Around the World With FPK : Experiences in Germany

Frances Parkinson Keyes had numerous travels around the world, but perhaps one of her most interesting travels and experiences were with the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation in Germany. The Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, now known as the National Carl Schurz Association, is an organization whose founders were German professors and teachers Ferdinand Thun, Gustav Oberlaender, Henry Janssen, and Hanns Gram [1]. Carl Schurz was a German American man who was known for his love of Germany and America [2]. The foundation was established in 1930. The goal of the organization was to promote literacy in Germany and other German speaking countries, while fostering a friendship between the United States and Germany post World War I. The letter is a result of the foundations annual meeting in May 1931. The report requests anyone affiliated with the foundation to travel from the United States to Germany or Austria for research and studying. This research would then hopefully leave these travelers “better prepared to contribute to the welfare of the American people” [3]. The letter also calls for the “cultivation of cultural relations through literature” [3]. The last page of the letter there is a line that reads, “Plans are underway for selecting counselors in the other fields, such as journalism, town planning, municipal government, etc. [3]” This line is underlined with an emphasis on “journalism”, showing how the article relates to Francis and why she was interested in it. 

Dr. Wilhelm Mosle to FPK, February 14, 1934

A letter to Francis Parkinson Keyes from Dr. Morsle of Berlin, Germany. The letter states an appreciation by Dr. Mosle of FPK's lectures given in Germany about strengthening relations between the United States and Germany.

After returning to the United States from Germany, Frances received a letter from a Dr. Mosle, an individual who worked with Keyes while she was in Germany. The letter outlines Dr. Mosle’s appreciations for all that Frances did in Germany through the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation. While in Germany, Frances Parkinson Keyes gave a lecture in Berlin to strengthen ties between the United States and Germany at a time where political tension was rising between the two countries. Dr. Mosle explains he is grateful for her efforts in “helping towards a better understanding of conditions in Germany in your country” [4]. This document provides a testament to what Frances did in Germany and what her goals were while she was staying in Germany. 

 After much time had passed since her involvement in Germany with the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, Frances received a letter from an Haas, another German associate she worked with during her time spent in Germany. The letter conveys a message that although war has just broken out between the United States and Germany despite the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundations efforts, those involved with the project still wish to communicate and continue to strive toward the goal of better relations between the two countries [5]. The change in tone compared to Dr. Mosles friendly letter appears to represent the seriousness of the situation, as well has E.dee Haas’s urgent request to continue what the Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation started despite the war occurring. 

[I] "National Carl Schurz Association Records." The Historical Society of Pennsylvania with the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

[2] "Carl Schurz Profile." Carl Schurz Profile. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. <>.

[3] Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation to Francis Parkinson Keyes
Secretary's Annual Report, 1932

[4] Dr. Mosle to FPK, February 14, 1934

[5] Haas to FPK, October 5, 1939