University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Information bulletin
(January 1952)

Dallett, F. J., Jr.
American friends in Germany,   pp. [23]-25 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 25

ii DP camps in the Munich area, one of which, the Schleiss-
heilm Camp, has some 5,000 dwellers.
At Feldafing, the unaccompanied children's village in
Bavaria, the Quakers are concerned with the boys and
cils as individuals-in their home life, their relations
to each other and to their house parents. They are trying
to establish a bridge of relations for the children with the
caimp administration; by concentrating on the personality
at the child as much as on his physical necessities, the
molding of social consciousness in the citizen of tomorrow
is not being neglected.
THE REFUGEE PROBLEM, with millions homeless and
Lmillions more living on welfare or partially socially
dependent, is still a grave challenge in all its aspects,
despite the large slice of the German Federal Republic's
budget which is allotted to social welfare work. Giving
hlinaediate material aid, AFSC distributed relief supplies
contributed in America and shipped to Germany through
the auspices of CRALOG (Council of Relief Agencies
Lic ensed to Operate in Germany), through the facilities
of the German welfare agencies and also through its own
projects. This aid goes largely to refugees but AFSC does
not stop there.
'Ihe Service Committee has always realized that long-
term contact is the most effective method in working with
e fUgees. Defeatism and inertia in refugee camps break
dlown only with the conviction that someone is personally
interested in the refugees and their problems. For instance,
thIne years ago the refugee camps in the vicinity of the
town of Oldenburg were faced with physical and moral
starvation. An AFSC team went to live in the area and to
set LIp programs in six of the most desolate camps, where
they have been working ever since. The work varies in
each camp, depending on needs and opportunities.
Last year the AFSC team, equipped with good will,
g(eat energy and real sympathy, was given a $1000 grant
mi addition to its regular budget, to see if it could
develop a self-help project with the inhabitants of Burlags-
heir; Camp, completely isolated in sandy wasteland in a
rirlit area. With that money the men in the camp built
International youth of high school and college age come
('eaIch year to lend willing hand with construction projects.
Refugee women from Silesia, Pomerania and East Prussia
find new incentive and sense of usefulness through jobs
in bed-linen workshop established at big Oldenburg Camp.
and equipped a sewing room. Today 22 women, represent-
ing that number of the 70 resident families, are turning
out bed linen from material supplied by a local manu-
facturer. This is record employment for refugee camps in
Germany, perhaps in all of Europe!
A kindergarten run by AFSC is maintained in the camp
by the local town officials. Materials and shoe leather
are converted into clothes and shoes for camp consump-
tion. Burlagsberg and Schweinebrueck have "common
rooms" where discussion programs are planned and
concerts arranged with records borrowed from local US
Information Centers.
these camps have helped to create a fund of good
will and real love which is a heartening sign for the
future. Self-respect has been reestablished in the camps,
and tension has been broken down between the refugee
groups and the native residents who were reluctant to
accept them. Local authorities have been stimulated into
action. Isolation, the chief confederate of distrust, has
been diminished.
Such an accomplishment would have been impossible
if AFSC workers, convinced of the value of personal
contacts stemming from sympathy with human beings
rather than from intellectual interest, had not stayed on
the job, tirelessly, year after year.
In such ways the American Friends Service Committee
fulfills "the widespread need and desire of individuals for
dependable human relationships, with opportunities for
developing them" and, regardless of political or social con-
flict, works everywhere -with people as people.  +END
J]ANUlARY 1952

Go up to Top of Page