"Heart dying up last 5 or 6 years, 'Soul of a People' like rain falling on dry parched soil" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Dorothy Moltke MSC 26/2.7/12
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: Tuesday 15 July 1914 ; Before End: 31 July 1914
Address FromContinental Hotel, Berlin, Germany
Address To
Who ToDorothy von Moltke nee Rose Innes
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. This letter has been dated by reference to content. Schreiner stayed with Dorothy von Moltke and her family for some days in later July 1914. A typed transcript only of the letter is available; the original cannot be traced.
1 Continental Hotel,
2 Berlin.
3 Tuesday
4
5 Dear Dorothy,
6
7 I had a delightful journey yesterday, and came to the "Continental"
8where I have a very nice little room for 4 a night. My brother is
9staying at the Adlon. After dinner last night he took a cab & we drove
10about till 11.30 seeing the wonderful sights in the streets which were
11crowded by thousands marching & singing patriotic songs. All Unter den
12Linden was one solid mass. A vast crowd sang & cheered before the
13Austrian Embassy, & at Bismarck's monument. It was a wonderful sight.
14I meant to go on to Amsterdam early this morning but was so tired that
15I have only now got up & am going to wait till to-morrow. I do trust
16there will be no war Russia can't be so mad. I feel anxious not only
17for yourselves but the beautiful old house at Creisau. Please send me
18a postcard to c/o Dr. Aletta Jacobs, Amsterdam (that is enough
19address) just to say if all goes well with you. I can't tell you, dear,
20 how beautiful my little visit to you was. I wouldn't have missed it
21for anything. The place itself is lovely, & I liked all the dear folk,
22but you make it what it is a home of love.
23
24 Isn't is strange, I've never felt so well for years as during the days
25I was there! I suppose it is partly the smoke & heat makes this so
26different. But Berlin is a lovely & interesting city.
27
28 Do try & come to London in the autumn. I don't like to think I shan't
29see you again. Give my friendliest greetings to your husband & thanks
30for all his kindness, & remember me to your mother-in-law & sister &
31the boys & Miss Chalmers.
32
33 Goodbye, dear child.
34 Yours with much love
35 Olive Schreiner
36
37
38
Notation
Schreiner’s ‘send me a postcard to Dr Jacobs’ suggestion set up a wartime pattern of Schreiner and von Moltke sending news and maintaining contact with each other via Aletta Jacobs, because of concerns about censors on both sides; see Schreiner to Aletta Jacobs, 8 February 1915 (Aletta Jacobs Papers AHK/291), 17 August 1915 (Aletta Jacobs Papers AHJ/296), 31 August 1915 (Aletta Jacobs Papers AHJ/297). This later included von Moltke’s mother, father and paternal aunt also communicating with and about her via Aletta Jacobs. We would like to thank Sarah Poustie for transcribing the letters composing this set of exchanges and Gregor Schnuer for translating the two letters in German, as follows:


LETTER 1
Near Cape Town
16.Oct 1914

Dear Dr Jacobs

We are still without news of my daughter since the letter which you so kindly forwarded in August. We can hear nothing either by cable or letter. But the American Embassy reports that she ha seems to have left Creisau. That being so I am again taking the liberty of enclosing a letter addressed to her at Hannover, which I trust may reach her if you would be so very kind as to stamp and post it. You would be adding to the obligation under which you have already placed my wife and myself. I am leaving the envelope open, so that you may be able to place the letter in another envelope & address it yourself if you think it would be likely to go better that way.

We are having our troubles here as you may see from the newspapers but we shall I hope get through them all right. What a terrible thing this dreadful war must be for you in Holland; it is hardly possible to ?realize some of the things one reads about.

With kind remembrances from my Wife, and many grateful thanks from us both, believe me, dear Dr Jacobs
Very sincerely yours
J Rose Innes


LETTER 2
Creisau
Schlesien
21.10.14

My dear Dr. Jacobs

Thank you very much for your kindness in forwarding letters to and from my parents. The first news they had of me since the outbreak of the war was the letter you posted from Amsterdam, and you may imagine what a relief it was to them to receive it and know that we were all well.

What a terrible disaster this war is for everybody! You in Holland are suffering much too. One hears here a great number of expressions of gratitude and sympathy with your country, and no wonder.

I am living in our country home with my four small boys and four little nephews and they brighten us up wonderfully. My husband is of course away fighting like everyone else. We really feel nothing of the war here, although we are a boarder province, but in the towns of course it is more noticeable.

The only good that this war has brought about is that all that is best in the nation has risen to the surface, selfishness and nationalism have quite gone out of fashion, all that unreadable is worthless has slipped away & in spite of being very determined, the temper of the people is humane and self-controlled.

Thanking you once more for your kindness and with warmest regards
believe me dear Dr. Jacobs to be
Your sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 3
Dec. 11th 1914

Dear Dr. Jacobs

I can but thank you most warmly for sending me on my daughter’s letters. She must, soon after writing it, have heard from us that at last we were receiving her letters through a friend in Switzerland. They go through him quite regularly now so I shall not trouble you at present until a change seems advisable You will be surprised to hear that the cable you sent us never reached us & the letter from you explains one through Switzerland sent on Nov. 26th. It is such a comfort being able to visualize just where she is

How extraordinary & sad it must be to see the crowds of starving Belgians whome Holland is feeding & caring for. If one hadn’t plenty of work to do one would find life unbearable –
We are so glad that Beyers career has ended. It was a great shock to everyone to discover how he had betrayed his country & being drowned makes everything much easier for Botha, who has had a terrible task in having to fight against his very own people. I am very busy organising equipment for a Hospital Ship & Convalescent Homes.

With renewed thanks
believe me
Yours very sincerely
Jessie Innes


LETTER 4
Pretoria
May 5th 1915

My dear Dr. Jacobs

I do feel so sorry that you took all that trouble about the cable especially as I know from all the printed matter you have sent me from time to time how very busy you are. The Congress last week must have been very interesting & yet very difficult I look forwarding to seeing an account of it in Jus Suffragii probably by your hand. We women out here are very busy doing Relief Work & work for our soldiers. It has been a very trying experience for a new nation to deal with an internal rebellion with a powerful enemy on our border. General Botha seems to be managing the military side of it very well. Our administrative side leaves I fear much to be desired ^owing to our being such a new country with so much to be done^ & the afterwards is going to be a very difficult problem to solve.

I am going to ask you to be good enough to forward letters to my daughter the friend in Switzerland is rather a ?crank & has lately taken to obliterating her opinions on books she reads. telling us he considers the matter is controversial, until I have lost all patience. Have you ever been paid for the cable you sent & the stamps expended? I fear not so I am sending you my cheque for £4 as I shall ask you to forward letters & perhaps sometimes a cable. I know you will be willing to help in this special way at this special time

With kindest regards & grateful thanks
Yrs most sincerely
Jessie Innes


LETTER 5
Creisau (Schlesien)
19.6.15

Dear Dr. Jacobs,

Will you please be kind enough to post a letter now & then from me to my parents? Needless to say I write only of family matters & there is nothing in them which could possibly be considered as not strictly neutral.

Thanking you in advance for your kindness I remain
Yours sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 6
[15 July 1915]
Dear Dr. Jacobs

Very many thanks for your kindness in giving my parents news of me. I understand that my mother has sent you a cheque for any expenses that may occur. That being so I shall probably in a few weeks time send you a telegram in German, & I shall be much indebted to you if you will forward its content in English to my parents. “Innes, Kenilworth, Cape.” is the cable address. I think it will be better for you to send it, for should it come from me & bear my signiture I fear it will not pass the censor (the last telegram I sent through you in the winter never reached its destination) – Moltke is such a suspicious looking name!

I am expecting a baby quite soon & naturally want my parents to know the news as soon as possible, so I shall telegraph to you more or less in this manner “boy born 2nd, all well”, & will be much obliged if you will cable to my parents somewhat like this: Dorothys boy born 2nd all well” or words to that effect.

Please, when writing to Olive Schreiner, give her my love & tell her we are well. My husband is at the front but well too I am thankful to say.

I was most interested in reading of the Peace Congress in Jus Suffragii – what a work it must have been for you!

Thanking you once more for your kindness & with hearty greetings
Yours sincerely
Dorothy Molke


LETTER 7
Creisau
24.6.16

My dear Dr. Jacobs

Very many thanks for sending me my Fathers telegram, which, needless to say, was a great pleasure to me. It is most kind of you to give up so much of your time to work of this sort, & I can assure you that I am most grateful.

Hoping we may meet some day in happier times

Yours sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 8
May 11th 1918
Cape

My dear Dr. Jacobs

I am interested to hear that you are standing for parliament & I do most sincerely hope you will be elected. It does seem “putting the cart before the horse” to give women eligibility & not the vote, but that is bound to come soon. The Principle of women’s votes ^suffrage^ was affirmed in ^our^ Parliament this year & we shall have it too in a few years meanwhile each debate on the subject educates the country. I am sending you my cheque for £2- 2 - two guineas- as I am so ashamed to think you have been spending your own money on stamps etc. I can quite imagine how busy the women in Holland are & what sufferings you have to witness neutral countries are having a dreadful time. Here we really do not feel the war except for private personal grief. We work very hard for our troops Sir James & I are going to have a few days holiday soon & I am longing to vegetate. What a triumph Mrs. Chapman Catt has had. She is a born leader & so is Mrs Fawcett. I am so glad women in England have the vote before the end of the war because the after conditions of the world will need such careful work to set things on the right lines.

With kindest regards & grateful thanks
Your most sincerely
Jessie Innes


LETTER 9
Creisau
3.3.19

My dear Dr. Jacobs

How awfully kind of you to take so much trouble on our account! I can assure you that your unreadable helpfulness is like a beam of sunshine on a rainy day. I am taking steps to get permission from the German Government to enter Holland & as soon as that is obtained I will send it to the Dutch Embassy in Berlin & let you know at once. I quite see how difficult it will be to take the children so long a journey, apart from the difficulty of obtaining passports & so I fear I shall have to leave them here, which as you may imagine is anything but pleasant as there is no knowing from one week to the other what may happen in Germany.

At any rate I shall let you know as soon as I have anything definite to go upon. If nothing else succeeds, then I must try to get permission for my parents to come to us here. My Father is on his way to England now too & only has leave till the end of June, so we have no time to spare as we have not seen each other for 5 ½ years.

I am only surprised that I have had no word from Mother since her arrival in England.

With the most grateful thanks for your great kindness
Yours sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 10
March 4th [1919]
Hotel Jules, 85 & 86, Jermyn Street, S.W.

My dear Dr. Jacobs

Your kind letter enclosing my daughters reached me this morning. It is good of you to be taking so much trouble for us.

My husband is expected on Friday night & when he has had time to look around I will write again & tell you our plans. I hope to see tonight a military friend who has just come from Cologne & it is there I should like to go if possible as there are good unreadable trains from Boulogne to Cologne & it would be much easier for my daughter to get there with so many children & servants. This proposal has been laid before the foreign office. I think too that the food question would be much easier there amongst the English army of occupation.

We know Baron von Humboldt well & so do the Moltkes

With renewed thanks
Very sincerely yrs
Jessie Innes


LETTER 11
Creisau
9.3.19

My dear Dr. Jacobs

I am quite overwhelmed by your kindness in helping us. With-out your help I am sure my parents & I would never meet. If ever I can be of any use to you or your friends, I hope you will count on me, & this is not an empty phrase, but is what I feel most intensely. I hope to send or rather take, the necessary papers to the Dutch Embassy towards the end of the week, but first I must obtain a passport from our ?Landrat & fill in some papers that were sent me from Berlin but which, owing to the strikes, have not yet arrived. Thanking you once more for your great kindness.

Yours sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 12
16th March [1919]

Hotel Jules, 86 Jermyn St, London

My dear Dr. Jacobs

All our enquiries seem now to have narrowed down to the possibility of our meeting our daughter in Holland. Generals Both & Smuts both think that they could get permission through the Netherlands Minister here for my daughter & her family to enter Holland.

If we succeed in meeting in your country where would it be wise for us to go. The Hague, Amsterdam or nearer the German border?

Any information you could give about hotels or apartments – we should be such a large party 3 adults 5 children a nursery governess & two maids – which makes 6 or 8 rooms - Yesterd would be of such great advantage to us & so gratefully received.

Yesterday we saw Olive Schreiner – She was very cheerful but suffers much from her heart. She spoke so warmly of you.

With apologies for troubling you. I am yrs very sincerely
Jessie Innes


LETTER 13
20th March [1919]

Hotel Jules, 86 Jermyn Street

Dear Dr. Jacobs

My husband went to the Netherlands Embassy yesterday & tho’ the Ambassador was away in Holland the Chargé d’affaires was most kind & thought that there would be no difficulty in getting passports for Dorothy & some of the party of children & maids - & as you know by the wire sent through you on the 14th. she hopes to get to Holland about the middle of April. So we shall hope to leave for Holland about the 8th or 10th.

I expect her wire is the outcome of your efforts with your foreign ministers we shall probably cross to Flushing & I think ought to go to Amsterdam if only to see you & thank you personally – but where had we better meet Dorothy. The problem of getting rooms is I suppose very great & would I be able to get a lady’s maid if my daughter is not able to bring me one from Germany unreadable Holland I do not want to bring one from here as I am not suited. I had to leave mine behind in S. Africa as she was Algerian by birth tho’ married to an Irishman & therefore not an alien by law, but people are very unreasonable &, I feared complications in Hotels etc & on board ship.

It seems inexcusable to bother you so & yet we fear to venture forth with no prospect of getting rooms.

Your past kindness gives us the courage to venture.

With kindest regards
believe me
Yours most sincerely
Jessie Innes


LETTER 14
[20 March 1919]
My dear Dr. Jacobs,

Just a few hurried lines to explain my telegram yesterday. I went to the Dutch Commandante & after explaining your part as “fairy godmother” in our affairs, was told that there would probably be no difficulty in getting permits for all 5 children plus governess & nurse. I hope this is so. In that case I should arrive about ^6^7th April in Amsterdam. I hope you were kind enough to telegram to my parents so that they may be there when we arrive. The journey will be rather a trying one, as we leave Berlin 7.35.a.m & arrive at about 5 o’clock in Be^n^theim; when we shall land in Amsterdam I have no idea, probably towards midnight. I hope to have the telegraphic reply to our “Fragebogen in one or two days & then can arrange everything definitely. I expect my parents will take rooms for us, so that we need not take up any more of your time in asking you to book lodgings for us.

I am so happy at the thought of seeing my parents soon! Thanking you once more for the very important part which you have taken in bring this to pass

Yours sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 15
Creisau
26.3.19

My dear Dr. Jacobs,

Your more than welcome telegram arrived on 23rd & produced a wave of happiness over the whole house. Thank you a thousand times for all the trouble you have taken on our behalf. We have decided to leave Berlin at 7.30 a.m on the 4th & hope to be at the Hague the same night. If that is not possible, why then we must spend the night somewhere, though it is not a very agreeable prospect with 5 children, the youngest of whom is 3 ½ years old! The train ought to arrive at Bentheim at 5p.m. and perhaps it would be better to stay the night at Arnheim or Utrecht. What do you advise? I have no idea how long the journey from the frontier to the Hague takes. If you have any suggestions to make on this point, I should be most grateful if you would telegraph to me to: Charlottenburg, Knesebeckstr. ?86 where I shall be from the evening of 2nd.

I hope your move to the Hague has been accomplished without too many difficulties & that you are pleased with the change inspite of the smaller house.

We are very busy preparing for our journey & the children naturally are most excited at the prospect. Without your help I do not think I should have seen my parents at all, & certainly they would not have seen their grandchildren. I thank you once more dear Dr. Jacobs

Yours very sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 16
Park Hotel, Park ?Neg, Den Haag
29 May 1919

Dear Dr Jacobs

We were very sorry to find you were not at home this afternoon. It is possible that we may trespass upon your kindness a little while longer. In asking you to send more letters to Dorothy - and I am taking the liberty of enclosing a small cheque unreadable for postal expenses.

I cannot tell you how grateful we are to you for all you have done for us; it is a thing not easy to speak about but which we will never forget. I only hope that we may meet again some day, either here or in Africa

Wishing you all good fortune & success, both in your private life & your public work, and with renewed expression of thanks,

I am dear Dr Jacobs
Yrs sincerely
J Rose Innes


LETTER 17
Creisau
10. 6. 19.

My dear Dr. Jacobs,

A happy Pentecost-greetings from Silesia. We had a very pleasant voyage and found much work present, but also a very warm welcome. Everything here is quiet, only that one simply does not know what surprises will come. Would you please be so kind as to send the enclosed letter to: Mrs. Hartley, c/o Standard Bank of S. Africa 10 Clements Lane Lombard Street London.

Hopefully my Dutch tub can soon be transported soon! Helmuth has gained weight, and they found us all quite well looking. It is harder than ever here about food, but we will nonetheless get full when we’re in the countryside, it only takes a great deal of brainwork.

We think a lot about our wonderful time in Holland, and must tell about everything all the time. You embody a large part of the glad story, dear Dr. Jacobs!

With much thanks and the kindest regards your
Dorothy Moltke


The letter in the original German:
Creisau
10. 6. 19.

Meine liebe Dr. Jacobs,

Einen herzlichen Pfingstgruss aus Schlesien! Wir hatten eine sehr nette Reise und fanden viel Arbeit vor, aber auch einen sehr warmen Willkommen. Hier ist alles ruhig, nur weiss man so gar nicht was für Überraschungen kommen werden. Wollen Sie bitte so freundlich sein beiliegenden Brief zu: Mrs. Hartley, c/o Standard Bank of S. Africa 10 Clements Lane Lombard Street London zu senden?

Hoffentlich können auch bald meine holländische [Stotzen?] befördert werden!
Der Helmuth hat z. B. zugenommen in Holland, und sie fanden uns alle recht wohl aussehend. Hier ist es schwieriger den je mit den Lebensmitteln, aber satt werden wir auf dem Lande trotzdem, nur braucht es sehr viel Kopfarbeit.

Wir denken viel an unsere wunderschöne Zeit in Holland, und müssen andauernd von allem erzählen. Ein grosser Teil von der frohen Erzählung verkörpern Sie, liebe Dr. Jacobs!

Mit vielem Dank und den herzlichsten Grüsse Ihre
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 18
Creisau
3.8.19

My dear Dr. Jacobs,

Thank you so much for your kind letter. How glad you must be to be at home once more. It was such a pleasure having you & Miss Word here & we all wished it could have been for longer.

I think that your kind rôle as ?intermidiatry in the matter of letters will no longer be needed, & I take this opportunity of thanking you once again most gratefully for your kind services during so many sad years.

I should be so glad if you could send me my parcel (registered please) soon.

A very dear South African aunt of mine, is in London & would so like to visit us as she has never been here & is hardly likely to come again for the next 10 years to Europe, but alas she speaks no German! If you should hear of anyone travelling from England to Germany during the next 6 months either privately or in a commission, would you be kind enough to write a postcard to: Miss Rose Innes c/o Standard Bank of S.Africa, 10 Clements Lane, Lombard Street London just giving her the address of the person coming to Germany, so that she could make inquiries as to the possibility of travelling together? I should be so grateful!

How frightfully interesting the world is! If it only were not quite so sad. But I feel sure that great & lasting benefits will be evolved out of all this suffering.

We all, including the officers, send you the heartiest greetings. If ever I can be of any service to you, you will let me know, won’t you dear Dr. Jacobs? I only hope we shall often meet again. Please always let me know should you be coming to Berlin, as it may be possible for me to see you there, or, better still, you come to Creisau.

With many loving greetings
Yours very sincerely
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 19
Creisau
9. 9. 19.

My dear Dr. Jacobs

One really cannot grasp it, that the American delegation did not authorize your passports! It is downright unbelievable, and I feel very sorry for you, as it would have certainly been interesting in America. One sees yet again, one cannot put new wine into old wineskins, and that is what the Men in Paris are trying to do. It will require a lot of hard work still, before humanity will be convinced by the 14 points. For all people who strive after these ideals, current times are immensely disappointing, since one had high expectations of the “new time” and see there, everything happens in the old ways. But after all, the seed is sown, we must care for and water the land now, and with time it will open up, everywhere. But one has almost believed in a miracle and thought the dreadful of the world war had changed all people; that, alas, is not the case.

My cousin, who is the chargé d’affaires in Stuttgart, said that, if you were so kind as to send my parcel to the German delegation in Hague, to send it on to him via courier. His address is Legationsrat von Moltke, Prussian Delegation Stuttgart. It would be very kind if you could possibly try this option. Just the one parcel; the wax cloth is too complicated and I ask you to please keep it for yourself.

I hear regularly from my parents now, and the letters barely are underway for 4 weeks – very nice, isn’t it?

A very lovely aunt of mine, Miss Rose Innes, is visiting in England until the spring. I would so terribly much like her to be here for a few weeks, but she speaks not a word of German and so a trip is difficult.

If you were to ever know of anyone who travelled to Berlin, could you let us know? It would be too delightful! Naturally she would need to know a few weeks in advance to prepare, but we would be so thankful if it should succeed! Her permanent address is: c/o Standard Bank of S. Africa, 10 Clements Lane, Lombard Street, London, E.1. That I always come to you with requests is terrible to me. Hopefully you will ask me for something sometime.

Most kindly, your Dorothy Moltke


The letter in the original German:
Creisau
9. 9. 19.
Meine Liebe Dr. Jacobs

Man kann es wirklich nicht fassen, dass die Amerik. Gesandtschaft Ihre Pässe nicht bewilligt haben! Es ist geradezu unglaublich, und es tut mir für Sie sehr leid, denn es wäre gewiss höchst interessant in Amerika gewesen. Man sieht immer wieder man kann neuen Wein nicht in alten Schläuche tun, und das ist was die Herrn in Paris zu tun versuchen. Es wird noch viele, schwere Arbeit kosten, ehe die Menschheit überzeugt von den 14 Punkte werden. Für alle Menschen die nach diese Idealen streben, ist die Jetztzeit schwer enttäuschend, denn man hatte so viel von der “neuen Zeit” erwartet und siehe da, alles geschieht nach altem Muster. Aber schliesslich, der Same ist gesaet, wir müssen nun das Land pflegen und bewässern, und mit der Zeit wird er aufgehen, all über all. Aber man hat beinah an einen Wunder geglaubt und gedacht das Entsetzliche am Weltkriege hätte alle Menschen umgemödelt; das, leider Gottes, ist nicht der Fall.

Mein Vetter, der Geschäftsträger in Stuttgart ist, meinte das wenn Sie so freundlich wären mein Paket an die Deuts. Gesantschaft im Haag zu senden, es per Courier an ihn weiter geschickt werden konnte. Seine Adresse ist Legationsrat von Moltke Preuss. Gesandtschaft Stuttgart. Es ware sehr freundlich, wenn Sie noch diesen Weg versuchen wollten. Nur das eine Paket; das Wachstuch ist zu umständlich, und ich bitte Sie es selbst zu behalten.

Ich höre nun regelmässig von meinen Eltern, und die Briefe sind knap 4 Wochen unterwegs – ganz schön nicht wahr?

Eine sehr liebe Tante von mir, Miss Rose Innes, ist bis zum Frühjahr zum Besuch in England. Ich würde sie so furchtbar gern hier haben, für ein paar Wochen, aber sie spricht kein Wort deutsch und so ist eine Reise sehr erschwert.

Fall sie von jemand jemals wüssten, die nach Berlin führen, konnten Sie uns wissen lassen? Es ware zu schön! Natürlich müsste sie einige Wochen vorher es wissen, um sich vorzubereiten, aber wir wären Ihnen so dankbar, wenn es gelingen sollte! Ihre ständige Adresse ist: c/o Standard Bank of S. Africa, 10 Clements Lane, Lombard Street, London, E.1. Dass ich immer mit Bitten zu Ihnen kommen ist mir selbst schrecklich. Hoffentlich bitten Sie mich mal um etwas.

Herzlichst Ihre Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 20
c/o The Standard Bank
10 Clements Lane
Lombard Street
London
E.C.3

Oct 18th. 19

Dear Dr. Aletta Jacobs

We have never met but you are perhaps better known to me than I to you. Letters to my niece, Countess Von Moltke, have been posted from me to your care more than once. She is most anxious that before I return to S.Africa, which will probably be not before next April, I should come & pay her a visit at Creisau. While my brother, his wife were over here we talked of it but the way did not seem open at that time - unreadable though my niece writes begging me to get attached to some Women’s Commission, or to get a passage with some of the English women who are married to Germans, being sent back. I feel rather uncertain. She says I would suffer little or nothing as British, but unfortunately I speak no German – in fact the only language I could use besides English would be Cape Dutch! And while she writes of it being comparatively easy to get over, her letters take more than 21 days to reach me. In the last she said that she had asked you to let me know if there were any suitable person going over with whom I could travel. I so wonder if now is the best time or if it would be wiser to wait a month or two – Can you advise me?

I unreadable have a friend from S.Africa in this country just now who may be visiting Germany before he returns & it is just possible I might have his unreadable in a month or two. I am though middle aged, what might be called unsophisticated as far as travel is concerned! I have no feeling about meeting Germans & believe that good will one towards another is the only Christian attitude. And I should love to see them all at Creisau – if it is possible. I have taken the liberty of writing to you for advice. I hope you won’t mind.

My idea would be to go to Thomas Cook & get advice about what money to take there. Now that Mr. Schreiner has gone there as one at the High Commissioners office one can twin to.

My sister a widow to whom I came after her husbands death, & I, have no influential friends who one can find out facts for us. Indeed a parcel for Dorothy from her Mother has been in our care for a month or two, so far the ?FPO, the Board of Trade, Lloyds have all said it would be very unwise to send it as there was no guarantee that it would arrive safely. So accounts are rather conflicting. I hope you will pardon my troubling you.

Believe me
Sincerely yours
(Miss) M. Rose Innes


LETTER 21
Creisau
2.12.19

My dear Dr. Jacobs,

The long expected parcel arrived yesterday & was hailed by us all with joy as you may imagine. Thank you very much for all the trouble you took about it. It really quite embarrasses me to feel that I have taken up so much of your time, and indeed I have a debt of gratitude towards you which it is not easy to pay off. I hope, however, that you will give me the opportunity of showing you how grateful I am to you for your unceasing kindness, whenever it is possible.

How about your trip to Vienna? If you go there, perhaps there is a chance of your coming to Creisau, though I fear there is nothing to tempt you to stay a day longer away from home that is necessary. We are all in the happy position of having a really warm house, which this winter is an untold blessing. The coalfields are so near us, that we can send wagons to fetch fuel regularly & are therefore independant of the railway. How are you off in this matter? I so often see, in my mind’s eye, your charming house & the cosy sitting room upstairs. How good you were to us!

The children are all very well, singing Christmas hymns & very excited about the “Christ kind”. I hope you will have a happy, peaceful Christmas at home, & much sunshine in the coming year. What do you think of the way the League of Nations is being arranged? And all the unfortunate prisoners, truly, the world suffering is terrible to contemplate. Love & gratitude & all good wishes from
Yours cordially
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 22
c/o The Standard Bank
10 Clements Lane
Lombard Street
London EC.

21st Dec. 19


Dear Dr Jacobs

Your kind letter in reply to mine only reached me this morning having been sent out to the Cape to my sister-in-law & returned by her to me! I am Miss Innes simply & when they ^Standard Bank^ saw Lady Innes on the letter they did not consider the initial, which was mine, but just posted off the letter to the Cape. Thank you so much for the help & advice you give. I have been going like a pendulum from one extreme to the other on the subject. But my niece still writes urging me to come & I should much like to see them all. She says that she will be in Berlin in March & can meet me there if I arrange accordingly. I have not been in London since August but expect to go for a week early in the year & shall certainly then go to the Friends Emergency Committee at the address you give. I shall see Thom: Cook too & find out anything I can from them.

There are many points in which I could ^get^ help from the Friends Emergency committee I feel sure.

In any case should I go over early in March I should write & tell you of any movements as you so kindly suggest.

May I send you my best wishes for Christmas & the New Year.

With kind regards
Sincerely yours
M. Rose Innes


LETTER 23
c/o The Standard Bank
10 Clements Lane
Lombard Street
London E.C.

31st Dec. 19

Dear Dr. Jacobs

Thank you very much for your very kind letters and for so kindly asking me to stay with you while at the Hague as I go to Germany. I am quite hoping to do so early in March and it will give me much pleasure to accept of your hospitality for the short time I am in Holland. It will be a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

It all sounds as though travelling were quite easy even for a greenhorn – are you familiar with that slang expression? – like myself!

It interests me much to hear of the International Womens Suffrage Conference at Madrid. I don’t think there is any chance of Lady Innes being able to get to it however! They have just been obliged in self defence to buy a house as they were being turned out of the one they have lived in ever since returning to the Cape from the Transvaal They are moving in February and there will be many changes & alterations to be made in the new property. I expect my sister-in-law will be very much involved in domestic matters for some months after the move.

I have not in the least expressed how much I appreciate the kindness you have shown me – I hope I may do so by word of mouth later.

Very sincerely yours
M. Rose Innes


LETTER 24
Creisau
24.2.20

My dear Dr. Jacobs

It is now a year since you appeared as an enchantress in my life & made it possible for my child-ren & I ^me^ to meet my parents in Holland, & to have perhaps the happiest holiday of our lives. I so often think of you & your great kindness to us during all those terrible war years, culminating in your making our meeting possible last Spring, but at the anniversary my thoughts, winged with gratitude, fly more often than ever to van Aerssenstraat, & so I felt that I must write a few words of love & greeting to you. Please don’t think you must answer this letter for you have far too many calls on your time, for that, but I am sure you will be glad to know that you are in no way forgotten in Schlesien.

I wonder how many journeys you have taken since last we meet? I do hope you have been able to enjoy your home a little at last.

We are all very well & busy & of us, personally, I have only good things to relate. Next year, immediately after New Year, I hope to go out to Cape Town for a few months with Asta & Carl ?Bisend, & my parents tell me that there will probably by that time be a direct line of steamers going from Rotterdam to the Cape, in which case I should certainly go on one of them. I fear however that my time will be too short for me to come to the Hague, so I shall not have the pleasure of seeing you, unless we meet somewhere travelling.

How dignified & brave Hollands answer to the Allies regarding the Kaiser was. She has won the respect of all the world by her behaviour during & after the war. The list of “war-criminals” made a really very serious crisis, & though matters, for the moment, have greatly improved, the Damocles Sword still hands over us. What a fiasco Wilson has made!

Berlin, where I spent 2 weeks this month, has decidedly bettered itself. The streets are clean, there are practically no beggars about, the trains are punctual etc, but the scarcity of food is still very evident, that is, food & clothing are there, but the prices are so fabulous that only the very rich can buy them. Still, I feel sure we shall pull through & the majority are, I think, really democratic. My husband, unreadable. Dietze & the children all send many greetings, & I my love & warmest thanks for all you did

Yours
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 25
c/o The Standard Bank
10 Clements Lane
Lombard Street
London E.C.

19th March 20

Dear Dr. Aletta Jacobs

I should have written to you some weeks ago to tell you that acting on my nieces advice I have given up the idea of going to German at present.

You were so kind in offering me the hospitality of your home in passing through the Hague, in giving me information. I was very grateful. I quite meant to have written to you when, after much see-sawing it was finally decided that it was not quite the best time for me to go to Germany. My niece hopes that the visit may yet be managed as I am waiting now for the Y.W.C.A. Commission to be held near Geneva June 2-9th.

I have been rather absorbed in the a dear friend living at Wimbledon who has been very ill for some months with whom I have been staying. This is my apology for not having written to you sooner.

You asked about Olive Schreiner in your last letter I have only met her once or twice but she is a great friend of my sister-in-law Lady Innes I have seen her once or twice since coming over here – last time she was looking in a shop window, I passed in a bus!

I have just been realising that the decision about Germany was a wise one. I am glad that things seem to have quietened down there. If only the distressed countries of Europe could have time to recover themselves. We used to feel that keenly in S. Africa after the Boer War.

With kind regards
Very sincerely yours
M Rose Innes


LETTER 26
Creisau
11.7.20

My dear Dr. Jacobs,
I followed the Congress in Geneva with much interest, & even recognised you in one picture of the delegates! One German paper reported that the Womans Congress was the “Internationale” which had stood the test of the war.

I had a letter a few days ago from Miss Word, who is to speak in Breslau on Tuesday, & I hope she will find time to come here for a day or two before returning to Berlin.

I have been corresponding with a Dutch Steamship Company regarding my journey to the Cape next January. ?Meraso v.d. Eb & ?Besselhuys, Rotterdam, ?Verskade are sending their first passenger ship in the autumn from Rotter to Cape Town, but as they only have one class I am rather afraid that it may be very primitive & uncomfortable. I don’t care about luxury, but want cleanliness & fair cooking. Would you be kind enough to ask some one living in Rotterdam to make inquiries & if possible look at one of the steamers? It would be such a help to me in making my decision as to whether I should travel via England or not. I have written twice to the company, but get no proper answer to my questions, which are:

1. Is a ship sailing between Christmas & the middle of Jan?
2. How long do they take to reach C.T?
3. Where do they stop on the way?

Above all, if it is possible to travel in such a steamer & what tonnage they have. I must soon begin to think about passports etc, but I must know first of all whether I take the Dutch or English route. I should much prefer taking the former if it is at all possible, & as the price (?7.600) is none too cheap, I hope the steamers are fairly good. I feel quite apologetic for taking up your thoughts & time again, & thank you in the mean time for all your loving helpfulness towards us. – We are all well & very busy “producing”. The harvest promises to be a very good one, which is a help for all the world. My husband, the children & unreadable Dietze all send their kind regards, while I wish many thanks & greetings remain

Yours affectionately
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 27
Creisau
22.9.20

My dear Dr. Jacobs

I felt very guilty when I read your kind letter & realized what a lot of trouble I had given you, in asking you to make enquiries about the ships running to the Cape. Please forgive me & accept my warmest thanks for the information you were able to give me.

I hope to leave for South Africa just after Christmas, but I shall probably take a boat from England after all.

There is really nothing very interesting to tell you about ourselves, we are well, & although life is really very difficult, it is extremely interesting , & we are all thankful that we have health, a home & work, which so many have not. Europe however shows few signs of recovering her equilibrium & I feel sure that we are experiencing the collapse of the Imperialistic & Nationalistic “Weltanschauung.” On our estate everything is in the best of order, but of course prices are so high that one hardly knows how to pull through, & the misery & want on all sides is frightful.

The harvest, in Germany at least, is not as good as was first anticipated, but potatoes will be abundant this year & that is most important. We are better off for unreadable than we were, & indeed most other articles can be bought now, but so expensive, that few can afford to purchase them. The poor, poor world, & what a pass war & scant diplomacy has brought it.

The children all send their love, my husband, & unreadable Dietze many greetings, & I thank you once more for all your kindness to me & hope sincerely that I may see you before long. In the meantime I remain, with much love

Yours cordially
Dorothy Moltke


LETTER 28
Creisau
16.11.20

My dear Dr. Jacobs,

I cannot remember whether or not I ever answered your kind letter telling me about the ships sailing to South Africa. It was most kind of you to take so much trouble about the matter. I have however decided to sail early in January from England, & leave for that country either on 27th Dec. or 3rd Jan, according as to whether I get a berth on the steamer sailing on the 7th or only on the one sailing on 14th Jan, Is there any chance of meeting you in London? How nice it would be if you were over there at that time! As I shall travel straight through to Vlissingen, there is no chance I fear of seeing you in Holland, but I shall do my best on my return journey in May to catch a glimpse of you, you may be sure of that dear Dr. Jacobs. I saw in the papers some weeks ago that you had been in Berlin after the Congress at Stockholm, - what a pity you couldn’t spare the time to pay us a visit!

This letter is written with the object of telling you of my approaching journey & also of wishing you a very happy Christmas and a most agreeable & satisfactory New Year. May you find an ever increasing satisfaction in your great work for humankind, & may every blessing be yours.

I have only the best of news to tell you about ourselves, everyone is well & working hard at his post; our labourers are very hardworking, quiet and contented, our harvest has been a fair unreadable one, & so we have no cause for grumbling, especially when one thinks of all the misery in the world. I see Miss Emily Hobhouse is helping in Leipzig. Do you happen to know her address? We have so many mutual friends & I feel so grateful to her for her loving help that I should very much like to ask her for a few days if she cared to come. I am taking the two smallest children with me, & it will be a great wrench leaving the others behind, but the thought of my parents, & the warmth & beauty of the Cape is very enticing. I shall hope to see Olive Schreiner too. With much love Yours ever gratefully

Dorothy Molke