In view of the many rumors about the condition of Dr. Schilder after the German invasion of the old country, our Synod decided to seek official information through Washington. Our representative from Michigan, the honorable Bartel J. Jonkman, was found very willing to serve us in this matter. Already during the sessions of our Synod we received a cablegram from him, informing us that efforts were being made to get connections with The Netherlands, that, however, connections were broken, but that he would let us know about the whereabouts of Dr. Schilder as soon as connections could be established.
Since then repeated efforts were made to obtain the desired information, and Mr. Jonkman was kind enough to keep us informed. And because we know how deeply our people are interested in this matter as is evident from frequent inquiries we still receive, we publish the last correspondence, we received from Mr. Jonkman, at the same time expressing our sincere thanks for the interest he shows.
He wrote us as follows:
Rev. H. Hoeksema,
1139 Franklin St., S. E.
Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dear Mr. Hoeksema:
Enclosed please find a letter I received this morning from the Secretary of State with further reference to Dr. Klaas Schilder. Unfortunately up to this time the Department of State has been unable to reestablish communication with the American Legation at The Hague, but as I have written you previously I shall advise you immediately upon getting definite information from the Department relative to Dr. Schilder.
With personal regards and all good wishes, I am,
Very truly yours,
Bartel J. Jonkman
The letter from Secretary of State Hull here follows:
My dear Mr. Jonkman:
I have received your letter of May 28, 1940, concerning your desire and that of interested persons of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to obtain information concerning the whereabouts and welfare of Dr. Klaas Schilder whose last known address was Kampen, Netherlands,
Immediately upon the reestablishment of communications the American Legation at The Hague will be requested by telegraph to make the desired inquiry. You will be informed promptly when the reply is received.
A bill for the cost of the telegrams exchanged will be rendered to you in due course.
Mr. Jonkman also sent us a note stating: “if anyone has relatives or friends in the Netherlands I shall be more than glad to make similar inquiry through the Department of State as to their whereabouts and welfare if I am furnished with the full names and last known addresses of such persons in the Netherlands.”
Many thanks to our representative!