Letter, 15.7.1925, from Sigvard Abrahamsen
Object reference: RA 318B10
Sender / Author: Sigvard Abrahamsen
Recipient: Roald Amundsen
Mr. Captain Roald Amundsen.
I must be allowed to respectfully congratulate you on your newly completed and bold achievement, and at the same time wish you a warm welcome home – something that the Norwegian people have already said and shown en bloc. But when I, who am otherwise an extremely modest person, who would not otherwise have burdened you in your surely very busy state with any personal or private greeting apart from those that I had the great pleasure together with the many other thousands to bring you and your comrades now last Sunday, write these lines, it is not so much to push myself forward in the ranks of those who show personal attention as because I felt called somehow to write.
I am enclosing the first page of “B.Z. am Mittag” (a [Berlin tabloid] newspaper that belongs to Ullstein Verlag, the publisher that carried the reports from the Aeronautical Society). Here you will see your alleged “anti-German-ness” treated in accordance with how this matter is probably perceived for the most part by the German people outside the circle of pure nationalists. To this extent, the matter could be perfectly in order. I know the German people quite well, as I have lived in Berlin since 1916 as a journalist, first for three years as a correspondent for “Verdens Gang” and then as a correspondent for several European papers. I had therefore thought, due to the great interest shown by the German press and the German people in your just-completed journey, and due to the report of participation in Dr Eckener’s North Pole flight, which, according to the opinion of German magazines, has been brought closer to realization on the basis of your supposed participation, that in some way the German press should indicate that you harbour just as little grudge against the German people as the overwhelming majority of the German people bear grudge against you.
As I write this (on the spur of the moment, without careful consideration), I myself am not clear how such a statement should appear. But I have no doubt that if this took place in the form of an interview, with me or someone else who is known and has connections with the German press, so that the intended short statement could be published in the widest possible circle, which can best be done by handing over the statement to the official German telegram office (Wolff), where I am well known, [then] further discussion could be immediately stopped. And this, in my opinion, would be important now at such an early stage, before the preparations and
fundraising for Dr Eckener’s North Pole expedition really begin.
I beg you not to take my respectful inquiry lightly. As mentioned, it has come from a spur of the moment intervention. And you certainly have enough competent advisers who can judge the matter.
I will shortly be returning to Germany after a long stay in Norway. And should I also be able to be of service to you in another way, during your upcoming journey over there or during the stay itself, it will of course be a great pleasure for me. As references, I can offer Dr Thommessen, “Tidens Tegn”, editor Bjørn Thommessen at the same place, and editors Frøis Frøisland and Thorstein Diesen in “Aftenposten”.
Sigvard Abrahamsen [by hand]