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Abstract:
Two letters originally written in German with brief mentions of cremation and Esperanto, and a personal letter to Baha'is in Esslingen.

English Translation of German Letters Published in The Light of Divine Guidance

by Shoghi Effendi

translated by Eberhard von Kitzing.
edited by Brett Zamir.
2013
original written in German.
first written or published 1925/1937

1. About

The following are translations of two letters in German (20 October 1937 and 18 December 1925) written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi and published in The Light of Divine Guidance, volume 2.

Other uses of the German language within the two volumes of this work appear to be constrained to:

  • A reference to "Der Geistige Rat der Bahá'í in Esslingen" or "The Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Esslingen" at the head of a letter dated 31 March 1936 in vol. 2, p. 39
  • A reference to the title of the Bahá'í magazine "Sonne der Wahrheit" or "Sun of Truth", mentioned in vol. 1 on pages 49, 111, 112, and 177
  • Assorted references to "Herr" ("Mr."), "Frau" ("Mrs."), and "Herrn ("Messrs.")

Note that there are some errors in the German letters as far as umlauts and a missing Eszett, but as these errors exist in the official on-line copies, it is not clear whether these were also errors in the original. [-B.Z.]

2. Letter of 20 October 1937

"As to your other question on cremation: Bahá'u'lláh has revealed certain laws for burial in His book of laws, the "Aqdas". And `Abdu'l-Bahá has said that the human body has been put together slowly by a process. So it should also decompose naturally."

"Regarding your question about the Esperanto magazine in Holland, the Guardian believes that now is not the time to start something in this relationship. She previously did a great deal for the dissemination of the Cause, but now it is impossible and not advisable. As you may already know, Lydia is working in America right now."

Original German (in The Light of Divine Guidance, vol. 2, p. 43):

"Ihre andere Frage, Feuerbestattung: Bahá'u'lláh hat in Seinem Gesetz-Buch, dem "Aqdas", bestimmte Gesetze fúr Begrabung geoffenbart. Und `Abdu'l-Bahá sagte, dass der menschliche Körper langsam durch einen Prozess zusammengestellt worden ist. So auch sollte er durch Natur auseinander gehen.

"Wegen Ihrer Frage um die Esperanto-Zeitschrift in Holland, der Hüter glaubt, dass jetzt ist keine Zeit, um etwas in dieser Beziehung anzufangen. FRúher hat sie unbedingt viel fúr die Verbreitung der Sache getan, aber jetzt ist es unmöglich und auch nicht beratbar (advisable). Wie Sie vielleicht schon wissen, Lydia arbeitet in Amerika jetzt."

3. Letter of 18 December 1925

"To the dear Bahá'í brothers and sisters in Esslingen

"My beloved Bahá'í brothers and sisters,

"Your beautiful letter of 9 Qawl has been received by our beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, and great pleasure was obtained thereby. Thus flows the love of God and the sweet scent of your harmony, unity, sincerity and devotion to the welfare of the holy Cause.

"Our beloved Guardian has instructed me[1] to write these lines to you and that his love and warm greetings be sent to you. He assures you that he prays for you wholeheartedly at the holy shrine of the Beloved, `Abdu'l-Bahá. He always waits for good news of your well-being and the progress of the holy Cause in your country.

"Dear brothers and sisters, the situation in my home country has forced me to make a trip to Persia. The beloved Guardian has granted me leave for this. I leave Haifa within three or four days. Since no one in my absence from Haifa is here who can speak German, all letters and messages that will be sent to dear Shoghi Effendi should be written in English. The Holy Family also sends you its warm greetings.

"With true love, I always remain, your humble brother in His holy name, and in service to our beloved Guardian."

Original German (in The Light of Divine Guidance, vol. 2, p. 7):

"An die lieben Bahá'í Geschwister in Esslingen

"Meine geliebten Bahá'í Geschwister,

"Euren schönen Brief vom 9. Kaul hat unser geliebter Hüter, Shoghi Effendi erhalten und grosse Freude dadurch bekommen. Damit strömt die Liebe Gottes und der süsse Duft Eurer Harmonie, Einigkeit, Aufrichtigkeit und Ergebenheit der Wohlfahrt der heiligen Sache.

"Unser geliebter Hüter hat mich beauftragt, diese Zeilen an Euch zu schreiben und seine Liebe und herzliche Grússe euch zu übersenden. Er versichert Euch, dass er fúr Euch am heiligen Grabe Unsers Geliebten, `Abdu'l-Bahás mit ganzem Herzen betet. Er erwartet immer gute Nachrichten von Eurem Wohlsein und von dem Fortschritte der heiligen Sache in Eurem Land.

"Liebe Geschwister, die Angelegenheiten in meiner Heimat haben mich gezwungen, eine Reise nach Persien zu machen. Der geliebte Hüter hat mir Urlaub dáfúr bewilligt. Ich verlasse Haifa binnen drei oder vier Tagen. Da während meiner Abwesenheit von Haifa niemand hier ist, der Deutsch kann, sollen alle die Briefe und Nachrichten, die dem lieben Shoghi Effendi geschickt werden werden, auf Englisch geschrieben werden. Die heilige Familie lassen Euch auch herzliche Grússe.

"Mit treuer Liebe, verbleibe ich immer, Euer ergebener Bruder in Seinem heiligen Namen und Dienste unsers geliebten Hüter"

Notes

1. The identity of the secretary writing the second letter is not stated. If you know who it is, making a trip from Haifa to Persia at this time, please contact us.

2. The original letter also possessed this postscript in English:

"[From the Guardian:]

"My dearest friends:

"This is to assure you personally of my continued and earnest prayers for your happiness, welfare and spiritual advancement. The Esslingen friends are near and dear to my heart. I have great admiration for their steadfastness, their love and devotion and cherish great hopes for their future. They are destined to achieve great things for our beloved Cause.

"Always your true brother,

"Shoghi"

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