D O C . 4 0 C O M M I T T E E F O R F O R E I G N R E L I E F 3 3 3
6.5 million dollars had been distributed (see Korrespondenzblatt des Deutschen Zentralausschusses
für die Auslandshilfe, no. 6, 17 October 1921, PPAF, Foreign Service 1921–Germany, Committees &
Organizations: ARA. Correspondence, N.Y. and Phila.). A grateful German press sang the praises of
the selfless Americans (see the articles “Das Hilfswerk der Quäker,” Berliner Tageblatt, 10 April
1920, Morning Edition, p. [4]), and “Die Quäkerspeisung in Groß-Berlin,” Berliner Tageblatt, 13
April 1920, Morning Edition, p. [5]).
Einstein’s introduction to the work of the Quakers may have come during the war through his
association with the Bund “Neues Vaterland” (BNV), which he joined by the beginning of June 1915
(see Einstein to Hendrik A. Lorentz, 2 July 1915 [Vol. 8, Doc. 98], note 2). A member of the BNV,
Elisabeth Rotten, maintained contacts with organizations aiding prisoners-of-war (see Einstein to
Paul Ehrenfest, 4 December 1916 [Vol. 8, Doc. 282], note 5), an activity to which the Quakers were
deeply committed. For another Quaker initiative, this one to provide intellectual sustenance to Central
Europe, see Einstein 1920b (Doc. 36), note 2.
[3]A few months earlier, Einstein had commented on the specter of mass hunger and child mortality
(see Einstein to Hendrik A. Lorentz, 18 March 1920, NeHR, Archief H. A. Lorentz, and to Paul
Ehrenfest, 7 April 1920). An anonymous contemporary account from Munich paints an equally grim
picture. Lining up by the thousands for a heaping portion of bean porridge provided by the Quakers,
“[t]he children all look neat and clean, but their clothes are patched to the last degree and only the
exceptional child has shoes and stockings, though the thermometer stood at about 50 and a biting
wind was blowing. There were a good many round faces and rosy cheeks, but the thin little legs and
the hollow chests and projecting shoulder-blades told a different story and almost all were at least two
years behind their natural growth.” DZA Circular Letter, no. 146, 22 November 1920, PPAF, Foreign
Service 1920–Germany.
[4]Disappointment stemming from the war and the recently ratified Versailles Peace Treaty (see the
following document).
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