[An young English Quaker relief worker in Germany.] Seven Autograph Letters Signed from 'David' [to the Tennant family?], describing in vivid terms his work in Lower Saxony (Harzburg, HIldersheim, Goslar) in the aftermath of the Second World War.

'David', a young English Quaker relief worker in Germany [The Tennant family of High Wycombe; British Army of the Rhine; Friends Relief Service]

Editorial: The first five from 124 Friends Relief Section or 'Service' Quakers B.A.O.R. British Army of the Rhine; the sixth letter from 17 Friends Relief Section; seventh from Work-Camp at Hildesheim. Between March and July, 1947
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66pp., 12mo. In very good condition, on lightly-aged paper, each of the letters kept together with rusty staples. All the letters are signed 'David' and addressed to 'My Dear All'. Accompanying them is an envelope addressed in another hand to S. W. J. Tennant, Beechcote, Brands Hill Avenue, High Wycombe, and this may provide a clue to the identity of the recipients, to whom 'David' makes it clear on a couple of occasions that he is not related, signing off one letter 'from your muddle-headed friend'. The letters are written in the tone of a journal, with dated entries describing the his actions and impressions. As the quotations given below indicate, they are extremely informative, and paint a vivid picture of a country laid in ruins. The author is an intelligent, idealistic young man, and he writes with great insight and sensitivity. As a Quaker his viewpoint is unconventional, and this adds to the value of the writing: he strives to be fair, even discussing 'the good side of nazism' and 'hypocrisy' of the Allies. He is extremely self-critical, and despairs of his inability to make friendships with the Germans he has come to help. ONE: 28 and 31 March, and 1 and 2 April 1947. 6pp, 12mo. The letter, reporting events in the Goslar district of Lower Saxony, begins: 'March is leaving us like a lamb, but a frisky one with tricks in her trotters. Today was a sunny friendly day, but yesterday we woke up to a white world of cold, wet snow.' He reports that he has 'delivered some baths - old, tin tubs to the Goslar Halle today. Up till now they have only had a hip-bath - and two hundred people live there. A wash-house has recently been made there. We have supplied two field-ovens. They will now have facilities for boiling, washing, drying clothes. Up to now the women have struggled away with a bucket in their dismal dormitories; and during the winter the clothes have been dried there too. [.] In this great hall where Hitler used to celebrate the annual agricultural day & make his speeches, a scattered handful of his subjects dry their under clothes.' He now describes the German palm-Sunday: 'As we walked through the streets on Saturday evening, we saw that two young fir-trees guarded the door of every house where a child lived who was about to be confirmed - for fir-trees are one of the few things which are plentiful here. Early Sunday morning the child who lives furthest away from the church begins. He walks to the next house, strewing sand as he goes. Then the two together walk on to the next house where a child lives who is going to be confirmed, and they make a path of sand as they go, so that they all come dry-footed to the church. And so it goes on , snowball fashion, till it becomes a great procession of children, and in the end they walk down a[n] avenue of little fir-trees which stretches from the road to the church door.' He discusses 'Yvonne' speaking at a meeting, and to a day spent in Bad Harsburg, where the 'Resident Officer' tells him: 'We have no real power now [.] and my primary aim is to build up friendship between England & Germany.' In the afternoon he meets with a 'small circle of teachers'. On 1 April he spends the dawn 'out in the villages with a Red-Cross sister. The more I see these sisters at work the more I realize that we have no contribution to make out here as social-workers, because they are so patently more efficient than we could ever be [.] The sister is new to this district so she is now going round meeting all the Red Cross workers in the villages, [.] in one village we went to there was only one such worker while in the next village there was an active group of women, about 10 or 12 of them, all with some nursing training, together with a loose group of about a 100 women who are on call in case of sickness. One definite reason for this great difference was the personality of the woman who had been arranging the womans work for the last ten years. Yet that woman is now on the shelf, and not allowed. N° de ref. de la librería

Detalles bibliográficos

Título: [An young English Quaker relief worker in ...
Editorial: The first five from 124 Friends Relief Section or 'Service' Quakers B.A.O.R. British Army of the Rhine; the sixth letter from 17 Friends Relief Section; seventh from Work-Camp at Hildesheim. Between March and July
Año de publicación: 1947

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