by Rachel Renaud
Martha Berry had correspondences with many diverse and interesting people, as evidenced by the documents on this site. I find the many different places these people were from, and even the places she visited herself, fascinating. I decided to focus my search for intriguing letters on one specific area, and I chose the country Germany. I have always found that European nation interesting because of my own familial connections.
Martha Berry travelled everywhere up and down the east coast of the United States, and she even crossed the Atlantic Ocean and made it to Germany. In this postcard Miss Berry writes to Alice Wingo. While rather short, the postcard shows Miss Berry surrounded by German citizens. Dated September 1929, this was only a month before the stock market would plunge and a year before the Nazi Party’s stunning victory in German Parliament elections. A couple months after that postcard, there is this document, which provides a list of addresses which I assume Miss Berry would use to ask for donations. There are only a few addresses here that are from Germany, in the Bad Nauheim and the Frankfurt area.
Miss Berry was not the only one from the Berry Schools to go to Germany though. Grady Hamrick, the principal and superintendent of the Boy’s School, sent a postcard from Munich, or München. While I cannot read his handwriting, the picture on his postcard is most interesting. It features Johannes Lang Hans playing someone in a Passion Play. But perhaps the most interesting document I found which inspired this LOTW, was a letter from the Atlanta Constitution. They were writing to tell Miss Berry that Pierre Van Paassen would be interested in visiting the schools. Mr. Paassen sounds like a very interesting man according to the letter, at the time of the letter Mr. Paassen was on his way to Spain but previously he had been in Ethiopia and also had been beaten for being a spy by the Nazis. It does not mention if this happened specifically in Germany, but it is a nice piece of history. Miss Berry responds enthusiastically, but we have found no other correspondence as of yet that relates to an actual visit to the Berry Schools by Mr. Van Paassen.