Budapest, 18th May 1930
VII. Wesselényi u. 6.
Dearest Friend [Franciska Schwimmer],
Excuse me inevitable blunders in this letter, I am dreadfully tired and sleepy – but if I don’t write now, God knows when I shall have leisure to do it. Tomorrow the Council guests arrive and Mme Drevet, who will give a lecture on Thursday. To Betzy Kjelsberg we wrote directly after receipt of Rosika’s letter for which will you please interpret to her our sincere gratitude. As yet we have no answer from B.[etzy] K.[jelsberg] I shall enclose also our invitation and opening speech I made on our Protest-Meeting.
Now allow me to come to the point [marked with an asterisk]. Yesterday I went to urge the answer of the lector of your book. She was the first, who was sincere in this matter and told me the truth, which is dad enough. She praised your book, with which she also was very pleased indeed – but! According to her statement, which was confirmed by the first managers of the Publishing firm and by Prof. Marcel Benedek who happened to be present – it is perfectly impossible to publish a book for the young with your name. On my [illegible word] she explained, that the approbation of the minister of Education is necessary for such a book as they need the orders of school-libraries etc. – as only the state has any money nowadays. Even should you consent to have it published under Hungarian name as an original work they would make researches and would find it out. No “destructive” writer is suffered [?] – they would not dream to publish a juvenile reader with M. Benedek’ name for instance, – the old Ágai’s old book which they will publish now will be professedly “rearranged” by some race pure writer etc. etc. She made me promise not to let anybody else know of this but of course I told her, I shall have to write it to you. I am afraid, this is the explanation of all my former failures, but if it is your wish, I shall make a few more attempts, although now with little hope [marked with an asterisk].
This may seem to you incredible but it is the sad fact – no Jew and no progressive man is allowed here to prosper on any way or on any line – he or she must be and is successfully driven into ruin.
This is the sad fact also in our organization. First of all, of course, people lack the right spirit, nobody but me, I must state it, felt the necessity of beginning a campaign for equal rights on the occasion of the Budapest Municipal “Reform” Bill. Therefore I could not get money, could not make propaganda with placards or other printed matter. No M. P. or Upper House Member will hold it for necessary to back a movement led so discretely. It is difficult to keep courage in these circumstances.
I wonder how we shall succeed with the Disarmament Declaration Campaign and with the “Stateless”-Conference? It is possible I shall go to Vienna to the Intern. (President’s) Meeting of the Suffrage Alliance on the 1st of June to promote our Stateless Conference.
I am looking forward to Rosika’s answer to my letter from Geneva. We sent to Miss Sheepshanks (do you know she resigned and will leave her post on the 1st of Nov?) a Draft Circular letter to the Sections. It will be necessary to have a formal meeting to constitute the Stateless-Committee before the Conference. Does Rosika think that Miss Wilkinson would be the right one for the President?
Today was the festive Annual (Jubilee) Meeting of the Hung. Nat. C. W. Melanie greeted them in the name of out Soc[iety]. Auguste objected to me doing it. I shall have to have a quiet talk with her about it. She has developed greatly recently she is astonishingly brave and outspoken in matters of peace: So I will follow Gandhi’s teaching , not retire offended but try to persuade and to enlighten misunderstandings or prejudice.
Gergely Janka is here now: both she and lately Melanie are collaborating at the Guttenberg Encyclopedia and they would be only too happy would it last – but it will be short lived, may be this month.
Did I tell you for how sweet and clever I hold your little niece, how very pleased I was with her?
Believe me, that it cost me to tell you the truth about your, but pretending would be no good, I think. So please, please to pardon me!
Cordial greetings and best wishes to you both.
Eugenie Miskolczy Meller
New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division. Rosika Schwimmer Papers, Box 204.