17 December 1922
Blest and beloved ones of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!
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 your 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 Bahá 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 the 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 loved 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 may 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 Jináb-i-Avárih, 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 you 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 National Spiritual 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 through 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 longexpected 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 Great 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 ‘Akká. 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
4 December 1923
To the dearly-beloved friends throughout Germany. Care of the National Spiritual Assembly
My well-beloved friends:
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, 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 of 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 will 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 that 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