NOVEMBER 16, 1949
NEW YORK, Tuesday—There is great satisfaction when someone who has worked very hard succeeds in accomplishing an objective that will be of value to young people. Frau Jella Lepman has achieved such success.
Mrs. Lepman came to see me some time ago when she was in this country trying to interest people in establishing a youth library in Germany. I gave her what encouragement I could, but felt that her chances were perhaps somewhat slim. There seemed to be endless red tape and difficulty in bringing her project to a successful conclusion.
Now, however, I hear that the International Youth Library was opened on September 14.
Some ten thousand books, donated by 23 countries, form the permanent nucleus. When one realizes that this is a library for young people rising out of the ruins of Germany one cannot help but say a prayer of thanksgiving. It is such gestures of goodwill that will help us to build democracy in the young people of Germany. During the first month at the new library there was an exhibition of children's paintings from all the countries that donated the books.
My correspondent felt that this was a magnet for drawing people to visit the library. She was sure that many thought of Wordsworth's "Ode to Immortality" in which he says that the heart of a child is the closest to truth. She said many of the children's paintings were breathtaking in their beauty and in their inspiration.
I am sure there are many Americans who gave Frau Lepman a helping hand and who will be glad to know that the difficulties have been overcome and that the library is finally a reality.
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There is another thing I want to mention today because I think a great many people will be interested. The National Postage Stamp Show will take place on November 18, 19 and 20 in the 71st Regiment Armory here in New York.
The American Stamp Dealers' Association, which is nationwide, is sponsoring this public exhibition of postage stamps in conjunction with stamp clubs throughout the United States.
Stamp collectors seem to understand each other no matter what countries they come from. I know that my husband exchanged stamps with people all over the world. Stamp-collecting has long been regarded as a means of education but I think it should be developed from the point of view of promoting international goodwill and friendship. Few people realize that many of our wounded servicemen, still in hospitals, find relaxation and recreation in collecting stamps. At this show there will be a booth where stamp collectors may deposit stamps or any other accessories that they would like to give to veterans' hospitals which would be valuable to the collectors.
Much of my husband's extraordinary knowledge of geography came through his stamp-collecting, which began when he was a little boy. He never lost his interest in collecting and it afforded him many hours of relaxation when he really needed something to take his mind off the problems that surrounded him on every side. It is for that reason that I bring this show to the attention of my readers.