Dear Bahá'í Friends:
Your most welcome letter of Aug. 21st reached our beloved Guardian after a long delay, as you can see, but brought him great joy. He has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
He is fully aware of the very sad and difficult conditions under which you are labouring to reestablish the spiritual well-being of the German and Austrian believers, but he feels confident that your great faith, determination and devotion will enable you to achieve your ends and the aid of Bahá'u'lláh is surely vouchsafed you as you serve His Cause and seek to bring enlightenment and inner comfort to the war-weary German people.
In connection with the various points you raise in your letter:
He is very anxious to see the "Sonne der Wahrheit" published again; as it will greatly assist you in sustaining and guiding the German believers and in teaching other German-speaking people. He urges you to go on petitioning the U.S. authorities for permission to resume this important activity.
That so many members of the former "Bahá'í World Union" should now be seeking enrollment as believers greatly pleases him, and he feels you should by all means accept them as registered Bahá'ís, unless you yourselves have any reason to question some individuals' sincerity.
He would like to receive regularly the minutes of your assembly's meetings in German; it is not necessary to translate the whole thing each time, but if a short summary of the important points could also be sent in English he would appreciate it.
The flourishing activities of the Bahá'í Summer School at Esslingen greatly pleased him, and he is so happy to see the way the friends have not only protected this Bahá'í Home during the long years of war and persecution, but immediately rallied around it again and made it once more a source of unity and a center of Bahá'í study.
The long sessions of your National Assembly meetings are very essential for the promotion of the work in Germany and the rehabilitation of the affairs of the Cause there. In your meetings he urges you to give considerable attention to carrying out the following very important tasks: It is of the utmost importance that the friends be well supplied with not only Bahá'í literature, but with a regular Bahá'í News letter --the organ of your assembly--and also with their own magazine, the "Sonne der Wahrheit". He therefore urges you all to persevere in pushing these publication matters forward. Needless to say the translation work must also go on uninterruptedly and receive first attention, as there is now a wealth of Bahá'í literature in English for you to draw upon and which is much needed by the German friends to help deepen their understanding of the Divine Cause, and better enable them to teach it.
The teaching work is, of course, the most important of all. He has been very encouraged to see the efforts the friends are making in the U.S. Zone and to hear of the good results they are achieving. But the primary responsibility for this great work rests on your assembly, and you must devise as many ways and means as possible for prosecuting your teaching plans on a wide scale and covering a wide field. Now that your country is in such a state of despair, and the people have suffered so deeply, their hearts are more receptive, as you pointed out in your letter, and therefore at this time they must be approached with the Divine Message before internal integration and new problems or new possibilities arise to sidetrack their attention. He hopes that you will continually urge the friends to arise and teach, that you will devise ways and means (such as the summer-school and various conferences, committees, etc.) of training more of them--particularly the youth--as public speakers and teachers and, in short, leave no stone unturned in prosecuting this major task.
Hand in hand with this intensification of the teaching work must go the multiplication of groups and their development into Spiritual assemblies.
Another important matter to which he wishes to draw your special attention is that of the Nat. Bahá'í Headquarters in Frankfurt. He fully realizes the obstacles which must be overcome in order to carry out this historic project, but feels sure that Bahá'u'lláh will help and guide you to find a suitable spot and make preliminary arrangements. Ten thousand pounds is now reposing in the special fund he has established in Tihrán for the rehabilitation of the Faith in Germany and the relief of the dear friends there. A considerable part of this he himself has contributed to this community which both the Master and he love so dearly--so you see the means to help you carry out the many great tasks confronting you are there. He is most anxious that this money should reach you, and hopes ways can soon be found of sending it to your assembly; you should constantly bear this in mind, and let him know of any possible means you find of transmitting this sum.
I need not assure you of how dear your work is to the heart of our Guardian, of how eagerly he receives news of your activities, of how much he appreciates your many self-sacrificing and exhausting labours for the promotion of our beloved Cause! You are very often remembered in his prayers, and he feels sure that the Master is extending you His own aid in serving His Faith in that country He loved so much....
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
It is such a joy, mingled with feelings of deep thankfulness to Bahá'u'lláh, to be able to resume direct correspondence with the elected national representatives of a community that has achieved so much in the past for our Faith, that has been so dearly loved by `Abdu'l-Bahá, and is destined to spread, as He foretold, the light of God's sacred Revelation not only in the heart of Europe but throughout that dark, war-devastated spiritually famished continent. Now that the shackles imposed upon that community have been removed, and its chief and central administrative institution is again vigorously functioning, a concerted, sustained and systematic effort must be made, not only by its members, but by the rank and file of its supporters throughout that land, to expand, multiply and consolidate the community's nascent institutions, widen, considerably and rapidly, the range of its literature, establish, firmly and definitely, in however rudimentary a form its national headquarters in Frankfurt situated in the heart of that country, reinforce and develop the work assigned to its national committees, revitalize its summer-schools and other subsidiary institutions, maintain and develop its contact, through correspondence, with national and local administrative bodies throughout the Bahá'í world, devise effective measures for the proclamation, boldly and determinedly, of the message to the masses, fortify and enrich its corporate life and lay an unassailable foundation for its future development. The task is immense, the opportunities are priceless and manifold, the hour is critical and challenging, the promises given by `Abdu'l-Bahá are clear, unmistakable, and soul-refreshing, His assistance ready and unfailing. All that is required, in thanksgiving for the protection vouchsafed to this community by Bahá'u'lláh is to arise with courage, high resolve and clear vision, to carry out the immediate task in its entirety, and thus prepare the way for the opening of a new and still more glorious chapter in the history of the evolution of the Faith in that land. I pray from all my heart for the speedy and complete realization of the high hopes I cherish for that dearly-beloved, long-suffering, richly blessed community.
Your true and grateful brother,
Shoghi 18 February 1947 (Summer School) Dear Bahá'í Friends:
Your letter sent to our beloved Guardian from the Esslingen Bahá'í Summer School session of August 1946, brought him great joy, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.
It is wonderful to see that the German believers are not only free at last to meet and propagate the Faith of God, but that they are also receiving public recognition from officials, and that their numbers are constantly swelling!
All the sufferings the German believers have endured are not in vain; they now see before them many, many of their fellow-countrymen ripe to receive the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, which, some of them, in the past, would never have listened to for a moment.
Now is the time to teach the Cause of God in Germany as never before; in spite of the hardships you are all undergoing, you must be active in building up new Bahá'í Assemblies while the people are still seeking some spiritual food. We do not know what their spiritual condition will be like in the future when their physical lives are once again more stable and secure--so we must seize this golden opportunity, and make every sacrifice to rapidly spread the Divine Message in Germany now.
He will pray for you all, that God may bless, aid and guide you....
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Dear and valued co-workers:
I was deeply touched by your message, and I greatly value the sentiments you have expressed, and the efforts you exert for the promotion of our beloved Faith. I will pray for your success from the depths of my heart. Rest assured, and persevere in your high and meritorious endeavours.
Your true and grateful brother,