In Memoriampublished in Bahá'í World, Vol. 4 (1930-1932), pages 262-266
New York: Bahá'í Publishing Committee, 1932
1. PDF of image scans
2. Miss Ethel RosenbergThe Passing of Ethel Jenner Rosenberg, London, Nov. 17th, 1930. Born Aug. 6, 1858.
One of the pioneers of the Bahá’í Cause in the western world, Miss Ethel J. Rosenberg, passed away at her home in London on November 17, 1930, crowned with age and the service of the Master. The end was peaceful for this devoted servant of Abdu’l-Baha, whom He knew and loved so well and to whose devotion and untiring labours He had often paid priceless tribute by voice and pen.
[footnote: She was born in Bath, England, and spent her early childhood there, and came to London to study art under Legros at the Slade School. Her specialty was portrait painting, and her red chalk heads were quite remarkable, of which several were in the academy; also portraits in the style of Dowman. Although she had painted many beautiful landscapes she practically abandoned this side of her art when she specialized particularly in miniatures. She came into the movement through Mrs. Thornburgh-Cropper in the summer of 1899 and went to 'Akká soon after.]
Known and loved by all the members of the Holy family in Haifa and ‘Akká where she had visited for months at a time in the earlier stages of the outpouring of the Bahai spirit from the East to Europe and America (January 1901 and 1905-6), Miss Rosenberg played no small part in the adaptation of the Bahá’í Message to the western mind. Ever modest and unassuming, the full value of her work in this capacity seldom appeared on the surface but those who knew her well and were in close touch with her activities were and are well aware of the great assistance she gave to the Master and
how valuable was the help she rendered in the translation and transcribing of some of the outstanding works through which the truths of the Bahá’í Message were made known to the peoples of the western hemisphere.
She spent a certain amount of time in studying Persian but other interests prevented her mastering the language. She spent considerable periods of time in Paris working for the Movement. She went to Haifa several times, at least three, and to America three times, spending many months there. She went to America with Mirza Abu’1-Fadl and stayed with Mrs. Phoebe Hearst. In the first days of the Cause in Great Britain she interested many people; some of the most important members of the Movement came to her for her valuable advice and her assistance in English, as she herself had a very easy and pleasant style. She did a great deal of speaking in the early days and addressed large audiences. She did some writing, also, about the Cause. She was of great assistance to all of the young Persians and had a very extensive correspondence in the East. She was for many years one of the most, if not the most, active workers of the pioneers of the Movement in England.
The outstanding point in her life in connection with the Bahá’í Cause, was her intimate, personal knowledge of the Teachings. These she heard direct from the Master’s lips on her several lengthy stays in Haifa. She often read from her personal notes at the Bahá’í meetings. She gave lifelong devoted service to the Bahá’í Cause in the British Isles.
She had profound knowledge of the Bible and also of other sacred books. Also a great knowledge of general literature. Her English was very good and her French nearly perfect. Her great work was in correcting and editing the writings and translations.
No one is more fully cognizant of the worth of this servant’s labours for the Cause of Bahá’u'lláh, as developed and expounded by the Center of the Covenant, than the beloved Guardian of the Cause, Shoghi Effendi, who, when he was advised of her passing cabled forthwith to the friends in London a heartfelt message of condolence and appreciation.
“Deeply grieved passing Rosenberg” — wrote the Guardian, “England’s outstanding Bahá’í pioneer-worker. Memory of her glorious service will never die. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s family join me in expressing heartfelt condolences to her brother and relatives. Urge friends hold befitting memorial service.”
Services were held on the afternoon of November 20th, attended by the London Bahá’ís and a Memorial Meeting was arranged at the Bahá’í Center for suitable expression of the love all the members of the Bahá’í Community felt for this longtime friend and counsellor. Here was voiced that reverent recognition due her for the clear vision she had of the Bahá’í Message and purposes, and the lucid and authoritative expositions she was able, through contact with the source of inspiration and the pure spirit that burned within her, to give to those who sought.
Miss Rosenberg, who was seventy-two years of age, was born on August 6, 1858, and had lived for many years in London. She was one of the most prominent and active believers in Great Britain up to a short time before her removal to the higher plane.
During her long connection with the Cause her correspondence with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had been voluminous, and to her He had revealed numerous precious Tablets, many of which, of a general nature, have already been included in the Bahá’í writings.
3. Mrs. Claudia Stuart ColesWith the passing of this great character, Mrs. Claudia Stuart Coles, the Bahá’í Cause has lost one of its most loyal and enthusiastic adherents.
Mrs. Coles was born in South Carolina about sixty-five years ago. When quite young she moved to Washington, D. C., and it was here she heard and accepted the Bahá’í Teachings, and served as a faithful and honored member of the Bahá’í community for many years. In 1920 she moved to London, England, where her daughter and granddaughters lived, and thus for the past
eleven years she was a member of the London Bahá’í community. She had been reelected many times to the National Bahá’í Assembly of England, and as Secretary of this body served indefatigably.
Mrs. Coles’ home in London was a meeting place for traveling Bahá’ís from other countries. It was always a joy to associate with and consult this radiant enthusiastic Bahá’í to whom friends could turn for help and advice. She undoubtedly worked far beyond her strength in her great enthusiasm, and one might well say that from the standpoint of her physical health, there was always in her work and service the element of sacrifice. Particularly noteworthy, too, was her great efficiency. She was undoubtedly one of the best informed Bahá’í teachers in the western world, and knew where to find any quotation asked for. She certainly has been instrumental in spreading the Bahá’í Message around the world, for her personal correspondence had assumed voluminous proportions.
As a Bahá’í, Mrs. Coles had an international reputation, and was distinguished and will be forever remembered for her true spirituality and her unique spiritual enthusiasm. She [may be] classified among the most sincere and devoted Bahá’ís, and we are told that the rays of those spirits (the sincere) are the cause of the development of the people.” From this beautiful soul “will appear the traces of God.”
4. Consul Albert SchwarzDecember 14, 1871 – January 13, 1931
On January 13th, 1931, the Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Germany, Councillor of Commerce, Albert Schwarz, Consul of the Kingdom of Norway, entered his eternal home.
Although he suffered greatly for the past years and could not attend fully to his various duties in full measure he did his very best to serve the Holy Cause with all the might of bis personality. We, the Bahá’ís, lose in him one of the most loyal and most resigned followers and pioneers of the Revelation of Bahá’u'lláh.
By nature endowed richly with pronounced human attributes, he had at heart the progress and advancement of friendly human and social organizations, as he was permitted by the great Bounty to enter into the Circle of Light of Abdu’l-Baha in the year 1913.
He had created values in the field of assisting growing artists and in the commercial line, far surpassing the limits of Wurtemberg.
With the new erection of the Baths at Mergentheim he established a healing fount or spring for suffering humanity by indefatigable and restless labors under great personal sacrifices inspired by great idealism. He later had the great pleasure to interest our beloved Master during His sojourn in Stuttgart in this social work. The Blessings pronounced on these Baths, made themselves realized very soon, and now their reputation for healing in their salubrious and life-giving waters has been felt all over the world. In deepest appreciation of our honored Chairman, a monumental stone was erected in Mergentheim as a memento of the visit of Abdu’l-Baha.
During the sojourn of our beloved Master in Stuttgart our beloved departed one was granted the privilege to visit Abdu’l-Baha daily, besides He has honored our home with His presence several times. Our departed one was so filled with the spirit of Abdu’l-Baha, that this longing drove him to visit Abdu’l-Baha once more in Paris, before His departure from Europe and he had the great bounty to enjoy several unforgettable days in high spiritual teachings filled with revelations and knowledge with the beloved Master. The meetings with Abdu’l-Baha were for the further advancement of his far-reaching possibilities.
The passing of Abdu’l-Baha in the fall of 1921
was for him exceedingly staggering, as he had always hoped to have been able to visit Him in Haifa. He traveled in the following spring with his wife to Haifa in response to an invitation from Shoghi Effendi and put himself wholeheartedly into the service of the Guardian of the Holy Cause.
Since the establishment of the National Spiritual Assembly he served as the Chairman. During his many days of acute sufferings he had experienced often the blessings of Abdu’l-Baha and the answer to prayers to Bahá’u'lláh, and his faith had eased many hours of acute sufferings especially so in his tragic last and acute times of his life caused by the grievances of prevailing conditions.
In the beloved departed we all have lost an upright, loyal and devoted ready helpful friend, who stood at the side of everyone that turned to him for advice and help and with a sympathetic understanding.
With his separation a gap has appeared in our ranks which as yet we are unable to understand.
Notwithstanding the severe tests which came to him he remained faithful to his convictions and his reality. He serves us now as a shining example for all times.
Cable from Shoghi Effendi to Mrs. Alice Schwarz, Stuttgart:
INEXPRESSIBLY SAD PROFOUNDLY DEPLORE PASSING GERMANYS OUTSTANDING BAHÁ’Í PIONEER WORKER. MEMORY HIS DISTINGUISHED SERVICES IMPERISHABLE. GREATEST HOLY LEAF JOINS ME ASSURANCE AFFECTIONATE PRAYER HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES.