April 12, 1919
Page 32
“All Poland Entrusts Its Destiny Into Hands of Paderewski, the Non-Partisan”

So Writes Mme. Paderewska, in a Letter to Her Son, W. 0. Gorski—Poland Afire with Patriotism—Barefoot, Unclad Soldiers Beating Back Foes—Ernest Schelling Working Side by Side with His Colleague

PADEREWSKI’S great share in the rebuilding of his country, and the terrific troubles which assail the young Poland, are vividly described in a letter written by Mme. Paderewska to her son by her first husband, W. 0. Gorski, honorary executive secretary of the Polish War Victims’ Relief Fund. The letter says:
“I am taking advantage of every opportunity to send you at least a few words, in the hope that some of my letters may succeed in reaching you.
“This letter is a proof in itself that we are alive. We have every reason to be proud of our country. All the political changes in regard to the external and internal policies of Poland have been achieved without the usual accompaniment of disturbances, without the shedding of a single drop of blood, without even any protest on the part of any faction. The whole nation, with unshaken faith, has entrusted its destiny into Paderewski’s hands. Just because Paderewski never did belong to any political party has he been able to reunite them all. For that very reason he possesses to-day the support of all—and I may add, he enjoys everyone’s confidence.
“To-day are taking place the elections for deputies to the National Assembly. For the first time in 140 years, the Polish people, all of them, without distinction of class, race or religion, have been given the opportunity to vote for their own representatives; and in spite of the fact that many among them are illiterate, thanks to the good care their oppressors took to deprive them of schools, the elections are proceeding without any disturbances, quarrels or disorders of any kind. In a most orderly way thousands and thousands of Polish citizens, hungry, in rags, are standing patiently in line, sometimes for many hours, their bare feet in the snow, shivering from cold, waiting for their turn to cast a ballot. They should be taken as an example by the citizens of many other nations. I am realizing more and more how great and wonderful is the nation to which we belong.
“War is raging on many fronts. The Bolsheviks, the Ukrainians, the Czechs, the Germans, each of our enemies possessing forces superior to ours, is pressing on all sides. And to oppose them, to stem the tide of their greedy onslaught, the Polish soldier, without even a uniform on his back, in a torn shirt, barefoot, scarred and with many unhealed wounds, goes to the front singing and undaunted. Children and women are defending Lemberg. God only knows how many of them have already been killed. The water and electrical supplies have been cut off. Food is lacking. No doctors, no hospital supplies, no ambulances are to be had. But in spite of it all no one even thinks of surrendering the city to the Ukrainians and their supporters, the Germans and Austrians.
“The task which Paderewski has undertaken is superhuman, but with the help of God he will accomplish what he has set out to do. He is predestined to succeed because such is the will of God, and nothing can prevail against it. We hope to start for Paris and the peace conference as soon as the first session of the Polish Diet is over.
“To-day came that wonderful recognition of Poland by the United States. What a joy, what a comfort, what an inspiration this is for us.
“I, also, have before me a tremendous task: relief work among the wounded, the sick, the hungry and the children. I am opening canteens, visiting the hospitals. I am practically at the head of 100 institutions, with ramifications in Lemberg, Vilna and the borderlands. It is a huge task, but my whole heart and soul are in it. My efforts are bearing fruit and I am repaid a thousand times by the affection with which the soldiers surround me and the gratitude of the Polish women who are rallying under the sign of the White Cross. The Polish peasant women greet me everywhere as a sister, and I feel happy because I can do good, so much good.
“We understand that the Poles in America have dispatched a relief ship with food for their brothers over here, and the very thought of that oncoming relief is keeping alive thousands of unfortunates. The names of the American Poles are on everyone’s lips. Everyone is blessing them and praying for them. They are our only hope. It is so difficult to write. There are so many things I would like to write—so many thoughts are rushing through my head—and I have so little time to myself.
Ernest Schelling Among Workers
“Ernest Schelling is here, working with us and for Poland to the very best of his ability. He is putting his whole soul into his work. We are proud of such a collaborator. We have also with us here a few brave American and English army and navy officers. They surround us with affection and care. What wonderful, courageous men they are! They have decided to start to-morrow for Teschen, where terrible events are taking place.
“Poland will emerge from all this powerful and free, nevertheless. But at what cost! The very flower of our youth has already been killed off. Few have survived. Rarae nantes in gurgite vasto.
“Please remember us to all our kind and good American and Polish friends who have stood by us and worked with us, and whose support has meant so much to us. Ask them not to abandon us and Poland now in the greatest hour of need, but to ‘carry on,’ to quote the favorite expression of those Englishmen who are here. “God bless you all. “HELENA PADEREWSKA”


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