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The Priceless Pearl, Ruhiyyih Khanum, p135

As he explained to _____, he is very anxious for Switzerland to purchase a plot, however shall in size, and modest a beginning it may be, for the future Mashriqu'l-Adhkar of that country. He feels this should be in the outskirts of Bern, overlooking the Bernese Oberland; and he is very happy to be able to present this land himself to the Swiss Community. No publicity whatsoever should be given to this matter lest an opposition resembling that which has arisen in Germany should be provoked amongst the orthodox element in Bern. Whenever the committee responsible for finding this land has located a suitable plot, he would like your Assembly to inform him of the details.

1957-08-12 to NSA Italy and Switzerland re: Temple site


In the Priceless Pearl, pp134-5, Ruhiyyih Khanum says that during the last year of his life, two Swiss pilgrims came to Haifa and he described to them his love of Switzerland and desire for a Swiss Temple, indicating where it should stand. She says that a ltr dated 12 Aug 57 to the NSA of Italy and Switzerland he formalized his desire in this regard. The Swiss pilgrims are not identified and a likely named ref to them in the ltr is removed.

There has been on-line a paper of unknown provenance, “Refreshed and Renewed: From Shoghi Effendi to the Guardian” by Robert Atkinson, which is mostly about Shoghi Effendi in Switzerland. In it, he says the first two Swiss pilgrims were a Dr. and Mrs Ott, who were on pilgrimage in April 1957, and that they hand carried the letter back to the Swiss and Italian NSA.

In the BW XVII entry for Mark Tobey, it notes “biographical remarks by Dr. Ott, professor of theology at the University of Basel”.

Presumably these are all ref’s to Heinrich Ott, Reformed Church theologian who took the place of Karl Barth. By what I ca find on-line, he was pastor at Castiel from 1952-57, at Arisdorf 1957-62 and was at the Univ of Basel fm 1962.

Was his wife Ingeborg perhaps a Baha’i who left the Faith or was forced to disassociate herself by her husband’s church positions? the portion of Shoghi Effendi’s ltr quoted by Ruhiyyih Khanum indicates his concern about conservative backlash if it is found the Bahai’s intended on building a Temple near Bern.

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