Dear Bahá'í Friends:
Your letters addressed to our beloved Guardian and dated May 26, June 29, August 30 from Mr. Gollmer, November 19, December 7, of 1949, and January 15, February 15, and April 18, of 1950, have been received, as well as their enclosures and other material and photographs sent, and he has instructed me to answer them on his behalf.
The past winter and spring have been very difficult for our beloved Guardian, and this is why he has not been able to reply to you, (or to any other National Assembly), for so long. As you know, he has been carrying on the construction of the first stage, the arcade, of the Báb's Shrine in anticipation of having it finished for the July 9 Centenary Celebrations of His Martyrdom. This necessitated a great deal of excavation of the solid rock behind the Shrine in order to enable the arcade to be built. The Guardian himself supervised this work in order to see it was done the most economical way and as quickly as possible; this took up a great deal of his time and energy.
At the beginning of April, just when he was planning to devote himself to the correspondence of the various N.S.A.'s, Mr. Maxwell, the architect of the Shrine, became very dangerously ill, and until the present time is in Hospital with special nurses day and night. His condition is now very much better, but the constant worry, and the problems arising daily, have hitherto prevented our Guardian and his secretary from answering any mail. He wishes you to know that these are the reasons you have not heard from him for so long.
In regard to certain matters you raised in your letters: he does not consider it necessary to publish at present "This Earth One Country"; there are other books more urgently needed by the German friends such as "Some Answered Questions" and the "Paris Talks" of the Master.
He sees no objection to your Assembly's renting to suitable tenants some of the rooms in the Hazira of Frankfurt in order to assist you in financing its construction. Also he feels you are free to rent the Bahá'í Hall in that building to groups, who have similar aims to ours, or to the University.
As to purchasing the property next door: although this would be desirable, he feels at present it is out of the question, as you have not got sufficient funds to do so, and are already having difficulty meeting the heavy expenses involved in building the Hazira itself.
The Guardian has already had a sum transferred to Mr. Hofman to meet the expenses of publishing "God Passes By". He trusts this important work will soon be in your hands, as it will be of great educational value to the German believers. They are, he feels, just the people to appreciate such a weighty history and review of the Faith.
The whole-hearted response made by the German Bahá'ís to his appeal last year to become united and to deepen their understanding of the Covenant pleases him greatly. He feels this has demonstrated anew the loyalty and faith of this Community, and justifies his hopes for the brilliant future he is convinced lies ahead of them.
The entire Community of friends in Austria and Germany should now concentrate on fulfilling their Plan. The success of the American friends, the remarkable victory of the British Bahá'ís and the Persian believers, the progress being made by the distant communities in Australia and New Zealand, as well as India, Pakistan and Burma, should encourage them to gird up their loins and crown their own efforts with victory.
The Guardian feels sure that, now that a greater degree of unity has been achieved by the German believers, they will find that God gives them far greater strength to carry out their work for His Faith. He assures you he will pray for all the friends to become increasingly as one soul labouring in many bodies.
He will also pray for all the members of your Assembly to be strengthened to perform your historic work successfully....
P.S. He thanks you for the map showing Bahá'í distribution in Germany and Austria, and will publish it in the next edition of "Bahá'í World".
In the Guardian's own handwriting:
Dear and valued co-workers:
The progress achieved by the German Bahá'í community in recent months, under the able direction, and through the constant vigilance and loving care of its elected national representatives, is highly gratifying and fills me with hope, gratitude and admiration for the sterling qualities that distinguish its members in their steadfast service to the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. The restoration of harmony and cooperation among the dearly loved, high-minded, great-hearted German believers, the vigorous prosecution of their newly-adopted Plan, the gradual restoration of their newly purchased Haziratu'l-Quds, the steady extension in the range of their publications, and the notable multiplication and consolidation of their rehabilitated institutions, are the latest evidences of the unconquerable spirit and indomitable faith which have consistently animated them in the past, and which have enabled them to weather, in the course of the last world conflict, the severest storm that has afflicted them since the inception of the Faith in their land.
The process of harmonious cooperation and the spirit of mutual understanding, remarkably evident in the life of a newly resuscitated, highly promising, spiritually enriched community must, particularly in its relation with the local communities in Hamburg and Vienna, be steadily fostered, however great the obstacles that may be encountered. The education of the members of the community in the principles and essential verities underlying the Covenants of Bahá'u'lláh and `Abdu'l-Bahá as well as the Administrative Order of the Faith--the twin pillars sustaining the spiritual life and the institutions of every organized Bahá'í community--must, at all costs, be vigorously pursued and systematically intensified. The multiplication and consolidation of Bahá'í administrative institutions, in both zones under the jurisdiction of the elected representatives of the community, and in the neighbouring territory of Austria, must be given a fresh impetus through repeated exertions and carefully devised measures. The initial steps, aiming at the incorporation of the National Assembly and of every soundly grounded properly functioning local assembly, should be promptly taken, as a prelude to the establishment of the national and local Bahá'í endowments for the benefit of the entire community. The utmost effort should be exerted to hasten, on the one hand, the completion of the restoration of the national administrative Headquarters, and centralize, on the other, the national activities and manifold agencies of the Faith in that newly-appointed centre established in the heart of that country. Particular attention should, moreover, be given to the vital city of Berlin, its needs, its interests and future prospects. The teaching work, the cornerstone of the Bahá'í Edifice and the primary purpose of every Bahá'í institution, so emphatically stressed by `Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will, should, above all, be reinvigorated and relentlessly expanded. A closer association through correspondence, attendance at Summer Schools, participation at Teaching Conferences and collaboration in publications should be carefully fostered with the sister communities now rapidly emerging on the European continent, in the British Isles, in the North and South American continents, in Asia, Africa and Australasia.
To these immediate tasks, so vital, so sacred, a community, purged in the fires of suffering, revitalized and functioning with unity, zeal, fidelity and enthusiasm, must address itself without delay, with complete dedication and renewed and undefected resolve, as a prelude to the future unfoldment of its mission, beyond the confines of its homeland. For a national community so vibrant with life, so painstaking in its labours, so efficient in its methods, so impervious to the slings and arrows of affliction, occupying so central a position in a continent, so politically confused, so spiritually starved, so socially agitated, and the recipient of such favours and promises, from the lips and pen of `Abdu'l-Bahá, cannot, if faithful to its destiny, remain confined in its future activities, to the narrow compass of its homeland, and fall behind its sister communities in East and West, which are forging ahead and are in addition to their tasks at home, carrying forward the banner of the Faith in both distant lands and neighbouring territories, such as Latin America, the Goal countries of Europe, the Dependencies in the Far North, the Territories of the Arabian Peninsula, Central, East and West Africa, the Islands of the Pacific and South East Asia.
Already this community has, in the years preceding the great ordeal to which it has been subjected, initiated in however tentative a manner, its teaching enterprises beyond the confines of its homeland in one of the neighbouring Balkan Territories, and laid to rest, as an everlasting memorial to its pioneering spirit, the remains of its first martyr in the soil of that Territory.
No more adequate and better field can be imagined, as an outlet for the long-hemmed in energies of a spiritually virile, highly developed outstandingly loyal branch of the family of Bahá'í national communities, than the neighbouring territories situated in the Balkan Peninsula, the Baltic States, and further afield the vast stretches now enveloped in darkness, and whose teeming millions hunger for the Light of God's saving grace and redemptive power.
For so glorious and mighty a mission, this community, however limited its present resources, however circumscribed in its numbers, however formidable the various obstacles that now stand in its path, must, by applying itself assiduously to the tasks of the present hour, prepare itself and acquire the necessary spiritual capacity to launch, in the years that lie ahead and possibly on the morrow of the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's prophetic Mission, the first stage in its historic Mission destined to embrace so vital a section of the European, and so colossal an area in the Asiatic, continents. May this community prove itself worthy of its high destiny.