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COLLECTIONPilgrims' notes
TITLELetter to Lili Hermann re Abdu'l-Bahá envisioning a break in the line of Guardians
AUTHOR 1Anna Grossmann
CONTRIB 1Lili Hermann, trans.
CONTRIB 2Carl Hermann, trans.
ABSTRACTFrom letter written by Frau Anna Grossmann (wife of Hermann Grossmann, Hand of the Cause and member German-Austrian NSA) to Mrs. Lili Olitaki Hermann, pioneer in Salzburg, June 5, 1958.
NOTES See also the Letter by Dr. Fallscheer to Frau Alice Schwarz-Solivo and paragraph 42 of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
TAGSGuardianship; Pilgrims notes
CONTENT The following material refers to the notes made by Dr. Falscher [sic; correct spelling "Fallscheer", see], a woman physician who was practicing in Haiffa [sic] and in that capacity came into the presence of the Master. The notes were taken during the period 1906-1911. They were reprinted in "Sonne der Wahrheit" in 1930-1931...Dr. Falscher became a declared Bahá'í much later, upon her return to Germany and shortly before she died, but the beloved Guardian, whom we (Dr. and Mrs. Grossmann) consulted about these notes expressed the opinion that 'Abdu'l-Bahá must have had great confidence in Frau Dr. Falscher inasmuch as He, at the time before the beloved Guardian went to England, that is, when the Master may have first considered the idea of sending him there, talked to her about it and on that occasion mentioned that Shoghi Effendi was to be His 'Vizier,' as she expressed it. But the matter that Hermann (Dr. Grossmann) especially refers to now is her sixth letter and the particular place which is most likely of greatest interest is concerned with the taking care of the Holy Shrines, as follows:

The Master says:

"... There is a general and unwritten law in effect throughout Asia whereby the direct male descendent of a Prophet, or of a Saint, or of a Martyr, has the first claim to the office of custodian, that is, to the caretaking or trusteeship of such a Shrine. Upon My departure to the land of transcendental reality (Malakut-i- A'la) My eldest grandson should get first consideration as custodian and keeper of the Holy shrines. It is conceivable that My half- brother and adversary (Muhammad-'Ali) would make such claims. However, the decision in this case could not be made in a last will and testament but by the national governmental authority in power at the time, in this case the Turks, or God only knows whoever the successors of the Turks will be some day! I feel calm and secure that no national government would disregard an ancient and sacred custom. Verily, as long as there will be a direct or indirect male descendent of the Blessed Perfection Bahá'u'lláh the two Shrines and some day my own will be in the best of hands..."

"However, should the Lord some day allow the blessed line of our descendents to be broken, the International House of Justice, together with the Local House, will appoint a suitable guardian, caretaker, custodian or administrator, for the three places of pilgrimage, and the roses of Shiraz and the lilies of Tehran will forever bloom and exhale their fragrance in commemoration of the Forerunner, the Fulfiller, and the Promulgator of the Bahá'í Teachings, as living tokens of the beauty and glory of God.
    - Allah'u'Abha.

Frau Dr. Falscher's notes, of course, have the value of pilgrim notes at best, but it is interesting to see that 'Abdu'l-Bahá had given any thought at all to the possibility of a break in the line and that He refers to the Universal House of Justice which must appoint a Guardian. I have just been reading the 'Maxwell Notes' in which the beloved Guardian also points out, as he did to us in 1937, that the 'Dispensation' is his spiritual testament. All those notes breathe administration and the inviolability, the twin pillars, Guardianship and Universal House, as God will it. To exclude the Guardianship would mean, as in Islam, to substitute the Caliphate for the Immamate. But I am positive that He will point out to us the way, and the inviolability of His Holy Covenant will be preserved until the next Manifestation."
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