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Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, January 4, 1935

Finance Ministry



Dear Robert,

I don’t know whether Sachs has spoken to you about the archaeological survey done in Macedonia by Dr. Fewkes.Vladimir Jaroslav Fewkes (1901–1941), an archaeologist born in Czechoslovakia and educated at the University of Pennsylvania. Between 1932 and 1938, he was associate director of the American School of Prehistoric Research and was associated with Harvard University between 1932 and 1937. Fewkes, whom I have seen a coupld of times here, is primarily interested in prehistorical remains, but he has found a lot of Byzantine sculpture of very great interest, in the places which haven’t been tapped at all as yet, and which were rich and flourishing centres in the IVe, Ve and VIe Centuries. I think it would be a feather in the cap of American Archaeology if Fewkes were enabled to go on with the work in Macedonia.See Vladimir Jaroslav Fewkes, Hetty Goldman, and Robert W. Erlich, Preliminary Report on an Archaeological Reconnaissance in Yugoslavia, American Expedition, Season 1932 (Old Lyme, Conn., 1933). I understand that it is very difficult to find funds for such work at present, but I want to tell you that I think well of Fewkes’s plans.

We’ve been having a rather exciting time here, though I never thought it would come to blows.In late 1934, Yugoslavia accused Hungary of complicity in the murder of the Yugoslavian king Alexander in Marseilles, France, on October 9, 1934. Italy, which had strong diplomatic ties with Hungary, then wanted to bring the question of the criminal activities of political refugees before the League of Nations in Geneva. Specifically, Italy was concerned about terrorist activity on the Yugoslavia-Italian border and the assassination plots agains Mussolini and other anti-Fascist plots by political refugees in Paris. See Arnaldo Cortesi, “Italy Welcomes Emigre Hearing; Ready to Accept Discussion of Yugoslav Complaint though Regretting Hungary’s Lot; Long Vexed by Plotters; Will Seek in Geneva to Widen Debate on the Criminal Activities of Refugees,” New York Times, December 2, 1934; and Hamilton Fish Armstrong, “After the Assassination of King Alexander,” Foreign Affairs 13, no. 2 (Januar, 1935): 204–25. Now, things are quieter, and I hope that improved relations between Paris and Rome will contribute to consolidate affairs in this part of the world.

I’m just leaving for Geneva.


R. T.

Much love to Mildred.