which Mrs. Sommerau has prepared will soon be published, so that there will be literature available for this teaching work.
The Guardian is extremely anxious of course of proper contacts to be made with the believers behind the Iron Curtain. However the utmost circumspection must be used; and certainly no one must enter into correspondence withPage 253
them. I think you should inform ... that the Guardian is anxious for the closest contacts to be opened and maintained, but not through correspondence. Likewise when any Bahá'í goes behind the Iron Curtain and contacts the believers, it must be done very quietly and carefully.
Do I understand from the letter that ... is intending to enter behind the Iron Curtain to visit the believers? This would be commendable if it can be done. ...
========================================================23 March 1956
The beloved Guardian was happy to receive your message of greeting dated February 19th, signed by all those present, and to see that it was possible for such a large number of the friends to attend this gathering.
He hopes that this year, Number 113, the Year of Abha of the sixth Vahid in the Bahá'í calendar, will prove to be a truly "Most Luminous" one; and that, in spite of the ever-present difficulties which must constantly be met and surmounted, your National Assembly, reinforced in all its efforts by the entire body of the believers, may cause the Faith to forge ahead in those regions with yet greater momentum and power.
He will remember you all in his loving prayers. ..."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty bless your efforts, guide every step you take, remove all obstacles from your path, and aid you to win great victories in the service of His glorious Faith,Your true brother,
========================================================25 March 1956
Referring to your loving letter of March 19th with regard to the designs for the Temple in Frankfurt:
The designs of the second competition were duly received by the beloved Guardian. He is now giving them very active consideration. As soon as some decision is reached, I will be glad to communicate with you at once.
The members of the International Council greatly appreciate your warm Naw-Ruz greetings, which they reciprocate most heartily. We will pray at the Shrines that every success will attend your efforts; and that the most important subject of the Temple grounds and Temple land will be satisfactorily settled in the very near future. ...
========================================================6 April 1956
Enclosed is the beloved Guardian's message to all Bahá'í Conventions. He would like you to please share it with the delegates and friends attending your National Convention.
He hopes it will stimulate the teaching work, and particularly the pioneer work. ...
========================================================7 April 1956
Your loving letter of March 28th was duly received, carrying with it the strong spirit which animates the friends in Germany.Page 255
The answers to the questions which you raised in your letter are as follows:
The Guardian advises that he will leave to your discretion, just how the $ 1,000 which is available in America is to be used, in connection with the Endowment. In other words, you may purchase another piece of land for the $ 1,000; may apply it to repair of existing holdings, other than the Hazira, such as the House in Esslingen - or put it in the Temple Fund.
1. The goals of the Ten Year Crusade include the purchase of an endowment for Germany. By referring to page 72 of the British Statistical Book, issued at the beginning of the Ten Year Crusade, you will note, that Germany is listed as requiring an endowment. I think the Assembly should correspond with the American National Spiritual Assembly, so that the One Thousand Dollars which Mrs. Collins has made available may be sent to you.
2. The beloved Guardian advises that he has ... on his list of those who wish to make the pilgrimage. As soon as it is possible for them to come, he will inform them. You might explain to these dear friends that there are a great many Persian Bahá'ís who wish to make the pilgrimage; and the Guardian feels he must invite them on the basis of the date of their application. In other words, those who asked for permission first would be the first to be invited to make the pilgrimage.
3. I did not present to the Guardian the question of new Bahá'ís in Greece being allowed to remain in their church after they become Baha'is, because I knew there was no such situation existing. The Guardian does not wish to be asked to make rulings on situations which might develop. He has already enunciated very clearly the principle that when people become Baha'is, they should, if not immediately,Page 256
then within a short time, leave the church. If there is any exception to be made to these rules, it would be on specific instances, and on specific application of a national assembly.
When the pioneers in Greece have any individuals ready to become Baha'is, and then if the church question is a deterring factor, perhaps at that time your Assembly will wish to take the matter up with the Guardian. I am sure he would not want to issue a ruling on a possible future case.
If this handling is not satisfactory to your Assembly, and you wish me to present the matter to the Guardian, in that event let me know and I will do so.
4. I hope some arrangement is worked out to handle the publication of Russian literature. It will be of advantage at this time for local teaching and therefore what can - should certainly be prepared. I did inform Mrs. Sommerau that I would see that her pamphlet was financed, and I have had some correspondence with her and Marion Little concerning the matter. As developments occur, I will be glad to let you know. ...
The Guardian sends his loving Greetings to the members of the N.S.A.
========================================================27 April 1956
The Beloved Guardian has been giving very serious consideration to the model for the Temple to be built in Frankfurt.
He feels that the design NO. 102-A, prepared by Architect Teuto Rocholl, is susceptible of development into the type of building which we wish.Page 257
The Guardian asks that you consult with the architect, asking him to submit a few modifications of the plan, simply in a rough pencil sketch, incorporating the following adjustments:
1. A third story should be provided without of course increasing the size of the building.2. The building must be 9-sided instead of round.
3. A lantern should be placed on the top of the dome.
4. The dome should be more gracefully shape, with a little more peak to the top.
5. It might be that some windows could be placed at the base of the dome, so as to give the impression of a clerestory.
The architect himself may have some other modifications that may occur to him as he sets up plans.
If you could have this matter handled as quickly as possible, the Guardian would be very appreciative. Time is running along very rapidly, and if an early start is not made on the building, it may be difficult to finish it during the Ten Year Plan.The Guardian sends you his loving greetings. ...
========================================================19 May 1956
Referring to your letter of May 5th, with regard to the model of the Temple. I cabled you May 14th, that the Guardian had not approved any design for the Temple. he simply felt that there was possibility of the design of Architect Rocholl, No. 102-A being developed into a suitable design. He has not been satisfied with the submissions, but when the revisions are sent by Mr.Page 258
Rocholl, he will then reappraise all of them to see if any can be given further consideration.
Please refer to my letter of November 23, 1955, item 6, in which it is stated the Guardian felt "the cost should run about $ 300,000 or a little more; certainly on the outside, not more than $ 400,000." The Guardian has directed me to advise you, that he now feels the maximum which should be spent on the construction, is $ 300,000 and no more. ...
========================================================19 May 1956
Your loving letter of May 13th, has come to hand, and I am hastening to answer, particularly that portion dealing with the translation in Russian:
Mrs. ... was raised in Russia; at least in the early part of her life. She fled with others during the Revolution. Thus her knowledge of Russian should be excellent.She has recently become a Baha'i, in Lausanne.
In Lausanne, another woman has become a Baha'i, who is Russian, and is an excellent linguist. I understand in any translating now being dome, she is being consulted.
It is my though that your Assembly should correspond with the Italo Swiss NSA, so as to set up some method of handling Russian translations and printing. As you know, ..., in Geneva, is Russian, and likewise a good translator. If your two NSA's set up a General Translating Committee, I am sure great results would be achieved.
I am sending Mrs. ..., some views of the Shrines and Gardens, which I hope will give her happiness.Page 259
========================================================19 May 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning the court case relating to the Temple Land near Eschborn.
You have asked if the decision of the Court should be adverse, if you should appeal the case to a higher court.
The Guardian feels that if the decision of the Court is adverse, then you should not appeal the case, but should at once look for another site for the Temple.
Time is rapidly passing, and no further time should be lost in trying the case. You should find another piece of land, so work on the Temple may start. The Guardian is fearful, if there are further delays, either in the question of land, or the question of Model, the time will have so flown, that the Temple in Germany will not be built during the Ten Year Crusade.
He assures you of his prayers in your behalf, and sends his loving Greetings to all the members of the Assembly.
========================================================5 June 1956
Your letter of April 19th has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He is very happy that Vienna not has its own Haziratu'l-Quds, which will become the National Headquarters of the Austrian National Spiritual Assembly when formed.
This important step forward is bound to reflect itself in the teaching work, and attract many new souls to the Faith.Page 260
The establishment of the other Centers in Austria during the past year has been most encouraging, and he hopes that by Spring of next year there will be a number of flourishing Spiritual Assemblies.
He will pray for you all and for the success of the work in Vienna."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty, Whose Cause you serve so devotedly, reward you abundantly for your labours, remove all obstacles from your path, and enable you to win great victories in the days to come,Your true brother,
========================================================8 June 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you, in response to your recent letter to him, with regard to the modified Temple plans of Mr. Rocholl.
As he understands the situation, your NSA is not pleased with the modified plans, and Mr. Rocholl says he will submit one or two others. The Guardian will await receipt of these further modifications, if it does not delay the matter too long.
So far as a modification of Mr. Grund, he feels it would delay the project too long to wait for new plans from him; unless of course, he has them ready for sending now.
In other words, the Guardian will await for a reasonable time, the receipt of further plans of Mr. Rocholl, before making final decision; and if by that time, any modifications have come from Mr. Grund, he will consider them; but hePage 261
does not feel we can wait now, for an entire new development by Mr. Grund, unless he has it under way. ...
========================================================8 June 1956
The Beloved Guardian, as you know, is very anxious to have the matter of the land for the Temple near Frankfurt decided as quickly as possible, and he is hoping the decision of the court will be favorably announced in the near future.
Will you please cable me, just as soon as a decision is given, just what it is, so I may hand it to the Guardian at once. ...
========================================================21 June 1956
Your letters of August 8 and 18, September 9, October 4, November 8, 9 and 13, one undated, received December 18, 1955; and January 27, one dated January, February 7, 24 and28, April 21, May 5, and 31, with enclosures, and also material sent under separate cover have all been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He has been very encouraged during the last year over the increased activity on the part of the German Baha'is, as witnessed by the teaching conferences they have held at different times and in different places; and th growth of new Centers in Austria more or less as a direct outcome of the devoted pioneer efforts of members of the German Bahá'í Community. This fulfills a long-cherished wish ofPage 262
his, and was a source of great satisfaction. He hopes that the Groups in Graz, Innsbruck and Salzburg will attain Assembly status by next Ri/ddvan, thus giving the Austrian Community a much firmer foundation and preparing it for the day when it will have its independent National Assembly, a day which is not so very far off after all, and towards which they must work constantly, with ever increasing zeal and dedication.
He was also very happy to hear that the Vienna Community has settled down in its Haziratu'l-Quds, its future national headquarters building; and that this is not only a center for the Baha'is, but, what is even more important, a center for their teaching activities on a larger and more impressive scale in that city.
As he already informed you before, he felt that the generous contribution of dear Mrs. Collins towards the purchase of a national endowment for Austria should be used for that purpose only, and not diverted to anything to do with the furnishing or embellishing of the Haziratu'l-Quds.
he hopes that the presence of a devoted American Baha'i, Mrs. Edna Johnson Norvell in Austria will be of help to the friends. She is most eager to serve and assist them in every way she can.
It has been recently a great pleasure for the Guardian to receive here as his guests four of the pioneers to Athens. This contact has been most welcome, and he feels that your Assembly can be proud of these fine young people, who are making every effort to achieve the goals set for the German Bahá'ís in Greece.
He has also had the great pleasure of receiving here the first German Bahá'í since before the war; namely, Miss Weber, one of the pioneers to Crete.Page 263
He hopes that the German Bahá'í Community will make every effort to send forth a greater number of pioneers to the countries which have been made their particular responsibility under the World Crusade, and also to reinforce the work in Austria. They must never forget that one of the first "pioneers", before the days when that term was even in use, was dear Mr. Benke, who sacrificed his life in the service of the Faith with such an exemplary spirit of devotion that the Guardian felt impelled to call him the first European martyr for the Faith. This was a great distinction and blessing conferred on the German Baha'is, and should stimulate many others to follow in his footsteps.
The Guardian is very sorry that there has been so much delay as regards the Temple in Frankfurt, both because of the difficulty of obtaining permission to build on the site chosen, and the difficulty incoming to a decision about the design.
He feels that, as this is the Mother Temple of Europe, and an institution which will be supported by contributions from Bahá'ís all over the world, that it has a very great importance; and must under all circumstances be dignified, and not represent an extremist point of view in architecture. Now one knows how the styles of the present day may be judged two or three generations from now; but the Bahá'ís cannot afford to build a second Temple if the one that they built at the present time should seem too extreme and unsuitable at a future date.
In view of this, he has pondered very carefully over the designs which were submitted to him, and also consulted Mr. Remey. He hopes to come to a decision, and will inform your Assembly accordingly.
He appreciated very much the cooperative spirit shown by many of the German architects and their offer to comePage 264
here and consult with him. This would have been impractical, and a waste of the money of the Faith; but, if your Assembly has occasion, he would like it to please thank these gentlemen for their friendly and cooperative spirit as regards our Temple.
He feels that the National Haziratu'l-Quds in Fankfurt should act as the Secretariat of the National Assembly as well. This is the main reason why the Bahá'ís have National Headquarters - so that the office of the National Spiritual Assembly can operate from the National Assembly's permanent address. It may not be convenient at times, but it is essential that this should be done. He has informed other national bodies of the same thing, that is, those who had not already placed their Secretariat in their Haziratu'l-Quds.
He feels that your Assembly should particularly concentrate at this time on accelerating the work of the home front. Perhaps the most difficult objective for any of the National Assemblies to accomplish is the one of increasing the number of Assemblies and Centers under their jurisdiction before the end of the Ten Year Plan. the friends must realize that this, by its very nature, is a task which it is dangerous to postpone to the latter years of the Plan. The construction of Assemblies is always a laborious process, and one which demands a great deal of preparation and forethought and time to achieve. Therefore, the sooner the believers go out into the field, and assist, through settlement or through extension teaching, or travelling teaching trips, or in whatever way they can, in laying the foundation for these new Assemblies, the better.
He hopes that the Bahá'í youth in Germany will be encouraged to take a more active part in administrative affairs and in the teaching work. They must always realize that they are the future of the Cause, and they should gainPage 265
from experience as teachers and administrators from the older friends, in preparation for the time when the burden of the work will fall on their shoulders.
The news of the publication work you have in hand was also encouraging; and he hopes that, when you receive your Reparations from the proper civil authorities there, you will be able to put the new Bahá'í Publishing Trust on a firm foundation, and get out more literature, which is the very backbone of the teaching work.
You may be sure that he often remembers you in his prayers in the holy Shrines; and he deeply appreciates the consecrated spirit with which you are serving the interests of the Faith in Germany and Austria, and in the virgin territories allotted to your care. He hopes that the national work can be arranged in such a way that too great a burden does not fall on the Hands of the Cause, who already have another important function to discharge, and yet who are needed because of their capacities for the National Assembly work as well.
He was very sorry to hear of the illness of some of the members who are so needed in the teaching work in Germany, and he hopes and prays that they are now fully recovered.
The good news that your National Convention was held so successfully pleased him very much; and he was also happy to see that a young and comparatively new Bahá'í has been added to your Body. This will no doubt be of assistance to the work of the Assembly.
He was also happy to see that you have been able to add another incorporation, in such an important city as Frankfurt, the national seat. ...Page 266
P.S. Mr. Ioas recently wrote your Assembly that the Guardian does not feel it would serve any useful purpose to reconsider Temple designs with Prof. Grund; please thank him for his helpfulness and fine spirit."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
The progress achieved in recent years, and particularly since the inception of the Ten-Year Plan, by both the German and Austrian Bahá'í communities, in the field of teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá'í activity, has been such as to evoke feelings of deep and abiding gratitude in my heart, and to excite the admiration of their sister communities in both the East and the West.
Emerging more than a decade ago, from a prolonged period of adversity, which served to purge, discipline and spiritually quicken the nations to which these communities belong; abundantly demonstrating, throughout the afflictive trail they underwent, the sterling qualities of their faith and the depth of their unalterable devotion to the Cause they have espoused; firmly reestablishing, on the morrow of that ordeal, the institutions of an Administrative Order which had been temporarily disrupted and suffered an eclipse during the years of repression, suffering and confusion; embarking, at a later period, and in concert with Bahá'í communities the world over, on the Ten-Year Plan, designed to carry them a stage further on the road leading them to their high destiny - the members of these communities are now, both individually and collectively, fully engaged in the discharge of their sacred and heavy responsibilities - responsibilities which they cannot shirk and which I feel confident, they will nobly and fully discharge.Page 267
The third phase of the Plan which they now have entered must witness such an acceleration in the tempo of Bahá'í activity, in the various fields assigned to them, and such a depth of consecration to the tasks they have shouldered, as shall throw into shade every evidence of the valour displayed during the infancy of the Faith in both of these countries.
The virgin territories allotted to your assembly, under the Ten-Year Plan, must be carefully watched over, and the prizes won in those fields must be constantly enriched, at whatever cost, through the dispatch of a larger number of pioneers and a more adequate provision for the needs, both material and spiritual, of those valiant souls who, by the very nature of their services, constitute the vanguard of the future army of Bahá'u'lláh which must, in the days to come be raised up in those territories. The homefront, the reservoir which must be constantly replenished if the aid given to these pioneers is to prove ultimately adequate and effective, must be made the object of the solicitude and of the anxious deliberations of the members of your Assembly. The remarkable success recently achieved, through the multiplication of Bahá'í assemblies, groups and isolated centres, must be followed up by a corresponding increase in the number of the avowed and active supporters of the Faith - the bedrock on which the strength and stability of the entire community must rest. The preliminary stages designed to launch the greatest enterprise confronting the German Bahá'í Community - the construction of the Mother Temple of Europe - must be swiftly and energetically undertaken, particularly in connexion with the ultimate settlement of the issue of the Temple site, and the provision of the necessary authorization for the laying of its foundations and the erection of its structure.Page 268
Another matter of vital importance, and destined to exert a lasting influence on the immediate destinies of the German Bahá'í Community, is the adoption of the necessary measures for the introduction of the Faith into neighbouring territories, such as the translation of Bahá'í literature into Russian and into the languages in use in the Baltic state, and the exploration of every avenue designed to enable German Bahá'í pioneers to launch this vast, this historic and meritorious campaign beyond the eastern confines of their native land.
The process of incorporating firmly established Bahá'í local assemblies, which has so far been regrettably slow, must be further stimulated, in order to consolidate the legal foundations of the administrative structure of the Faith in that land as well as in Austria.
The institution of the National Fund, whose fundamental importance cannot be exaggerated, must receive a wider and fuller measure of support from the rank and file of the believers, in order that it may be enabled to provide more adequately than heretofore for the pressing material needs of the infant institutions of the Faith, now faced with such tremendous and inescapable responsibilities.
Particular attention must, moreover, be devoted to the vital and urgent needs of the Faith in Austria, where a nascent community is heroically struggling to establish its independent national Bahá'í existence on a secure foundation.
Constant encouragement, by whatever means possible, must, furthermore, be given the suppressed and isolated local communities in Eastern Germany, now so sadly detached from the general body of the followers of the Faith in that land, and any assistance, lying in your power, mustPage 269
be extended to them for the purpose of enabling some of their members to penetrate into the remaining territories assigned to your assembly under the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan.
The stalwart German Bahá'í Community, ranking among the oldest and certainly one of the most eminent, communities in Europe; firmly implanted in the heart of that continent; constituting one of the leading strongholds of the Faith within its confines; reassured, time and again, through the glowing promises given it, in unmistakable language, by the Centre of the Covenant, in the early years of that community's existence; blessed so abundantly through His memorable visit to its homeland; hardened and chastened in the school of adversity; emerging triumphant over those adversaries that sought so ineffectively to arrest its march, dim its hopes, and disrupt its foundations; fully equipped through more than three decades of Bahá'í administrative experience - such a community finds itself, at this historic hour, fully and hopefully launched upon an enterprise which, if successfully carried out, will enable it to bring to a conclusion a chapter of the utmost significance in the evolution of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh in that land.
Aware of its manifold responsibilities, determined to fulfill the dearest hopes cherished for it by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, conscious of its inherent strength, and encouraged by its multiple and heartwarming accomplishments, this community, in conjunction with its younger sister, must redouble its efforts to scale loftier heights, to plumb greater depths of dedication, to evince a still nobler heroism, and to heighten, by its accomplishments, and, above all, by a still more convincing demonstration of the spirit animating its members, the feelings of admiration which I myself, as well as the believers in other lands, hold them, in consequence ofPage 270
their mighty endeavours and unforgettable exploits in the service, and for the Cause, of Bahá'u'lláh.
May His Spirit ever shine upon, and warm, their hearts. May His precepts ever guide their footsteps, and may His unfailing grace, vouchsafed from the realms on high, be poured forth upon them in such abundance as to enable them to achieve, in the years immediately ahead, total and complete victory.Your true brother,
========================================================7 July 1956
Under separate cover, I am sending you the latest design of Mr. Teuto Rocholl, which has been carefully reviewed by the Beloved Guardian.
Also enclosed in the same package is a design for the German Temple, prepared by Mr. Charles Remey, which likewise has been very carefully reviewed by the Guardian.
The Guardian feels that the German National Assembly may now make their selection from either of these two, of the design for the German Temple. He says you are free to chose either Mr. Rocholl's or Mr. Remey's design.
In making your selection, you must of course, bear in mind the cost factor; that the building should not cost more than $ 300,000.
As soon as you have made your decision, will you please cable me so I can inform the Guardian.
The Guardian assures you of his prayers - and send his loving Greetings. ...Page 271
========================================================7 July 1956
The Guardian has directed me to advise you that he appreciates your having established the Assistant Secretary of the NSA in the Hazira in Frankfurt. The Guardian wishes you to bear this important matter in mind, for in time, the full Secretariat must be established in the Hazira. ...
========================================================7 July 1956
The June 1956 issue of "Pflanze und Garten" issued in Darmstadt, Nicolaiweg 9, has an article on the Faith, and a number of photographs of the Gardens and Shrine of the Báb, as well as the Mansion at Bahji.
If you have not already seen it, you will wish to secure copies. At the same time, will you please send me for use here, 6 copies. It is not necessary to send the entire magazine for all six, simply the pages dealing with the Article. Two magazines will suffice, the other four to be the pages only. ...
========================================================8 July 1956
Referring to my letter of yesterday, with regarding to the design for the German Temple.
My letter should have specified, that the latest revised plan of Mr. Rocholl, No. 102-F is the one which should be considered for selection, and no former plans of Mr.Page 272
Rocholl. In other words, the choice is left to the NSA of Germany, as to whether they select Mr. Rocholl's design No. 102-F, or Mr. Remey's design. ...
========================================================27 July 1956
I telegraphed you today, at the direction of the beloved Guardian, the wish that your Assembly, now concentrate closely, on the securing of the new site for the Temple.
Now that you have determined on the design for the Temple, it is most important that you secure the land on which it is to be built.
The Guardian feels this is a task of the utmost importance, as time is rapidly passing on, and he fears that if the work on the Temple is not started soon, it will not be completed during the Ten Year Crusade, which would be a sad state of affairs.
The Guardian will be happy to learn at an early date, of what progress you have made with regard to the location of the Temple.
========================================================31 July 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you in connection with the Temple design for Germany, and the activities in connection therewith.
1. The Guardian feels your Assembly should not announce the selection at this time, to the Friends. You should, quietly, review the matter carefully, and ascertainPage 273
what the cost of construction will be. It may be if the expense is out of line with the amounts available, then some other considerations will have to be given.
2. You should concentrate all you energies on the securing of the Temple location. This is important, as the Temple cannot of course be started, until the land is purchased.
3. When you have the arrangements made for the land purchase, and have the costs of the Temple construction, let the Guardian know, and he will advise the next step.
4. The Guardian will announce the selection of the Temple design to the Bahá'í World, after all these matters are settled.
The Guardian hopes you will be able to expedite all these matters, as he feels, as I have written previously, there is no time to be lost, if the Temple is to completed before the close of the Ten Year Crusade.The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.
========================================================26 August 1956
Your loving letter of July 17th was duly received, and its contents presented to the Beloved Guardian.
For the Endowment in Austria, no more than $ 1,000. should be spent. I cabled you with regard to the gift of Mr. ...; in order to accept his contribution, please send his
full name. This information is necessary as he may be an individual whose voting rights were withdrawn by the ... NSA, and if so, his contribution cannot be accepted. full name. This information is necessary as he may be an individual whose voting rights were withdrawn by the ... NSA, and if so, his contribution cannot be accepted. As soon as I have his first name and initials, I will be able to tell, and will then let you know definitely.Page 274
Your report for the year 112 in English has been sent on to the Guardian, for his study and perusal.
========================================================24 September 1956 (Summer School)
The beloved Guardian has received you letter of August 17th, signed by those present at the Summer School, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was happy to see that the Hands of the Cause were represented there, also that Bahá'ís from different countries were present.
The friends can gain much spiritual reinforcement by drawing on the inner strength of their fellow-Baha'is; and the Guardian hopes those who went to Esslingen this summer received this renewed power from mingling with other Baha'is; and returned to their homes more determined than ever to carry forward in the speediest and most efficient manner possible - the work of the World Spiritual Crusade.
He appreciates the prayers of the friends, and sends you all his loving greetings."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh sustain you in your splendid activities, aid you to acquire a fuller grasp of the fundamental and distinguishing features and teachings of our beloved Faith, and lend a great impetus to its onward march,Your true brother,
========================================================27 September 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you to ascertain the present status of the purchase of the new site for the Temple in Frankfurt.
As you know he attaches the utmost importance to this matter, and regrets that it has not been consummated up to the present time. He is becoming fearful that the Temple will not be built in Germany, during the Ten Year Crusade, unless there is some strong immediate action taken in connection with the purchase of the land, and then the prosecution of the construction work.
Will your Assembly please let me know by return airmail, what the status is of the land purchase.
========================================================27 September 1956
Please refer to your letter of July 17th and my reply of August 26th, with regard to a fight of $ 1,000 from ... to the Austrian Fund.
It is satisfactory to receive this gift, as ... is a Bahá'í of record of the ... Assembly.
As I wrote you however, it cannot be used for the Endowment; as a gift of $ 1,000 has already been made by ... for this purpose. Thus ... should be informed, so he may direct in what manner he wishes the money used, or if he gives it for the General Fund, which is, of course, best. ...Page 276
========================================================27 September 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write your Assembly, to ask the status of the purchase of the Endowment in Austria, which he hopes will be purchased shortly. This should be a relatively simply matter, and he hopes it can be followed through promptly.
He likewise is anxious regarding the incorporation of local Assemblies. He hopes your Assembly will review the matter further at this time, to see if more Assemblies cannot be incorporated at this time. ...
========================================================28 September 1956
The beloved Guardian has received your recent letter, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was grieved to hear of the passing of Mr. Rahmatollah Saffar. He deeply appreciates the services rendered the Faith by him, and wishes to extend his loving sympathy to his family, and to assure them of his prayers for the progress of his spirit.
The Guardian will shortly be sending Five Hundred Pounds for the German National Spiritual Assembly to help in the teaching work.
========================================================6 October 1956 (First Austrian Summer School)
Your note of greeting dated August 29th, signed by all present on this important occasion, together with itsPage 277
enclosures, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf. He was happy to see the names of so many participants, as such gatherings bring a fresh spirit and a renewed determination to carry forward the work to all the friends.
The Guardian assures you he will remember you in his loving prayers; and he urges you to steadily, courageously and whole-heartedly, pursue your goals under the historic World Spiritual Crusade, confident that this will attract to you the blessings of Bahá'u'lláh."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty guide your steps in the path of service, remove all obstacles from your path, and enable you to extend the range of your meritorious services, and win great victories in the days to come,Your true brother,
========================================================20 October 1956
Your loving letter of October 3rd was presented to the Beloved Guardian.
The Guardian has directed me to assure your Assembly, that he is praying for the removal of every obstacle in the way of the purchase of the site for the Temple at Frankfurt.
He hopes you and your committee will continue to press the matter vigorously, as he hopes this important matter, can be successfully achieved in the near future.
When you have concluded the purchase, he would appreciate a cable from you.He sends his loving greetings to each of you. ...
========================================================22 October 1956 (Teaching Conference)
The beloved Guardian has received the letter which you all signed, dated September 30th, and has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
When we stop to think that we are already in the fourth year of the World Spiritual Crusade, we realize that we cannot afford to look at our past accomplishments, but must face the future and the tremendous tasks which lie ahead.
He knows the attainment of the objectives of the Crusade is the concern deepest in the heart of each believer; and he is confident this Conference has sent forth those who attended with a renewed determination to do all in their power individually and collectively, as the days and weeks pass, to ensure its ultimate success. ..."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty guide you in your constant endeavours for the spread of the Faith, and aid you to extend continually the scope of your valued activities, and lend, in the days to come, a great impetus to its progress and the consolidation of its institutions.Your true brother,
========================================================9 November 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to respond to your recent letter to him, with regard to the Temple design, etc.
The Guardian likes the adjustments Mr. Rocholl has made in his design, and now approves of the drawings youPage 279
have sent him. Therefore you should now proceed, within the following limitations.
No changes should be made further in the design. If it is necessary to reduce the size in order to keep within the limit of financial resources, that is permissible, but no change in the size or proportions should be made.
As previously advised, the Guardian feels this Temple must be constructed at a cost of not to exceed $ 300,000. He is willing to consider raising this limit by $ 20,000, to cover furnishings, etc. or at the very outside $ 30,000.
Now it is necessary for your Assembly to study the matter, and decide how to proceed to construct the Temple within this money limit. The Temple must be financed by the Bahá'ís of the world, and with the heavy expenditures everywhere, economy must be exercised in all our undertakings, and limits of budgets set.
The important think now is to build a House of Worship, which will bring untold spiritual blessings, wide publicity, and let us hope, a rapid increase in the number of Bahá'ís and Centers.
As I have indicated, if it is necessary to decrease the size of the structure, that is satisfactory, but no change in the design or proportions should be made to the main structure of the building.
This $ 320,000 figure, refers to the completed Temple, including fittings and equipment.
Of course, the Temple cannot be built until the land has been secured. He request and urges that your Assembly expedite this important matter in every way possible. He is fearful, if work on the Temple is not started at an early date, it may be impossible to build the Temple in Germany during the Ten Year Crusade.Page 280
He assures you of his prayers in your behalf. He sends his loving Greetings. ...
P.S. The questions of materials to be used, he leaves to your Assembly. You should endeavor to use such materials as are not too expensive, and yet satisfactory for the Temple.
========================================================15 November 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning the purchase of the Endowment for Austria. He hopes very much it will possible for you to purchase this Endowment before Ridvan 1957.
He asks that you write me, giving the status of this matter, and when you feel the purchase can be consummated. ...
========================================================30 November 1956
Your loving letters of November 19th and 22nd were duly received by the Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge them on his behalf.
He greatly appreciates, and was deeply touched, by your kind sentiments on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of his appointment as Guardian. The spirit of devotion and consecration of the German Believers, and its National Assembly, augurs well for the future of the Faith in your country. He is sure the Master will both guide and confirmPage 281
you in your work, as you carry forth the mandates of His Convenient, and the Teaching Tablets.
With regard to the Temple Land - The Guardian feels this must be purchased in Frankfurt, or its environs. He does not approve of buying in Offenbach. Thus he feels you can secure the land anywhere in Frankfurt or its environs, where it seems best suitable for our purposes.
The new location near Eschborn would seem satisfactory, but you must be sure there will be no trouble with permits to build.
He feels you should again review the entire matter most carefully, and he hopes you will soon find the location which will be the site of the House of Worship in Germany.
With regard to the funds - he feels it is best that you allow them to remain in the Bank as at present.The Guardian sends you his loving greetings.
He is praying for you, and for the success of your work in the Faith.
========================================================30 November 1956
Your loving letter of October 17th was duly received, and its contents presented to the Beloved Guardian. He has directed me to reply as follows:
He feels it is more advisable for ... to remain in Budapest, where the Faith needs every help it can get, rather than go to either Austria or Germany.
Of course, the terrible events in Hungary may have changed the whole aspect of this important matter, and the question not now be in need of an answer. The GuardianPage 282
hopes that ... has not suffered nor met with misfortune in that unhappy city.
At the same time, the Faith is needed more than ever, and it may be the depressing conditions existing, may make it possible for more teaching work to be done.
========================================================5 December 1956
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write you concerning some copies of the prints which Mr. Rocholl has made of the Temple Design for Frankfurt.
He would like to secure 15 copies of the photo sent by Mr. Rocholl, which shows the Temple in White lines, and the background black.
The Temple itself, should be no larger than the Shrine in the Colored pictures of the Shrine of the Báb. Thus the measurement of the pictures to be sent are 21 cm by 13 cm. There need be little space below or over the Temple, but let the black run out to the edges, on both sides.
Do I make clear what the Guardian wants? If you will show Mr. Rocholl a picture of the Shrine of the Báb colored, as printed in America for sale, and which appears in the frontispiece of Vol. 9 of the Bahá'í World, he can have the pictures made accordingly.
The pictures should be black and white, glossy, and on as light paper as possible. By light I mean, in weight.
Please cable me on receipt if this is clear, and if Mr. Rocholl can provide the 15 copies at an early date. ...Page 283
========================================================1 January 1957
Your loving letter of December 16th was duly received, and its contents presented to the Beloved Guardian.
Needless to say, he is very disturbed with the recent developments with regard to the Temple land and building. This matter has gone along for a long period of time, and he feels it is now reaching a point where it reflects on the Faith. He feels very definitely that if there should be a failure in connection with the Temple to be built in Frankfurt, it would be a great set back to the Faith, not only in Germany, but in all Europe.
The Guardian suggests your Assembly read carefully, the many statements and letters to the American National Assembly, as to the importance of the Temple, and its construction. He even says it will be the most important teacher of the Faith, and with its completion, a new spiritual movement will take place in America. Whatever the Master has said with regard to the Temple in America, applies with equal force to Germany. Surely we cannot allow the negative influences at work in Frankfurt and Germany, in connection with our Temple project, to stop our forward progress.
The Guardian would like your Assembly to consider the project of the Temple land, and the construction of the building, as its most important task, and give it precedence over all other problems.
So far as the question of Environs of Frankfurt is concerned, he will allow you to determine what constitutes the Environs of Frankfurt. If you feel Offenbach, which is a separate city, is the environs of Frankfurt, he will approvePage 284
the construction there. If the hills of Taunus constitute the environs, he will approve that location.
If the objection of the city of Frankfurt to the Temple model, is due to its size, why not reduce the size. The important thing now is not the size of the building, but the fact of the building.
Therefore the Guardian will approve reduction in the size, so as to permit construction now, and in Frankfurt, or its environs.
The Guardian will pray for the guidance of your Assembly in working out this important project; that it may be settled promptly, and that soon we may rejoice, with the work of the Temple proceeding. ...
========================================================10 January 1957
GUARDIAN APPROVES PURCHASE LAND POLISCHER BERG WITH ASSURANCE NO COMPLICATIONS ERECTION TEMPLE.
========================================================11 January 1957
MR SABET CHARGED BY GUARDIAN MEET WITH YOUR NSA IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS PLEASE CABLE DATE PLACE NEXT MEETING.
========================================================11 January 1957
IS KRIFTEL REFERRED YOURS FIRST SAME AS POLISCHER BERG REFERRED BY CABLE EIGHTH.Page 285
========================================================13 January 1957
GUARDIAN URGES IMMEDIATE PURCHASE TEMPLE LAND. TRANSLATION INTO UNOPENED TERRITORY LANGUAGE ALSO HAVE PIONEERS READY TO MOVE FIRST OPPORTUNITY.
========================================================19 January 1957
WHAT IS STATUS TEMPLE LAND POLISCHER BERG PLEASE CABLE.
========================================================19 January 1957
"What is status purchase Temple Land Polischer Berg. Please cable."
I cabled you on January 8th that the Guardian approved purchase of the land of Polischer Berg, with the assurance that there would be no complications in connection with the erection of the Temple.
Your letter later spoke of the Temple Land near Kriftel, and I cabled to ascertain if this is the same land as referred to at Polischer Berg. I take it, it is.
The Guardian now hopes all matters are clarified, and that your Assembly is in a position to purchase this land, and thus start the construction of the Temple. Your early advice and confirmation will be appreciated by him. ...Page 286
========================================================19 January 1957
Miss Bertha Matthiessen, one of the dear Bahá'ís of Southern California, who has spent some time in Germany, and is no doubt, well known to you; is returning to Germany from the United States in March 1957.
She has written the Guardian that after a rest at Bad Nauheim, she will get in touch with your Assembly, or the Teaching Committee, to assist in the teaching work. the Guardian has written her, expressing his appreciation of this offer on her part to assist in the important work in Germany and Austria, and suggested that if she could settle in one of the goal cities in Austria, after consultation with your Assembly or Teaching Committee, it would be highly meritorious.
This note is sent to you, so you may understand, when she gets in touch with you this spring.
========================================================24 January 1957 (Winter School)
Your message dated January 5th has reached the beloved Guardian, and he was very happy to see that the friends had been able to meet and deepen their understanding of the Faith.
He hopes that the German Baha'is, especially the Youth, will do all they can to consolidate the foundations of the work already so painstakingly laid in Germany during a period of almost half a century; and that each Bahá'í will consider it his privilege and duty to support the teaching work, either through pioneering to new Centers, orPage 287
strengthening weak Assemblies, or assisting the Groups to become Assemblies.
He assures you all of his loving prayers for your success."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Almighty bless your efforts, guide and sustain you, and enable you to extend the scope of your valued activities, acquire a fuller understanding of the distinguishing features of His Faith, and lend an impetus to the progress and consolidation of its divinely appointed institutions,Your true brother,
========================================================26 January 1957
Yesterday, a Jewish Seaman called, to present Greetings from Mrs. Santa Felbermann, connected with the British Legation in Budapest.
This gentlemen, who gave the name of Alexander Goldhammer, advised he had been in Budapest a short time ago, and Mrs. Felbermann, asked him to give her Greetings to the Friends here.
It occurs to me you may wish to enter into correspondence with her, if correspondence to Hungary is possible now from West Germany. You may have information from the Bahá'ís who left Hungary recently, and who, no doubt, were in touch with you.
I am also sending a copy of this letter to Mrs. Anne Lynch, so she may write to Mrs. Felbermann, if correspondence from Switzerland is now possible. ...Page 288
========================================================30 January 1957
========================================================17 February 1957
The Beloved Guardian has suggested that your Assembly arrange for a telegraphic address in Frankfurt, which will simplify telegraphing your honorable body.
Some of the National Assemblies have used the designation "Baha'i". Thus for instance, when we cable to the American NSA, we simply address the cable "Baha'i, Wilmette". Australia uses "Natbahai". As soon as you have arranged with the cable Company for your telegraphic address, please let me know for the Guardian.
========================================================17 February 1957
The Beloved Guardian has directed me to write to your Assembly, concerning the settlement of Persian Bahá'ís in Germany and Austria.
He has discussed the matter in some detail with ... when they were here, and asked them to review the matter with your Assembly.
It is artificial to build up communities or Assemblies with Persians, or for that matter, any Bahá'ís from other countries. The Communities and Assemblies should be made up of local people. Thus in any of the Centers where aPage 289
large number of Persian Bahá'ís have settled, your Assembly should discuss the subject with them, and urge them to move to goal cities, where there are no Baha'is, or groups, in order to assist in the teaching work. Thus, the artificial Assemblies will necessarily have to be constituted of local Baha'is, and many new centers will be opened. Thus the Persian Bahá'ís will become pioneers and greatly aid the teaching work. At the same time, it will mean that the German Bahá'ís will have to redouble their efforts and win many converts to the Faith, in the cities from which the Persians move, and which are now artificial.
The Guardian hopes this action will stimulate the teaching work throughout Germany.He sends you his loving greetings. ...
========================================================10 March 1957
The Beloved Guardian is anxious to have an up to date record of the number of Bahá'ís in the Goal countries of the Ten Year Crusade, as of April 1, 1957.
To this end I have prepare letters to each country or island. Some of the current addresses etc. I do not have, and I am taking the liberty of enclosing letters for the Frisian Islands, and Crete.
May I ask if you will send them directly to the proper persons, by air mail.
Please acknowledge and advise if you will arrange to do this for me. ...Page 290
========================================================12 March 1957 (Regional Convention)
Your note of greeting has been received, and our beloved Guardian was very happy to see that so many of the believers had gathered together, old ones and new ones, and he hopes that as a result of your studies and consultation a new impetus will be given to the teaching work in Germany.
You may be sure he will pray for your success in the holy Shrines; and he urges you one and all to concentrate on the requirements of the Ten Year Plan as it affects the work in Germany."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Beloved bless your highly meritorious efforts, aid you to extend continually the scope of your valued activities, surmount every obstacle, and lend a tremendous impetus to the onward march of our beloved Faith and the development and consolidation of its administrative institutions,Your true brother,
========================================================13 March 1957
The Beloved Guardian is very anxious to have an up to date record of the total number of Bahá'í Centers in Germany and Austria, separately; - excluding, of course, the goal areas of the Ten Year Crusade, such as Frisian Islands, etc.
May I ask if you will send me a cable on receipt of this giving just the totals for each country, as for instancePage 291
"Germany 100, Austria 25". There is no need for any breakdown of Assemblies, Groups or Isolated Centers. ...
========================================================14 March 1957
The Beloved Guardian has been greatly impressed by the large number of Teaching Conferences held during the past year.
I have an incomplete record of a conference held in Austria. Can you cable me if this conference was held, the dates, and place. ...
P.S. Please send the cable immediately on receipt of this letter.
========================================================17 March 1957
... So far as ... Mr. and Mrs. ... and children are concerned, the Guardian wishes to know if they are residents of Germany, or Persians traveling in Germany, or there only for a short time. When did they arrive, and what are their plans.
The purpose of this information is that if they actually are Persian residents, traveling in Europe, then they will have to go on the Persian list, and come when their turn comes there. If they are permanently residing in Germany, then the situation is different. ...P.S. Also please advise what their background is!
========================================================29 March 1957
As requested in your letter of March 23rd, I informed the Beloved Guardian of the passing of Mr. Lehne, in Berlin, on March 20th.
The Beloved Guardian asked me to advise you, and the wife of Mr. Lehne, that he will pray for the progress of Mr. Lehne's soul in the realms beyond.
He rendered outstanding services to the Faith, holding the ideals of the Faith during the difficult days of the war.Will you please inform Mrs. Lehne.
========================================================3 April 1957
Your loving letter of March 22nd, was duly received, and its contents presented to the Beloved Guardian.
He will be happy to welcome ... on their pilgrimage, when their turn comes. It is not feasible just now for them to come when ... return from Haifa. The Guardian will let ... know when the time comes for their pilgrimage.
There are so many wishing to make the pilgrimage, that the Guardian must receive them in the order of their application. Thus, when the time comes for ..., the Guardian will let them know.
========================================================9 April 1957
Your loving letter of April 2nd, has been received by thePage 293
Beloved Guardian, and he has directed me to acknowledge it on his behalf.
He is happy to receive word of the progress which you are making in connection with the purchase of the Temple Land, and the securing of necessary building permits. He hopes you will encounter no serious difficulties in connection with the building permit, so that work on this most important project, may start at an early date.
He will pray for your Assembly, that you may be able to overcome all hindrances, and that the path may be smoothed for an early conclusion of this troublesome matter.
So far as the land in Offenbach is concerned, and the plan of the city that we finance road work is concerned - this is entirely impossible. The cost is too high, and furthermore we should not become involved in local civic projects.He sends you his loving greetings.
========================================================12 April 1957
Enclosed is the beloved Guardian's Convention Message, which you will be so kind as to deliver to the Chairman of the National Convention to be read to and shared with the friends.
This letter, in order to save time is being mailed by a returning pilgrim, from Rome. ...
P.S. - Will you please acknowledge receipt of this letter by cable to the Guardian.Page 294
========================================================18 April 1957
UNNECESSARY INADVISABLE ROCHOLL VISIT HAIFA SUGGEST HE SUBMIT SUGGESTIONS GROSSMANNS FOR DISCUSSION WHILE HERE.
========================================================19 April 1957
The Beloved Guardian has been very deeply impressed with the latest book of dear departed co-worker, Hand of the Cause, George Townshend, "Christ and Bahá'u'lláh". If you have not received copies, you should send to England for them, so that the Friends may be familiar with its contents.
This book outlines clearly the relationship of Christ and Bahá'u'lláh, and presents the manner in which the Bahá'í Faith is setting up the Kingdom of God, which the Christians are praying for.
The Guardian feels that your Assembly should make very wide use of this book. You should secure publicity regarding it in the Newspapers, book reviews, where possible. Copies should be send to the Religious leaders, particularly to the Lutheran high Dignitaries.
This book is a challenge to religious leaders, and of course, should be sent, also to those who opposed the Temple Land sale. It may bring some opposition and criticism, but in the long run, it will produce excellent results for the Faith.The Guardian sends you his loving Greetings.
========================================================19 April 1957
When His Excellency Mr. Ollenhauer was in Israel, in accordance with the suggestion of your Assembly, effort was made to contact him, and invite him to visit the Shrine and Gardens on Mt. Carmel.
Unfortunately actual contact was not made. Mr. Ioas spent a day in Jerusalem trying to meet him, but he was so tied up with Government Officials it was impossible. Mr. Ioas, however, left a note for him, in his hotel, welcoming him to Israel, and inviting him to visit Haifa, and our Shrines and Gardens. We gave him also, the Greetings of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Germany, whose headquarters are in Frankfurt.
Attached is letter received from one of his party presumably his Secretary, thanking us for the Greeting, and saying he had seen the Shrine and Gardens in company with the Mayor of Haifa, when he was in the City.
The Beloved Guardian thought you would wish to have his letter, and know of the action taken here to effect a meeting. ...You may retain his letter in your files.
========================================================28 April 1957
DEEPLY APPRECIATE MESSAGE WELCOME NOBLE DETERMINATION DELEGATES SUPPLICATING FERVENTLY SIGNAL VICTORIES URGE REDOUBLE EFFORTS ATTAINMENT GOALS EXPEDITE COMMENCEMENT CONSTRUCTION TEMPLE DEEPEST LOVESHOGHI
========================================================14 August 1957
Your Assembly's communications with their enclosures and material sent under separate cover have all arrived safely, and the beloved Guardian has instructed me to answer you on his behalf, and to acknowledge receipt of the letters dated as follows: June 14, August 8 and 28, September 2, October 27, November 19 and 22 and December 4 and 26, 1956; and January 1 and 15, February 4, March 1, 2 and 9, April 2, 16 and 25, June 14, 19 (two and July 3, 8 and 19.
As a number of questions raised in your letters have been answered by cable, or through the Secretary, I will not go into them again here.
He thanks your Assembly for the trouble you took in sending the samples of tiles in connection with the Archives floor. A rubber tile has now been ordered from England, which he considers will be satisfactory.
As a member of your National Assembly has so recently visited Haifa, namely, dear Mrs. Anna Grossmann, and many of the points concerning the Temple land were discussed with her, she has no doubt by now conveyed to you the Guardian's views.
He feels that the German National Assembly must be extremely practical in handling this matter and expedite the purchase of a site for the Temple as soon as possible, and without strings attached, such as the necessity to build a road at our expense, or to raise loans from other National Bodies, which is extremely impracticable and very unwise. The German friends have money for their land the beginning of their Temple on hand, and should conserve this money for the purpose stipulated, and neither ask otherPage 297
National Bodies for loans, nor become involved with municipal or state authorities, who want to get as much out of the Bahá'ís as possible, while, at the same time, it would seem, giving them as little help as possible.
He also discussed with Mrs. Grossmann certain matters she brought up as regards the Temple design and size. She has no doubt reported his views to your Assembly.
He was shocked and indignant to hear of the conduct of certain of the Persian Bahá'í students in Germany which had been so criminal as to lead to their imprisonment. He feels that your Assembly must keep before its eyes the balance specified by Bahá'u'lláh, Himself, in other words, justice, reward and retribution. Although the Cause is still young and tender, and many of the believers inexperienced, and therefore loving forbearance is often called for in the place of harsh measures, this does not mean that a National Spiritual Assembly can under any circumstances tolerate disgraceful conduct, flagrantly contrary to our Teachings, on the part of any of its members, whoever they may be and from wherever they may come. You should vigilantly watch over and protect the interests of the Bahá'í Community, and the moment you see that any of the Persian residents in Germany, or, for that matter, German Bahá'ís themselves, are acting in a way to bring disgrace upon the name of the Faith, warn them, and, if necessary, deprive them immediately of their voting rights if they refuse to change their ways. Only in this way can the purity of the Faith be preserved. Compromise and weak measures will obscure the vision of its followers, sap its strength, lower it in the eyes of the public and prevent it from making any progress.
The National Assembly is the guardian of the welfare of the Faith, a most sacred and heavy responsibility and one which is inescapable. They must be ever vigilant, ever on thePage 298
lookout, ever ready to take action, and, on all matters of fundamental principle, refuse to compromise for an instant. Only in this way can the body of the Faith be free of disease.
He feels that you should investigate the situation in ..., find out who is and who is not a Baha'i, and insist that its affairs be conducted in a Bahá'í manner by registered Baha'is, and that those who have not yet gotten credentials from Persia should be place in a different category, entirely, from those who are registered by your Assembly as voting members, and accepted as believers. The Persian Bahá'ís in many cases, who have either gone to Germany to study or to assist in the work of the Faith with a pure motive, have rendered the German Community inestimable services, and everyone should be duly grateful to them for both their spirit and their example. However, we should not confuse the true believers with those who are not quickened with the spirit of faith, have some ulterior motive, or are indifferent to the reputation they have personally, and the damage they may do the Cause in the eyes of the public. There is all the difference in the world between these two categories, and your Assembly must be ever watchful and ready to take action when necessary.
It is not a normal condition for one-quarter of a community to be composed of a foreign, and therefore floating, element. In spite of the fact that in such countries as England and Germany, in particular, the Persian friends have been of great help in maintaining, and indeed in establishing, new Assemblies and Centres, the National Body must bear in mind that this is not a normal state of affairs. It is the German people of Germany, and the English people in England, who must be the back-bone and the vast majority of the Community. Otherwise, if for some reason the foreign elements returns to its home or is forced to leavePage 299
the country, the Communities dependent on it disintegrate for lack of numbers.
Every effort should be made to encourage the German Baha'is, who are so numerous in some of the cities in Germany, particularly in Stuttgart, to go out and take part in the establishment of new Spiritual Assemblies in their own country. This is both their duty and their privilege. The Guardian has pointed out, over and over again, that it is sufficient for fifteen active believers to remain in any one city, even such cities as New York, Chicago and San Francisco. This also applies to Germany, and the Bahá'ís should be encouraged to pioneer on their Home Front, and establish new Spiritual Assemblies, new Groups and new isolated centres. In this way the affairs of the Faith will attract the blessings of Bahá'u'lláh and the believers will be rewarded by Him for doing their duty and accepting the challenge of the present hour. If and when another upheaval takes place in Europe, it will be the big cities that are the danger points. Why then do the Bahá'ís cling to them so tenaciously, when they would be much safer, and serving the interests of the Faith, if they moved away to smaller places?
He does not want the friends to be fearful, or to dwell upon the unpleasant possibilities of the future. They must have the attitude that, if they do their part, which is to accomplish the goals of the Ten Year Plan, they can be sure that God will do His part and watch over them. ...
He has been very happy over the formation of the first historic Spiritual Assembly in Athens, an achievement made possible this year through the direct efforts of German pioneers. He greatly appreciates their spirit, and he hopes that, in spite of the departure of some of the American pioneers, the Community will grow in numbers, and thePage 300
Assembly be preserved next April. Your Assembly should devote particular attention to this matter.
He hopes also that reinforcements can be sent to Crete, as well as to Frisian Islands, where the first results of the devoted labours of the pioneer are beginning to be shown through the enrollment of some natives of those islands. ...
He has also been greatly encouraged to see the progress made in Austria during the past year. The formation of four Assemblies marks a tremendous step forward in the work in that country, which has too long lagged behind the progress made in Germany. At last, Austria is beginning to bear fruit, and he hopes, through the activities of the Austrian believers and the pioneers who have rallied to their support, as well as through the wise guidance of your Assembly, that the centres will be increased very rapidly and the Spiritual Assemblies multiplied to such a point that he can fix a date for Austria to have her independent National Body. The achievement of this goal rests entirely upon the teaching work and is dependent on the creation of more Assemblies.
He was glad to see that there is great need in Germany for more publications, for more of the literature to be made available in German. Naturally these things are dependent on financial means. However, he was happy to know that a News Letter had been consistently published in Frankfurt, and had been of help to the friends, especially in connection with their Nineteen Day Feasts. Such activities should be stimulated and encouraged by your Assembly. The Bahá'ís are widely spread over the whole country, many of them far from well-to-do, and, however humble the instrument that reaches them, it nevertheless fulfils a great purpose in stimulating and encouraging them. Travelling teachers should be sent out more regularly to visit the different centres, as the two Hands of the Cause in Germany are soPage 301
overburdened as to make it impossible for them to travel as much as they would like to or should do in the interests of the Faith. Therefore your Assembly should encourage itinerant teachers or teaching trips by any of the friends who are able to offer a certain amount of time to such activities.
He has also been very pleased during the past year to see from the press clipping book he received, how much publicity the Faith has received free of charge, not only in the press but generally in some of Germany's best-known newspapers. Were it not for the violent opposition met with in connection with the purchase of the Temple land, this would not have been possible, and the friends can clearly see that our activities, when we carry them on persistently and energetically, arouse opposition the Bahá'ís were meeting with in connection with their Temple site were published in leading French newspapers. The friends should be very encouraged by these evidences of the rising fame of the Faith. They should welcome opposition, and stand firm on all questions of principle. By doing so, they will attract new people to the Faith and encourage the skeptical to embrace our Teachings.
He appreciated receiving the photo of the new N.S.A. and hopes it will accomplish great things during the coming months.
It is not necessary for anyone who wishes to make the pilgrimage to Haifa to ask through your Assembly; they may ask the Guardian direct. The reason this was done in Persia is because of the number of the friends is so great that the work involved is too much of a demand on the Guardian's time, and so is handled by the Persian N.S.A. who refer long lists of names to him.Page 302
He feels sure the passing of dear Mrs. Reyhani is not without significance and that her devotion, and that of her family, will be the instrument for attracting many hearts to our beloved Faith.
The Guardian assures you one and all of his most loving prayers for the success of your work and that you may be given the strength to carry out burden of responsibility for the prosecution of the Ten Year Plan in your area. ..."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
The year that has just elapsed, though not one of which the fond hopes entertained for the German Bahá'í Community have been entirely fulfilled, has none the less, witnessed certain achievements in both the administrative and teaching fields, for which we can feel truly grateful.
There can be no doubt that the problems, obstacles and challenges which have faced the well-tried, long suffering, swiftly maturing community have been formidable, and in some instances, such as to daunt their spirit and discourage their efforts.
The continued and most lamentable division of the German nation, setting up an almost insurmountable barrier between the vast majority of the German followers of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and their isolated brethren in the eastern territories of their country; ... the prolonged existence of ideological and political barriers impeding contact between the believers residing in the western Zone of Germany and the inhabitants of the territories lying beyond the Iron Curtain and particularly the Baltic States, Moldavia, White Russia, Albania and Rumania, assigned to them according to the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan; the intense conservatism and religious orthodoxy of the people inhabiting the Frisian Islands, Crete and Greece,Page 303
constituting yet another barrier and raising yet another obstacle in the path of the pioneers who have consecrated themselves to the task of implanting the banner of the Faith in those islands in that historic land, in pursuance of the objectives of the World Spiritual Crusade; the limitations placed upon them by their restricted numbers and modest resources; the temptations and distractions to which a swift return to material prosperity continually and increasingly exposes them - these, no doubt, militate against the speedy and effectual accomplishment of their manifold and sacred tasks.
No need, however, to dwell on the trials, problems and the inherent difficulties with which the community of the followers of Bahá'u'lláh and, to a lesser extent, their sister community in Austria, are beset during these critical years in the unfoldment of the Ten-Year Plan.
However severe their trials, and disheartening the present situation may appear, they must remember that the Faith to which they owe allegiance has weathered, not so very long ago, storms of a far greater severity that seemed, at times, capable of engulfing and of obliterating its nascent institutions. The newly planted sapling of a divinely conceived administrative order, having driven deep its roots in German soil, bent momentarily under the hurricane which so violently swept over it, and no sooner had the tempest spent its force than it righted itself, and, growing with a fresh vigour, put forth branches and offshoots that now overshadow the entire land, and even stretch out as far as the heart of Austria.
The experience of so miraculous a recovery from so devastating an ordeal should, alone, prove sufficient to infuse as invigorating spirit into those who have been subjected to it, as well as into the new generation who arePage 304
still close enough to those events to appreciate its extreme violence, such as will not only enable them to withstand onslaughts of still greater severity, but impel them, both young and old, men and women alike, to struggle, with redoubled vigour and deeper consecration, to meet the pressing and the manifold requirements of the present hour.
To answer decisively the charges levelled against them, and the Faith which they represent, by their adversaries and critics, they can do no better than to determine - nay to ensure - that their numerical strength will rapidly increase throughout the length and breadth of their homeland; that the isolated centres, groups and local assemblies will multiply to an unprecedented degree; that every firmly grounded local spiritual assembly is duly incorporated; that the Bahá'í Marriage Certificate and the Bahá'í Holy Days are recognized by the Baltic States, is not only translated to an unprecedented extent, but broadcast far and wide; and, above all that their zeal, whatever betide them, will remain unquenchable, their spirit indomitable, their loyalty inflexible, their determination to succeed unshakable.
Whilst efforts in this direction are being strenuously exerted by the rank and file of the faithful, a no less energetic action must be taken to ensure that the pioneers in the newly opened virgin territories, in the North as well as in the South will continue to receive adequate guidance and assistance, which will enable them to establish new centres and reinforce the foundation which they have so patiently and devotedly laid. The institution of the National Fund, so indispensable to the vigorous functioning of the multiplying institutions of the Faith, must be generously and systematically supported by the rank and file of thePage 305
believers, however great the financial sacrifice involved, it is through such sacrifice that these institutions can exert their maximum spiritual influence, and contribute their full share to the expansion and consolidation of the Faith. To their brethren in the Eastern Zone, so gravely handicapped by the unfortunate disabilities which they have, so long and so patiently suffered, consistent support, in whatever way possible, should be extended, and every avenue should be explored to ensure that the flame burning in those valiant hearts, so heavily burdened by cares and anxieties, will not be extinguished. The no less vital obligation to introduce, however tentatively, the Faith in the territories lying beyond the eastern confines of their homeland, and particularly in the Baltic States, must be promptly and seriously considered, for upon it will, to a very great measure, depend the success of the Mission envisaged for them by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and now confirmed through the provisions of the Ten-Year Plan. The assistance extended to their brethren and co-partners in Austria, who have lately succeeded in enlarging the scope of their beneficient activities, should, moreover be maintained, nay reinforced, for the purpose of multiplying the local spiritual assemblies, and of hastening thereby the emergence of an independent National Spiritual Assembly in that land. Above all, the burning issue of the purchase of the site and of the construction of the Mother Temple of Europe must be resolutely faced, and, once and for all, definitely settled, even if it becomes necessary to abandon Frankfurt, situated in the heart of their country, and the national administrative headquarters of their Faith, and substitute for it Stuttgart, as a site, for their first Mashriqu'l-Adhkar. Whatever is to be done should be expeditiously carried out, for time is fast running out and the Ten-Year Crusade is rapidly and inexorablyPage 306
approaching its midway-point. All eyes, in every continent of the globe where Bahá'ís reside, are eagerly and anxiously watching, expecting the early and definite settlement of these prolonged negotiations, and prayerfully hoping to witness the first evidences of the rise of the noble Structure, the erection of which has been entrusted to the largest and one of the oldest national Bahá'í communities in the European continent.
The divers and formidable obstacles, challenging the spirit and resources of this long-suffering, firmly based, highly-endowed, much admired community, have been considered and enumerated. The vital and inescapable obligations, calling for immediate resolute action, on the part of all of its privileged members, have been touched upon and sufficiently emphasized. Now, if ever, is the time for action, with practically half of the period allotted for the prosecution of a decade long Crusade already behind us. The German Bahá'í Community, the leading stronghold of the Faith on the European mainland, must not, cannot fail. All its resources, spiritual as well as material, must be mobilized at this hour to ensure the speedy attainment of some of the most glorious objectives of a glorious Crusade.
I fervently plead with its members, particularly with its watchful, painstaking, devoted national elected representatives, to arise as one man and carry to a successful conclusion yet another stage in the unfoldment of their historic Mission.
May He Who through His power called this community into being, nurtured and bestowed upon it His special blessings, crown their present and future efforts with a success that will resound throughout the Bahá'í world.Shoghi
========================================================16 August 1957
USE ENGLISH EDITION BASIS TRANSLATION ANSWERED QUESTIONS GRIEVE PASSING ALBRECHT NAGEL DEVOTED PROMOTER FAITH FERVENTLY PRAYING PROGRESS SOUL KINGDOM APPROVE REVISED DESIGNS TEMPLE URGE EXPEDITE PURCHASE SITE LOVING PRAYERSSHOGHI
========================================================27 August 1957
GRIEVE PASSING DISTINGUISHED HANDMAID CENTER CONVENANT MUCH LOVED DEEPLY ADMIRED ANNAMARIE SCHWEIZER RECORD NOTABLE SERVICES CLOSING YEARS HEROIC THREE DECADES FORMATIVE AGES BAHAI DISPENSATION IMPERISHABLE REWARD GREAT KINGDOM FERVENTLY PRAYING PROGRESS SOULSHOGHI
========================================================3 September 1957
Our beloved Guardian has instructed me to write you on his behalf about ... . He has not only received a most unhappy and pitiful letter from him but also letters from some of the German friends who are distressed and unhappy over the severe measures your assembly has taken as regards his teaching and freedom of movement.
He feels that you should deal with more kindness andPage 308
leniency in this matter; as far as he understands the accusations against him are because of certain emotional relationships he has had. In such matters wisdom and patience are required. It is only in cases of flagrant immorality that the Assembly must step in a warn the believer in question that they must behave in a way worthy of the Faith. He doubts if ... has conducted himself in such a way. In any case he wishes you to do all you can to help this unfortunate situation and prevent it from becoming a serious issue.
========================================================4 September 1957
The Beloved Guardian has cabled you a short time ago that he approved in the changes in the Temple which had been submitted by you and by Mr. Rocholl.
The Guardian has directed me to confirm this matter with you so that there might be no misunderstanding. In other words, he feels that the new drawings which you have submitted will be satisfactory. He understands that the building itself will be no higher than thirty (30) meters in accordance with the Town Planning arrangements of the area.
As you know he is most anxious about this very vital Goal of the Ten Year Crusade and sincerely hopes that all of the barriers will now be eliminated and you will soon have authority to begin construction work.
He is praying for your and for the success of your labors. He sends his loving greetings.Page 309
========================================================5 September 1957
In a recent letter from ..., he states that he has made an offer to the German NSA to defray the expenses of translating the latest book of Dr. Townshend, "Christ and Bahá'u'lláh" and to pay for its publication in German.
As I have written you previously, the Guardian attaches the utmost importance to this book as he feels it will clarify in the minds of everyone the relationship of Christ to Bahá'u'lláh. It may shock some of the Orthodox religious leaders but at the same time perhaps we have reached the point where a shock will do them good. The Guardian feels that even at the present if there should be some adverse criticism, in the long run the publication of this book and its wide spread will bring about renewed interest and activity in the Faith.
Thus he hopes your Assembly will wee that the book is now published at an early date, particularly inasmuch as the expense of publication has been defrayed by.
========================================================22 September 1957
At the instruction of our beloved Guardian I am writing to inform you that he has requested Mr. Varqa to forward to your Assembly on his behalf the sum of five hundred pounds sterling. This contribution is to assist in the many tasks your Assembly is carrying out. ...Page 310
========================================================26 September 1957 (Summer School)
Your letter dated August 22nd, which you all joined in signing, has been received by the beloved Guardian, and he has instructed me to answer you on his behalf.
He was indeed happy to see that so many of the friends were present, and is sure it was a great inspiration and joy for all.
The thoughts of all the Bahá'ís everywhere are now centered on achieving the goals of our glorious World Spiritual Crusade, and the Guardian assures you of his prayers that you may become assisted to perform nobly your part, whatever it may be, in the present stage of this great Crusade."[Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]"
May the Spirit of Bahá'u'lláh continually guide your steps, inspire and strengthen you, remove every obstacle from your path, and graciously assist you to lend an unprecedented impetus to the all-important teaching work in that promising country,Your true brother,
========================================================3 October 1957 (Summer School)
The beloved Guardian has received your note of greeting dated September 5th, signed by those in attendance at the Summer School.
He hopes the friends will focus their attention on the needs of the Ten-Year Crusade now moving along soPage 311
rapidly; and in their home communities endeavour to lend every possible assistance in their power to the achievement of the objectives allotted to the believers in that land. This will bring them spiritual reinforcement and success, in spite of the difficulties that may be encountered by them. ... [Appended in the handwriting of the Guardian]
May the Almighty bless, abundantly and continually, your activities, deliberations and services, guide every step you take, and fulfil every desire you cherish, for the promotion and ultimate triumph of His Faith.Your true brother,
========================================================27 October 1957
Your loving letter of October 17th has come duly to hand dealing with the question of publishing the Guardian's telegram with regard to Mirza Buzurg in the German Bahá'í News.
This cablegram has been published in all Bahá'í News and therefore there should be no objection to it being published in the German News. When the Guardian speaks of no publicity, he refers specifically to newspaper publicity or other types of publicity before the public. ...
========================================================30 October 1957 (Teaching Conference)
ASSURE PARTICIPANTS GREATEST APPRECIATION MESSAGE SUPPLICATING UNPRECEDENTED BLESSINGS STILL GREATER VICTORIES.SHOGHI