Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams, T.S. Eliot and others to the Editor of The Times

Letter No.: 
[Thursday March 3, 1949]

A society has been formed under the presidency of Dr. G.R. Gooch, C.H., F.B.A., to mark the bicentenary of Goethe's birth this year with a British Goethe Festival. At this moment of international uncertainty Goethe's reconciliation of the idea of man as a free personality with the idea of man as a citizen of the world is of special importance. Goethe was a great figure in the development of modern thought, and this bicentenary provides an occasion to bring the universality of his genius before the people of Britain. We understand that in most countries of the world, however acute their differences, preparations are being made to honour Goethe's vision of mankind. The responsibility of the British people, with its long cultural tradition, is great and its opportunity unique.
Theatrical productions in English and German, concerts of music inspired by Goethe, a series of important lectures and conferences, and an exhibition of prints and drawings are in active preparation. We therefore urge that as wide a response as possible should be given to the appeal of the British Goethe Festival Society and that all who can will support it by becoming members. Applications should be made to either of the honorary secretaries, Wilhelm Unger, 4B, Belsize Grove, N.W.3, or Elizabeth M. Wilkinson, 26, Brunswick Square, W.C.1.
We are, Sir, yours very truly,
E.N. Da C. Andrade, T.S. Eliot, Esher, Julian Huxley, Desmond MacCarthy, Gilbert Murray, Harold Nicolson, Herbert Read, Russell, G. Bernard Shaw, Simon of Wythenshawe, Sybil Thorndike, Ralph Vaughan Williams.

General notes: 

Printed in The Times, Thursday March 3, 1949, p. 5, headed "A memorial to Goethe".

The Times (51320), Thursday March 3, 1949, p. 5