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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 23, 1945

Hotel Ritz


April 23rd, 1945

Dearest Mildred.

I am gratefully accepting Mr. Guerreros’Mr. Guerreros, who is later described as a Red Cross doctor and an official of the Ministry of Prisoners and Deportees, has not been identified. very kind offer to take this letter across to you on his way to the Conference.This conference has not been identified.

As I have very little time, I will just tell you that Mme. René PlevenAnne Bompard Pleven, wife of René Pleven (1901–1993), a French politician. has taken a great interest in the work we are doing in cooperation with the Ministries of Health, of Prisoners and Deportees, and with the Ministry of Labor (Assurances Sociales and Mutualités Françaises) and that she forwarded by the pouch on April 2nd or 3rd the first report with the detailed schedule of requirements to the Committee in Washington which is concerned with assistance to France. She mentioned your name as a sponsor for the Edith Wharton FoundationFondation Edith Wharton, the French post–Second World War outgrowth of Edith Wharton’s First World War charities. This foundation was administered by Elisina Tyler. and for me as its Chairman. I know you will do what is possible, dearest Mildred.

I am working, as you will see, for a big result: and the systematic examination of all prisoners and deportees returning through Switzerland, will do more to make the method of radio photographic examination known throughout the country, than any peace time propaganda could have done in several years.

I hope that when I can send you a report of the actual figures of prisoners and deportees examined at the five centers manned by our apparatus, (Annemasse, Evian, Pontarlier, Mulhouse—double)—you will see your way to interest kind friends of misery-stricken victims of war, in our organization.

I am doing all this work—and have been doing it for the last three years, in effect single-handed.

The French Government Ministrees [sic] concerned are unanimous in recognizing the value of our help as a means of creating a liaison between the different administrative bodies, and are initiating the connection by requesting cooperation and devising the means that make it effective and fruitful. Take as an instance the very latest development, the help asked and obtained from the Social Insurance organizations.

In fact two days ago, Dr. Guerreros,Dr. Guerreros has not been identified. who was a Red Cross doctor in November and is now an official at the Prisoners and Deportees Ministry told me very earnestly: “Do not yield to pressure from any source, to let the E.W. Foundation merge permanently with any institutional or administrative body. We can see what great service you are rendering to us all be independent initiative, through the personal contacts you can count upon owing to your long record.”

For this, of course, we need a budget—not a very large one, but at least assurance of continued support.

Just in case you might need it, I am enclosing a noteThe whereabouts of this note are unknown. of my activities in the past 31 yearsI.e., since 1914, the beginning of the First World War. (!)—oh, dearest Mildred, what a strange confession—it seems such a short time to look back upon.

Your ever devoted

Elisina Tyler

Associated Places: Paris (France)