Letter from Alan Bush to Ralph Vaughan Williams

Letter No.: 

Dear Dr Vaughan Williams,

I enclose herewith a suggested draft letter to Mrs Pinthus for your signature.  If you could contrive to have your signature witnessed by a commissioner for oaths it would be very impressive to the bureaucratic mind.  A good many solicitors and some doctors can do this and the legal expenses involved would be worth incurring, though I am afraid that the trouble is not inconsiderable, as one has to visit them at their homes, otherwise the fee becomes fantastically magnified.

I have headed the note paper with the R.C.M. address.  If you have any objections please do not hesitate to use your private address but every possible stamp of officialdom is desirable, and from this point of view the actual printed paper would be the best, if you can get hold of a sheet.  (You will forgive these importunities, I know, when so much hangs upon this letter.)

Dr Pinthus's life history is as follows:

Abitorum (matriculation) in 1926; studied musicology at Berlin and Freiburg where he took his degree as Doc. Phil. Musikwissenschaft in 1930.  His Thesis has since been published by Messrs Heitz and Co, Strasbourg, Universitaetsbuchdrueckerei as the eighth volume of a "Collection d'Etudes Musicologiques" published under the editorship of Karl Nef.  Its title is "Das Konzertleben in Deutschland, ein Abriss seiner Entwicklung bis zum Beginn des 19ten Jahrhunderts".

Doktor Pinthus had shown himself to be antagonistic to National Socialism before the Hitler government came to power.  He was imprisoned by the Nazis without trial in October, 1933, and tried in July, 1934, and sentenced to two years imprisonment.  On expiry of this sentence in July, 1936, he was given over by the prison authorities to the Gestapo.  For four weeks nobody could find out what had happened to him, but his mother then received the news that he had been sent to a concentration camp in Lichtenburg where he has been ever since.

I trust that this letter contains the information you want.  It you are willing to sign the letter to Mrs Pinthus in its present form please do so and return it to me at the above address.  It is probable that we shall take special steps to prevent the German postal authorities from losing the letter on purpose.

Again thanking you for the very kind and generous help your are giving us in this matter,
Yours very sincerely,

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General notes: 

Taken from a copy of a typescript.

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