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Mildred Barnes Bliss to Royall Tyler, August 2, 1940

August 2, 1940.Copy of letter sent to Royall Tyler.

Briefly this is a possibility: (1) To save the objects and books at Antigny they must be got to the railroad (2) as there is, I am told, no essence,“Gasoline.” can’t you get in touch with the attachés or counsellors of our Embassy in Paris and ask that a camion or Red Cross truck that might at any time be in Burgundy stop at Antigny and haul to the train (if this were repeated twice a week for several weeks Elisina could take the boxes in her compartment to Paris). (3) BullittWilliam Christian Bullitt Jr. (1891–1967), an American diplomat, journalist, novelist; he was the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union (1933–1936) as well as an ambassador to France (1936–1940). says the caves of the Embassy at the Place de la Concorde are large and suitable for storage space to which you are welcome should it prove impossible to get the things out of France. (4) I am going to suggest that the Red Cross ship McKeesportSS McKeepsort, the first mercy ship deployed by the United States Red Cross in 1940 at the beginning of the Second World War. The ship was sunk by a German U-Boat on April 29, 1943. be allowed to bring back things on its empty return voyage and will advise you (5) Bullitt would have a seal of the American Embassy, etc. put on Antigny which he tells me has until now been unfailingly respected by the Germans. He thinks if you left your farmer-concierge-gardien-ménage,“Concierge, guardian, household.” whatever they are, plus this cachet“Seal.” that it would be safe and that Elisina could leave it in peace of mind. (6) It is important for you to come to Princeton with your Financial Section of the League.With the rapid advance of the German armies in 1940, the League of Nations began to plan to transfer certain activities according to invitations by other governments. The Economic and Financial Organization was moved to Princeton, New Jersey. Obviously you are not going to put the ocean between you and a wife in Occupied France so this is the solution I offer. (7) I am also glad and ready to write or cable to Maréchal PétainPhilippe Pétain (1856–1951) (Maréchal Pétain), a French general who became marshal of France and later chief of state of Vichy France, the collaborationist French state, between 1940 and 1944. asking him to help you get your things from Antigny to Paris. With his assistance, plus that of Bullitt something ought to be accomplished.

It was distressing to learn that your efforts to reach Antigny had failed. The strain must be great for you both.

Anne MorganAnne Tracy Morgan (1873–1952), daughter of J. P. Morgan, was an American philanthropist who engaged in relief efforts in aid to France during and after the First and Second World Wars. See “Anne Morgan Dies in Mt. Kisko. Daughter of Late J. P. Morgan Was Known for Her Work in Reform and Philanthropy. Long A Friend of France. Helped Needy There for More Than 30 Years,” New York Times, January 30, 1952. is in Occupied France and the bank has established a means of getting cables to and from her. Let me know what you want done and I will go to it.

Robert will be here next week. The previous cables and letters have been from me. He is, I think, a little rested but not enough for what we have before us.

Please tell me if you approve of Salter’s marriage.Sir Arthur Salter married Ethel Mather Bullard, née Bagg (1883–1969), on June 15, 1940. I was overwhelmed when I learned of it quite by chance the other day, but it seems to me pleasant for them both and quite harmless as far as his work goes.

I can tell you authoritatively that our friend at the Biblioteca SacraWolfgang Friedrich Volbach. has been invited to an American University but is having difficulty to physically accept the invitation.In 1933, the Nazi German government determined that Volbach was “non-Aryan” (his mother was of Jewish extraction). He and his wife immigrated to the Vatican City in 1934, and he worked in the Vatican library and as a professor at the Papal Institute for Christian Archaeology. If you have any means of informing yourself of his plight I think we can work on it here.

BetbillThe Bliss abbreviation for Bettine Tyler and William Royall Tyler. admirable. I think of you constantly and with great concern and we need you badly at our Institute. This letter is being taken by a friend and unsealed.

M. B.

M. Royall Tyler,

Société des Nations,

Division de Finances,

Genève, Suisse.

[At the bottom is a penciled notation for Ambassador Bullitt:William Christian Bullitt Jr. (1891–1967), an American diplomat, journalist, novelist; he was the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union (1933–1936) as well as an ambassador to France (1936–1940).] Would you approve of my sending this? OffieCarmel Offie (1909–1972), an employee of the U.S. State Department who was William Christian Bullitt Jr.’s secretary and personal assistant. suggested some such procedure might be possible.