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This letter is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission.

Nice, Aug. 22, 1931

Dear Comrade Nettlau,

You have probably received by this time the $15. I had ordered the Seligman Bank, paris, to forward to you. (This is the sum I had received recently for you from Dr. Cohn).

You remark that you wish we would learn to send greenbacks per registered mail. Well, my dear N., greenbacks are very hard to get. Cohn, when he sends me anything to forward, always sends a check. But on that check I cannot get greenbacks. I would have to cash the check in francs, the change the francs to dollars. That would look a bit suspicious, in the first place; xx (unless I declare that I have to go to the U.S. of have to have greenbacks for some other certain purpose. They usually ask why you need greenbacks). Secondly, there would be a very considerable loss of money in changing the check to greenback via francs.

Now suppose I did get the greenbacks. To send them in a registered letter is by no means so safe as you seem to think. The post office always warns people not to send more than $10. in a registered letter. Because registered letters also get lost occasionally (plenty of them at least in the U.S.) And the international agreement between the various Postal Bureaus is to pay ONLY $10. for a lost registered letter. No matter if you put 100 dollars or more in a registered letter, you get paid only $10, if the letter is lost. And it takes a lot of trouble and time to get those $10., at that.

Now you will understand that I have no other way to forward any money to you except per bank, as I do. There IS a vert slight expense attached to it, but it is SAFE and it is the least trouble.

International money orders are also safe and cost little, but then you would get no DOLLARS. You would be paid in the money of the country where you reside. That is a disadvantage, very often. Another thing, it takes at least half an hour to stand in line in the various post offices here in Nice. Even to send a registered letter or a wire you stand in line a long time, and there is nothing I hate more than standing in line.

Well, my dear N., pardon my taking your time away with this explanation. but as you have repeatedly hinter you displeasure at people using the banks, I felt that a little explanation is necessary.

The most direct and practical way is, of course, for Dr. C. to forward the money to you straight. I have already 3 times written to him about it. I have not received of late anything from him for you, but he STILL keeps on sending for other people in Europe.


As to the Ramus-Roller business --- yes, I have read about it. Ramus is a busybody and nuisance. I don't know how much truth there is about that identity matter. As to the Popoff, I have heard his name before, but I have no information at all about him.

Perhaps Shapiro could tell you something about him, or may be Mlle. Goldmith.

          Best greetings from Emmy and


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