Luick-Thrams, Michael : "Creating 'New Americans': WWII-Era European Refugees' Formation of American Identities"

Part II: Documentation and Analysis of Scattergood Hostel

To understand ways in which Scattergood Hostel's "guests" approached the process of integration or assimilation-depending on the age or inclination of individual émigrés-one must be familiar with the hostel's origins as well as the basic premises and execution of its core program. Part II examines both. In addition, chapter 9 contains narratives from a select group of former guests; the first set presents their initial impressions of America, while the second set focuses on their later attitudes toward America. Both document the refugees' changing relationship with their adopted homeland-a relationship in part formed by the refugees' early experiences at Scattergood Hostel.

A basic criticism of the Scattergood Hostel operation might be that in the void created by mostly inexperienced staff, an ever-changing program and flawed job-placement, the Quakers' blind albeit well-intended and enthusiastic efforts to "Americanize" their guests provided staff a convenient distraction from deeper, more serious and complicated issues or problems. Looking at the hostel's record retrospectively, however, one might keep in mind what a new and unusual phenomenon it was, taking in large numbers of strangers who recently had escaped exceptionally upsetting experiences. One then better understands the staff's inadequacies and mistakes by remembering into what unmapped seas they were sailing. Under such conditions the expected awkwardness of not knowing how to respond to horrible, incredible stories gave rise to the knee-jerk response of peddling adaptation. Mindful of such reactions, Scattergood Hostel's most glaring shortcoming might have been its lack of experience or expertise. That the newness and urgency of their work encouraged staff to "Americanize" adult and child European refugees alike was understandable-if at times their reactions were pat or disorganized.

Still, the Quakers acted as pioneers; they felt their way into a field with few authorities and even fewer role models. They offered their guests language training, social events and varied cultural offerings, health care, practical tips for post-hostel life and job placement-all while providing for the taxed exiles' housing, food and other basic needs. This work was performed largely by idealistic young Friends fresh out of college and assisted by local farmers -both groups having had no direct connections to the people being helped other than their common humanity.

Chapter 3 Scattergood Hostel as Refugee Center and Integration Program

Friends' Motives

To gain a grounded appreciation for Scattergood's accomplishments as well as inadequacies as a hostel for refugees and subsequently the results of its efforts to create "New Americans", one must review the main motives behind its founding, organization and operation. With a sense of why Quakers acted as they did, one can better understand how AFSC's refugee program at West Branch, Iowa, attempted to meet its goals. While including here an in-depth history of Quakerism would be superfluous, the following brief summary of its basic tenets indicates the socio-spiritual worldview which led Friends to assist refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe:<252>

In some respects similar to mainstream Protestant denominations, over some 350 years of existence Friends gradually discarded their most peculiar cultural traits which once distinguished them from "the world"-e.g., so-called plain speech and dress, rejection of alcohol, drugs or the wearing of jewelry, etc. Theologically, however, Quakers have been distinctive yet "liberal" in their own historical teachings such as pacifism or radical eqalitarianism. Quaker have believed that to be valid, religion must be experiential, so dogmas are relatively unimportant-if not unessential. In their worldview, religion- indeed "God"-can be experienced through the "Inner Light" which Quakers hold exists in each woman and man: there is within each person a divine "seed", a part of "God"-and this is true for all people, regardless of how much "evil" may have outwardly seized control of an individual life. Such beliefs have led Friends to view human nature optimistically: humans are not essentially evil, but rather have potential for goodness because they are part of the Divine.

The Quaker conviction that all persons contain "that of God" within has given rise to a belief in the oneness of all humanity and commanded Quakers to respect all persons, regardless of creed or country. This basic respect precludes violence or war and, ideally, leads to at least an abstract-if not concrete and active-sense of love for all humanity. For Quakers, the core of their "religion" is love, which is

an absolute, the only absolute. Love, and goodness, are the means to the creation of a new society, a social order based on justice and righteousness, because [all people] and nations are capable of responding to love as well as goodness.<253>

Their beliefs have led Quakers to engage in social action born of social concern, for they believe that religious experience and social concern are unseparably related and that in its highest form the latter is divinely inspired.

Friends' faith-based efforts impressed British Jewish activist Norman Bentwich. The author of three books and numerous articles about refugees, he singled them out as exceptions to Christian indifference to the plight of Jews, as they "worked devotedly and untiringly" to help the refugees from Germany "without distinction of race, creed or community".<254> Correspondingly, Friends aim for impartiality. In a memorandum issued in July 1939 as part of a delegation to Nazi Germany-for example-Rufus Jones, Robert Yarnall and George Watton emphasized they had

kept entirely free from party lines or party spirit. We have not used any propaganda, or aimed to make converts to our own views. We have simply, quietly, and in a friendly spirit endeavored to make life possible for those who were suffering. We do not ask who is to blame for the trouble which may exist, or what has produced the sad situation. Our task is to support and save life and to suffer with those who are suffering [and] we do not come to judge or to criticize or to push ourselves in.<255>

Prior to the 1930s, American Quakers demonstrated their spiritually based concerns in such areas as the treatment of criminals and the insane, equal rights for women, just dealings with Native Americans, the abolition of slavery, various peace/anti-war campaigns, etc. The rise of Nazi brutality and terror in Germany, however, presented American Quakers a challenge unlike any they had ever faced. True to definition, the challenge presented the need for special effort and opportunities as well as danger.

Find an Outlet for the Application of Quaker Values

Their centuries-old, religious-based commitment to respond to "that of god" in others moved Friends in the United States to establish a program for refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied lands. Not only did this commitment sustain their efforts, but they yielded unique results-with one-time Scattergood Hostel volunteer John Kaltenbach declaring the place a "training center for the life of the spirit" [p.160-OHR].

AFSC Refugee Section staff member John Rich<256> said that in "its chosen field of work, insofar as refugees...are concerned" AFSC was motivated by "ideals that spring from the heart of Quakerism that is forever seeking to build a cooperative and peaceful society".<257> This Quaker concern for creating a godly kingdom on Earth manifested itself in relief and reform projects since the first days of the Religious Society of Friends; by the 1930s the passage of some three centuries had not dampened Quakers' zeal for social justice and action. If they sought a fitting outlet to "let their lives speak" [p. 6-OHR] at Scattergood Hostel, Friends succeeded. According to a report in summer 1942, the project at West Branch brought to the people of Iowa a clearer understanding of

the situation in Europe, a new appreciation of friendship, of their responsibility in helping others, a closer contact with Quaker projects, [volunteer service] camps and other work throughout the country. This work is also a practical demonstration of Friends' belief in the value of human personality, of toleration, and an example of living in 'that spirit that takes away the occasion for war'.<258>

Rehabilitate Refugees

Friends' desire to express in tangible ways their religious-born concern for the well-being of their fellow humans led them to seek ways to alleviate the suffering of Jews and others unwelcome in Nazi Germany and in German-occupied territories. In response to Kristallnacht pogrom, U.S. Quakers began "looking about for a place where newcomers to [America] could go for a few weeks or months to recover a little from the effects of persecution, regain their confidence, improve their English, and...start re-training themselves for some new line of work before seeking a permanent place in American society".<259> As they undertook a subsequent project, however, Quaker leaders realized that the process of rehabilitating refugees would not be easy. Therefore, "since social, psychological, and spiritual adjustments come slowly, and often more easily in a group", AFSC's Refugee Section began experimenting with a pattern for re-training which took such factors into account: "Scattergood Hostel [was] the result".<260> If "rehabilitation" meant helping refugees heal from the effects of persecution, loss and trauma, it constituted only part of any program which Quakers might offer those fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. The task consisting only partly of temporary relief, it required two additional steps to be complete- those of helping the refugees integrate or assimilate in an adopted homeland.

Friends' Goals

Integrate and Assimilate Refugees

Personal convictions are by definition subjective and remain difficult to scrutinize. This dissertation, therefore, accepts religious motivations at face value. What can be reviewed more critically, though, were American Quakers' motives to Americanize the 185 refugees who landed in their care. The concept of and belief in "Americanization" was no Quaker invention; perhaps Friends took cues from a book published in the same year that they founded Scattergood Hostel. According to author William Carlson Smith, when the U.S. entered the first world war it became evident that thousands if not millions of immigrants "had not been fused in the melting-pot". According to Smith it was then that the "Americanization" theory came into vogue. It held that immigrants should

divest themselves of their heritages immediately and take over a standardized American pattern for their lives. The immigrant's racial inheritance, no matter how much it may mean to him [or her], becomes, upon his arrival in America, a 'foreign' impediment which must be forthwith cast away.<261>

In the thinking of adherents of such beliefs, genuine assimilation aimed to make foreign-born individuals similar to Americans in language, dress, customs, religion and stressed formalized, legal "Americanization" through naturalization. It also insisted that immigrants "at all times use English and put away their native customs, ideas, and ideals as soon as possible".<262> In effect, assimilation tended not only to be a process of standardization, but "largely a negative process of denationalization".<263> From the outset, then, in establishing a refugee program American Quakers sought to "Americanize" those who landed in their care. In this respect cultural and political-not just religious-worldviews of Quaker leaders or their supporters played big roles in determining any undertaking's structure as well as ambiance: cultural biases or political leanings are much fairer game for critique than mystical leadings.

In light of the positive atmosphere which later reigned at Scattergood, it would be easy to forget that individuals' lives and identities were being shuffled and traded like so many cards. Without recorded exception, all mention of the refugees' integration/assimilation assumed that their transition from having been Europeans to becoming "New Americans" would be a positive, welcome development. Friends recognized that their guests faced numerous difficulties in adjusting to life in a new land and culture. Concurrently, however, they apparently blindly accepted that the best survival skills they could cultivate in the newcomers consisted of blanket cultural adaptation contra co-existence.

American Quakers were, after all, Americans. Themselves immigrants to North America three centuries earlier, they were not immune to the image of American society as a "melting pot" where immigrant groups gradually assimilated and assumed "American" identities-forsaking or at the very least diluting cultural traditions they had brought with them. On top of that, in the context of the depressed, distressed and dangerous 1930s, the desire to prove oneself patriotic and "truly American" was particularly strong.

Beyond their own cultural assumptions, American Quakers believed that in the best interest of the persons they hoped to help, conforming to the local milieu would be the most rewarding strategy for finding a satisfying life in the New World. From their point of view

a new community, new work, a strange school, a different standard of living-all require individual adjustments. Such adjustments become great hardships when they must be made in a new country where the language and customs are unknown, when economic security and self-confidence are lacking. Yet 'New Americans', refugees from political and racial persecution in Europe, are faced with just such problems.<264>

Thus in the opinion of that essay's author, a refugee hostel would make the transition period from "the old life to the new" easier by providing a temporary refuge, a center of "orientation in American ways and customs for individuals and families needing such assistance before taking their places as self-supporting members of American communities".<265>

In retrospect, over five decades later Friends' efforts to "Americanize" refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe represent perspectives and values seen through current lenses as uninformed or politically unacceptable-former Scattergood Hostel staff even disagree with their own, albeit defacto policies of that time or with contemporary assessments of them. Robert Berquist, for one, maintained that it was the "newcomers" who determined how much "cultural co-existence" they would achieve in America-

not the Scattergood Hostel staff. The staff helped them learn about this country and then [refugees] could use that information in making their own adjustment to life here, in determining how in the future how their native culture and their new environment could be brought together. They would have to determine themselves about holding onto the culture in which they had grown up-that would be up to them to determine.<266>

Berquist claimed the staff did not want "in any way to influence the newcomers to reject the culture which had so much meaning to them"-such as music, art or other aspects of culture such as literature, religion, language. He said staff members strove to orient them "to life in this country", but did not want to "Americanize" them in the conventional sense of that word, to make

' good Americans' out of them. I think we wanted to help them to adjust to life in this country. I don't know [if the staff succeeded, but] I hope so... My impression is-partly from what I've read in the newsletter and...from articles that [guests] wrote-most of them really appreciated this and felt it was an opportunity... They were open-minded and intelligent about all this and they felt this was an honest effort to adjust... and not to make 'good Americans' out of them. We wanted them to adapt their ideals and principals to living in a new country-but that'd be up to them.<267>

One-time staff not only came to see their own policies and participation differently, but took exception to the very premises from which some of the permanent AFSC staff operated. In 1995 former Scattergood Hostel volunteer Earle Edwards, for example, critiqued the 1940 article in which John Rich outlined AFSC's official goals and was "astounded" by it. He subsequently emphasized that Rich was a "public-relations person" who later had his own "fund-raising outfit" with a staff hired by colleges and other institutions to help run funding campaigns,

so his orientation was always on that side [of promotion]... I was very surprised with the way he described things. It just didn't fit in with any of our experience or any of what we knew what was on the minds of people in the AFSC. We were young at that point... but the way in which people functioned-with anything we had anything to do with-was quite consistent with all the rest of our AFSC experience [and] I spent most of my life doing one thing or another with the AFSC.<268>

Fellow former staff George Willoughby also claimed decades after the fact that "all the time" he was at Scattergood Hostel he

never felt there was any pressure on the refugees to become Americanized. There was pressure to adjust so they could get jobs and begin to take care of themselves, but I never felt any of that and in talking to them I never felt that any of them really felt we were trying to make super-duper Americans out of them.<269>

Similarly, Robert Berquist held that "Americanizing" the guests was not the "principal reason" for the educational program and he objected to the word "Americanize", as he thought that Quakers

had a different conception of 'Americanization'...than people now would have using that term. And they were thinking of helping the people to adjust to living here and becoming active participants in this country, rather than just imitating people who were natives of this country.

Berquist also thought that "some of John Rich's statements wouldn't have been fully accepted by many of the staff.<270>

North American Quakers often take collective social action through the auspices of AFSC and in this case it decided that an extensive refugee-services program most effectively would "speak to the condition"-to use a common Quaker phrase-of those in need in Nazi Germany. Following Kristallnacht in November 1938 and a subsequent AFSC appeal for aid, support for creating a refugee program arose swiftly. In response to resonant replies, AFSC drafted a letter in which it explained that while one of the main services suggested in its initial letter had been the need for hospitality for those fleeing persecution, it had become evident that the technicalities of immigration and the refugees' reactions to entirely new ways of living necessitated

a more deliberate placement of individuals and families than was at first anticipated. The problems of readjustment [however] are not to be considered lightly or in great haste, while at the same time, the pressure of the numbers needing assistance makes it necessary to move as quickly as possible.<271>

As they embarked upon a subsequent project, Friends realized that the process of integrating or assimilating refugees would not be easy. In helping refugees heal from their travails in Europe, Quakers saw "Americanization" commensurate to the disorienting loss of home and health, wealth and well-being that those fleeing Europe had suffered. Early in it's refugee program, AFSC secretary John Rich wrote an essay explaining the main motive behind "Americanization Through Quaker Hostels". He acknowledged that such centers "serve only a small fraction of the newcomers to America", yet at the same time if the sum of their service was solely the "Americanization" of the residents they accommodated,

they would not be a significant contribution to the solution of the refugee problem. However, the Quaker Hostels intend more than to benefit the group they can accommodate. They are a symbol and the outward evidence of a point of view that is important to all Americans.

Although well-educated and "liberal", Rich exhibited the bias that for European refugees becoming an "American" was preferable to remaining a non-conforming foreigner. Based on AFSC-sponsored refugee projects, he held that living with Americans<272> and speaking English, residents would quickly

learn the language. Three months or less will polish a refugee without the slightest knowledge of English into a presentable American with an interesting accent. Gone are the continental mannerisms, the clicking of heels, the bowing from the waist.

According to Rich, this transformation was accomplished through

good-natured banter and close and constant tutoring. American civics [and] history, current events, practical economics are some of the subjects the refugees study with zest and wonder. Above all, they learn to drive a car. Probably this looms more important in their minds than any other accomplishment. It is the mark of an American; proof that you can take your place in society, once you have secured a driver's license.

While ascribing the non-committal adjective "interesting" to the accents with which guests might emerge from an immersion in American culture, Rich's use of "presentable" hinted at his indelible bias regarding how "real Americans" should sound. He spoke of the shedding of outward expressions of formerly learned, internalized social behavior as one might speak of a habit such as nail biting. Did "good-natured banter" actually entail cloaked reprimand? And finally, he bestowed the debateable attribute of possessing a driver's license the status of "proof" of fitting into American society.<273>

This implicit disregard for the refugees' cultural backgrounds and specific histories irritated at least one refugee. Future guest Vienna-born Walter Shostal later would identify what he came to regard as a

very real flaw in the SH undertaking. That it totally ignored and misunderstood the European experiences of these people. As if life had begun for them the day they set foot on American soil. As if their previous life had been part of a previous and lesser incarnation the quicker forgotten, the better for it.<274>

Shostal admitted, though, that "we, the newcomers, had been a willing prey to that construction and did our best to live up to the expectation of the natives".

Shostal reflected on this theme more than fifty years after the fact: many basic conditions had shifted since his arrival as an exile. Writing at the time, one of his fellow refugees saw the situation much differently. Lotte Liebman said that the Americans-"all of them are young people"-helped their guests "in a real exceptional, nice and friendly spirit". Above all, they helped them "get accustomed to all American habits", as well as to the language and

many things concerning common life, politics, etc... Perhaps the most valuable part of their help is that they show us by good example how to live in America. 'Keep smiling', 'Don't worry', 'Take it easy' are the three first commandments in America. Without keeping them, you will never succeed in doing anything in America, whatever qualities and abilities you may have. You have to learn to practice them in this small community in order to succeed in your profession or whatever you do afterwards<275>.

In those pre-Vietnam War, pre-Watergate days, America and things American held great appeal. Those already living in the United States, as well as most of those migrating to it, were intent on achieving and maintaining an air of "American-ness"-even at the price of minimalizing real differences. Given the era in which it existed, Scattergood Hostel succeeded in its efforts to excite the desire of the refugees who lived there to integrate or assimilate. At that time doing so was seen as requisite for survival and therefore a service, not a slight to foreigners.

The staff uncritically cooperated with the hostel's pervasive program of "Americanizing" its guests-at least once to the point of creating open conflict. When questioned about any tensions that might have existed between refugees and staff, former Scattergood staff members Earle and Marjorie Edwards answered that "relations between residents and staff were remarkably good", with Camilla [Hewson] Flintermann concurring.<276> Flintermann added that "on the whole" refugee-staff relations were positive-except for sensitivity to attempts to "correct" them, as in the episode of staff Leonore Goodenow and "table manners".<277> The cited incident involved "the uproar when she tried with best intentions to 'correct' table manners and have guests hold utensils American style, not European, so they would 'fit in' more comfortably in American society. There were some hurt feelings".<278>

Flintermann maintained that the incident involving Leonore Goodenow stands out because it was "not so typical"; as far as she knew, staff did not say "Forget your German culture, forget who you are, be a new person":

A 'New American', yes, but my experience was what [refugees] said: 'We wanted to not stand out as different, we wanted to be welcomed and made a part of this new situation'. I have no memory-aside that one little incident-of people being pressured.

When reminded of the hostel's language-instruction motto "Speak English and be Proud of it!", Flintermann responded

but that's survival. You know? These folks at Scattergood were a very tiny minority in a great big country and they wanted to be absorbed. Another reason why refugees would have been anxious to be absorbed would be because of anti-German feeling. They did not want to stand out as Germans in that time. People who were knowledgeable and understanding certainly did [realize that the refugees were victims of Nazism]. But, say, go out to a job in Cedar Rapids, go to a grocery store and try to buy your food-not in a supermarket, but you had to go up to the counter and tell the clerk what you wanted-in a thick German accent: you would not get happy glances. This would subject them to a certain amount of prejudice. People who knew what they were and why they were there would be different [but one] first would notice the difference; you had to get beyond the difference to get to the person... I think that's why they didn't want to stay so different.<279>

Adults were not the only refugees subjected to tests of conformity. Children, too, commanded the scrutiny of the hostel staff. Its desire to insure that the children were armed-or in one case, "shoed"-with the means to compete on the social scene led it to champion funds for outfitting them per local norms. In September 1940, for example, just as the West Branch school district had resumed classes, director Martha Balderston petitioned AFSC's Refugee Section secretary Mary Rogers to maintain the $2-per-week allowance which children received beyond the costs of room and board-the same sum budgeted for adults. She did so with the children's chances of assimilation in mind. Regarding cuts in the hostel's budget as proposed by AFSC and other agencies which financed the refugees' stay, she protested: "we do not approve of a cut. The ability to do what the others do helps a lot in their adjustment and Americanization. Besides that they must meet charges on books, note-books and gym shoes etc., etc".<280>

Generally, the refugees responded receptively, even eagerly, to the staff's efforts to introduce them to American life and culture, to inculcate them with more an American sensibility than a Continental one and to impregnate them with a positive image of their new homeland. As seen in guest Emil Deutsch's laudatory-if apologetic-essay on "The Refugee and American Life" [pp. 262-264-OHR], the staff succeeded in producing "New Americans" well on their way to feeling that they belonged to their adopted country by the time they passed through the hostel's front gate for the last time.

Regardless of its reasons or means for wanting to "Americanize" European exiles in the Heartland, AFSC responded realistically when it admitted how complicated the varied needs of immigrants could be. Of the deluge of applicants for assistance it had received, most had already arrived in the U.S. and were awaiting help in finding new lives to replace shattered old ones. The pool of people seeking aid consisted mostly of professionals- physicians, lawyers, social workers, dismissed government officials, teachers, Kindergarten pedagogues, business people-yet almost no farmers, artisans or unskilled laborers. This fact only complicated the task of placing new workers in a job market still anemic from the debilitating Depression which had begun almost a decade earlier. If their ironic "over qualification" were not enough of a handicap, some of the Europeans could read a bit of English but -as French was still the dominant lingua franca of international diplomacy, trade, scholarship and culture, few could speak English fluently-many not at all. As a further reflection of pre-war, Old-World culture in contrast to the already automobile-addicted Americans, most Europeans did not possess a car (those wealthy enough to do so often hired a chauffeur); virtually none of the newcomers had valid drivers' licenses nor even the training to qualify for one.

Reflecting humankind in general, the aggregate of the dispossessed included individuals ranging in age from younger than six to sixty, men and women, families and singles. Many of the younger single men either had already begun university careers in Europe and interrupted them in order to save their lives, or were on the verge of beginning their studies but now found themselves in a country where-unlike in Europe-education was mostly self-financed. In contrast, a number of the older men had careers of distinction behind them, but at their age and with rather specific certificates in law or medicine, they faced the humiliating prospect of never again being respected for skill in their chosen fields or reaching economic self-reliance. In addition, having enjoyed the status as well as monetary rewards bestowed on them for their positions in degree- and title-obsessed Europe, those fortunate enough to have found an escape route from Europe were forced to abandon the fruits of decades of achievement. Combined with namelessness on the American professional scene, such individuals faced a debilitating situation.

AFSC already possessed active files of several hundred individuals with whom it had been working; instead of isolated efforts to help each of them specifically, a program designed to accommodate the refugees en masse would be required. Therefore, AFSC quickly commandeered an Iowa Young Friends' idea of a short-term summer workcamp involving ten to 15 refugees from Germany or Austria. AFSC converted it into the impetus for a larger, more comprehensive long-term refugee program intended for 30 or more displaced persons from numerous Nazi-occupied countries.

Once it had decided what its best course of action would be, AFSC moved speedily to realize it. As a model for a bigger, all-encompassing facility, it turned to a center for uprooted Germans which it had sponsored for eight weeks the previous summer at Aberdeen Camp on the Hudson, upriver from Manhattan. Homer Morris wrote to one Iowa Friend that it had been a

valuable experience for refugees who have gone through such difficult times in Europe. A combination of study, physical labor, periods of meditation and lectures on American life proved to be a most valuable orientation period for their introduction to getting settled in American life.<281>

The experiment had seemed so successful that AFSC's newly formed Refugee Section felt it prudent to integrate the model into its program. At the same time, Morris noted the necessity of providing such a center to which refugees could go as soon as they arrived Stateside-not just once they had become established. He argued, however, that given "so much congestion of refugees in the environs of New York",<282> it seemed desirable that such a center should be located "entirely away from the New York area where there might be greater possibility of the new arrivals finding their way into American life".<283>

Settle Refugees in the Midwest, Away from the Northeast

What values or beliefs guided AFSC's goal of coaxing emigrants beyond the Hudson? Presumably they mirrored the policies of other refugee agencies at the time, which knew of the perceived threat posed by and the difficulties of the more than quarter-million Europeans arriving from Nazi-occupied Europe during the Hitler era-with 30,000 arriving in 1939 alone, the majority of which settled in New York.<284> In terms of professional competition, the influx of thousands of non-native doctors, dentists, scholars, artists or skilled workers during several years of stubborn economic depression and record unemployment spurred strong anti-alien and anti-semitic feelings.<285> In such a social climate charges that "radical" immigrants were entering the country illegally and taking jobs from native Americans

were widely circulated. Refugee aid organizations made strenuous efforts to challenge these accusations by initiating propaganda campaigns not only to refute miscon-ceptions concerning the character of the newcomers, but also to give precise numbers.<286>

Through vocational training, relief agencies tried to place their clients in noncompetitive positions. Furthermore, resettlement outside of New York's metropolitan area was an attempt to reduce anti-alien feelings on one hand, while placing refugees in proper jobs on the other. Placement of refugees in local communities was supposed to help them not only economically, but also to facilitate their social and cultural absorption.<287>

Friends' view that New York was home to a disproportionate share of Jews had some basis: to be precise, about 90% of the German-Jewish refugees and an even higher percentage of the Austrian ones settled in large cities in the East (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.), the Middle West (Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and St. Louis) or the West (San Francisco and Los Angeles). This generally reflected existing patterns of American Jewish settlement-but with two major differences. In the two main East or West Coast ports of entry (New York and San Francisco) the relative concentration of refugees was higher than that of American Jews in general. Eighty-thousand or 57% of the German-Jewish refugees and 40,000 or two-thirds of the Austrians temporarily remained in New York; its total Jewish population of 2,300,000 equaled 45% of American Jews. Following the war, Jewish refugees from Shanghai disembarked at San Francisco. There, respective numbers were 5,000 or 1% of American Jewry. Conversely, while 28% of the American Jews were domiciled outside the country's 13 largest cities, redistribution of German-Jewish refugees in smaller urban or rural areas did not exceed 14,000 (10%), with smaller absolute and percentage figures for Austrians.<288>

Mirroring dominant relief-agency sentiments of the time, University of Iowa professor Clyde Hart spoke at Scattergood Hostel in autumn 1942 and the editors of the Scattergood Monthly News Bulletin chose to write about his comments-not without reason. An excerpt from their report indicates the guiding principles which often went unstated at Scattergood, yet determined the hostel's program. As a method of avoiding "the development of prejudice", "Dr." Hart suggested that members of "minority groups" settle in regions

where their numbers are not too large, and that they try to become assimilated as thoroughly as possible in the usual pattern of American life. [Hart] suggested that one of the best places for newcomers to America to settle is in the Mid-West [sic] where conditions will be most favorable to their assimilation.<289>

AFSC's own words-found in a pamphlet it published concurrently in English and German in 1940, complete with a map on the back cover meant to entice recent European arrivals to move past the lure of Big-City lights-offer further indication of the premises from which it worked. According to it, New York and other "over-populated" cities in the East were

difficult places for newcomers to America [whereas arriving exiles] do not realize the advantages that await them outside of New York. Those who try to settle in this great, swarming city must pay high prices for food and high rent for rooms. They must seek employment in competition with thousands of other people, facing hostility and disap-pointment.<290>

Writing on AFSC's behalf, Refugee Section staff member Jean Reynolds urged readers "go West and you will find flourishing cities, friendly towns and villages", where supposedly living expenses were lower and the people more open. According to AFSC: "There are as many opportunities for employment as in the East. Because fewer refugees have gone to the Middle West, there is less fear of them as competitors, less hostility against them as foreigners".<291>

The chosen terminology spoke volumes. Words and phrases such as "over-populated", "swarming" or "hostility against...foreigners" indicated that despite being Easterners themselves, AFSC staff had very definite prejudices about immigrants settling in the Northeast. How "over-populated"-for one- was New York, really? Compared to the centers of pre-war Berlin, London or Paris, the New York City boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island were veritable Garden City-esque paradises. This concept was clearly culturally specific: what to an American might have been cramped quarters might well have constituted ample accommodation to a space-taxed German. Also, high urban density might have provided the refugees with the urbane milieu which might have made them feel at home-as opposed to the empty evening Main Street of even the busiest Midwest county seat.

It might have been true that costs of living were high in big cities, but so were chances that refugees might find social-service or other agencies which had more stake in and experience with their plight than those in the Anglo-Saxon-settled Heartland. Job competition in urban areas might have been fierce, but so was the uninformed prejudice against outsiders of any kind- especially the Jewish or intellectual variety-which existed in insulated, Protestant-dominated provinces.

In any case, refugees quickly perceived the very definite anti-East-Coast bias which prevailed at Scattergood Hostel. According to Walter Shostal, it was made clear that New York was

not really America, not a place where we would quickly and completely become truly American, which was the goal that our hosts had in mind and this was also the goal that we had set for ourselves. We refrained from being nostalgic for the past: we were looking to the most recent arrivals, we had immediately applied for our first papers, the first step to becoming citizens five years later.<292>

Besides the wish to transplant its European guests in Midwest soil, a second factor guided the world's largest Quaker social-action agency in its coaxing refugees away from the U.S.'s Eastern Seaboard. It was no secret that AFSC designed its refugee program to get the recent immigrants out of New York City, where the majority had settled and services for them were overwhelmed. For AFSC, though, even larger issues were at stake. It planned to use hostels

as physical evidence to counter the arguments of those who sought to halt the influx of immigrants from Europe.<293> Opponents often charged that the newcomers were unable to adapt fully to [American] society and that they lacked the knowledge, dedication and even the social skills required of true citizens.<294>

AFSC also lobbied Congress long, hard and in vain to pass the Wagner-Rogers Bill, which if enacted would have allowed for 20,000 refugee children to enter the United States beyond the number allowed by firmly observed quotas.<295>

AFSC's attempt to counter anti-foreigner sentiment in general, though, proved unfruitful in the face of economic pressures and pure racism. Its own executive secretary, Clarence Pickett, served as the head of the committee which drafted the Wagner-Rogers Bill to be as non-threatening as possible- stipulating, for example, that private agencies would provide for the children at no cost to the government. To counter charges that the young exiles would compete for American jobs, the committee solicited endorsement of the bill by the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.<296> Despite the bill's tactful presentation, the American public strongly opposed it. Only 26% of those responding to a Gallup poll in early 1939 approved of the entry of 20,000 German refugee children-66% opposed it; eight percent had no opinion. Regarding the admission of refugees of any age, an Opinion Research Corporation poll in March 1938 (the month Nazi Germany annexed Austria) found only 17% agreeable to admiting "a larger number of Jewish exiles from Germany"-75% were opposed; eight percent had no opinion. In the week of Kristallnacht the same question drew a slightly more favorable response of 21%-71% were opposed; eight percent had no opinion.<297>

Regardless of its reasons for wanting to draw European exiles to the Heartland, the fact remains that AFSC and Scattergood staff mostly proved unable to transplant firmly enough most of the refugees' roots in Midwest soil. If "resettled" refugees didn't stay in Small Town America long-term, however, that didn't mean they didn't try. Lacking funds of their own, though, they had to go where a place could be found. Records of the National Refugee Service- which handled the largest volume of individual cases-showed a steady increase in the number of those resettled. More than 3,540 persons were established in communities outside New York City in 1939, as opposed to1,256 in 1938 and 400 in 1937. In the first nine months of 1940, 4,098 were resettled. Fifty percent of the 1,522 persons resettled in the first quarter of 1941 went to 13 regional committees, which distributed them among 250 communities.<298>

Over the long term, however, relatively few of those refugees "resettled" away from East Coast metropolitan concentrations to Midwest or other areas remained in there. To some degree this inability to find acceptable niches for the newcomers in the Heartland reflected some basic flaws in the program's organization, for Scattergood Hostel's initial lack of clear leadership and of effective job placement efforts-for one-did little to endear the Midwest to its foreign-born guests.

To his credit, one-time acting director John Kaltenbach did consider the best options for "commercial and professional types", whom he thought most suitable for positions in industry. Later Scattergood job placement directors scoured the Midwest for positions for the refugees-in the process roaming the industrial belt from Duluth, Minnesota, to Akron, Ohio, via Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Gary, Indiana. Despite a reputation for fruitfully exploiting millions of acres of its abundant rich land, at that time the Midwest served as a powerhouse of industrial production, ranging from the processing of coal, chemicals, soybeans and lard to the manufacturing of iron, automobiles, fine hosiery and poultry-plucking machines. It was reasonable to hope, then, that satisfying careers could be found in Midwestern cities or small towns.

Scattergood Hostel job placement directors' efforts to place its working-adult guests in commercial, industrial or professional positions avoided the futile, romantic urge to find agricultural employment for them [see 3.23]. They glaringly failed, however, to take into account one additional important factor in placing the refugees: culture. Almost without exception, European exiles came from middle- or upper-class backgrounds and large cities;<299> even with ideal occupational placement, the presence or lack of street cafés, theaters, museums, libraries or other hallmarks of urban culture played a decisive role in whether or not refugees would remain long-term in a chosen community. As seen in the case of former Berlin actress Grete Baeck [p. 236-OHR]-for example-finding oneself in a community too small to offer resources and facilities which one used to take for granted, or which influenced whether or not one could be happy, proved unbearable. One can only wonder what became of choir master Hans Schimmerling, who worked at the Lumberman's Credit and Warehouse in Kalamazoo, Michigan, or of the "marvelous pianist" Gunther Meyer, who offered private music lessons in Cedar Falls, Iowa [ p. 257 and p. 235, respectively-OHR].

As it happened, over time-usually only a year or two-the majority of those placed in smaller Midwest communities usually trickled if not to New York, then to Chicago.<300> Those who stayed consisted of either families or young men who married local women. Of the former, upon retirement parents often moved to East Coast collegiate communities where at least one child happened to be living: in the case of both the Lichtensteins and Rosenzweigs, their daughters reported that especially their fathers enjoyed the use of nearby university facilities, with both parents enjoying the varied cultural offerings.<301>

Half dozen Scattergood guests ended up in the U.S. Southwest-Arizona or California-and another handful emigrated to Israel or returned to Europe following the war. Of the latter, most had a specific reason for or goal in returning to the alte Heimat-for example, former Reichstag member Marie Juchacz to revive the Arbeiterwohlfahrt or Fritz Schorsch of Vienna to rejoin his wife [ p. 92 and chapter 7 of first draft, respectively-OHR]. Except for those cited in the next-to-last footnote, no other guests are documented to have remained long-term in the rural Midwest-which from the start was a primary target of AFSC's refugee-resettlement program.

While Quakers thought that settling exiles from Nazi-Europe in small numbers in mid-sized Midwestern communities would facilitate their integration or assimilation into American society, Friends' writings at the time did not indicate that they foresaw the isolating effect of such a policy. In assessing Quakers' resettlement aims almost 55 years after being personally effected by them, one-time Scattergood Hostel guest Walter Shostal cited a "very practical flaw" in AFSC's thinking, as "individuals do not live and prosper (or perish) in a vacuum". Reasoning that humans live their lives in a network of relationships-"family, friends from school or college, churches, civic groups and more"-the lack of such a network posed

probably the greatest problem for the newcomer. To solve it [the refugee's] surest anchor is his ethnicity. Take the Polish, Danish or Jewish groups as they have formed and stuck together providing not only human warmth and companionship but also practical help on the economical level. Think just of the old boy network of the Eastern elite. The newcomer needs its equivalent and [AFSC in] Phila. and SH did its best to deny it to them. Today I see in this attitude the basic flaw of the SH experiment.<302>

If at least one former refugee identified the dissolution of ethnic blocs as Scattergood Hostel's "basic flaw" over five decades later, at the time another now-forgotten "basic flaw" involved East Coast Friends' lack of understanding regarding the potentials for as well as limitations of refugee resettlement in the agrarian Midwest.

Establish Kibbutzim-style Settlements in America

The goals of moving refugees away from the Northeast or of reforming adults' table manners and supplying school children with "acceptable" gym shoes in the hope of avoiding natives' derision for being markedly different were defendable-perhaps even innocuous. The goal of settling refugees from the Third Reich on the Iowa prairies as farmers ˆ la the kibbutzim model was neither. East-Coast Quakers little-experienced with life in the Midwest hosted impossible dreams of transferring newly arrived Europeans-in other words, Jews "infected with Zionist fever"-from the crowded seaboard to the openness of the plains. Acting director John Kaltenbach set about disabusing his Philadelphia-based superiors of their delusions soon after arriving at West Branch [pp. 120-122-OHR]. In early June 1939 he wrote to Reed Cary:

I feel rather as if I had not been seeing the field for the corn stalks... The only way I out that I can see for those who are thinking of us as an opening into mid-west agriculture [such as Vienna stationer Fritz Treuer] would be a cooperative farming venture which would have to be financed practically in toto by some outside group. It would be extremely difficult to get any local capital into such a venture. This would call for a whole set of revised aims for those whom we hope to settle in rural districts.<303>

Kaltenbach advised that in the meantime, AFSC refrain from sending "anybody out here with the hope of getting more than a hired hand's status in agriculture". Referring to his fondness of "the community experiment idea", he went on to suggest an alternative solution for "this agricultural problem" and "present farmer-hopefuls" based on a model he had encountered in North Carolina and which reminded him of the plan worked out there, as it could "possibly fit" the needs of individuals like Fritz Treuer. Kaltenbach wrote:

That effort is a small one, but I feel that it will be one of the most valuable for us in this particular phase of the refugee problem, particularly because the South needs new blood more than the Plains, and because the land situation is such there that small agriculture with limited capital investment is more feasible than here.<304>

Kaltenbach explained further that he thought the project in North Carolina should be "followed more closely" and added that Iowa offered much more for

people who are interested in small industry... People spend there [sic] spare nickels for fertilizer in Iowa. Roadhouses and shops belong to the East. I think we must concen-trate on industrial development for this region if we are going to make the kind of creative contribution we hope for.<305>

He went on to advise that "this ought to be in mind in picking Scattergoodians". Kaltenbach thought that if a number of the refugees AFSC sought to help- "and there may be more than we think among the Jews who have been affected by the New Palestine movement"-appeared at its New York or Philadelphia offices, they should be sent to the South. He also noted: "I understand that most of this type [of] refugee is going to Australia, and I suppose most of the cases we will handle will be those of commercial and professional types. We have recognized this latter point, but I wonder if we are taking the best path for adapting professional people to their future in America".<306>

John Kaltenbach's musings to Reed Cary expose numerous weaknesses in the initial concept of Scattergood Hostel's mission, not to mention realistic potentials. For starters, the Philadelphia office shipped disabled refugee Fritz Treuer to Iowa apparently before any AFSC staff had confirmed the wisdom of such a move-and thus Kaltenbach's detailed rejection of such an act. Next, one must wonder if the 23-year-old tactician merely acted diplomatically in his letter to the head office in suggesting an alternative to what he saw as an impossible fantasy for the Iowa program, or if he truly pondered spawning an experiment in Dixie. If the latter, he was acting extremely naively, for the Ku-Klux-Klan-long a vocal, deadly presence in the South-and local authorities would have had something to say about Northerners shipping scores of Jews past the Mason-Dixon line. Were he really being so unreflective, then he was guilty of propagating the same poorly-thought-through visions his older-if-not-better-informed counterparts sitting in isolated East Coast offices nursed.

Another weak link in the chain of arguments for agricultural refugee colonies in Iowa consisted of the lack of capital, to which Kaltenbach referred. The fact was, from start to finish Scattergood Hostel existed on a slim budget and usually teetered on the edge of insolvency. At one point it even requested an Iowa business leader, a Minneapolis religious figure and the editor of the Des Moines Register to issue a joint appeal to the public for contributions. The kind of project hinted at by individuals like Cary-far exceeding the scope and cost of the program at Scattergood-would have required unavailable capital, thus insuring its failure. Such plans were dropped early, however, so instead of attempting to plant kibbutzim in America's Heartland, Quakers focused on the more pressing business at hand-rehabilitating, then integrating or assimilating their refugee guests.

Chapter 4 Scattergood Hostel's Guests

The extent to which Scattergood Hostel guests reflected the "typical" exile from Nazi Europe or to which they differed from the norm affected AFSC's ability to "Americanize" them. How the hostel staff treated guests also effected the latter's rehabilitation, integration or assimilation; special characteristics of that treatment had institutional roots found in official AFSC or hostel policy.

Characteristics "Typical" of Refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe

First of all, the refugees who stayed at Scattergood Hostel came from much of Nazi-occupied Europe. Most consisted of Germans (86)<307> or Austrians (67). Eight Poles also found their way to West Branch, however, as did seven French nationals [their ethnicity not confirmed as French]. Czechs and Russians each totaled six, Hungarians five. Four Luxembourgers and a Latvian completed the list. In age the guests ranged from six months to 60 and by occupation they ranged from butcher to banker. One AFSC staff explained that most of people with whom AFSC worked were from professional groups-

physicians, teachers, lawyers, social workers and former government officials. Recently there have been quite a few business men and persons employed in business, ranging from clerks to executives in large concerns. There are practically no farmers or farm hands among this group, very few skilled artisans and no unskilled labor.<308>

Out of a total of 185 persons, 68 consisted of couples. Sixteen of those 34 couples had among them 23 children. Three additional children came with single parents. The rest of the hostel's refugee population consisted of 47 single men over 30, 26 single men under 30 and 15 single women.<309> Of the last group, most seem to have been over 30: perhaps reflecting etiquette at the time which discouraged inquiring about a woman's age, most of their ages are not known.

Raw statistics, however, can hide a great deal of differentiation as well as commonality among people. Regarding the refugees' experiences, many were typical of European exiles of that period in general. Grete Rosenzweig's account of her family's suffering at the hands of Nazi thugs on Kristallnacht [pp. 67-70-OHR], for example, mirrored that of thousands of Jewish families across "Greater Germany". That Louis Rosenzweig lost a directorship and Sigmund Seligmann his business or that Karl Liebman was demoted at his law firm [both 1.5] and pianist Viktor Popper barred from Vienna's music halls [1.2] only echoed developments too common to the proclaimed enemies of the German Volk. Of course Jews were not the only categories of ostracized groups in Hitler's Germany-as suggested by the presence at Scattergood Hostel of former Reichstag members Marie Juchacz and Paul Frölich<310> or political activists Ernst and Ilse Stahl, Ludwig Hacke, Fritz Schorsch, Julius and Elisabeth Lichtenstein, Marta Schmiedl, Otto and Rosa Bauer, Robert Keller and Gertrude Hesse. The case of Marie Juchacz mimicked thousands of others who fled Nazi terror in stages, moving-in her case-first to the Saar, then, following the plebescite which returned that contested territory to Germany, to Mulhouse in neighboring Alsace; upon the Wehrmacht's invasion of France, she moved again, this time to the "unoccupied" Pyrenees, then to the French Antilles island of Martinique before landing in New York and finally in Iowa.

Like so many other political émigrés from "Greater Germany", those at Scattergood Hostel often remained actively politically engaged-even if from afar-in German politics. Kurt Schaefer, for one, collaborated with British socialists and labor organizers while he sojourned in England before moving on to America with the help of AFSC. Julius and Elizabeth Lichtenstein-to cite two more examples-opened their home-in-exile in Paris to politicos sheltering in the French capital or passing through there on their way to fight Fascism in Spain. The daughter Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan later recalled that she heard "a lot of political discussions" as a child because there was "a lot of that kind of thing going on in our house".<311>

In comparison with the post-war fates of political exiles who eventually landed in the U.S. generally, those refugees at Scattergood Hostel who fled Nazi-occupied Europe due to political beliefs or affiliations were typical in that almost a third of them are recorded as having returned to Europe following the war. According to one historian, while for Jewish exiles emigration usually meant a life-long decision and the

definite end of Jewish acculturation in German-speaking Mitteleuropa, the political emigrant from the Third Reich survived outside the Nazi realm of power predomi-nantly with 'the face towards Germany' and returned after the war's end in large numbers-and usually with the first available possibility-in order to contribute to German reconstruction.<312>

Post-war political dynamics so emerged that returned communist exiles predominantly settled in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany, whereas Sozialdemokraten or representatives of other political groups predominantly chose to reside in the western zone. Of approximately 7000 Sozialdemokraten who emigrated between 1933 and 1935, roughly half quickly returned after the war's end. If one takes into account the number of those who died in exile or who due to age or health reasons were no longer able to return, the number of re-migrants would be correspondingly higher. Of four former Scattergoodians documented to have returned to Germany or Austria following the war's end, all were Sozialdemokraten and the two of the three Germans among them settled in western Germany.<313> One of the Germans, Robert Keller, settled in the eastern zone in February 1947 and became active in the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands [SED] because he believed that the SPD's policies "hadn't changed much and was afraid that a Nazi rebirth would be the result of that policy". He also thought that "quite a few former Nazis had entered the Social Democratic Party and [so he] couldn't work within that party".<314>

Like so many other political exiles, those at Scattergood Hostel remained very much involved-mentally if not physically-in events taking place in the Heimat. As early as July 1942-before the Russians repelled the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad-some Scattergood Hostel guests assumed that the Allied forces would win the war and already were devising scenarios for rehabilitating their native land. Apparently the ties which bound them to the land of their births ran deep and remained strong, despite the madness which had erupted there and the personal pain they had experienced as rejected citizens. Although he had left the hostel almost a year earlier, former Reichstag member Paul Frölich-for one-penned an article for inclusion in the hostel's Bulletin. He titled his essay "Education for Democracy" and wrote:

I know by experience that there are things in which even well-meaning people are likely to be misled. There is the question of re-education for democracy. That seems to be a very humane measure in the interest of the German people as well as in the interest of world peace. But I am convinced that it is a very dangerous one. Has there ever been a people which had been educated for democracy? I know no one.<315>

Unable to forget the home which had meant so much to them, four of the twelve refugees who had fled Europe primarily for political reasons returned following the war. In respect to post-war country-of-choice generally, however, former residents of Scattergood Hostel resembled refugees as a group, who on the whole sought to identify themselves with America. One study found in 1945 that circa 95 percent of them had no intention of returning to Europe. The proportion, however, varied depending on nationality and occupation:

Practically no German wants to return, with only a few Austrians, Poles and Russians. More Czechs, Italians, Belgians, Netherlanders, and Frenchmen indicate that they want to go back. Artists, scholars, and political leaders predominate among those who wish to return. Jews are almost unanimous in their intention not to return.<316>

Additional examples of ways in which Scattergood's guests resembled other refugees abound. One commonality which Scattergood guests shared with Germanic refugees in general during that time was the loyalty they felt for their old Heimat. Several of the men who landed at the hostel, for example, had served a Hohenzollern or Habsburger Kaiser in the first world war, including Karl Liebman, Louis Rosenzweig and Richard Guttmann-the first and last of whom had been awarded medals for courage or exceptional service and devotion to the state. The men's dedication to their Germanic homelands reflected what Grete Rosenzweig described as her family's feeling of being "German citizens in the first place, Jews by religion". She maintained that even though there "had always been a slight anti-semitism in certain circles, it had not been a general feeling or action towards an individual Jew". She noted: "We had just as many close non-Jewish friends [as] Jewish ones".

Typical of German Jews in the degree to which they felt culturally assimilated, the Rosenzweigs' attitudes suggest why so many German Jews initially found the idea of Nazi political accession implausible and-once the Nazis took power-why many reacted non-chalantly so long to the threat posed by the Hitler regime. More incredible-yet not unheard of-was the degree to which some Jews who fled the Third Reich continued to believe in Germany or the superiority of "German-ness" despite having been rejected by the dominant culture in the land of their birth. Twenty-one-year-old Donald Hopf-for one- exhibited such naiveté. A concert violinist and a Jew whose father had lost a mathematics professorship at Aachen Universität, at least initially he failed to the see through Nazi facades of legitimacy or sense what Hitler's reign would mean for him and millions of other so-called "non-Aryans" in the Third Reich. Interviewed by Iowa's leading newspaper while at Scattergood Hostel, Hopf offered a most unsophisticated political perspective, excerpts of which include:

No, I do not hate Hitler... I think Hitler is all right for Germany, but he should not be permitted to go beyond his lines. It probably is the WISH of refugees from Germany that the German people do not agree with Hitler. I believe, however, that at least 70 per cent, young and old, are patriotic and support him. I do not think they favor war, but they support him. I have no personal feeling against Hitler or his government. And I hope that, if someone does shoot him, it will not be a Jew. Jews should stay out of it.<317>

Regardless of their religious or political backgrounds, like the 75-80% of the refugees surveyed by Davie,<318> the vast majority of Scattergood Hostel guests came from at least middle-class backgrounds. Reflecting the bourgeois milieu which existed in western Europe from 1871 till 1914 and from which most of the hostel guests came,<319> as products of monied families the majority of the men had attended universities or secured professional titles; their background directly affected their choices and abilities to adapt upon reaching the U.S. On a practical level, Scattergood volunteer Camilla Hewson noticed "especially men had real trouble adjusting to their loss of status, having been respected in their professions and well-off".<320> Even light chores or household work were foreign territory for the mostly urbane European men and thus they were unaccustomed "to lifting a dish towel or folding laundry". Many of their distaff counterparts had enjoyed the help of paid servants, so the loss of a bourgeois lifestyle and social status challenged men and women. Their struggles with both proved decisive in the degree to which they could build satisfying new lives in the New World. Scattergood Hostel staff members reported that some of the men from suffered de facto demotion, as some of them had been prominent judges, doctors or other titled professionals in Europe and their credentials were not automatically transferable nor their advanced ages an incentive for being hired. Camilla [Hewson] Flintermann said years later that "for the most part" they adapted to changed roles with "good grace-only a few 'stuffed shirts' tried to pull rank on the basis of their professional backgrounds, etc."<321>

In a different vein: before they ever reached the New World and could dream of building new lives, several Scattergood guests spent time in a Nazi concentration camp. Louis Rosenzweig and Sigmund Seligmann-to name two-were interned at Dachau following Kristallnacht. Although sources did not know in which camp he had been, Ewald Peissel arrived at the hostel still traumatized from his experiences and was observed to "wolf down his food" when first arrived there, having been in a camp where "food was scarce".<322>

Like so many other male refugees from the Third Reich, Boris Jaffe and Sigmund Seligmann, Gus Weiler and Walter Shostal were all granted U.S. visas, but for them alone, with no provisions offered for their families [pp. 46, 72, 73 and 93-OHR]. Giving a visa only to male heads of families represented one way U.S. State Department officials used to discourage large numbers of Jews from entering the U.S. For many guests-as attested by Kaethe Aschkenes' narration of trying to procure visas in chaotic Marseilles [p. 59-OHR]-the wait to secure passage to the New World took months if not years. Once they left their homes-either voluntarily (as with Friedel Seligmann) or through force (as with Viktor Popper's brother [pp. 73 and 49, respectively-OHR])-their routes often entailed criss-crossing Europe by rail in sealed passenger or freight cars.

As in the case of Rosl Weiler [pp. 73-74-OHR], even once permission to leave the Third Reich had been obtained, refugees had to surmount a gauntlet of trials. Those included being stripped at the border of German-occupied areas of ration cards and money (with hollow promises that the latter would be "forwarded"), or being forced to "contribute" to the Nazis' sham Winterhilfe campaign or supposedly to the Red Cross. Like Weiler, many arrived at stopover destinations with incorrect or insufficient tickets, too little money or with reservations on over-booked means of continuing their journeys. Like the Seligmann family or Werner Selig, Rosl Weiler and her daughter Bertel once again saw their husband and father Gus only upon reaching Scattergood.

If future Scattergood guests weren't being separated from their families enroute to America, they were stuck in wartime Europe and found themselves in various forms of military service-such as Stanislaw Braun along the Saar with a Polish division of the French border guard or Walter Shostal in the deserts of North Africa with the French Foreign Legion [pp. 66 and 76-80-OHR]. Depending on their pre-refugee occupations, some found themselves serving emergency roles, such as Alfred Adler being put in charge of medical "care" for 30 blocks of 25 barracks each at Gurs in the South of France [p. 57-OHR].

Epitomizing the experience of thousands of refugees who fled Nazi-run Germany and later Austria, Irwin Blumenkranz and Martin Kobylinski spent time in British refugee camps-the former at a voluntary one in Kent, the latter at an internment center on the Isle of Man [pp. 53-55 and 55-56-OHR]. A spin-off of refugee camps, Kindertransport enabled thousands of children to flee continental Europe for Britain, the United States or other destinations. A number of later Scattergood Hostel guests participated in these transports as chaperons, including Mariette and Jack Schumacher [pp. 60-63-OHR].

Children were not exempt from the pain of Nazi persecution nor the trauma of war. The Gestapo dragged off Erhard Winter's father and beat him to death when the boy was 11; this set into motion a series of events which led him not only to stow away from America to Britain, but to Scattergood Hostel's gate [pp. 33-35-OHR]. Along with their mother Magda, Pierre and Claude Shostal came under fire while fleeing German bombing raids over suburban Paris [p. 82-OHR], and Magdalene Salmon witnessed her people's helplessness against the Wehrmacht's assault on doomed Warsaw [pp. 64-66-OHR].

Like many other refugees, numerous Scattergood Hostel guests fled Europe deeply disillusioned with the Old World. Emil Deutsch, for one, vowed never to return to Austria after the Nazis forced his brother-in-law to scrub the capital's sidewalks with a toothbrush-even when his grown daughter begged him to join her in a trip to Vienna in the 1970s.<323> Other refugees did not wait until old age to express disappointment with the Heimat: already in 1941 Kaethe Aschkenes included a letter from a young French girl in Scattergood's monthly newsletter in which the lass declared that

Old Europe, tender and sympathizing to those who were loving grace more than force, dreams more than the material, tenderness more than cold reason, art and beauty more than profits-this Europe is dead, dead for she has been killed.<324>

Even if European refugees concluded that "Old dead", they did not automatically desire removal to the United States. Among the exiles at Scattergood Hostel, several admitted that they fled to America only as a last resort.<325> Herself a refugee and later the author of a study of exiled European intellectuals, Laura Fermi maintained that among other reasons, they did not know far-removed and then-obscure America. Moreover, while still in Europe, many future German émigrés "did not think much of American culture". It was not that they

actively dispised it or believed America to be a cultural desert, but rather that the very positive opinion in which they held their Kultur and its ancient roots prevented them from paying attention to an intellectual society as young as the American, which committed the sin of still be preoccupied with practical matters. German scholars were then convinced...that there was only one humanism, one Protestant theology, one philosophy, and one way to look at social questions-the German.<326>

Once the European exiles had forsaken their homelands and made their way to the U.S., their difficulties did not end. With notable exceptions (such as Albert Einstein,<327> the Mann family, Billy Wilder and relatively few others), all refugees had to begin again upon reaching America's shores-and usually on the lowest of the professional rungs (as seen in the likes of Boris Jaffe or Jakob Winkler [pp. 47 and 243-OHR]. Like hundreds of thousands of others, most future Scattergood Hostel guests struggled long and hard to sink new roots in their adopted homeland. That process included finding not only new jobs, homes or friends, but also new identities. Unlike many others, however, they had help. Even with help from native-born Americans, though, not all refugees proved able to cope with the stresses of a lost past, a difficult present or an uncertain future. In an interview with former staff, Earle Edwards remembered once reminiscing with a fellow former staff and discussing a number of one-time guests who later took their own lives. Upon questioning, however, he and his wife Marjorie could name for sure only Oskar Kovacs, whom they described as "unstable".<328> Suicide among refugees, nonetheless, was not unheard of.

If the stress inherent to refugee life did not lead them to contemplate suicide, at the least it extracted a tremendous price in terms of spent nerves. One émigré claimed that refugees had to "learn anew how to stand, walk, eat, sleep". A newcomer to America-Martin Gumpert said-was "at once dead-tired and excited". He complained that only a few grasped that

so tremendous a readjustment resembles a state of physical illness. Ignorance of the simplest customs and formalities, the difficulties of communication, uncertainty as to your own situation and worry about those for whom you are responsible-all these only serve to heighten your state of confusion.<329>

In addition to difficulties created by tension and insecurity, refugees' taxed states of mind further isolated them from the Americans among whom they found themselves. Preoccupied with problems in Europe, refugees often had too little time or energy to concentrate on aspects inherent to everyday life in America and at first likely had little in common with a "pleasant, busy, polite American community which seemed little concerned with the war-torn world" which refugees still felt very much a part.<330> Refugees "worried constantly" over the fates of relatives or friends still in Europe and over efforts to help them escape "before it was too late".

Such psychological strain induced character changes in many exiles. Himself one, Lion Feuchtwanger<331> held that "many refugees deteriorated" and referred to their "bad characteristics", which "in good times [were] hidden and guarded", but once pushed

into the light of day enveloped their good ones. Who had been cautious became cowardly, courageous criminal, thrifty miserly; generosity became a swindle. Most were self-obsessed, lost judgment and scale, no longer differientiated between the allowed and the not allowed-their misery became for them justification for every lack of restraint or arbitariness. They also became complaining and quarrelsome. Kicked out of secure conditions into insecure ones, they wriggled and became at the same time cheeky and servile, confrontational, demanding, all-knowing.<332>

Feuchtwanger compared such individuals to "fruits which one had torn too early from the tree-not ripe, rather dry and rancid".

Indeed, records reveal that not all Scattergood Hostel guests were well-behaved. Just as children project feelings of security and love onto their parents, so some of the refugees project their fears of inadequacy and reproach onto Scattergood Hostel's staff. Even after the Scheider family of Prague had left the hostel following a three-month stay, wife Rosa very much cared what her Scattergood "mother" thought of her. She wrote to Martha Balderston about one month after her lawyer husband Georg[e] took a job as a ski instructor at a resort in Maryland and moved Rosa and their 10-year-old son out East in late 1940. In a four-page, single-spaced missive, she reported the joys as well as frustrations of being once again a "family" of three and not 40, as at the hostel. At the end of her letter, the 30-something Spanish teacher admitted

we behaved very badly [at the hostel]. When George left...he excused himself that he had often done what he himself had known to be wrong. It seems to me we had to use all our energy to keep up our minds the 2 years long before we came to Scattergood. And there we had the feelings we could relax and nobody would blame us if we would behave like naughty children, who did not get up in time and did not do what they were supposed to do. We had the feeling of being with a very loving and understanding often abused the kindness and felt very guilty for it. But we hope our dear mother has understood however that we learned from her how to do our duty and how to overcome misfortune by helping other people who need help and encouragement.<333>

Rosa Scheider admitted her and her husband's "naughty" behavior; some hostel guests, however, preferred focusing on similar behavior in others. Not the only refugee to do so, Erhard Winter arrived at Scattergood Hostel with a sizeable chip on his shoulders. For one thing, he did not regard himself a refugee because-according to him-the term "entailed passivity, dependency, being a victim". Likewise, he did not consider himself a Jew-although his father was one-for he himself was uncircumcised, with no religious training nor inclinations. "For the most part" he found Jews at Scattergood "a whiny, complaining, smart-alecky bunch who were never satisfied", with whom he felt he had nothing in common, whom he disliked and with whom he "wished to have nothing to do. They were" in his opinion, "shirkers". He claimed:

Whenever...a tough or dirty job needed to be done, all the Jews disappeared and it ended up being done by staff or by one of the non-Jews. Many of the Jews at S.H. found its simple lifestyle and accommodations somehow demeaning; some expected staff to wait on them; few expressed gratitude, mostly they expressed irritation and self-pity.<334>

While Erhard Winter's views must be viewed through the scratched and distorted lens of a 17-year-old lad's deep wounds, other, perhaps less disturbed Scattergood guests also found the behavior of some of their fellow refugees unacceptable. Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan recalled five decades later that her parents were "embarrassed somewhat" by the

haughtiness and demanding behavior of a lot of the refugees who felt that since they had suffered something, everybody should hand them everything... I think that's one of the reasons why my parents tried to stay away from [other refugees] because they had somewhat different feelings about these things.<335>

Similarly, Ernst [Malamerson] van den Haag also kept his distance from other refugees-whom he said often felt cloaked disdain for one another. He claimed later in life that "on the whole" the refugees "disliked each other considerably". He was not "particularly interested in any of them", as he thought they were

psychologically anti-America [as] they felt-as a reaction to the strange and new culture, and to being deprived of whatever positions they had had in the past-a certain superiority in many, many respects. At the same time, they also doubted fully their ability to re-establish themselves, so they were all ambiguous. My own feeling of, not really dislike, but lack of interest in these people? ...I felt not superior, but that I was from a different social strata. And they? Well, each one felt that the other did not recognize his or her importance in view of their position.<336>

In addition to coping with the daily-life stresses of new biographies they still were in the process of crafting, refugees had to deal with remnants of the lives they had known-and with the memories of friends or family they had lost to the Nazis. Very much on the run-if not from hunting authorities, then from haunting memories-Boris Jaffe did not have an easy time at the hostel. The "mysterious Russian"<337> moved around the place at times almost ghostlike, lost weight, by day brooded and by night paced the Main Building's upstairs corridors. Placement director Giles Zimmerman's wife Lynn later recalled: "In the dead of night, I would hear him walking back and forth; I would go and walk with him".<338> Similiar dread over the fate of a family member also plagued Wilhelm Feist of Berlin, whose nine-year-old daughter Martina was "lost" in Belgium; while at Scattergood he tried in vain to locate her, but later succeeded only after having left the hostel. Like too many other refugees- especially, but not only Jewish ones-numerous Scattergood guests lost family in a Nazi death camp: Grete Rosenzweig a mother, Sigmund Seligmann/ Seaman his father and a sister, the Hackel family a daughter, sister and aunt, etc. True to the tough-upper-lip mentality of their generation, the refugees exhibited a "general reluctance to talk about their experiences", which young Camilla Hewson assumed was because "the memories were too painful".<339>

Perhaps as a socially sanctioned means of processing her experiences, upon reaching Scattergood Hostel Magda Shostal composed a 25-page account of her family's travails. Echoing the example of more famous émigrés,<340> she concluded it by writing about the ambivalence she felt regarding their fate:

I am well aware that all that happened to me was not the worst because there was a happy end: we are all together and safe in this country. But a great deal of our life and energy, even of our health, remains [in Europe] and we can't be as happy as we have reason to be, thinking of our friends who live there under terrible conditions. Sometimes I feel ashamed that we escaped.<341>

Ways in Which Scattergood Hostel Guests Differed from the Norm

In the 1930s Friends had as few members and "attenders" [the name given to those who attend meeting for worship but are now members] as they do today-roughly 300,000 worldwide. Still, Quakers were disproportionately active among those assisting Jews and others escape Nazi-occupied Europe. In their work they made contact with thousands of refugees-including some whose lives Scattergood Hostel later touched.<342> Katrin Winter, Sigmund Seligmann, Ernst Feibelman and Kaethe Aschkenes [pp. 34, 72 and 59-OHR] -to name four-all had contact with Quakers in Europe<343> before arriving in the U.S. and followed those leads upon landing on America's shore. There, in turn, they or members of their families found a welcome at Scattergood Hostel.

Another way in which refugees came to West Branch following their arrival in the U.S. consisted of AFSC screening applicants or of referrals seeking resettlement assistance. Once refugees had been interviewed and accepted, they had to await a free place as well as the means to pay for their stay at the hostel either through their own resources-were they so able-or through sponsorship from one of several organizations (Jewish, Catholic, Brethern, professional, etc.). The mere fact that they made it to Scattergood Hostel distinguished the Quakers' guests from the migrant masses: although thousands had made contact with AFSC in Europe, most refugees became lost to that organization over time. Instead, they relied on other agencies, relatives or their own fortune as they tried to find entry into American life. One might say, then, that the 185 guests who found haven at Scattergood Hostel belonged to a select group-but "select" in what sense?

From the "active file of several hundred people" with whom AFSC was in touch, Mary Rogers and those who assisted in selecting future residents for the hostel chose only certain individuals or families.<344> No documents telling of or individuals privy to AFSC's criteria survive.<345> The closest consists of John Rich's essay "Americanization Through Quaker Hostels", in which he offered merely a passing word concerning

how a refugee is selected for hostel residence. This is largely done in the [American Friends Service] Committee's New York office, in cooperation with the several refugee agencies. The general practice is for these agencies to recommend candidates.<346>

Other, more discriminating guidelines, though, might be assumed or deduced based on the sorts of refugees who ended up there. The merits of the first five guests to arrive, for example, are clear. Their mission consisted of readying the former school to open as soon as possible as a refugee hostel; each of the five men knew this and agreed to engage in strenuous work. Of them, Fritz Treuer-while reportedly a willing and contented field hand-had been lured from the East with promises of realizing agrarian dreams. He left with them as unmaterialized as when he arrived. Still, AFSC had precisely such would-be farmers like him in mind when it nurtured idealistic goal of establishing kibbutzim on the prairies. Once it dropped those plans it also quit choosing guests on the basis of their eagerness to push a plow.

In the early days some refugees asked to go to the hostel because they had no other prospects-or at least no compelling ones. Erhard Winter chose to accompany co-director-elect Anne Martin to Iowa as a lesser evil than that of remaining at his mother's boardinghouse in suburban Philadelphia to stoke the furnace and mow the lawn [p. 35-OHR]. Upon landing in America Hans Peters had lost his wife and his luck; at Scattergood Hostel he sought time to sort out his life and to set himself back on a track leading to somewhere where he wanted to go [p. 238-OHR]. Members of the Rosenzweig family ranged in age from almost 60 to barely 15, with little prospect of employment for any them; as daughter Irmgard later recalled, her parents went to "the Jewish committe that resettled people" and were told

in no uncertain terms that they had resettled enough people and they really weren't interested in people like my parents-my father was 50, plus-and they had enough people like that: New York was full of people like that. They sent them down the hall to the Friends Service Committee: [it was a] 'Try the next door' kind of approach.

The Quakers offered to send the Rosenzweigs to Scattergood Hostel, in a place of which they never had heard. They gave the family time to consider the idea, during which Louis and Grete Rosenzweig decided that they didn't want to be "a burden" to relatives living in New York. At any rate, they judged that they had "nothing to loose but everything to gain, and it was at that point that the decision was made". Irmgard Rosenzweig was sure they were "going to go where the lions and elephants were; I had no idea about 'Iowa'-people convinced me that it was safe, but...."<347>

Some Scattergood guests came only because those advising them saw no better other possibilities-as in the case of Ernst and Ilse Stahl, who were German-communist political refugees. Ilse Stahl remembered decades later that soon after arriving in the United States, American Quakers showed the couple pictures of Scattergood Hostel and she responded,

I didn't want to go; I didn't want to go... This gray-haired lady took my hand and said, 'That's the best you can [do]'. 'I don't want to go to the camp they showed! Let me sit here! Dump me in the water!' and things like this. Total hysterical-I mean, I was just finished with everything. If you would know how we came on the boat, you would not wonder. We were over two weeks on the boat... [Ernst] didn't feel too good, but he wanted to calm me down: I was out of my senses. I didn't want food...and everybody could see-I was 82 pounds weight: that was much too little for me... But I was absolutely dormant. Finally, 'Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay'...<348>

Although Martha Balderston once explained that the hostel "obviously [does] not want wish to accept...anyone who for fundamental reasons has not been placeable elsewhere",<349> apparently often those were exactly the cases the hostel received. At least that was so with Max and Rosa Schiffman, whose hostel involvement began when Scattergood received the following telegram:

New York office American Friends Committee suggests sending families to you. We are referring Max Schiffman 52 storekeeper, wife 50 housewife. Speak little English. Have no funds. Sabbath observers. Please wire Western Union when couple may be sent.<350> Arthur Fishzohn NRS Seattle, Washington

To which Balderston replied:

Assume NRS supports Schiffmans. Need confirmation and more detail. Sabbath observance possible but cannot furnish Kosher food. What placement plans in mind? Send details airmail.<351>

The Schiffmans ultimately stayed at the hostel on three separate occasions. They were not, however, the only ones to leave Scattergood and return following unsuccessful placements. To that list belongs also the Winklers and a dozen other, unmarried guests. Despite Balderston's protest, it seems that some AFSC staff in Philadelphia thought that sending difficult-to-place or troubled individuals to a rustic setting "for a few weeks or months to recover a little"<352> wouldn't do any harm. At times such staff exhibited rather flippant attitudes about the sorts of individuals being sent to Scattergood. AFSC staff member Jean Reynolds was "delighted" that local communities which had received former hostel guests thought they might relieve New York City of "some of the halt and the lame"; she assumed that AFSC would receive

more referrals of people who have health problems, are insecure emotionally for one reason or another, need a tremendous amount of encouragement, interest, etc. The [refugee-assistance] committees are coming to think of the hostels more for the use of such people where they can find themselves and then perhaps take a firmer grip on things and get established in this country.<353>

Reynolds then betrayed her true bias concerning the role of the proposed chain of sixteen AFSC-sponsored refugee hostels planned but never completed. She assumed they might be used primarily to help refugees adjust to the "fact" that

they have to make further adjustments before they can finally settle down with any degree of success. Just as Cedar Rapids [Jewish agency workers sent] Philip Weiss to learn English and then took him back with the responsibility of placing him, so I think people might be sent from New York to pull themselves together, as it were, and then move on to a local community which will be responsible for the placement.<354>

Not an inspiring function, Scattergood seems to have served at times as dumping grounds for refugees unable to find their way in America on their own or whom other agencies felt unable to help. Despite what Balderston and perhaps other staff at the hostel wished, at least a number of AFSC staff in Philadelphia willingly accepted and sent on to Iowa refugees who had serious handicaps and few other possibilities. If those individuals thought the AFSC program in Iowa could accommodate such cases without determent and transform, the results suggest otherwise.

Of course, not all of the refugees arriving at Scattergood came under such conditions or else the hostel never would have succeeded at all. A further criteria consisted of selecting individuals who might flourish beyond the East Coast-in other words, good candidates for adjusting to the essentially rural Midwest. One could see this as a process of self-selection, for those refugees who agreed to leave the cosmopolitan bustle of Eastern cities departed sharply from the norm. Like Lotte Liebman, they might have expected "everything would be simple and not very comfortable",<355> yet overcame initial hesitations and tried anyway-whether out of bravery or desperation. While the majority of refugees clung to Eastern urban centers, Scattergood guests set out into the "real" America-a move which indicated willingness to assimilate; New York would have offered plenty of chances to hide in German-speaking enclaves and more distractions from personal, existential travails than quiet Iowa.

Visiting an Iowa Scattergood Committee executive board meeting, Mary Rogers outlined factors she saw as inhibiting refugees from venturing west to Scattergood Hostel:

  1. It is very hard for some Europeans to forget the cast [sic] system. They dislike the idea of all classes living together.
  2. Some think they would rather live in homes than in a Hostel group.
  3. Jealousy among church groups in sending their people to a Friend's Hostel.
  4. Fear that staff members may be too young and unskilled to teach them.
  5. Fear of having to stay too long before placement.<356>

Once those who AFSC could entice to sojourn at Scattergood had arrived, the Friends in charge strove to make their guests feel rested and at home. To ensure those ends, both AFSC and hostel staff adopted corresponding policies.

Official Quaker Policies Regarding the Treatment of Guests

From the very beginning, AFSC and Iowa Quakers wanted the refugees they sponsored to thrive. They also wanted those involved superficially with the hostel to be supportive. Shortly before the first five guests appeared mid April 1939, Sara Pemberton wrote Reed Cary: "As [their arrival] in a certain sense marks the real initiation of the Hostel, we certainly hope that those who come may be congenial with all concerned".<357>

Their desire to show their first guests a hearty welcome and the novelty of having European refugees in their midst led Iowa Friends to pamper the newly arrived émigrés. A reporter at the scene the night of the guests' arrival described how they enjoyed "trays of Iowa farm food which Quaker housewives offered to [the] wanderers far from their homes".<358> This indulgence, though, only encouraged the likes of Erhard Winter to charge that some of his fellow refugees were "shirkers", etc. As the newness of the situation faded and additional guests increased the number of mouths to be fed and clothes to be washed, however, the hostel staff soon learned to delegate work to their guests.

Who should cook or clean, however, constituted a very different matter than how the refugees should be prepared for their imminent departures from the artificial environment of Scattergood Hostel and entries into American society-particularly in terms of the world of work. Within two months of the hostel's opening, acting director John Kaltenbach observed a tendency among the staff to do what he saw as "'too much' for our 'hostages'". He suspected that many of the refugees expected to start their American careers

at the top of the pile, to transfer to this country and take up at the same place they left off over there. Whether we would like this to be or not, John Q. American has different ideas, and a number of refugees are in for a prolonged bump. If we can bump them first and do it gently, we may be doing them a greater service than we would by treating them with kid gloves.<359>

At least one refugee agreed with this assessment: upon receiving word of the hostel's closing, former guest Charles Bukovis (née Karl Buchowitz) wrote to Josephine and John Copithorne with "deep regret" over the hostel's closure, as he had hoped that Scattergood might have proved to be

an eternal refuge [where] there were still a few persons interested in one's matters and that you only have to apply to them in order to get advice or help. In any case you have done there a magnificent job, sometimes...even a too good one because you pampered us refugees too much and considered us persons worth of more help and consideration than average people. In fact we refugees having escaped the murderous atmosphere of Europe are just plain people to be envied since we are living in the most wonderful country of the world and this one who does not get along here or at least tries hard as he can is just a good for nothing.<360>

Two and a half years later, placement director Giles Zimmerman continued to argue from a perspective similar to John Kaltenbach's-that of honestly assessing refugees' skills and potentials in regards to the American job scene, then telling the guests that "truth", even if painful. He specifically referred to "grand people" who lacked a "great deal to offer in a commercial way", by which he meant abilities which "attract immediately". Zimmerman thought that one of such people's greatest handicaps was their

improper mental attitude and an exaggerated opinion of themselves and a lack of understanding of opportunities in various communities. All this could be learned, but it will keep one advisor more than busy and I fear that [the program] will not get the proper results as quickly as [planned]. Then, the good American public, while very interested in these persons, often encourage these improper attitudes through lack of understanding. Encouraging them into fields where some of us know they can not fit, making a fuss over them, when what they really need is a frank understanding and explanation of possibilities and limitations.<361>

Perhaps in an effort to help the refugees appreciate "reality", in 1941 the staff decided to encourage them to attend at least two days of the Grinnell Institute of International Relations and they anticipated "a psychological benefit to the Germans if they pay the $1 registration fee".<362>

The staff knew that its guests would leave the hostel soon enough. Its concern for their well-being, however, didn't stop once they left the front gate for the last time. Giles Zimmerman-for one-sought Jean Reynolds' advice on what to do in the event of placing National Refugee Service clients with non-Jewish groups "and vice versa, and what happens in breakdowns".<363> She replied that in that event, he should notify a local NRS area director that a placement had been made in such a community; in turn, that person would notify the local group in charge of a specific community. Reynolds explained that the U.S. was "covered" by such local committees, even though they were

not located in every community. Therefore, a person would be covered by some local group. I don't know what procedure you have worked out with the Area Director about a person's applying to a local group should he [or she] lose [a] job. I think the individual would be told where [to] go in the event that any problems arise, loss of job, sickness, or whatever.<364>

Still, staff members could not anticipate every situation which might arise once hostel guests had moved on to new lives. As it was, the staff had other matters to consider-namely, the guests still living at Scattergood. For all their skills and deficiencies, enthusiasm and exhaustion, the staff remained the core resource behind the entire Scattergood Hostel program. Without them, nothing.

Chapter 5 Scattergood Hostel's Staff

While it consisted mostly of energetic, idealistic young people with diverse interests, Scattergood Hostel's staff suffered from a lack of diversity. Difficulties in conducting extensive recruitment-given first the Depression-borne desire to find secure longterm employment and later the workforce's wartime disruption-ensured that Anglo, mostly middle-class new graduates dominated the staff roster. Given its lopsided demographics, the Scattergood staff's ultimate performance must be assessed in terms of how its composition affected the hostel's overall performance. The following review of relevant aspects of staff composition-organized by categories-examines strengths and weaknesses found in each.

Religious Affiliation

Even if supported heartily by individuals of other denominations-such as Methodist pastor James Gable of West Branch or Congregationalist pastor David Nelson Beach of Minneapolis, Minnesota-Scattergood Hostel clearly arose through Friends' initiative and remained a Quaker project throughout its existence. At the same time, the five non-Quakers on the staff (all of whom later became "convinced" Friends) could not have provided its guests with a well-rounded view of the American religious landscape, given that each came from heritages or convictions sympathetic to a Quaker Weltanschauung.

A staff more representative of American society would have included- for instance-fundamentalist Protestants, Catholics more mainstream than "worldly" Lynn Zimmerman,<365> convinced atheists and, obviously, Jews. The glaring absence of Jews on the Scattergood staff did not facilitate sensitivity to the cultural backgrounds or future needs of many hostel guests. Still worse, records suggest that those in charge of personnel even discouraged Jews from joining the staff-as in the case of Esther Levine.

Key parts of the relevant correspondence are missing, but from what remains it is disappointing at the least that an applicant's "race" influenced her being rejected as possible staff. The scandal spreads when one considers the bogus concept of Jews constituting a separate "race"-or that such absurd ideas seeping out of the Nazis' toxic Rassenkunde found receptive audience in American society, too. Still, as reported by Martha Balderston, an enthusiastic would-be volunteer named Esther Levine was voted by the "whole family" as

' not fitting into the picture' altho she felt she understood just how they felt and could fit into any job we had to be done. I did not want to decide on a race basis but that did enter in to our consideration of the proposition; Giles [Zimmerman] had just discovered more anti-Scattergood feeling in the neighborhood than we had been aware of.<366>

"Anti-Scattergood feeling" may have meant "anti-Semitic feeling". If so, Levine might have been the victim of Friends' own fears of seeming too "pro-Jewish". Unlike Northeastern cities and Southern backwoods, Iowa never has had a reputation for being rabidly anti-Semitic: why, then, were Quakers at the hostel so sensitive to this issue? And why did they exhibit such contradictory behaviors-first going to incredible lengths to save European Jews, then acting apologetically about those people's ethnicity? This unexplained schizophrenia showed itself in various aspects of hostel life. While the staff taxied practicing guests of any faith to church or synagogue in West Branch or Iowa City-for example-only once was a Jewish religious ceremony reported to have been held at the hostel.<367> Were the Jews among the exiles really so non-observant or did the Scattergood staff fail to accommodate fully and on-goingly non-Quaker religious observance? At least sources do confirm that the Friends did not proselytize nor press their guests to attend Sunday meeting for worship.<368>

At the same time, Scattergood Hostel did try repeatedly to facilitate greater understanding between refugees and native-born Americans. State University of Iowa professor and refugee Kurt Lewin-for instance-shared his "experiences in adjusting to American life, hoping they might be of help to others" in the form of a special lecture in which he spoke about "fundamental differences between life in the old Germany" and life in the Midwest. At one point AFSC executive Clarence Pickett emphasized to Sara Pemberton the importance of interpreting "our life and thought to Jewish groups whenever we can".<369> On the occasion of receiving a sizeable contribution from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Pickett maintained Quakers were already

deeply indebted, as Christians, for the way in which Jews have helped us to carry on our work, but it is because of the common purpose to serve the needs of humanity, that many of us share, that we venture to offer this opportunity of cooperation.<370>

Sincere gratitude, cooperation or attempts to expand understanding between various groups, however, did not compensate for the lack of a truly integrated hostel staff.


As cited, young adults comprised most of the Scattergood staff. When those young adults committed faux pas, older Friends at the hostel or AFSC's Philadelphia office rarely scolded-except in the case of Mildred Holmes and her mis-stated appeal for affiants. Indeed, elders involved with the Scattergood project also made great efforts to explain away John Kaltenbach's age-blamed indiscretions or human-relations blunders. In general, then, older staff members-in West Branch and Philadelphia-seem to have appreciated the prevailing presence of youth among them. With, that is, one exception.

On 1 July 1941 Sara Pemberton wrote to John Rich concerning "the very serious problem" of bringing in "young girls just out of High School" and

keeping them there more than a few weeks. I think that a few weeks for these girls may have many advantages. Their youth and their lack of ability does something to put new life and encouragement into the Germans who are also learning, and it often relieves the American staff of many little odd jobs or errands. But on the other hand, the girls soon learn to take advantage of their age and the work or lack of work (which they are willing to undertake) makes it become a play house for them.

Remarkably, except for two cases (this and involving John Kaltenbach), out of the thousands of surviving pages of Scattergood Hostel documents, not a single comment or reference suggests any criticism of staff members because of their age. To the contrary, guests wrote glowing assessments of their young hosts. Lucy Selig thanked the staff, who she said "not only...stand behind us and give us back the confidence in life and human beings that we have lost by the experiences of the last years [but also offer] a new sense of life if we only are willing to understand their way of living".<371> At their young age, the staff didn't do this by dipping into years' worth of experience, but, rather, simply by being their vibrant, dedicated selves. And vibrancy they had, for as former volunteer staff member Robert Berquist later explained, Scattergood's was a volunteer staff consisting mostly of "idealistic young people [for] in the early years of the [AFSC], they put great stress on volunteer service. People would take a year or several months to work in various relief projects".<372>


The young staff might have been inspiring models of American ways of living and full of idealistic vitality. They were not, however, adequate models of American professionals. Of the eight staff members age 30 or over, three had been homemakers, two teachers, two boarding-school caretakers and-to use a contemporary term-one an activist. Even though Scattergood guests toured dairies and butcher shops, woolen mills and newspaper-publishing sites as part of the hostel's education program, they did not "rub shoulders" in an in-depth way with professionals. They heard visiting lecturers speak about contemporary issues and often sat with those individuals at dinner; deeper, on-going contact, however, went begging.

Scattergood Hostel could have arranged the presence of experienced professionals among the refugees as it strove to prepare them for entry into the work world. Mimicking internships or resident artists programs common in private schools, it might have invited lawyers, engineers, business people, secretaries, those engaged in health-care, etc., to live temporarily at the hostel or even in nearby West Branch. Whether for a long weekend, a fortnight or a season, such individuals could have given presentations on conditions in their fields, answered questions of guests who wished to pursue corresponding careers or offered advice on points which their audience even could not foresee. As it was, despite dedicated job placement efforts the staff simply lacked the experience to offer adequate practical professional assistance to its guests.


Robert Cory-one of the hostel's several education directors-knew that he and his peers suffered from important professional deficiencies. Toward the end of his ten-month stay he wrote a "personal letter" to Mary Rogers, as he felt worried about Scattergood's English-teaching program:

I have had to disillusion several Europeans by explaining that we do not have any experienced language teachers and that our theory is based on the idea that Europeans will learn by living with Americans. Still many of them are dissatisfied and I myself have not been satisfied with the results we are getting.<373>

He conceded: "What we need in Scattergood is a professionally trained director of English teaching-but I know that such a rare bird would be impossible to catch within the net of our budget". As Robert Berquist later saw it, at that time AFSC staff in Philadelphia "getting organized more as they are at the present time, with professionally trained people-at least as the directors of the various sections-but at that time, they still depended a lot on volunteers, people who took time".<374> Despite indications to the contrary, however, Berquist thought that "for the most part" staff seemed "really very 'wise' or very mature in their approach to the refugees. Most of us were fairly young" he noted, "but that doesn't mean that we weren't fairly mature, as well. [We were] self-selective just because of concern and interest.<375>

The volunteers may have been "self-selective", but good intentions and a genuine willingness to serve do not automatically suffice in serving victims of acute trauma and are in need of competent help. If it weren't bad enough that all but eight of the volunteers came to Scattergood with little job experience, the lack of organized orientation or professional training while engaged at the hostel only worsened what already had begun to be a decisive weakness in the staff's overall constitution. Not offered what presently are known as "in-service training sessions" and "staff retreats", it was uncertain that individuals who comprised the staff could improve their knowledge or technique while working at the hostel.<376> They had too many daily distractions to polish their lacking professionalism; stress also extracted a heavy toll.

Visitors who spent time at Scattergood could sense the effects of stress, both on the staff and the guests. The former's effectiveness and patience wore thin from too much to do in too little time-with the latter suffering the results. During her stay at the hostel in spring 1942, short-term visitor Gertrude King wrote to tell Mary Rogers that she thought there should be more free time for refugees and staff alike, when they might

sit outside enjoying the sun and the quiet and when they can take it easy. Perhaps a trip to hear some music would be relaxing. Then I believe that is it absolutely essential that the staff meet to discuss things as they do usually on Mondays, but also to compare notes on teaching of English; and that they should have time away from Scattergood every week. They tend to get tired and irritable and this sometimes affects the Europeans adversely. Also Scattergood is more or less isolated and so all the problems take on a larger size. Of course the transportation problem makes this difficult but some way should be found for them to have time off. They tend to feel that they aren't achieving anything and the Europeans...feel that there is too much manual labor.<377>


If the Scattergood staff did not represent a diversity of work experience, it certainly didn't reflect the multi-ethnic composition of American society. The little diversity present consisted mostly of Irish-born Canadian John "Shaun" Copithorne; at least Walter Shostal found that "Scattergood would not have been the same interesting and positive place without him".<378> Besides Copithorne's Canadian-born wife and a British short-term volunteer, the other 45 staff members were all white, Anglo Americans. This being the case, how did Friends expect to expand the refugees' understanding of and sensitivity to the history and contemporary needs of non-whites in the context of the multi-ethnic United States if all discussions about such groups remained purely theoretical? The hostel staff did organize programs-usually in the form of [presumably white "liberal"] university lecturers-but is not recorded as having taken guests to the Mesquakie Native American settlement in Tama, to Cedar Rapids' African American or Czech neighborhoods, or to China Town in Chicago. The closest semblance of an outing to an "ethnic community" consisted of taking guests each spring toGerman-speaking Amana colonies!

The lack of sensitivity to issues of ethnic diversity had very much to do with Iowa's predominately white-Anglo ethnic composition, which in 1940 comprised 99.3% of the state's total population of 2,520,691, with .6% consisting of "Negroes" and .03% consisting of "other".<379> By 1990 the situation was little different, with white-Anglos comprising 96.6% of the state's total population of 2,829,252, followed by 1.7% consisting of "African-American", 1.2% consisting of "Hispanic" and .26% of "Native-American".<380> Before various alternative movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s altered popular awareness, most Americans assumed their country to be above all a "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" one; during the hostel's existence, many of the future proponents of "multi-culturalism" had not yet been born.

At the time, AFSC's idea of diversity consisted of recruiting local volunteers as Scattergood staff. Reed Cary wrote to Sara Pemberton to emphasize the desirability of having the population of Iowa

represented among the young volunteers at Scattergood... Of course, here in the East we are not acquainted with the merits of Iowa young Friends, and I am wondering whether thee would not be willing to look into this matter and send us thy suggestions.<381>

Pemberton responded:

I am very much interested in the volunteer workers at Scattergood, and think that if these guests are to be permanently placed in the middle west, it might be quite well to have some of the helpers from this part of the country.<382>

Despite Friends' assumption that the origins of the hostel's staff would be key to the refugees' understanding of American-or Midwestern-life, the make-up of American society in general would be most important. All of the Europeans at Scattergood had urban, educated backgrounds: they may have seen-for example-black people before arriving in the United States, yet presumably few had experienced the degree of ethnic diversity within one society which they would find as "New Americans". Unfortunately, their Quaker hosts did not prepare them enough for that later exposure. Even if they benefitted from a sense of close community at the hostel, that community was not ethnically diverse. A vital key to understanding the refugees' new culture, then, went wholly unprovided.

Chapter 6 Scattergood Hostel's Community

The sense of community which arose out of the interactions between guests and staff helped or hindered guest rehabilitation and integration or assimilation. The community spirit which developed at Scattergood, however, was not the only relevant sense of "community". Quaker or non-Quaker neighbors-farmers and West Branch inhabitants-as well as individuals from farther afield deeply affected the hostel's mood, activities, goals and effectiveness, both for good and for ill. In the first case refers to an "intentional community", the second to a geographical one.

Community Spirit within the Hostel

As documented at length in Chapter 8 of OHR, Scattergood staff, guests and visitors all recognized a special spirit at the hostel. Still, as Lucy Selig attested, it was "not easy to talk about Scattergood because Scattergood means a certain spirit, a certain sphere, a certain attitude. Scattergood based on community life".<383> Not merely a center where émigrés could find a bed and blackboard, Scattergood Hostel evolved into a colorful, extended community. Technically created as a program for refugee rehabilitation and integration or assimilation, Richard Schuber saw Scattergood as

no abode of retraining in the conventional sense. It is a retraining, a transformation, of souls. Restless ones become peaceable, imperfect ones enriched, heavy-laden and burdened ones free men [and women], asocial ones contributing. An invisible clockwork is running, into which each little wheel can finally be built in. Quietly and imperceptibly a good spirit lives and moves in Scattergood, and everybody becomes woven in. Those being unwilling, incredulous, skeptical, become collaborators, believers, affirmers.<384>

Following the refugees' departures, many experienced Heimweh for the hostel. As Rosa "Mimi" Scheider saw it, they were "at home at Scattergood" even after they had left it, for there the refugees felt they could

relax and nobody would blame us if we would behave like naughty children, who did not get up in time and did not do what they were supposed to do. We had the feeling of being with a very loving and understanding mother, who spoils her children because she knows that they would soon leave her and have a hard time to go thru.<385>

Visitors confirmed the guests' special sense of Scattergood. Fellow exile and short-term visitor Vita Stein was "very impressed" by the "fine spirit and the peaceful atmosphere everywhere". She felt privileged

to share this spirit and to learn from the Friends how to live the supreme truth of life. We struggling and persecuted people are sometimes in danger to lose our belief in humanity. An experience like Scattergood helps to regain the belief that 'God created man in His own image'.<386>

After calling upon the hostel for a visit, AFSC's Mary Rogers praised

the spirit of helpfulness and understanding, the belief in the right of human beings to be different and to contribute to the common good from that very diversity of belief and of culture... The spirit of dedication of those who started Scattergood has been carried on by many since then and the splendid part of this heritage is that it is a cooperative product. Neither Americans nor Europeans could have created alone this new entity, this Scattergood.<387>

Rogers continued in a spiritual-philosophical vein:

When huge forces seem to be blocking out those things in which we believe so intensely the value of a small demonstration of another way of life is increased. One candle shining in a lighted room may be passed over, but a candle in a darkened room becomes of great moment... If our candle is burning low we can be grateful for this demonstration of the way of light.<388>

Not everyone had endless praise for the community-spirit said to abound at Scattergood. One guest who perceived a lack of community at the hostel was Ernst Malamerson, who-perhaps projecting-maintained that the refugees themselves, "on the whole, disliked each other considerably".<389> He noted that he himself was not "particularly interested" in any of them and thought them

psychologically anti-America. If you had asked them they certainly would have said they were grateful, pleased and so on. And they were; that was also true. But they felt- as a reaction to the strange and new culture, and to being deprived of whatever positions they had had in the past-a certain superiority to them in many respects. At the same time they doubted fully their ability to re-establish themselves, so were ambiguous.<390>

And Malamerson's own feeling of-if not disdain-of "lack of interest in these people"? As he explained it, they were mostly older than he, as well as being

from a different social strata-middle-class notions and things like that. And I felt, not superior, but that I was from a different social strata. And they? Well, each one felt that the other did not recognize his or her importance in view of their position.<391>

Regarding a sense of community at the hostel per se, Malamerson thought that while the Quakers "tried very hard to form a community", they "didn't really succeed" because the refugees "were Europeans and to form a new community would be for them psychologically to renounce-to finally renounce totally-their European status. And that was a struggle for them". According to him the refugees at Scattergood didn't form a true community, although they pretended to-"partly to please the staff and partly because, well, there was nothing [else] you could do".<392>

Similarly, as an adult Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan looked back on her childhood experience at Scattergood Hostel and assessed that for at least from her family's point-of-view, relations among the refugees seemed less-than-ideal. As she freely acknowledged, though, the Lichtensteins were not

overly friendly with the other refugees. We didn't really have that much in common with [them:] just by virtue of being refugees thrown together didn't mean we had really anything in common. We were in a new country; we were not really interested in establishing any kind of relationships with the older ones. I am not sure if it was deliberate or not, but...the people that we kept in touch with, they were all staff.<393>

When asked for further explanation why her parents largely avoided the other refugees, Morgan added that they felt "somewhat" embarrassed by the

haughtiness and demanding behavior of a lot of the refugees who felt that since they had suffered something, that everybody should hand them everything and [they] were also going out of their way to use the language, which must have been frightening to some of the native population. I think that's one of the reasons why my parents tried to stay away from [other exiles] because they had different feelings about these things.<394>

While the presence or lack of community spirit seems debatable and different from the perspective of then as opposed to of today, Scattergood Hostel remains unique among more-traditional, less-idealistic comparable projects. If nothing else, its inherent promise of social witness and action distinguished it from other refugee programs. Hostel staff member John Kaltenbach hoped that some of the "permanent" aspects of the hostel would be felt "throughout the community", for at Scattergood Quaker

worship and service ideals have been given a geographical focus, which, augmented by the contributions of spirit which have come from a suffering Europe, has raised a powerful witness to meet the condition of our time. It will be good if Scattergood can continue its place as a home for troubled souls and a refuge for all in need, at the same time developing the power so many of us have found there as a continued training center for the life of the spirit.<395>

If Scattergood Hostel's mission consisted partly of rehabilitating the refugees who came looking for a safe haven in which to rebuild shattered lives, any sense of community it offered them went a long way in helping do that. In terms of providing a quiet, caring environment, Scattergood Hostel excelled. As with most strengths, however, this dynamic also contained inherent weaknesses. As John Kaltenbach and Giles Zimmerman alluded,[4.3] "kid-gloving" the guests ultimately did more harm than good. At what point did the presence of a nourishing community stop equipping the refugees with a means to salvage what remained of their former lives and start disarming their determination to construct new ones?

Life at Scattergood could be very comfortable-perhaps too comfortable. Of course healthy, adjusted adults seek autonomy. Still, at the hostel those who had known so much hardship and often deprivation found a tranquil daily life, plenty of rich food, an entertaining program of cultural and social events, nice staff to tend to details, agreeable neighbors and more. Lest a number of their guests would stay too long and grow too dependent on the hostel, the staff had to strike and maintain a fine balance between making the refugees cozy and knowing when subtly to nudge them toward their futures. That balance did not prevail in every case; as previously cited, sixteen guests stayed at Scattergood repeatedly and while the average stayed just under four months, a number of them remained at the hostel longer than a year.

Outside Sentiment Toward the Hostel

Regardless how long they stayed, each of the refugees constituted "those foreigners" living in isolation in the midst of Middle America. The volunteers watching over them remained well aware of the special status their charges held in the local community and fully realized that in the day-to-day problems of the hostel, community support could be "invaluable". Neighbors would

drop in with baskets of peaches or apples. Invitations come from across the state for a refugee to spend a week-end with an American family, play an instrument in an amateur orchestra or address a public meeting. These natural opportunities for fellowship are priceless aids to exiles endeavoring to regain a sense of belonging to the people amongst whom they live.<396>

Thus the Scattergood Hostel staff practiced flexible restraint in responding to outside events and influences. Both, however, often were more numerous and threatening than admitted publicly.<397> On various occasions the hostel and AFSC's staff responded to or worried about negative impressions outsiders might have had of their refugee program. A few of the incidences which arose out of outsiders' resentment or rumor-mongering warrant retelling here:

Before it ever opened the hostel received a cautious reception from some of its neighbors-Quaker and otherwise. This contributed to great sensitivity on the part of some of those in charge to changes in public opinion regarding the project. Just four days after the first hostel guests arrived, Sara Pemberton reassured AFSC's Homer Morris that local opinion was rallying around the project:

Some very pleasant things happen sometimes. Thy last letter came at a very opportune time. We...have often said to each other, 'Homer Morris told us in the beginning that we would have many problems.' We have already had some of them but with prayer and endeavor not to rush things too much, we are still proceeding, also gaining the support of some of our strongest opposers in the beginning.<398>

Elsewhere in her letter, however, Pemberton hoped that he might return to the Midwest "some time in the not far distant" and visit the Quaker community at Whittier, Iowa, as Scattergood as a school already had been

so much a part of the people there both older and younger, we are afraid they are dwelling too much on sentiment and maybe losing sight of the vision of service, and benefits to ourselves in the present work at Scattergood. [Still] most of the people in this neighborhood are so closely connected with the work, that we feel our opposition even in the [local] community is gradually breaking down.

It must have been breaking down very gradually, for shortly thereafter the hostel's executive board recommended "checking some of the publicity, which we feel has been a detriment to the hostel".<399> The report did not indicate if the project's image needed management for the sake of the Quaker or non-Quaker public. By late July 1939 at any rate, John Kaltenbach was worried about of the former. Following the debacle with Albert Martin's ill-received directorship [pp.113-118-OHR], he informed Reed Cary that on that very morning he had discovered a "bug in the ointment" in regards to Scattergood Hostel's

future relations to Iowa Friends [while conferring with two Conservative Yearly Meeting members] about money for wiring, insulation and outside painting. They both feel that there will not be another penny forthcoming from this group and that there is little hope in appealing to them in any connection before Yearly Meeting time [in October] at the earliest.<400>

It seems the "reverberations" from the director-centered drama which had played out at Scattergood "hit harder in some quarters" than staff excpected or were willing to admit. Kaltenbach resigned himself to beginning again, as he felt that "all of the groundwork which we laid at the outset has been plowed up in the interim and we shall have to sow our seed all over again. I look forward to a fall and winter of rebuilding and realigning the support".<401>

Despite the hostel staff's best efforts, however, sentiment in the larger community toward the hostel was not always positive. Floyd Fawcett, a nearby Quaker farmer and member of the local Scattergood Committee, recalled over five decades later that a common first reaction to the announcement of the hostel's creation consisted of individuals exclaiming

' Well, they're sending all these people out here to take our jobs and they're gonna give them money to buy our farms' and all this. And that was the 'anti-' sentiment that was in a certain part of [the community]. You know, you can't go into a small community of 700 and bring a hostel in within two miles and not have a little [resentment, which] died out pretty soon because people realized that the people who came out here were profes-sional people. I mean, they were doctors, attorneys-people that wouldn't farm; that would be the last thing in the world they would do. But the first reaction [regarding] bringing all these people...from New York City that had been some in concentration camps and all that and bring them out in the Midwest. [As] I look back, I think it was probably harder for those people to be brought out into the corn country, out here in completely different surroundings than they'd been used to. We were pretty corny out here at that time.<402>

Regardless of its neighbors' degree of acceptance, by December 1940 Scattergood faced a public relations crisis much bigger than that created by the brief presence of controversial Albert Martin as hostel director. A core group centered around a certain Mrs. Dilling had taken upon itself the task of exposing "communists" and other "un-American" elements in the local area. An alarmed Martha Balderston wrote to Mary Rogers:

There seems to be a fresh outbreak of the 'FBI arresting two spies at Scattergood' stories, and so far as I can tell, they originate in [nearby] Tipton. The other day Carl Mather, a lawyer in Tipton and Chairman of the county peace group, asked me about these stories. I told him we had decided the less we said about them the better, but it was for friends of Scattergood such as he to help us by denying them. About the same time Mrs. Davidson [a hostel friend from Stanwood, Iowa] wrote to [staff] Marjorie Edwards. [In turn, Scattergood Committee executive board member] Jay Newlin wrote a letter about the stories to Jim Jordan, the Iowa City representative of the Des Moines Register. This brought Jim right out here to know what was what. He has always been very friendly and loyal to Scattergood and, we feel, sincerely interested so I think we are in a strong position with the newspapers. I know there are one or two persons in Tipton who are rabid supporters of Mrs. Dilling and her 'red net-work', and I suspect they are at the bottom of these stories. The stories seem to be the same in every case.<403>

At least, every time such charges "sprang up", the staff noticed "an increased number of invitations to speak to worthwhile groups".

Balderston's letter followed one sent to Mary Rogers by William Davidson of Stanwood, Iowa, in which he claimed that there was "so much opposition" to the refugees at Scattergood that he felt compelled "clear up some of it if I had some exact information".<404> Asking first for a list of AFSC work-camps and "what they did in the last two years", he noted that "some people think the A.F.S.C. only does kind deeds for Foreigners". He inquired about the quotas for immigrants from Germany and "the countries she controlls [sic]" as well. He concluded his letter, saying that if Rogers mentioned in her reply any AFSC or Scattergood Hostel efforts which were

recognized or encouraged by our government I would be glad. Someone suggested that perhaps the Philadelphia office did not know what was going on out at Scattergood. What do you have to say about that. I want more information to use when people speak unkindly of Scattergood or the A.F.S.C.

In her reply, Rogers expressed interest in Davidson's comment that "there is opposition in Iowa" to the hostel, but said she had expected some "criticism",

as there always is of everything and particularly at this time when Fifth Column hysteria is growing so rapidly... Frequently it is a good thing to take some of the people who are so critical over to the hostel and introduce them to the refugees. When they see the type of people they are and learn what they have suffered, I think they have an entirely different point of view. Many of the refugees can teach us Christianity in the way in which they have met the inhumanity of men toward them.<405>

Rogers attached the following note to copies of William Davidson's letter which she sent to Martha Balderston, as she was unsure how extensive the actual criticism was which he mentioned

nor how far away he lives from you but perhaps you can invite him over and perhaps he may be able to bring one of the chief objectors with him... Where do your groups come from who are visiting Scattergood for week ends? If we can win some of the young people over to the idea they may be able to meet the objections which their elders seem to have so much difficulty in overcoming.<406>

If American adults distrusted European adults, it seems that the children of the former had a much easier time trusting the children of the latter. Asked if she had sensed any prejudice while attending the West Branch elementary school as a child refugee at Scattergood Hostel, Ilse "Elizabeth" [Seligmann/Seaman] Chilton responded: "If there was feeling against refugee children, I was certainly unaware of it" In fact, she found the teachers and other children at the school to be "friendly and helpful". Her fellow refugee Gunther "George" Krauthamer did, too. He felt "astonished" by

how kindly the other pupils [at the West Branch school] acted towards me. Coming into a new school in Europe, it was very difficult to be considered one of them. The first days they usually treated the new pupil as badly as possible. I was very afraid it would be the same here, and how different it turned out.<407>

Krauthamer felt "doubtless" that he would "like it much better in an American school". Also doubtless was that "school" had begun really the day he and his family arrived at Scattergood, where a comprehensive program incorporated many aspects of daily life into the refugee's rehabilitation and preparation.

Chapter 7 Scattergood Hostel's Work, Education and Freetime Programs

Seen in the context of Scattergood Hostel's daily life, the areas of work, education and freetime provided a major vehicle for the program's efforts to rehabilitate and integrate or assimilate its guests. Each area contained aspects of both success and ineffectiveness. The most representative of those aspects must be examined in the context of the underlying goal of the hostel: to prepare recovering refugees for life in a new country with often unfamiliar customs, norms, values, expectations and ways of living.


The division of labor at Scattergood Hostel among refugees and staff offered the guests a diversion from months if not years of emotional strain or -paradoxically-forced idleness. Richard Schuber, for example, celebrated what he described as an "opportunity to spend our time with people and things after a day's work which has been done under no pressure and coercion".<408> Fellow Scattergood guest Lucy Selig went farther, explaining that there was "no sharp distinction" between American staff members and the refugees, as

all share in the tasks of lectures, household and fields... In the very beginning of the Hostel it was difficult to...train city people to work in the fields. Because until now the Refugees were using their heads too much and their hands too little. They tried to live with only their brain functioning. But at Scattergood a curious thing happened to most of them: they feel a deep satisfaction during their work time; they lose all thoughts of worry and sorrows and you may imagine what that means in our special situation.<409>

The tremendous amount of work necessary for the hostel's operation also provided an excuse to attack its guests' assumptions about class, labor and status. Many had come to America as professionals, few as semi-skilled workers. In Depression-battered America, though, if they were to survive they had to reconsider gender roles, their own professional worth and possible future careers. Regarding cultural assumptions about work based on gender, Grete Rosenzweig remarked that

men in Europe do not take part in household tasks, but the right idea of the Quakers was that husband AND wife should attend to household duties since-to get a new start-both members of the family had to go to work, so men washed, ironed, cooked, washed dishes and cleaned together with the women.<410>

Margot Weiss concurred, saying that "an overwhelming impression was to see men doing jobs which in Europe were considered far beneath their dignity, such as dishwashing, scrubbing floors, laundering, etc. Some of them worked with real skill and pleasure".<411>

Staff members-both at the hostel and AFSC-realized that "for many a European man to don apron and dish-towel" was a "novel experience", but more importantly "soon it dawns on them that this is the 'American Way', that one can be proud of knowing how to handle an axe, wield a paint-brush or hoe a roe of corn. Nothing has done more to win the respect for foreigners in the mid-west [sic]" AFSC's John Rich claimed, "than for American visitors to the hostel to find the whole group hard at work".<412> For their part, the guests well understood that they had to find "a way to adapt ourselves to our new life. It is a vital condition of our living in a new country".<413>

Despite the exiles' eagerness to adapt, American staff members realized that their guests came to them with very different, culturally specific ideas about individual rights as well as responsibilities. Despite difficulties on the refugees' parts at first to adjust, the staff persevered in efforts to encourage the Europeans to operate from new, self-directed modes of behavior. For that reason, AFSC had as an adopted policy "to avoid imposed discipline", as one of the most difficult

but important adjustments that Europeans must make to the American way of living is the acceptance of the practice of individual freedom. How often the refugees have asked in a body that orders be given and leaders be appointed to see that the orders are carried out. But that is not the Quaker way nor the way life should be lived in a democracy. The day's work should be accomplished by voluntary cooperation, not by compulsion.<414>


The educational program at Scattergood reflected the same hands-off philosophy which guided the work program. Even if a hostel motto consisted of "Speak English and be proud of it!" and one staff member sat at each table to encourage the refugees to hold English-based mealtime conversations, no other attempts even resembling force to prod the Europeans to improve their English are documented to have taken place.<415> To short-term summer staff member Gertrude King this attitude seemed too lax. In her view, such a loose approach did not suffice, as various groups of refugees performed differently, with the poorer of them suffering from the lack of a coherent, professional teaching plan-in addition to their own inner barriers. King cared enough about the success of the Scattergood program to write several single-spaced pages to Mary Rogers. Her impressions warrant being quoted at length:

The young people under 30 or those with a purpose and aim in life who are between 30 and 45 can learn English and learn it well. They remember what you tell them and give you real encouragement when you notice their progress. But they would have been able to learn English anywhere, although perhaps not as quickly as they do at Scattergood. There are however three other groups who are the problem students: those who come with bad habits; the old ones and those who can't seem to learn any more... especially those over 60.<416>

King held that older refugees learn "very slow and get easily discouraged" in the process. She said they saw little progress-"and there is little". She said they found it "hard to remember" and for many of them, after having come from Europe, where they

had to struggle to exist and therefore found existence worthwhile, now that they have a moment to think and relax, they see little prospect ahead of them. What types of jobs can they obtain besides household positions, for they are rather old to be retrained and often they have heart trouble or are weak for some other reason. Also they have probably been accustomed to a great deal of intellectual stimulation and how are they going to get this in their job; granting that they can even land a job. So they see little hope of a job ahead and little hope of an interesting one; as one said life was no longer interesting to him. None of them in particular want to live to an old age. So their English progress is very slow and painful and occasionally they weep on your shoulder.<417>

Besides age and professional prospects, gender seemed to affect the refugees' ability to learn English, too. It seemed that women had more difficulties learning than men, for in many cases the women had had very hard lives "over there", "keeping the family together, walking across France with the children and finally meeting up with their husbands who came out of the camps. Now that they are here it is comparatively quiet and they relax; it is an effort to learn English".<418> As might be expected, the subject being taught helped determine how easy or difficult learning English was for the refugees, as-for example-in history classes, where the refugees paid "a great deal" of attention, as they found the lectures "interesting". King said that

even the oldest Europeans can remember what they hear in these classes. In the grammar classes, some of the people profit a great deal remembering what has been said and applying the rules whenever possible. But the grammar really seems to sink into the minds of the problem students. The older people do pay attention and get something out of the classes but on the whole they do not seem to be as effective as the history classes. Phonetics is another matter, for although they all learn the phonetic alphabet and know how to use it and sometimes even speak correctly in the class, they do not seem to carry this over to outside of class.<419>

Finally, the setting also had an influence, as "a great deal" was learned outside of the classes in the context of informal contacts while doing lunch preparation, which usually was "rushed"-

but good discussions can be held over the washing, ironing and mangling. These occasionally become so involved that all work stops while you finish the discussion. Paradoxically they often seem to learn more when their main attention is focused on something else. The evening lectures are usually good and useful for they stir up a great deal of discussion. The public speaking is also a good idea although that is also discouraging. Europeans, staff members and visitors can speak and they are all criticized in public. But it is somewhat of a torture to have your mistakes pointed out publicly, to be torn apart in front of the whole group. Some speeches lead to discussions.

According to King, often the impromptu discussions were the most interesting learning activities at Scattergood and the subjects they covered ranged from

the history of the individual Europeans to sharecroppers in East Prussia, the difference between American and German standards of living, what is necessary to make a man handsome, is there a system to play Chinese checkers, should women's place really in the home, what are the implications of the Christian revolution, are work camps a realistic approach to life, can one be a pacifist after hearing L's life, what is a Quaker, what are the implications of the American backing of the social revolution which may take place in the Far East, and when do you think I will get a job.<420>

The range of topics visited during hours of instruction at Scattergood may have been wide, but that instruction does not seem to have been deep. This point, however, involves difficult and conflicting considerations. For one thing, the average guest stayed less than four months; juggled with outdoor or house-hold work, social obligations in both the surrounding Quaker and non-Quaker community, job interviews, etc., the number of hours available for serious, in-depth instruction remained limited. As this partial list of duties indicates, education had to compete with other demands on guests' and staff members' time. Given the amount of time available, the staff had to choose which topics were essentials: those included English of course, but also driving lessons, cooking per American ingredients or measurements, U.S. history and culture and government and-as "extras"-special topics such as current events, labor or race relations, etc. With these restraints, how possible was it really to offer the exiles serious, in-depth instruction? Was such training crucial and to what extent did it play a decisive role in first rehabilitating, then integrating or assimilating the refugees? The adults among them came to America mostly as well-educated, highly motivated people; beyond language skills, any gaps in their education relevant to the task in front of them consisted mostly of gaining information specific to navigating their way through American society. As AFSC's John Rich explained, "The study courses offered at Scattergood...are intended to give the residents a realistic understanding of America".<421>


As with education, freetime-besides restoring both guests and staff- was meant to complement the on-going process of "Americanizing" refugees. John Rich explained that recreation at AFSC-sponsored hostels consisted of "simple, unaffected pleasures" he labeled as "characteristically American":

Picnics, outings to points of interest in surrounding cities, amateur theatricals, music. The hostel group delights in impromptu parties [which often] had weeks of preparation and rehearsal and, with German ingenuity, [became] a professional performance that demanded public attention. Thus the community has been drawn into musical and theatrical events that have done much to increase confidence and respect.<422>

Of course, freetime was not used as a tool for propagating American pastimes only; the refugees also used the time simply for their own pleasure. Both objectives, however, often were met concurrently. Visitor Gertrude King observed that there was no problem concerning recreation, as

the children have their roller skates, swing, sandbox and can always make up their own games, build Indian houses and so forth. The old people do not want anything strenuous and enjoy talking, reading, playing games such as Chinese checkers, croquet or listening to the radio. The frequent parties are a welcome diversion as are the trips to Iowa City. Baseball after supper can be enjoyed by the more strenuous ones and later there may be some picnics and swimming excursions.<423>

As seen in King's mention of building Indian houses and playing baseball, freetime also lent itself to "Americanization". Complete success in "Americanizing" the refugees would have been for nothing, though, had it not augmented the chances that the "New Americans" would find an agreeable niche in their adopted country. Esthetic considerations aside, however, there remained the very practical consideration of how well the rehabilitated guests would be integrated or assimilated into American life professionally: the success or failure of job-placement went a long way toward determining that.

Chapter 8 Scattergood Hostel's Job Placement Program

Scattergood's job-placement efforts produced both pronounced failures and hope-inspiring success stories.<424> Ultimately, the hostel's job-placement record indicates the degree to which the premises upon which it operated facilitated or hindered Quakers' wish to welcome, restore and assist refugees.


From the outset, Friends realized that the ultimate mark of successfully integrated or assimilated "New Americans" would depend on the degree to which their guests found suitable, satisfying work. For refugees to be well-placed, however, Scattergood Hostel required a competent placement director. That appointment proved most difficult to fill. Leaving such crucial work to a staff member whose express duties did not include job-placement-in this case John Kaltenbach [p. 227-OHR]-resulted if not in disaster than in clear failure. While slow to secure a job-placement director, AFSC did realize the positions' importance, as in June 1939 Reed Cary told Scattergood Committee executive board members that "the success or failure of the Scattergood Hostel now depends upon getting the right placement man, and the result of his work".<425>

Reed Cary made his remarks during Giles Zimmerman's visit to the hostel with his wife Lynn as the Scattergood Committee interviewed several candidates. Being chosen over two other applicants, Zimmerman served as the first of two appointed job-placement directors during the hostel's existence. Upon his departure some 14 months later, the affable, reportedly able man was asked to outline some of the qualifications he considered "essential" in his replacement. He thought that a

  1. Quaker view point is almost essential.
  2. Business contacts not too important
  3. One of the biggest assets is to be able to analyze the people here.
  4. Selling experience is needed. (Ability to talk to businessmen without fear.)
  5. To be there on the follow up. Let the Europeans know you remember them.<426>
  6. To be able to get the cooperation of the people here.
  7. You have to know business well enough to understand the business man.<427>

Whoever the committee chose, the person would be busy, for the position meant "scouring the countryside" to find interested community groups, churches, private institutions or commericial/industrial employers willing to consider refugees' qualifications. Many openings were "self-offered", while others were secured through cooperation with refugee committees in Midwestern cities. All were filled with emphasis on "the suitability of the [person] for the job".<428>

AFSC also realized that not only the placement director, but placement itself constituted a decisive element in the process of securing the guests' professional futures. Reed Cary told Sara Pemberton that regarding the appointment of a placement director, the more AFSC considered the matter, the more important job-placement efforts appeared, for it tried to ascertain that

no serious difficulties are going to arise in connection with this project up to the point where the 'guests' have stayed what we believe to be their allotted time and are ready to go out and take their places in the various communities. At this point we need to marshal all our knowledge of communities in the 500 mile radius, all our friends and all the strength of all cooperating local communities to see that the newcomers are filtered in in such a manner as to provide them with a livelihood and yet not interfere with the livelihood of any worthy local individuals.<429>

The final factor in the refugee-to-"New American" equation, obviously, consisted of the refugees themselves. A personalized combination of skills, ambition, optimism, perseverance and flexibility determined whether or not each woman or man would find an acceptable assignment. According to Giles Zimmerman as he parted, the job-placement program would not have been successful without the "full cooperation" of the refugees themselves for, in many cases, they had to be willing to accept positions which

greatly reduced their previous standard of living; to perform work that taxed their physical abilities; to work under the handicap of not knowing the language. A few cases [were unable] to do the job secured for them, and another had to be found; in other cases, they had to remain in an inferior position until something better was secured. In nearly every instance, they have been able to better themselves within six months or twelve months by an increase in salary or a better position<430>.


From the records available-and despite any rosy pictures presented by parting staff-it seems one of the greatest weaknesses in Scattergood Hostel's job-placement efforts laid in those most responsible for it. As mentioned, John Kaltenbach-while exceptionally gifted in other areas-simply lacked the time and attention necessary to do the task due justice. Giles Zimmerman's record remains unstained by a single complaint among the sources consulted; that of his replacement, however, does not. Laurence "Par" Danforth arrived at the hostel enjoying important political capital: his predecessor had worked with him all of December 1941 and thought Danforth capable of "a very splendid job. He comes to us with much experience in public relations, has a deep interest in this work, and will, I know, receive the cooperation of all of you".<431>

Perhaps Danforth did receive the cooperation of all; he did not, however, earn the respect of all. Walter Shostal, for one, placed much of the blame for what he perceived as Scattergood Hostel's failed placement program on Danforth. As he told it, upon being invited to reside at Scattergood Hostel,

nothing was specified as to the length of stay or where we would go from there. 'You have a good rest and relax. Catch your breath after what you have been through. As to the future, we shall see'. The general expectation was that the Hostel would help us to find a job and to be resettled somewhere. At least that was the general idea.

As Shostal explained, however, the ideal did not always match the reality. As he recalled, he and his family were "happy" at Scattergood, where they savored

peaceful surroundings, the friendly people, the relaxed mood. We were, however, also worried and tense about our future. Where would we go from here and when would we leave? It was a strange situation; the future was not discussed [but] veiled. The Hostel had been operating for a few years; 'guests' had arrived and left. What had become of them? They had been settled somewhere and had been placed in jobs. What kind of jobs? It was not discussed. It seemed taboo-a little like sex in our post-Victorian morality... It was the same with our length of stay: there was a mystery about it.

Shostal described the bearer of vital job-related news as an "Angel of Death" who would "give you the sign when it was time to go". That role, he said, was played by Danforth, about whom he maintained there was "indeed something mysterious about his coming and going". Supposedly Danforth was

the man who was out beating the bushes to find jobs for us. He would stay at the Hostel for a few days and then be gone for weeks. It must have been a difficult assignment to find jobs for this motley group of middle-aged recent immigrants, who mostly were well-educated intellectuals. The country was still in the throes of the Great Depression; the armament of America had only begun.

Although claiming "I am in no position to judge", Shostal said the whole affair

was all so hush hush; where people moved to, what became of them... This part of the Hostel undertaking-I am tempted to say-was an utter failure. Maybe Par was at fault, but more likely it was the philosophy underlying the undertaking. Par was a strange man, distant and cool. He [had personal problems which complicated his work]. The main problem lay, however, in the [Quakers'] basic concept. At the time we did not understand the problem; we knew too little of the ways in which American society and economy functioned... I suspect that the policy-making people at the AFSC had the wrong concept who their guests would be. They confused then with the 'huddled masses', the immigrants of past decades who had built the railroads and peopled the sweatshops. These guests at Scattergood Hostel were in most cases highly-educated individuals who were able to find a niche in American society where they could make a valid contribution and build for themselves an economic position. It was tell them: 'What you did in the old country has no value here; you have to start at the bottom again, washing dishes and digging dishes. You are a tabula rasa and have to become a new person, so as to become an American'.

In contrast to the placement of Scattergood guests in general, to elaborate his point that Danforth's efforts to place him lacked creativity, Shostal offered "our own cases", which consisted of two Europeans holding Ph.D.s. He asked:

would it not have made sense to try for a spot at a small college or on the faculty of a boarding school? As far as we knew, no such attempt was made. Years later [wife] Magda taught at a small prep school not far from New York City for very little money. My qualifications to teach would have been less secure, but I could have given German, world history, philosophy and also Latin. Or, was it entirely absurd to think of a job as a photo editor or picture researcher? At the time, I had no idea such jobs existed.

After months of looking unsuccessfully for employment for Shostal, busy Par Danforth finally located an assembly-line factory job in Davenport, Iowa- which the former Vienna- and Paris-based photo agent later quit. Despairing, Shostal returned to Scattergood for the long Christmas weekend, where he and his wife Magda had "a long talk", as they felt the need to make a decision:

We were not told that we had to leave Scattergood, but we felt that the time had come. What should we do? That thing in Davenport seemed completely futile. We did not like the idea, but we could not see another way but back to New York. A few weeks earlier I had written to Time magazine, applying for an editorial job. I had a rather hazy idea what qualifications were needed as a journalist. I was hoping that my knowledge of European life and politics were an asset and that my newly-acquired knowledge of English might suffice. I got a polite answer from Time magazine: if I were to come to New York, I should come by for an interview. I did not have any real hope that this promised much, but I played the optimist when talking to Martha Balderston. Reluctantly she agreed to my wish to go back; Scattergood would pay the fare.<432>

Shostal left the hostel assuming that Danforth had dismissed him as "an abject failure", but his experience may not have been universal among the refugees-especially those who sojourned at Scattergood prior to Danforth's stint as job-placement director. Upon reading Shostal's account, former-volunteer Camilla [Hewson] Flintermann took exception to his analysis:

I don't think the 'secrecy' re: job plans & moves was there in [placement director Giles Zimmerman's] time-that may have been partly Par's way of operating-& maybe wartime difficulty? [Danforth took over as job-placement director three weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.] We always knew where people were going, what jobs, etc.<433>

At least Danforth saw his job-placement efforts as successful, for a year after the hostel closed he declared in the Scattergood News Bulletin's special 1944 edition that it had been his "joy and good fortune" to have visited "a great many" of the former refugees "in all parts of the country" since the hostel had closed. He exclaimed:

sometimes I've scarcely been able to believe how well things have been turning out for everyone. A marvelous story of success and a new zest for living could be told if it were only possible to gather us all together for a few days once more at West Branch. Maybe it would take longer-a week perhaps. But no matter how long it took, it would be worth it, for it would warm your heart exceedingly.

Like it did with the position of director, AFSC betrayed the position of job-placement director. Both played crucial roles in the success of the hostel, yet neither received the priority, time nor funds it deserved. Establishing hostels where Europeans fleeing Nazi terror might find a safe haven was a noble and worthwhile goal. If American Quaker bodies lacked the resources necessary to operate such centers as well as required, however, one might argue that they should have reconsidered the endeavor before undertaking it. Then again, given the urgent, desperate plight of the victims of Nazism, maybe offering less-than-perfect refuge was preferable to taking no action at all-the response of far too many silent bystanders at the time.


Scattergood's overall program of refugee rehabilitation, integration or assimilation might have been less-than-perfect, but it was not without its successes. Several of the hostel guests fared exceptionally well-as seen in the placements of Martha Schmidl, Louis Koropatnicky, Erhard Winter and Karl Buchowitz [see chapter 12-OHR]. Most helpful of all were cases in which hostel staff might not have landed their guests an ideal placement, but at least set them off equipped with skills which prepared them to adapt to conditions or opportunities they might find. Even the "failure" of not finding a quick job-placement increased the refugees' chances of later success, as it meant a longer stay at the hostel, where they might acquire the knowledge necessary for later entry into American life. As staff member Ruth Carter saw it:

Although it is hard for some to 'wait' so long, such a wait may also be a contribution both to the orientation of the individual and the growing community life of the hostel. Thus the feeling of 'belonging' somewhere is developed at the same time that the individual is being prepared to leave this temporary home<434>.

According to two-time guest Ernst [Malamerson] van den Haag, the primary value of having been at Scattergood consisted of "slowly becoming aware" of American ways of life and "ready to adjust". He admitted, though, that was not easy, as "on the whole" adjusting to America meant surrendering the pretense

that you're still in Europe. That's what most of us did, in fact, because we came...from a marvelous paradise compared to what [refugees] had here at least in the beginning and most of them were very tempted to give up [and] reject the 'inferior' American lifestyle... At Scattergood they met a very friendly... accepting, tolerant and even a warm environment-the type that helped them. What Iowa gave to them was a sense of acceptance and a sense of hope which they needed-and that was very important.<435>

In most cases, it was exactly this "safe haven", this place to find "a sense of acceptance and a sense of hope" which most benefitted refugees in regards to their future professional lives in America. Few of them, though, went directly from Scattergood Hostel to their Dream Career; their first work, then, would be a "job" which only later might lead to an "occupation" in the New World.

Specific Examples

Despite the obstacles facing them, most Scattergood Hostel guests were able to find a niche-however satisfactory or not-in the American world of work. To "prove" Scattergood Hostel's successes, however, it is not enough to simply make abstract claims; those claims must be substantiated by specific examples-thus this section considers a few [each can be found in Chapter 12-OHR]. Davie's landmark study of refugees in the U.S. as a group considered their experiences under a number of categories. Using some of those categories and adding some others yields the ten following headings:

Scholars, Intellectuals, Students and Scientists

One-time Berlin Senat statistician Kurt Schaefer did not have to roam far from Scattergood Hostel to find a promising position; eighteen kilometers away, he landed first a half-time, later a full-time position teaching economics and geography at the State University of Iowa in Iowa City. Before his life ended in tragedy, Schaefer greatly increased awareness of international and political issues across the Upper Midwest through public-speaking tours and articles commissioned by the Des Moines Register. Perhaps for him the most significant project he ever undertook, he also produced a post-humously published major article, "Exceptionalism In Geography: A Methodological Examination" [pp. 227-229-OHR].

Former Hamburg journalist Richard Schuber-who wrote several colorful, moving pieces about Scattergood and Quaker practice while at the hostel-eventually found a niche for his talents at a publishing house in Elgin, Illinois [p. 153-OHR]. A man similarly intrigued with concepts of community, Otto Bauer-once also a journalist, in his native Vienna-remained active in social-change work after leaving Scattergood Hostel.

All three above-cited men were over 35; much younger men interested in intellectual pursuits seemingly fared better. Erhard Winter, Gerry Schroeder, Donald Hopf, Friedrich Lichtman, Ernst Malamerson and Peter Lustig-all but Vienna-born Lichtman being Germans-received college scholarships and later specialized in orthopedic surgery, business management and accounting, chemistry, economics and veterinary science, respectively [pp. 232-235-OHR]. Interestingly, female guests at Scattergood also left the hostel for higher-learning or research, with both Vienna's Sabine Hirsch and Warsaw's Sonia Braun later landing chemistry-related research positions in laboratories in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


In some cases, individuals who had not necessarily taught in Europe took advantage of specific skills or interests and did so in the United States. Pianists Gunther Meyer of Hamburg and Hans Schimmerling of Vienna both gave lessons to interested persons, while former Berlin-Volks Bühne actress Grete Baeck accepted a position at the Omaha Children's Theater where she modelled stage management for aspiring starlets. Given more conventional appointments, Ludwig and Kaethe Unterholzer went from West Branch to Versailles, Kentucky, to teach music appreciation and piano, gymnastics and swimming in a private school. Theodor Frankl and Magda Shostal-both Vienna natives-later accepted positions at parochial schools in New York's Hudson Valley-the former at a Catholic, the later at an Episcopal institution [pp. 235-237, all-OHR].

At a higher level, Walter Baron of Berlin and Sonia Braun of Warsaw both offered instruction at the State University of Iowa; Vienna-born Peter Grünwald completed his studies in economics via a teaching assistantship, then taught at the Iowa State College in Ames. Judge Julius Lichtenstein of Limburg, Germany, eventually found teaching posts Minnesota's Twin Cities, first at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and later at Macalester College in Saint Paul [p. 237, all-OHR].

Lawyers and Judges

Very specialized professionals, lawyers and judges experienced much more difficulty in finding work in America related to their field of expertise in Europe. Renaming himself "Louis Croy", young Jewish Viennese lawyer Louis Koropatnicky remade his career, too-by enrolling in law courses at Topeka, Kansas' Washburn College. Upon requalifing to practice law while at the University of Wisconsin, he went to work for a firm in Manitowoc-"the best (earning) this part of the state". He wrote to the Scattergood staff:

I am very fond of my job, and, as a matter of fact, I never have liked a job better. I am quite successful, and my work is appreciated by the members of the firm. However, I am not yet a member of the Bar, since I am not a citizen.<436>

In his 50s and unable to requalify his law degree, former Berlin lawyer Martin Kobylinski left Scattergood for a bookkeeping job in Iowa City. Two years later, though, he was reported as working as a legal editor of a "well-known monthly edition of new laws...together with a number of lawyers in Chicago". Former-lawyer Leo Keller of Vienna fared less well, finding work first in a jewelry firm and later in a factory "dyeing and cutting belts and suspenders"; Ernst Turk-a former Berlin judge-took a job in at a Chicago bookstore by day and studied law by night. Fellow German judge Walter Lenzberg did accounting for a Chicago clothing factory by day and attended accounting courses at Northwestern University by night [pp. 240-243, all-OHR].

Social Workers

Marianne Welter had collaborated in Berlin with the renowned social Pädagoge Walter Friedlander in a daycare center for unemployed youth; in the U.S., then, she decided to pursue related work. First she did undergraduate training at the University of Chicago's School of Social Work Administration- by coincidence during former Scattergood Hostel staff Earle Edwards' last year of graduate studies there-and spent a summer as housemother at the Ridge Farm Preventorium near Deer Park, Illinois.<437> Returning to her studies in fall 1942, Welter did graduate work at Cleveland's Western Reserve University, then worked at a settlement house in the same city before moving to New York, where she became the first white staff member of a residential Afro-American school. Following the war she returned to Germany with the Unitarian Service Committee as director first of a hostel for displaced children from various countries<438>, later of a retraining program for German social workers who had been certified by the Nazis. After half a decade she returned to Cleveland to earn a doctorate, then to New York to research the degree to which inter-racial or -cultural adoptions succeeded or failed. Thereafter Welter worked at Long Island's Adelphi University, where she started a program to train undergraduates to become masters of social work after one year [p. 238-OHR].

Having been sorely critical of Scattergood Hostel's staff, Hans and Heidi Ladewig became caseworkers at the Kickapoo Friends Mission near McCloud, Oklahoma-an assignment worlds away from their native Berlin in more ways than one. Dresden's Hans Peters first tried his hand at landscape gardening, then landed in the U.S. Army and later indulged a passion closer to his heart-high school counseling in Rockford, Illinois [p. 238, both-OHR].

Perhaps one of Scattergood's happiest job-placement success stories, Martha Schmidl of Vienna left the hostel "with much regret". Her regret could not have lasted long, however, as she took an "attractive position" in New York, with the mission of collecting data on social and working conditions of laborers in various countries and preparing a comparative study from the data. From her post she wrote: "I like this kind of work, I am very much interested in the results, and am happy that I finally achieved it to work in a line that is close to what I was in in Europe" [p. 239-OHR].

Physicians and Medical Workers

Frankfurt-am-Main natives Alfred and Martha Adler-he a doctor and she a nurse-were found posts at a state-run sanitorium at nearby Oakdale, Iowa. Just down the road in Iowa City, Lucy Selig of Würzburg found a brief appointment at the State University Hospital's Psychopathic Clinic, while Moscow-native Eugenia Landycheff accepted a laboratory assistant position at Brooklyn's Beth-El Hospital. Hamburg's Paul Singer worked as an operation-room assistant at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital and German-born Rosa Schiffman also worked "long hours in her hospital job" in the same city. Formerly of Kassel, Grete Rosenzweig engaged in "practical nursing" while working also as a dietetic assistant at Eureka College in the Illinois town of the same name [pp. 239-240, all-OHR].<439>

Business People

Various guests at the hostel gravitated toward business. Vienna-born Ewald Peissel tried his hand as an assistant at a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, jewelry store, only to return later to West Branch, from where he set out to find his fortune in the nearest metropolis, Chicago. The Benndorfs-Elly and Oskar from Hamburg-also went to work in Chicago, where she did alterations at a department store, he sales for a grocers' wholesale. Down the road in Danville, Illinois, "Jack" and Monique Shumaker of France were offered department-store jobs. Otto Dreyer of Bielefeld, Germany, followed the flood of Scattergood guests flowing to Chicago and worked as an accountant with a "forwarding company" and took an evening course in "Higher Accounting" at the LaSalle Extension University. In a city seemingly full of German-speaking refugees, 60-ish Ernst Feibelman added one more to their number when he left the hostel for a "position in an insurance company" in Chicago [p. 240, all-OHR].<440>

the Self-employed

Some guests turned to self-employment as a means of self-maintenance. The scale of their enterprises, however, differed. On a micro-level, young Rudi Schreck first went to Corning, Iowa, as night clerk at Hotel Bacon, a "small country inn"; when that did not last, he sold Fuller brushes in Iowa City. Late in the hostel's existence, Pole Michael Krauthamer took his family to Duluth, Minnesota, to open a restaurant. Julius Neuman of Budapest started training in watchmaking in Chicago; Theodor Tuerkel of Vienna competed with him, as he took up watchmaking in the same city. Fellow Austrian and confection-connoisseur Claire Hohenadl-Patek tried to fill a niche in the market catering to the American sweet tooth: first working in the famous Helene Rubinstein Kitchens of Manhattan, she then was a partner in a new business which made Oblatten and candies. Stanislaw Braun-although a trained statistician and economist-learned the economics of American small business and opened a typewriter repair shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Similarly, German leftist Ernst Stahl of Breslau opened his own small electrical business in bourgeois Swarthmore-a suburban Quaker stronghold outside Philadelphia-where customers considered him a "capable, dependable person" to take care of their household electrical problems.<441> Klaus Asher of Berlin left Scattergood Hostel to start a phonograph record business in Chicago [p. 241, all-OHR].

those Engaged in Manufacturing

Manufacturing also employed a number of one-time Scattergood Hostel refugees. The first to find such a job was Heidelberg's Arthur Drake, who became a tool engineer and designer for one of the world's largest agricultural machinery producers, the John Deere Company of Moline, Illinois. The next was Vienna-born Albert Beamt, who worked as an engineer a Chicago firm which produced air conditioners. Until the young Vienna native was drafted into the army, Adolf Bardach worked for a construction firm in Des Moines, Iowa. A trained electrical engineer, Berliner Wilhelm Feist accepted a job at a precision-instruments firm in Rock Island, Illinois. A manufacturer of paper bags in his native of Vienna, Richard Guttmann left Scattergood for Saint Louis, Missouri, to "work with paper boxes". Though not manning a machine, Otto Joachim of Vienna worked as a bookkeeper/accountant for a Minneapolis manufacturer. Also from Austria's capital, Paul Schwarz sold dry goods at a Chicago department store before switching to manufacturing-in the payroll-personnel department. Vienna's Wilhelm Leitersdorfer found a lucrative position in steel-tool manufacturing in Burlington, Iowa-where wife Hedy worked as a nurse, then made slip covers professionally. Women were indeed engaged in industry during the war, as Hamburg-native Günther Tradelius discovered upon getting a new job "working in a factory with 40 girls, keeping 8 machines in order" in Chicago. Having left Scattergood to accept a shared management position at Iowa City's Hillel House, the Austrian couple Jakob and Melanie Winkler later also went to Chicago, where Jakob worked as a draftsperson. Austrian Karl Polzer landed a hand-and-machine compositor job at a New York printing plant. Similarly, Charles Bukovis (née Karl Buchowitz) secured a position in Chicago with "the finest art printing Company of America", where he had an "interesting and responsible office job, pretty fair pay and...a social and business position which I would not change with anything I used to be in the old country". Franz Nathusius of Berlin found work in a factory-warehouse in Hammond, Indiana [pp. 241-243, all-OHR].<442>

Semi-skilled Laborers

As AFSC's Julia Branson pointed out [4.1], few of the refugees consisted of semi-skilled or agricultural workers. Of those few who did, Neustadt, Germany's butcher Gus Weiler cut meat and staffed the sales department of a meat-packing plant in Moline, Illinois-while his wife Rosl found unspecified work in nearby Rock Island. A former government-licensed ski instructor and trained auto mechanic from Austria, Frank Schloss left Scattergood Hostel to work as a farmhand. He next found a low-paying job in an auto garage in small Quaker settlement in Iowa, but soon realized that it was little more than a pleasant, paying apprenticeship for learning how to work on big American cars. He then moved to Cedar Rapids for a Dodge dealership position which never materialized, forcing Schloss to sell coffee door-to-door before becoming a live model for the University of Iowa's Art Department. He next accepted from a stranger a position minding a sporting goods store and giving ski lessons in Arizona, where he stayed for the rest of his life [pp. 240 and 230-231, respectively].

After the trauma of making their way out of Nazi Germany, a number of young refugee men seem to have pursued physical, low-stress short-term jobs. Peter Schick of Vienna left Scattergood to work on an Iowa farm for three months before enrolling at the Western State Teacher's College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Originally from Berlin, Ernst Malamerson had been a student in Italy-where he was imprisoned as an anti-fascist-then fled via France and Portugal; he landed at Scattergood long enough to make his way to the nearby university in Iowa City, where he worked as a dishwasher to finance graduate studies in economics. Fellow Berliner Peter Siedel also studied for a time in Iowa City, then found a apparently menial but "grand job" in Detroit [p. 232, all-OHR]. One other student, Peter Lustig, also came to Scattergood seeking a diversion before pursuing higher education. Two or three days after arriving at the hostel, he left to acquire the hands-on knowledge required of a competent veterinarian by working for a summer on an Iowa farm [pp. 233-235-OHR].

Chapter 9 Scattergood Hostel Refugee's Changing Relationship to America

To judge more fully the effect of Quaker integration and assimilation efforts at Scattergood Hostel-as well as its effect on their "guests"-one must review refugees' impressions of their adopted country shortly after arrival, then contrast those with their later images of it based on the lives they were able to build in there. "New Americans'" changing relationships with America mirror important aspects of the integration or assimilation process, for an individual's relationship to a culture is like that with another human being: it evolves and changes over time, depending on new information and personal experience. Also, with time the refugees formed more removed, perhaps more "objective" perspectives of the land where they had found haven.

Presented here are a sampling of initial impressions of America on the part first of adults, then of one-time children. While in preceeding sections of Part II direct quotes have been distilled to their essence, here selected refugees speak for themselves in the form of extensive narratives. Idiocyncracies and individual color in each narration indicate much about the acculturation of each of those quoted here. Similarly, various details which other historians might have been edited out have been left to add character to each portrayal of refugees' initial and corresponding later impressions of America. In the first section, the narratives are arranged so as to give a flowing account from the point of disembarking at Ellis Island and navigating America's East Coast to landing at Scattergood Hostel. In the second, the adults' narratives emphasize both practical and abstract realities of integration-negative as well as positive ones-while the former children's illustrate common results of assimilation.

Initial Impressions of America


Walter Shostal

Walter Shostal and his family arrived in America after a series of time- and money-consuming difficulties. Once there, the meager and discouraging conditions of their first months in the New World remained vivid in Shostal's memory. In summer 1994-at age 86-he took pen in hand and recorded his memoirs, which he aptly named American Beginnings, He wrote:

The last stop [after a long, segmented journey] was our destination, New York. We had arrived-or almost. It was late fall, 1941. We were anchored in the Narrows, not far from the Statue of Liberty, and in front of us was the Manhattan skyline-an incredible view, exactly like the postcards all of us had seen. And, an icy wind blew.
Official-looking people came on board. Some of them were from the harbor police and the health department. They shoved a thermometer into everybody's mouth, including mine. I had not known that I was running a temperature; I only knew that I had a constant toothache. They found out about my temperature and they knew about the cases of typhus [at sea], so we were not permitted to land but were sent to Ellis Island. No hardship for me, as I rather enjoyed my stay at the infirmary. I was in a clean bed and got plenty of somewhat strange-tasting food-real luxuries, which I greatly enjoyed after the rigors aboard ship. I also had a neighbor with whom I played chess.
Life on Ellis Island, however, was less enjoyable for poor Magda. She had to spend her days in that large central hall with hundreds of people with nothing to do but to wait and suffer the hopeless task of keeping two lively youngsters with nothing to do and without toys from running wild. After four or five days and a thorough exam, the authorities decided that I did not seem a threat to the health of the country and we were permitted to go on land. But, for weeks the health services kept checking by telephone and visits: how were we doing? Any temperature or headaches, etc.?
At our arrival we had but ten Dollars and a debt of 1,600 Dollars-the money [brother] Robert had lent me to pay for the ship tickets. That was a large amount of money at the time, when a cup of coffee cost a nickel, and a subway or bus ride a dime.

Still, even so poorly equipped for the task, the Shostals went ashore and waded into new lives they could not have imagined while waiting at Ellis Island.

Erhard Winter

Shostal's recollections involve the very first impressions of America upon arrival: what about those of an immigrant who had been in the country already for a short while, yet unhappily so? Perhaps a reflection of trauma he suffered after the Gestapo brutally murdered his father, Erhard Winter's early relationship with America included disdainful arrogance which survived into later years. At age 75 and in third-person, he related that his conclusions that

' America was a great place to visit but he wouldn't want to live there', i.e. his sense of his unfitness for America, and America's unfitness for him, persisted; and indeed has persisted to this day [1994]... [At age of 17 he] decided that America didn't need him and he didn't need it; and that there really wasn't a useful place for him in this polyglot, vulgar, money-mad, pleasure-seeking, amoral & hedonistic society that was in the process moreover of racial mongrelization; a society that lacked cultural standards & principles and whose cities...were ugly, utilitarian, and dirty, dull rectangular squares without interest or grace or charm. And so he felt was the rest of American life, such as he had seen and experienced. And even the best of Americans were like overgrown children, full of a sense of silly optimism<443> but lacking a sense of history, culture... America, the historical dumping ground of Europe's (and the world's) 2nd sons, misfits, psychopaths, con-men, swindlers, criminals and other losers.<444>

It is astonishing that such an individual could do so well professionally in America-indeed could acquire most all the vestiges of the touted American Dream-and still remain so bitter and unsatisfied. Winter was not, however, the only refugee who failed to become fully comfortable in his adopted country.

Emil Deutsch

A year and four months after leaving Scattergood Hostel to begin a new life in Des Moines, Emil Deutsch published a three-and-a-half-page essay in two issues of the Scattergood Monthly News Bulletin. In it, he went to great lengths to cast his adopted land in a bright light. Deutsch clearly felt a need to defend America and the Americans. Perhaps reflecting inner struggles, excerpts from his treatise show the complex, passionate arguments he put forward in an attempt to reconcile "The Refugee and American Life"<445>:

The American way of life and Americans are pretty different from what newcomers to this country have experienced before. At the same time they are different from what [Europeans] have learned or heard about America. 'America is a young country' was one of the slogans in Central Europe. 'Without traditions.' Most Central Europeans felt pretty adult, cultured, and superior to those people whom they believed uneducated, childish, and without judgment in questions of taste. Nothing is more awkward than this superficial statement.<446> Did anyone of those who promulgated it think how old the living traditions of Europe...are? Yes, America and the Americans are young in their mind. But they are not childish as highbrow Europeans deem, but child-like. As to children every new country, new book, new person they get acquainted with is an 'experience' to them. They are willing to learn, and never believe themselves too old for it-what some European cultural thinkers believed to be the very essence of a creative genius: not to lose and forget his own childhood and child-like attitude, here amazingly we find it in a whole people. Like children they live more in the present than in the past and in the future. They enjoy life and its small pleasures. They worry less than we used to. They do what they can at present. And like children they know about the importance of gaiety and smiling. They are kind and helpful, willing to give everybody his chance. But everybody has to make use of it himself.

The Americans impressed Deutsch, as he found them to be a "democratic people":

They are free. It is natural for them to be so. It is in their political history. They are tolerant, tolerant to an extent that is amazing for us. There is one God in this country. Only the ways of worshipping him are different. Everybody appreciates and considers the other fellow's belief and conscience. But not only the general attitude toward life and our fellow men is absolutely different from Central Europe. Manners, behaviors are so, too, to a considerable degree. Here we are approaching the main question touching us as refugees. The Americans are able and willing to learn, to change, to adapt themselves to every new situation and necessity. The inability of others to do so appears to them as unwillingness. Being young in their minds up to their very old ages, they find it hard to understand that people of forty or fifty or even younger ones should not be able to do so. It must look hostile to them, ungrateful, inconceivable.

Grateful to have survived Nazi persecution and for the chance to live in America, Deutsch took care not to offend his new neighbors-and to convince his fellow refugees to do the same. "Let us free ourselves" he pleaded,

from the prejudiced belief that Central Europe surpasses America by far in all realms of art. The University and the libraries of Iowa City offer to the residents possibilities that very few refugees could find elsewhere. Look at Grant Wood's paintings, read [the famous Iowa writer] Paul Engle's poems or Hemingway's novels. I wonder how much of the European opinion of superiority will last after such an experience. Even if you should think of culture in the quite too narrow meaning of art and literature you will find that America is able to hold its own in this respect, also. Appreciation does not mean that we have to look at everything in America through rose-colored glasses. There is a lot to improve still. But the hard task of adapting ourselves to the conditions in which we are would be harder for us, perhaps impossible to handle, if we stress too much the features which do not satisfy us or even the Americans. There is so much to appreciate and to affirm. Let us take an affirmative attitude toward our new surroundings and our new neighbors. For our own sake we have to emphasize in our minds the possibilities of life and happiness which are offered to us in this free and tolerant country. We have to learn to look at things from the American point of view. We must try to forget looking at things from the European angle any time. Our experience might help us and others to see institutions and facts from a new angle and to bring more light and more knowledge into life later on.<447> It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for newcomers to this country to learn to look at life from the American point of view. Even the most democratic and advanced one in Central Europe was influenced still by the general medieval attitude denying to man his inalienable rights. Fortunately for us, we have forgotten already to some extent most of the horrible things we went through. On the other hand we remember too much the secure and nice positions, the experience in our occupations, the contacts we had over there. We have to start anew. Let us try to find the right mental attitude for this start.

Above all, Deutsch seemed to have understood the significance of his fate-the good fortune of being offered a chance to build a new life out of the rubble of a ruined, violated one. He reminded his readers that they were

unhappy victims of Nazism. Many Americans are descendants of victims of oppression who found refuge in this free and tolerant country. So they realize our situation and our needs. Nobody here has called for us. It is the chance we are offered, and which we have to assume and make the best of. Let us forget what we were over there before that nightmare came. It is gone. Let us try to be American in the sense of experiencing the new situation. Let us be thankful that we are able to live in this free country, safe, unoppressed, appreciated. Let us appreciate ourselves her institutions, her ways of thinking and living. And let us prove ourselves worthy of the help which is extended to us. Let us try to become Americans.<448>

Ernst Malamerson

Emil Deutsch's piece-spurred by his valued, on-going connections to Scattergood-involved the reflections of a man who had been in his adopted country for less than five years. But what about refugees' impressions of America after decades of personal contact? What about later understandings of early experiences of adapting to life in America? Some 55 years after having arrived for the first of two stays at Scattergood Hostel, Ernst [Malamerson] van den Haag recaptured initial attitudes about America and Americans-as well as some of the finer aspects of trying to adapt despite those first impressions:

[Upon first arriving] I was under the impression [of being] doubly superior, first as a Marxist [as] I felt I didn't really have to learn economics because I already knew better than my teachers [at the State University of Iowa]... And second, I felt...fairly educated and I thought that Americans were ignorant... At the same time, I didn't know where I belonged... I had no friends and no ability to make friends on my own intellectual or educational level. I didn't know anyone. And furthermore, I felt deeply humiliated because my English was very bad, of course. I can still remember how annoyed I was that I couldn't follow a joke. I not only couldn't tell a joke...but I couldn't understand a joke and had to pretend that I had understood it. Simple conversation was very difficult. On the whole, I think I did feel superior, because we learned that. When I wrote to my parents in Italy that I might end up in America, I remember my mother broke down, crying 'But you can't even drive a nail into the wall'-which was quite true, probably. But [he laughed] 'There must be other things I could do'. I really didn't believe in myself. My idea of America was sort of Wild West... Again, this is where Scattergood helped me a great deal-not in any direct fashion at all, but incidentally. I didn't see how I could ever be more than a bus boy or something like that... I think that experience occurred with many people. I was totally penniless and arrived with less than $15. I think the normal reaction-which also was mine-is when you feel you are not going to be accepted, you're not getting anywhere, you reject in turn. And that's exactly what I did, psychologically. As time when on, this changed.<449>

Unable permanently to maintain a psychological barrier around himself or to avoid practical considerations, the sharp-minded young man experienced a "great shock", as his parents were "well-to-do" and in France he

made a haphazard living for two years, but I thought it was a temporary matter. Here for the first time.I was confronted with 'How will I eat tomorrow'. I was unaccustomed; I'd never been hungry -the idea that you didn't have a bank account or a family or something to fall back on was totally strange. It is not strange in America, [where] people do feel they are on their own. And they manage. But I had never had to manage and I suspect that was true for most Europeans.

From his narrative, one senses deep, viserally upsetting existential conflicts- concerning one's past, one's present well-being, one's possible future. van den Haag's experiences were not unique among refugees, but rather the norm.

Marianne Welter

Marianne Welter also struggled with the inner tension inherent in-on one hand-peering over her shoulder at fragments of what had been a complete and fulfilling life, while on the other looking forward to a new one in a new land. The 34-year-old, Essen-born social worker had fled Berlin in 1933 with the Nazis' accession to power. During the half year that she stayed at Scattergood, she attempted to put into words some of the swirling images which raged inside her conflicted mind:

You see, when we had to leave country and people on the other side, we did leave them as a very part of them. Even though one tried to exclude us from all that was happening, we did take part in all those happenings and problems-in people's conditions of living- in their despair and their hope. When we arrived here, we remained rooted over there. Thus it was and is a part of our conviction that frontiers between people do not have any meaning, at least not for ourselves; we actually felt completely forlorn and isolated. All was horribly strange; everything was so different from all we had seen and heard and thought before. There was a large and deep gap, which seemed unbridgeable. So we came to Scattergood-being still on the other side of that gap. It was by Scattergood's kind and good and still ways that a first bridge could be built. A very human, a very natural process-and yet you hardly may guess what it meant to us, how important and precious this experience was! How good it was! On that first small fundament, it was possible to come closer to this country's specific character, to listen to this new rhythm and become interested in its problems. We may have very different ways, where to go- very different places and fields in which to work, according to our different capacities, beliefs and convictions; but you must know, this, I would like to say, first meeting with friends will never be forgotten.


Being inexperienced and therefore not yet mature, children experience new lands differently than adults-namely, on practical, day-to-day levels. The few children who left records of their first impressions of "America"-which is to say, really, of Scattergood Hostel-wrote or related memories about school and the American children they met there. In only two of the six cases presented here did one write as an adult about her inner childhood experience and a second speak during an interview about the delicate, strained adolescent relationship she had with her newly reunited family. Still, each story reflects "initial impressions of America" in so far as they reveal what was impressive and important for each at that time as little "New Americans".

Frank Keller

For road-weary European refugee children who arrived at Scattergood, life on the Iowa prairie presented welcome diversion in the series of sojourns -long-term or temporary-they had spent with their families since fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. As children, their experiences in Iowa represented for them a fresh, often awesome introduction to new lives in America which they had yet to build. Their first impressions of America, then, were intimately intertwined with their first experiences at Scattergood Hostel and remained vivid for years. The son of German political exiles, 12-year-old Frank Keller later wrote of his family's stay at Scattergood:

For us children, it was a wonderful time, especially after the deprivation in Europe. I rode a horse, we went to a baseball game, we went swimming in a river and had jello and homemade strawberry ice cream. For us children 'Americanization' worked great. The adults were very, very grateful for the peace and quiet and lack of tension that the immigration had been.<450>

Keller indicated-tongue in cheek-that the refugees, however, did not appreciate all aspects of their adopted culture. He explained that people of "political, urban backgrounds" were "a little bemused by American Midwest farm life. I remember specifically that there was a large lawn that had to be mowed (as part of the Americanization process) and all men tried various schemes to short-cut or ease this seemingly non-sensical chore".<451>

Despite any criticisms of the culture, though, the refugees noticed the efforts Friends made to make their guests feel welcome. As Keller recounted, Quakers' efforts to prepare the refugees to integrate or assimilate in America were "much appreciated, well-intentioned and [their] effect depended on the individual and their background".

Edith Lichtenstein

Given that children play an extremely important role in each other's internal constellations, the West Branch school left indelible impressions on the Scattergood children. Eleven-year-old Edith Lichtenstein found school life in America so interesting that she wrote an essay for the staff-and-guest-written hostel newsletter. "When I first came to the United States" the young native of Limburg confided, "I laughed much about the children with red nails or lipstick, but I got used to it. I was, like any other child would be, a little lazy, and was glad that we didn't have any lessons to write and learn at home".

Lichtenstein soon formed the impression that "all children, little or big, called their mothers by telephone, and I thought that was wonderful". She also admitted, however, "I usually love to go to school, but I didn't know enough English at the beginning to go in a higher grade...although I was ahead of all the children in arithmetic"-and added that "in France we study harder than here". It would be social and cultural differences more than academic ones, however, which would command Lichtenstein's attention; she complained: "I don't like this habit of calling two children 'boy friend' and 'girl friend' as soon as they play together. This wouldn't happen if boys were separated from girls like in Europe, because they learn other types of work than girls do. But after all" she went on to concede, "I liked school very much and we can't compare it with other schools, each school having its own advantages".

Ilse Seligmann

Eight-year-old Ilse Seligmann of Heidelberg later would not recall "all that much" about the four months that she, her brother and their mother spent at the hostel. She would remember very well, however, her time at West Branch's school. Both her parents arrived in America speaking English and Seligmann had received English instruction in Germany in preparation for eventual emigration, but she still had to have some English lessons at Scattergood before she could attend the local school. Once that requirement was sufficiently met, she waited with the other hostel children for "the yellow school bus at the end of the road, which" she later remarked, "was certainly a new experience for my brother and me".

Ilse Seligmann "liked" the school, even though she had to begin the first grade over. A problem more serious than at what level she could begin scholastic training at the school consisted-strangely-of how others there would address her. The teacher was "unable" to pronounce her name or, as she openly speculated, "thought it was too German during war time" and demanded that the little foreign girl spell it "Elsie". She recounted later: "This troubled my mother. Not only was Elsie not my name, but Elsie the Cow was a prominent Borden advertisement. So Mother and I changed my first name to Elizabeth, after my Aunt Elisabeth". The teacher also thought the thoroughly Teutonic name "Helmut" would be more palatable to American ears and tongues as "Harry", but "Elizabeth's" 12-year-old brother "simply refused". Once those involved had settled on permanent names for the two new pupils, their careers took a turn for the better and "Liz" found the teachers and other children at the school to be "friendly and helpful. If there was feeling against refugee children" she later reflected, "I was certainly unaware of it".<452>

Pierre Shostal

While older children seemed to remember their stay at Scattergood largely in relation to their experiences at the West Branch school, many of the others were too young to excel in school. Little Pierre Shostal, for example, retained sharped memories about his relationship with the other children, rather then the children themselves. Even at his young age, he sensed that their reactions to him had very much to do with his being an "outsider"-as was evident in the celebration of his fifth birthday party:

I do remember the West Branch school fairly well [as] it was one of these experiences where I felt...really very different. If you can imagine these kids from Europe and Iowa farm children [together]-you know, it took a while before we managed to feel a little bit more accepted. But I do remember how hard my parents and the people at the hostel worked to try to organize a birthday party for me...a few weeks before we left. They worked awfully hard to try to locate all these kids and I was rather vague: I knew their first names, but I didn't know any last names of course. They identified them and did a birthday party for me and I remember how pleased I was that somebody even showed up, because for those kids it must have been really a journey into unknown country coming out to the hostel where all these 'foreigners' lived. But they came. I started there in September [1942]: by February [1943] I really felt a sense of acceptance that these kids did come to the party... I think [the staff] really wanted me to feel... that we were accepted, that we had friends. Part of the problem, I think, was distance, because we would be picked up by school bus and deposited by school bus, so we would disappear into this world very different from the world the other children came from. The other children, I assumed, had their playmates and friends and that they stayed together, whereas we stayed in this rather separate world.<453>

In any event, the future State Department career diplomat found his family's eight-month stay at Scattergood formative enough to say: "For me, the time in Scattergood was a real introduction to life in what later became known as Middle America"-a place far removed from future assignments in corners of the world as far-flung or diverse as Hamburg, Germany, or Kigali, Rwanda.

Hanna Deutsch

Coming to America represented a major turning point in the lives of the hostel's youngest guests. Six-year-old Hanna Deutsch, for one, had suffered the disorienting loss of her home, her native environment and a culture which till then she had perceived as her innate own.<454> Her stay at Scattergood Hostel would come to symbolize a turning point between a biography she once had and one which she had yet to assume. In writing and speaking about her experiences decades later, she openly shared images reflecting scars left by being uprooted at such a vulnerable age:

Going to Iowa: first of all, our relatives thought that we were going to find Indians out there and we'd better careful that we'd not be scalped. I don't know if that was a joke or it was half serious [but] they thought they were sending us off into the wilderness. The welcome we got there by the Quakers was incredible [and] that was the first place in this country where I felt at home and I suspect that my parents must have felt similarly because it was green and it was open and there was real human contact. New York seemed very impersonal and inhuman in many ways.<455>

Deutsch remembered later that one the most difficult adjustments for her involved

leaving home... It seems like the after-effect mostly was turning out to be a very shy, retiring, unsure person. When we got to Scattergood, somehow that was the first place that seemed like home-partly because it was green and where we lived in Vienna, in Grinzing, is also green. Later, after I had gone back to Vienna in 1983 and came back to visit Scattergood again and I turned around to look at the landscape on the way back from the farm, I realized that the topography of the land was the same as I saw from my backyard in Vienna... I think the hostel was the first place I felt secure and like I had a community again.<456>

The changes and traumas which rocked the little girl left a considerable wake. Deutsch attended the local West Branch elementary school with the other refugee children, yet did not thrive there because of her vague struggle to integrate an upsetting, lost past with a difficult-to-comprehend present.<457> As an adult she remembered that

somehow, being an immigrant, that messed up school for me a lot, because there...I felt shy and had an awful time reading. We took the school bus...and I often didn't want to get up. I also remember once missing the school bus and walking to school. Reading continued to be a problem for me, as [did] writing. Even though I managed [as an adult] to get a master's degree, it's been a struggle always and I spent so many sleepless nights writing; I would not want to many nights I stayed up all night doing it [but still earned] a master's degree in psychology...when I was 53 years old.

Irmgard Rosenzweig

Being already an adolescent by the time she arrived in America, 15-year-old Irmgard Rosenzweig had somewhat different struggles, needs and experiences than younger fellow Scattergood children. As she put it,

I had two issues: one [was] to be in America, the second one to be reunited with my parents, because I'd been away from them for about a year and a half [having been removed to England via a Kindertransport]. There was an interesting period where my parents became very concerned about my dating and doing things like that: the staff had to explain to them was safe to go out on a date. The whole reunifi-cation with my parents was interesting because we had one room, so I slept in the same room as my parents, which was sort of awkward and maybe children should not have been sleeping with their parents: I don't know, but as I think back on it, under the circum-stances it was not the best of all worlds and nobody questioned it. Nobody would have known what to question-people didn't question anything; everything was sort of... [Her voice faded] People were subservient to the Quakers, rather than speaking for themselves [due to uncertainty] and also having been so intimidated in Germany.<458>

That the Rosenzweigs left New York and came to Scattergood Hostel in the first place was a curious development, as her parents visited a Jewish-sponsored committee which resettled refugees and were told "in no uncertain terms" that the committe already had resettled enough people and was not

interested in people like my parents-my father was 50, plus-and they had enough people like that: New York was full of people like that. They sent them down the hall to [AFSC]: 'Try the next door' approach. Then they had time to think about it and decided they didn't want to be a burden to [relatives in New York], so they thought they had nothing to loose but everything to gain, and at that point that the decision was made.<459>

While still in New York, Rosenzweig "was sure we were going to where the lions and elephants were; I had no idea about 'Iowa'-people convinced me that it was safe, but.... We went on a bus and going from New York to Iowa on a bus was an experience; I was sick at every other stop."<460>

Once in Iowa, Rosenzweig discovered that she had to adapt in more ways than she had imagined. One time, for example, the family was taken to Cedar Rapids to meet a Jewish couple and spend

the High Holidays with him and his wife... I think they had lost a daughter due to some illness and so I was really the drawing point as a teenager. They owned a fur store and they gave me their daughter's old fur coat. It was not really something that I wanted, really, but again, you took what people offered you-you didn't want to offend anybody. So there was a kind of compliance, I think, on the part of people-including myself.<461>

Perhaps Rosenzweig was able to tolerate compliance because-as she later realized herself-her family's tentative, complicated existence at Scattergood hung against the backdrop of a structure, as the Quakers had allowed their guests to retain their own value system, but

within a very rigid structure-and the structure was that men had to do the laundry and wash dishes, and the women had to pick corn-which was kind of silly when you think of it, 'cuz how many of us ended up on a farm?-but nevertheless there was a regime; the kids all went to school. So within a structure of the American culture, there was also a lot of diversity and a lot of opportunity to be individualistic: if people wanted to have study groups, they didn't always have to be in English-oh, people talked German or Polish or whatever language. Certainly music was a unifying force; there were several people had good voices or played instruments. Meals were unified. I mean, there was a very rigid structure: breakfast, lunch and dinner and what you did in between, but a lot of room to be yourself and to believe whatever you wanted to believe. [The refugees enjoyed an allowance for diversity] within a structure.<462>

Later Attitudes toward America


Walter Shostal

Following decades of striving to realize his own version of the fabled American Dream and "making it", Walter Shostal reflected on the question of how his family did

with regard to the melting pot? Let's take stock. Many years ago [older son] Pierre told me that at a certain time in his youth he had been uncertain whether he should be an American or a European. He had married a French girl with a great deal of charm and few other qualities. As he progressed in life his doubts vanished and he became accustomed to officially represent the United States [as a foreign service careerist]. His second wife in a very happy marriage is British-born... After many years of foreign assignments they are definitely settled in the States [and] in the mainstream. There was never any doubt about [younger son] Claude's being American. When in the military he spent three years in Germany, travelled in Europe and saw its sights, but escaped without deeper emotional dents. He still roots for the home team and opens his newspaper at the sports page. His main interests include [New York] city and state politics as well as the environment and ecology. He is married to a girl from the Texas Panhandle with nothing but American-even a bit of the native kind-in her. How do I stack up in terms of the melting pot? Had I been asked a quarter of a century ago, I may have deserved a grade 'A'-possibly an 'A-', because of my persistent accent. I spoke only English, thought in English, read only English-with occasionally a little French in between-and [after wife Magda's death in June 1965] dated a nice woman with Mayflower credentials in her genealogy. We might eventually have married, even though I proclaimed loudly I would never marry again. All this changed when I met most romantically another woman on a cruise to the Greek Islands... As I [have] acknowledged, the melting pot may not rate me any longer with an 'A', but I hope I am still good for a 'B+'. When we arrive at JFK after seven months spent [every summer at Shostals' lakeside cottage in Austria] and a friendly customs inspector greets us with a 'Welcome home, folks', we have a very, very good feeling. Yes, we are coming home.

America may have come to feel like "home" to this seasoned-nomad, but that has not stopped him from being critical of it. In correspondence regarding this study which suggested ambivalence, Shostal mentioned that while as newcomers he and other refugees colluded with the Scattergood staff's efforts to "Americanize" them,

today we know better. The picture of the American dream has changed. It is no more the dream of an Anglo society with its rural roots of Main Street and elm-shaded clapboard homes. We only have to walk our inner cities or any campus of our major universities to see that America's present and future are different, that we are a multi-ethnic society and becoming it more and more and if the American dream still has a meaning it must be found and created by us by a spirit of tolerance and good will.<463>

Erhard Winter

As an old man, Erhard Winter openly acknowledged his discontent with America, despite the fact that over the decades of living as an "American" he

earned and received degrees and diplomas and certificates and fellowships in 'Learned Societies', and awards and credentials sufficient to paper one wall of his library. Another Horatio Alger story? Well, no & yes. He was not a 'joiner'. In those organizations, clubs, profess[ional] societies he was obliged to join he was never elected to positions of leadership. In all his life, he never stayed or lived in one place longer than 10 [years] until the move [to the town of his residence as of 1994].<464>

For him, despite the trappings of "success", Winter's failure to find a fulfilling niche in American public life seemingly has soured his other, impressive accomplishments.

Emil Deutsch

Emil Deutsch's essay lauding American culture and institutions seems even more obviously an act of self-delusion when one considers how his adult daughter described his later experiences in and subsequent attitudes toward America. Although Deutsch left no narratives at the end of his life from which to hear his perspective in his own words, the assessment provided by Hanna [Deutsch] Clampitt sheds insight into how at least one "new American" came to see his adopted country. She explained that for her father, the move to Des Moines, Iowa, from Scattergood Hostel was "very difficult" because of the work he found through the Quakers at Pioneer Hybrid Corn Company, where he stayed almost 25 years:

at first he was hopeful that it was going to be a good experience, but somehow he didn't transplant well.<465> He was very critical of the profit motive, about how people treated each other to get ahead [or] maybe he was just frustrated that he couldn't use his talents better in his work. He started a course to become a [certified public accountant] but he never finished it. Instead, he started doing the bookkeeping for Friends House and the [American] Friends Service Committee office in Des Moines. It appeared to me that he actually was a very bitter person. I attribute that somewhat more to his very, very early years even than the emigration-but it kind of all folded in together.

After a point, it indeed became difficult to differentiate between which of Emil Deutsch's behaviors had to do with the process of cultural integration into American society or had to do with the process of personal disillusionment with his own life. His daughter recalled that Deutsch was

very unhappy: he would throw rage tantrums about life-about his life, the injustice of how black people were treated and immigrants were treated... He personalized it to his work, but I think in general he saw a lot of injustice: he talked a lot about man's inhumanity to man. He was an idealist-and that was part of the problem.<466> My father became quite disillusioned because he expected to get further in the American culture than he ever did-and that may have been a combination of circumstances... He never 'got ahead' and he became quite bitter.He became critical of Americans' behavior. He didn't like the materialism and he felt that people were quite hypocritical: they would say one thing... I think that might have been related to the way he interpreted his work experience. They would, say, be cordial, but not acknowledge that he was capable to do more. He [also] was very critical of the military [but differentiated between Quakers and Americans in general] and I think his particular bent was the silent Quakers. And particularly he felt that the Quakers lived what they preached, what they said. He didn't see that in the rest of American culture.<467>

Hanna [Clampitt] Deutsch realized that despite the difficulties her father had in adjusting to America, the very people who had sponsored her father during the first months of his stay in the New World also were the ones where he found the most comfort and fullest sense of identity for the rest of the life-even to the point of becoming a Quaker and marrying one following the death of his first wife.<468> As Hanna [Clampitt] Deutsch explained,

in a sense, Scattergood and the Quakers [were] an anchor for both my parents [but] in a different way. For my father, it also provided him an intellectual outlet, because he was always very interested in the [AFSC-sponsored] international institutes [held in Iowa] and the ideas that were exchanged. One of the reasons my father felt at home at Scattergood was because...he loved the out-of-doors and being able to walk. I recall going to a quarry to swim...and my father...must have been there, too... I think what I remember most about him was him talking with people, exchanging ideas. I think some of his frustration was that he loved to climb the mountains and go skiing and none of those things were financially or in terms of appropriate places available in Iowa. I think they always turned back to Quakers because of their world view, feeling that Des Moines was a bit provincial... So I think basically he felt like a fish out of water and the Quakers helped as much as anything to go against that feeling.<469>

Emil Deutsch had not chosen to come to America; fate had forced him. Early on, he argued against the arrogance which so many of European exiles held toward America, yet himself eventually fell victim to extreme negativity about his adopted country. To what degree was it possible to integrate conflicting, ambivalent feelings toward a place and its people? How could a refugee eventually reconcile the loss of the known and the peculiarities of the new? Could one, indeed, ever become truly happy where one found oneself?

Ernst [Malamerson] van den Haag

Explaining that his earlier arrogance eventually gave way to increased emotional honesty and genuine adaptation, Ernst [Malamerson] van den Haag admitted late in life that

now I feel, quite to the contrary, that much of American scholarly activity, etc., is quite superior to what we have in Europe. There's also been much change: when I arrived it was difficult to get a good cup of coffee. There were, of course, very, very high-priced good restaurants, but they were few and you didn't get good food anywhere-certainly not in Iowa. But across the country, things have greatly changed. You can get a good cup of coffee-as good as in Italy-around the corner, practically. You get a good meal almost anywhere; it'll cost you in gourmet places, but the whole style has changed -and considerably-since the Second World War. In a sense I am tempted to say that America has become somewhat Europeanized; again this may go too far, but in many ways that has been the case. When I arrived it was really a totally different world.<470>

It's one thing for America to have changed-perhaps, to have become more "Europeanized"-but what of van den Haag's personal experience: to what degree did he come to feel "Americanized"? After more than half a century in the New World, he developed definite feelings regarding his relationship with America:

I wouldn't want to live anywhere [else]. I go to Europe once a year most years and I have new friends there...I love it, but as for living there, my friends are here and I feel American-particularly when I'm in Europe. [Laughing] Once I'm here I feel in some respects European-but in New York there's lots of people like that... I wouldn't want to live in Europe now; I could manage, probably, but I feel too old to make new friends- and I like it here...<471> I don't find any objections to American life; all the objections I used to have when I first came were really pretexts. When you are not fully accepted you find reasons for not fully accepting those who reject you-it is a subconscious, psychological process, but it's self-defense. Once you've dropped that you have no more reason to defend yourself.

The feeling of personal strength and security which allows one to drop earlier defenses does not mean, however, that one returns to being the person one was before the crisis which provoked such extreme response. After the fact, one has changed-never to be the same. Once he'd finally felt adjusted to "the strange and new culture", van den Haag realized that he had gained an entirely new sense of "home" and personal identity-even if mixed ones:

I guess in many senses my allegiances have become quite American-not anti-European by any means, but I feel as an American. The word 'Americanized' is ambivalent-it means so many different things. Politically I feel certainly assimilated; culturally, yes I do feel in many ways, but in some ways probably not. Psychologically I feel quite American, but I feel as an American in the same way as I would feel as a German or an Italian. There are many parts of Italian life I wouldn't like a bit, and there would be many activities and so on that I would dislike-and so would be true in Germany or of course in America.

Marianne Welter

Perhaps more than most other adults who had sojourned at Scattergood Hostel, Marianne Welter had to actively come to terms with her German origin, given that she returned to Europe not to live and not as a repatriated European, but for a limited time as an "American" volunteer on assignment to help rebuild war-torn Germany. Already at West Branch she had written eloquently about the struggle inherent in leaving loved ones and a familiar world as an exile; later as head of a Unitarian Service Committee relief team,<472> she experienced first-hand the uncomfortable dissonance between having been once a "German", having become an "American" and having to reconcile the two. As Welter explained:

I felt quite often-and even now, when I say I'm of German background-I can sometimes sense there is a kind of 'Oh, German, eh'. Sometimes I don't respond to it further but sometimes I add 'I left Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power' or 'I had to leave' or whatever. During our workshop [for retraining German social workers] we had work with a lot of denial reactions on the part of the Germans: 'Oh, we didn't know -we didn't know'. Then we tried to get underneath that. 'What were some encounters when you wondered what was going on?' And I remember, sometimes we sat in groups together until deep into the night to get people to really get in touch with any feelings and the realities that they had isolated themselves from and pretended that just they didn't know anything about [what was going on in the Third Reich]-when that was basically impossible.<473>

Whose feelings was Welter really trying to get to the bottom of in those "all nighters"? To what degree was she facilitator and to what degree participant in those encounter sessions? Certainly, while playing the former role, the others present at the program forced core questions concerning past and present, self-perception and -identity.

Welter lived-at various times-for several decades with the Hackel family, which consisted of "Omi" Hedwig, her daughter Nora and Nora's girl, Nicole.<474> Regarding Welter's uncomfortable struggle inherent in her work and out of her intimate familiarity with Welter's life stories, Nicole Hackel related that in the setting of Welter's post-war work in Bremen, German staff

were the bottom of the bottom: they were really getting it after the war, so that...even the rations [were affected]: Americans would get the biggest rations, then the refugee staff members would get [theirs] and then the Germans would get the least... She sort of led a mini-revolution and as director she said 'Everyone's going to get equal rations'... She said it caused a lot of consternation. On the one hand, because she came with the Unitarian Service Committee, she was aware of the power she had as an American Unitarian to lay that down, but the fact that she was born a German and spoke German -it was so unsettling to everybody... particularly the other European staff members.

Indicative of the ethnic-nationalist resentments and tensions present at the site of Welter's post-war work in Germany, Hackel went on to tell

this incredible story of Christmas Eve where the dinning room was really tense...and people really weren't quite talking to each other, although they had made all these decorations and everything... The people sat in their own nationality groups and one group started singing. [Welter had] a wonderful voice and she started encouraging it and gradually it evolved into this evening where everybody did what they did at Christmas: the Germans did their's and [so on].<475>

Former Children

Frank Keller

As extensions of their adult parents, refugee children could not help but personalize their elders' struggles as their own. Frank Keller-as mentioned earlier-noted that the results of the Quaker effort to integrate and assimilate their guests "depended on the individual and their background".<476> He added: "It worked for my mother, not for my father".<477> Keller shared impressions of America which he offered as his own, yet some of his father's bled through time and space to influence his perceptions. Keller said that after 54 years of living in the U.S., he did not feel at home in America because of "the emphasis on materialism. I remember my father being insensed at a newspaper headline which described some sort of local disaster, '2 Die, 1 Million Dollars in Damages', as if the two had some sort of relationship".<478> This sense of detachment led Keller to look to the land of his birth for a sense of belonging- yet he could not find it. He explained:

I do not feel like a European living in America, but like a person whose roots have been severed and is now rootless... My wife & I visited Germany twice. I felt at home with the language & food, but out of place otherwise. It's as if my home had been taken over by strangers who spoke my language. 'Die Heimat'? Where they wanted you dead?<479>

After more than half a century in the America, Frank Keller still felt ambivalence toward his adopted country: it seemed to him to be a "home of residence", if not of the heart. His ambivalence and struggle to adapt, however, were not unique.

Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan

For Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan and her family, their first years in America presented a severe challenge of how and to what to degree to adapt to the new country-the third in which they had lived since leaving Limburg in March 1933. On the one hand, the Lichtensteins maintained a strong sense of their German roots, but, on the other, they acknowledged that they no longer had a place in the land of Goethe and Schiller, Goering and Hitler. As Morgan saw it, her family tried to assimilate

up to a point [but] 'assimilation' is a peculiar term. They felt duty-bound: if a country took you owed [it] a certain amount of gratitude for treating you decently. I have to say the French and the Swiss both treated us decently: we were not hunted, we were not discriminated against there because we were Jewish-none of those things happened. You know, as a payback, there was always a feeling: it's kind of like when you go visiting somebody else's home, you don't go in there and maintain [that] you're going to do your own habits and do everything your way. You learn the language, you learn the habits of the people, you try to give something back: it stands to reason; it's common decency. And after all, they didn't ask for us to come there.<480>

In addition to seeing "assimilation" as "common decency", it also seemed to be the key to survival. Like many of those from Nazi Europe who made it to America, the Lichtensteins first landed in a German-speaking ghetto in New York where

there were so many immigrant kids and so many kids who spoke both German and French, that I didn't learn any English. I had no conception of what the broader culture was about. It wasn't until we came to Iowa that we had some understanding that America was wholly different from these immigrant neighborhoods in New York. In one respect, I think it was a noble aim of [the Quakers to take refugees away from the Northeast]. Nowadays you [should not] look at this thing from the standpoint of where people are now; we've wandered away from assimilation-where that's now a dirty word: I don't think it was then. [It was] not only necessary, but it could very well have been desirable. In those days it was a noble end, to enable people not to get ghettoized and to be forever trapped in some ghetto in some big city. I think [the Quakers'] aim was to bring us out there where we really could flower out fully as Americans. Of course my parents weren't quite ready to do that, because they thought Americans-Englishmen, too-[or] anybody else except the Germans, was terribly uncultured.<481>

Despite their fears, Julius and Elizabeth Lichtenstein did make contact with sympathische Americans with whom they found common interests and shared values. Morgan held that despite "those biases which they brought with them from Germany", her family was "very lucky" because its sponsors in Saint Paul, Minnesota, were

very cultured, very educated families and their friends...were also the educated elite. And so we found somebody to bond with. It might have been more difficult, but, you know, my parents maintained European culture-the best of it-and they selected. People over here who are cultured also maintained the best of that Western culture-you know, it would be Shakespeare and Brahms and Bach and that stuff...paintings from France and Italy and music from all those countries... My mother came from a very proud evangelical Lutheran family and didn't reject that part of the culture. They never rejected Goethe and all the great things that people associate that part of Germany with... After we'd been settled here for awhile, they got some relatives to send them complete volumes of Goethe and Schilling; we used to read all that stuff at home in the evening-I can still remember my father doing Morgenstern and all that stuff, so we were brought up in the best of that. We always listened to classical music; my mother sang all of Brahms' songs, I know most of the Schubert songs and my dad played the violin... It was not being proud of being German, but appreciating and maintaining and keeping alive that part of German culture which was worth preserving. And that's international -you can take that anywhere; anybody who is educated anywhere in the world knows Goethe, knows Brahms, knows Beethoven, knows Schubert, knows Mozart, knows I-don't-know. [The family] maintained what they felt was the best of German culture-or at least, the old, good European culture-and added on.<482>

As an adult looking back from the perspective of over five intervening decades, Morgan said her family engaged in deliberate cultural selection,<483> not "'assimilation'-that's the wrong term-but 'adaptation' or 'adding on', learning wherever you are: that's the thing". If Morgan's version reflects what truly happened, the Lichtensteins were caught in a bind: on one hand, they conceded the need to adapt and to co-exist with those living around them, but on the other, they considered most Americans to be inferior and thought people

were pretty crude over here-the general public was pretty crass and materialistic and ill mannered. [But] you don't assimilate to an entire culture-they never assimilated to the entire culture in France. They never assimilated-they picked and chose. You can pick and choose and do things at home: remember, we lived in poor Catholic neighbor-hoods almost all the time until I got married,<484> and yet an awful lot of those people weren't even aware that we were Jewish because...we did our holidays at home. They sort of peripherally knew it but they didn't know it...and if they would tell us all they knew about Jews, we would say they had all the standard prejudices and then we'd remind them we were Jewish and then they would say, 'But you are different'. That's how it goes, because when you learn prejudice against a certain group then if you meet a member who doesn't fit certain prejudices, you say 'Well, you must be different'. And since there wasn't a huge group of us...they could say that since we were alone: we were the only Jewish family that most of those kids knew...<485>

Julius and Elizabeth hadn't come to America by choice<486> and, had their two children as young adults agreed to join them, following the war they would have preferred returning to France or emigrating to Israel. Still, they stayed. Upon leaving Scattergood Hostel, Julius Lichtenstein first worked in a home for juvenile boys in suburban Saint Paul, Minnesota, then taught American soldiers German for use in the European theater. Following that he secured a teaching position at a small college in Saint Paul. After completing their studies, both children found jobs in Massachusetts and in the late 1960s their parents moved there to be near them and Jewish-founded Brandeis University. The mother or foster-mother of several children and divorced, Morgan became a member of the Worster, Massachusetts, school board and engaged in local activism. By the time she reached her mid-sixties, she could say emphatically,

I have my roots here, I'm not going anyplace else. I married an American, I wandered from being Congregationalist to being Quaker, to being... [Morgan laughed] Things go full circle! I practiced in a quiet way myself my Judaism, but now I've got Buddhist foster children from Vietnam; I've had Catholic foster children...I have a little grand-daughter from one of my foster children from Cambodia... But to me, that's 'America', you know-and basically I say to them, we're all Americans. All of us do this: we maintain portions of our culture that we think are good, we bring it here, it adds to the rich mix here. [What it means to be an American] always puzzled me, because I married a Midwest Kansan who was born in Oklahoma-so that's about as 'American' as you're gonna get [but] there was no sense of tradition, no sense of-you know. 'I'm married to an American': what does that mean? 'Who are you and how's that different from what I am?' I never got quite a definition.<487>

Reflecting her own process of coming to terms with her identity, Morgan tried a "little experiment" once in a college class she taught

with about 26 students. And I started around just for the heck of it, at the beginning as an ice-breaker I asked 'What nationality are you?'. Now these were all American-born students who had never been out of the country-probably second-third-fourth generation [and] didn't know any other language other than English. The first 24 or 25 all said 'Oh, I'm Italian', 'I'm Irish'-this and that. Then all a sudden one of them-the next to the last one-his face lit up and he said 'I'm an American'. I said 'Thank god somebody here is an American'.<488>

Ever since, Morgan has used the indicative results of that "experiment" as a partial answer to the question

'What constitutes being an American?' None of us really know for sure. I think there's a loose set of rules here, traditions and understanding of the Constitution, a loyalty to- you know-the values...the best values that this country stands for. I have a belief, also, that there's something in the mix, something in the continuing bringing in of new ideas and the lack of rigidity that protects this country from ever going over the hill like lemmings-the way Germans did, the way some other countries do. And I think that's why I'm in favor of some of the diversity-not some of the stuff that's going on now-not saying that Ugandan culture is as good as our's. Thing is, if you accept the way a lot of the cultural diversity is being taught, you don't criticize any other culture. If we don't warn our kids that there are differences-and dangerous differences-that everything is not the same, then they can't make intelligent judgments. Then they're probably in danger of becoming lemmings, too.<489>

When asked pointedly what being an American means to her, Morgan answered not with a positive answer of what to her being an American is, but more with what it is not:

For me, being an American-and I'll never be fully an American because I wasn't born here and I still in some crowds feel partly like a stranger, except that I understand that a lot of tenth-generation Americans also feel like strangers sometimes, because the culture is constantly changing: there's no set culture, there's no set totally-shared cultural value here. That's okay. It's a country of laws, there's a set of shared beliefs about what's right and wrong and there's a set a certain shared behaviors-they are less in evidence now and I think we're trying to bring them back. The school system was responsible for that; for me, I think the school is the main agency for creating some kind of common core of what was defined as 'being an American'. Everybody outside the school could do whatever they darned well please, but in the school you learned how to communicate with other people who were here in the country at the formal level. That was the school's job and it did that. [The idea of such a curriculum was] to believe in diversity, but also to subscribe to a common core so that you can go anywhere in this country and feel comfortable.<490>

Elizabeth [Ilse Seligmann/Seaman] Chilton

Ilse-or "Elizabeth", as she was renamed-[Seligmann/Seaman] Chilton was eight years old when her family came to America. At that age her personality and identity were still fluid and malleable enough that, meeting her as grown woman, one cannot tell that she was born anywhere but in the Midwest; her own husband did not realize she was born elsewhere until after they had dated for some time. Still, like other former Scattergood Hostel children, as an adult Chilton had to wrestle with rather unsettling questions regarding "Who am I?" and "Where do I belong?". She mentioned casually, yet tellingly, that

someone once said, 'Once a foreigner, always a foreigner' and I think for an adult, that must be true. So in a sense, [America] was never really home. Father took out papers immediately: we were immigrants; we weren't going back-except to visit. There was never any thought of going back.<491>

Still-likely betraying their own ambivalence and sense of uprootedness-both of Chilton's parents requested to be buried in Germany.

Like the Lichtensteins, the Seligmann/"Seaman" family felt it best to accept their fate as it was and to make the best of it. Even if they remained emotionally connected with Germany, they consciously immersed themselves in America. As one example of the reaction to being permanently "abroad", Chilton related that her mother had "distant relatives" in Chicago who her family sometimes visited, yet the Seamans felt "always glad" that they did not

move to Chicago and live in the German community in Chicago. I think Mother and Dad were glad not to do that and certainly for me, I'm glad we didn't do that... [I decided that] if I'm going to be American, I'd just as soon be an American and speak as an American. [Not being ghettoized was a blessing because] I didn't particularly want to stand out because we were immigrants: I didn't want to be a foreigner. Everybody in Ames [Iowa] knew we were foreigners, but I didn't bring it up in conversation.<492>

Chilton's attempts to pass as a "native" and not "stand out" succeeded- at least externally. Despite any vague uncertainties about her personal identity, she felt so integrated that-in sharp contrast to her brother Helmut, who is director of the Wisconsin Männer Chor and has "many German friends"-she considered herself

pretty American. Well, what does it mean to be an American? I suppose its an outlook and lifestyle which makes you feel comfortable in this country. I feel like I'm part of this country; I certainly don't feel like I'm part of Germany. You can believe anything you like: personally, I grew up in a liberal household and I would describe myself as a 'liberal'.<493>

As an example of how that "liberal household" molded the person she became in America, Chilton noteed that once they had moved to Ames, Iowa, her parents became members of Collegiate Presbyterian Church-although her father was a Jew and her mother had been reared a Lutheran. Later, both of Chilton's parents left money to the Quakers in their wills and she and her husband attended both Congregationalist and Presbyterian churches.

Pierre Shostal

Despite the initial difficulties his father had in finding a foothold in American professional life, both Pierre Shostal and his father eventually did very well in terms of mainstream American standards of "success". Not only did Walter Shostal resuscitate the family's former Vienna-based photo agency with new life on American soil, but his oldest son worked his way through the Federal government's complex personnel hierarchy to become a foreign service careerist-even serving as the U.S. consular general in Hamburg, which he once described as a kind of reconcilation of his family's past.

Regarding the impact Scattergood Hostel had on his development, Pierre Shostal identified later in life-shortly before his retirement-ways in which that early experience fostered in him

a sensibility toward people being responsible for each other. The fact that people at the hostel took in others who they had no connection with at all, is a kind of a standard or a kind of example that I'd like to try to emulate or at least be worthy of-especially now that my working life, my career is coming to an end. I'd like to continue, in a sense, to be in public service. I'm very happy and proud of the professional life I've had, but the idea of public service and service to others is something that I find very appealing and that I want to continue... Only as I've gotten older and looked back [has he thought] about why I became the person I've become. What were the influences? Certainly some of the people who we met there and we remembered-like [one-time Scattergood staff] Peggy Hannum and Roger Craven-are very fine examples of human beings at their best. I know that having been through [the hostel] experience, it certainly did have an impact on the way I've led my life and the things that I've done. I think there was a strong connection between that and going into diplomacy and spending in fact a great part of my time working on European affairs. To me it's been a particular satisfaction to work on German affairs-in a sense as a kind, also, of reconciliation.<494>

At a point that he was taking stock in general, Shostal also considered the hostel's impact on the rest of his family and concluded that his parents "came away with a great respect for Quakers and the Quaker tradition, and I think with a great degree of...a sense of responsibility for others". As a family, the time he, his brother and parents spent at Scattergood Hostel became

part of our personal history and I think it's part of [the wider] modern history. I know it wasn't perfect and I know there were problems, but it was still an example of one of the finer sides of the American character, of what America means to me, which has been a country of openness and tolerance and readiness to give shelter to others.<495>

Despite his gratitude toward and faith in America, Shostal's sharp social sensibility-which he maintained was cultivated partially at Scattergood Hostel-gives him cause for concern. Indicative of a wider, more complex belief or value system which has developed over decades and in many diverse cultural or political contexts, he reviews the political scene today and is

just appalled how far our public life has come from that [model of openness and tolerance and helpfulness at Scattergood Hostel]. I say to myself, "If this is the kind of political atmosphere that we have during relatively good times, what's it going to be like the next time we go into recession?" And I find that kind of scary.<496>

Still, his British-born second wife and he could choose to live literally almost anywhere in the world, yet chose Arlington, Virginia-the city opposite Washington, D.C.-as their retirement community.<497> Shostal often visits his elderly father in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as his environmental-activist brother in Manhattan. For the Shostals, being "at home" at America now seems as natural as life itself.

Hanna [Deutsch] Clampitt

The psychological gauntlet of cultural adjustment which Hanna [Clampitt] Deutsch experienced during her first months in America did not end upon leaving Scattergood Hostel. Once her family reached its next home and settled into new lives, the children especially struggled to integrate the worlds and lives they had known in Europe with those they found themselves enveloped in as "New Americans". Like other first-generation Americans, with time Deutsch felt ambivalence regarding her parents and their cultural identity-as she explained as a mature woman some 55 years later. She said:

in junior high years [in Des Moines, Iowa], I was torn between love and respect for my parents and wanting them to be different.<498> I treasured long walks home from down-town with my father; hearing the Saturday afternoon opera while he gardened; his Viennese, Tyrolean, Jewish, Czech, and Polish jokes, all told in different dialects; his stories of mountain climbs; and long recitations in German of passages from Homer, Wilhelm Busch, or his own poems. I loved my mother's warmth, interest and laughter, her way with people; her Viennese cooking and clothes she sewed for me, though I felt beholden. But I was torn. I wanted them without their accents, their self-effacing ways, their protectiveness toward me, and I wanted the lifestyle of the 'popular kids'. On the one hand, I was filled with deep embarrassment and resentment at how our home was different from other homes, and my parents different from other parents and, on the other hand, I defended and protected them from others and from my own censure. Often it felt like I was cut in two, and I wore embarrassment and self-rejection.<499>

As Deutsch's early internal struggles attest, children have difficulty not perceiving subtleties in their surroundings. To what degree, then, were the assimilation experiences of children who entered American society through Scattergood Hostel affected by the experiences of the adults in their lives? Also, to what degree were they a mixed blessing to their parents-on the one hand providing the adults around them with lively distraction, but on the other also reminding them of painful memories or truths which their elders rather would have forgotten? How did this dynamic complicate the role of young people in their own assimilation process? As Deutsch retold her story, she could not divorce her personal experiences and memories from those of her father. She said, for example, that when the family moved to Des Moines they

lived in a little two-room place-a living room and a tiny kitchen and then a shared bathroom. I remember that place very clearly, but I don't remember [her father's] attitude very much there. But then we rented a little house and the basement was a dirt floor and [he] painted [it] and I don't think in Europe he ever have to do those things-but he did it all! I remember our bedroom was wallpapered... but it took him time to do all of that... Then he tried to study to be a [certified public accountant] and he never finished that. So, somewhere in there, he kind of lost his steam and then he put all his energy in the [American Friends] Service Committee.

Like all children, Deutsch did not exist only in relation to her father, but accumulated her own experiences-independent of her family-which helped determine for her not only what sort of American, but what sort of person she would become. As she so openly shared, the result of loss, flight, resettlement and adaptation took its toll on her and fundamentally affected her personality -in her case, most noticeably her ability to think or communicate. Deutsch's

earliest vivid memories of inner conflict are from my home in Vienna when I was five or younger. I see myself sitting in the window of my bedroom looking out, feeling sad, empty, alone, forlorn, but it is a dull, unformulated feeling. I want people, activity, interaction; this also feels unformulated, as though this is a pre-verbal memory. But I do not move... Throughout my life, when caught in inner conflict I have often been immobilized. In one case, I cannot even remember the resolution. Perhaps this was my parents' conflict which I made my own. It was the conflict between leaving our loved home-people, beautiful countryside and city, the known-or risking death at the hands of the Nazis. I have many memories before and after our departure, but none of packing or leaving. In this case I did not even acknowledge the alternatives, inner pulls; I just 'checked out'.<500>

One of the ways in which Deutsch coped with this tendency to "check out" involved disavowing things which seemed to her at that young age to be associated with the unmanageable trauma-even if that meant disowning her mother tongue. According to her, as far as refugee children were concerned,

no, we did not want to speak German and, yes, we did want to get assimilated. When I was a kid in elementary school, I didn't want to speak German [not even at home]: no way, José! I wanted to be like the other kids; I was embarrassed about my parents- again, more my father than my mother, I guess because he was uncomfortable in his skin a lot. I loved him dearly, but... [Deutsch's voice trailed off]<501>

Even as an adult, Deutsch finds speaking German to be a disorienting experience. Following an interview session, we went for a walk and she self-consciously asked if she and I could speak in German, since she doesn't feel comfortable doing so around her family. As we conversed in what for her is a native tongue and for me a second language, she made mistakes and asked me repeatedly for an elusive word or the correct grammar. When we returned to her home, I turned on the cassette recorder and asked her how it felt not being able to speak German fluently as an adult, to which Deutsch responded

it feels very frustrating and disconnected... There's a part of you that got left back there and it doesn't catch up. [I feel like a] different [nationality] at different times, probably. When I'm with someone who's speaking German, that's probably when I might feel more German-but then I don't quite fit because my German doesn't work as well. And there are probably times when I'm completely immersed in life here-which is most of the time-when the question doesn't consciously arise. But I think the work that I do [as a high school counselor] is informed by all that experience-that I relate to the kids who don't feel like they fit in, that they don't belong and they have troubles connecting and their life has been turned up-side-down and all of that. And that's not conscious. But I'm aware that it goes on there: it's part of me that communicates so well. [I work] with kids basically that have trouble fitting into the high school and most of them have found friends with other kids who have met the same predicament. There are groups: there are Albanians and there are Italians and there are the 'Burnouts' and the kids who live in the trailer park and, you know-they find each other and they all have different... [Her voice fadeed out] They're not the 'Mainstream', you know: the jocks and the kids who put out the [school] newspaper and are in the plays and do all of those things.<502>

As the years since her emigration passed and she matured into an autonomous adult, Deutsch came to suspect that this dissonance between having been an Austrian and having become an American

may [have gotten] better because I understand it more. I think when I said earlier it was so confusing for me at school [it was] because I don't think I understood what was going on, why I felt so 'out of it'-so to speak. So I think it's better [now].<503>

Irmgard [Rosenzweig] Wessel

At the time of an interview with Irmgard [Rosenzweig] Wessel in 1995, "multi-culturalism"-especially regarding how that school of thought affects public education and curricula-commanded much attention in the various media, in schoolboard meetings and around coffee tables across the U.S. Early in the interview, Wessel declared:

I'm very clear about how I feel about [multi-lingual public schools] because first of all I think America is a quilt made up of different people... and we have to accommodate many languages-as much as was done at Scattergood [where] many languages were spoken and people helped each other. It was not always easy.<504>

Wessel's perspective on multi-culturalism closely mirrors her own particular view of America, coming to it as she did from outside at an age when she was still young enough to be thoroughly, indelible influenced by the culture and people she found in the U.S. Therefore, she used the term "quilt" to describe American society and saw Americans as having

certain threads that connect one to the other, but there are tremendous differences. I guess the question always comes up, 'What is the predominant culture?' and 'Was Scattergood'-which is sort of Middle America-'was that predominantly the culture of America?' and I think the answer has to be, 'That is part of it, but not all of it'. But there is something, I think, in terms of materialism in America, where we're fairly all unified no matter who we are: everybody wants a car (public transportation is terrible in most places so having a car becomes a value system), having a television-even in the poorest parts of the United States where people have very little, they will have a television. That has a vast impact on the whole country because if you see [for instance] the O.J. Simpson trial no matter where you live, then everybody can have an opinion on it. I think we are very materialistic and some people believe it's good for the economy. It depends where you live and it depends who you are.

It's one thing to try to distill a working definition which captures the essence of a country, but quite another to find one that accurately reflects the complex, often vague nature of one's Self. Despite that, Wessel said without hesitation that she sees herself as being "an American... as somebody who's very much an American [and] very much identified with America... I probably threw out much of the German language as a way of assimilating-or [as a way of] rejecting the German part of me". She pointed out as a tale-tell sign of rejecting her former "German-ness", that as an adolescent she was

very unfair to my father; my mother spoke fairly good English and learned it very quickly. My father was having a lot more difficulty. He was traveling around doing the accounting for small counties for the political system and he had to write reports. He would write the report and then I would sort of have to correct his English. I was awful; I mean, [I was] very intolerant of his inability to learn the language. Later on I realized how impossible I was... I think I did not talk very much to my parents.

In revisiting a past which mentally so determined her present, Wessel freely admitted that

probably for many of the older people it would have been-having all the losses of [what they had] achieved for themselves-very difficult. For the younger people like myself, who then built their own families, there's very much an identity of America-although it's interesting to note that two of our sons have married daughters of parents who are either refugees or holocaust survivors. Now how do you put that in? Our son in California is married to a woman [descended from individuals] who barely made it out of the camps and our son in Washington is married to a woman whose mother and I very much had the same background [and two of the four children are practicing Jews].

Along with its stubborn influence on the present, the pain of having had to surrender one identity and assume another-even if not by choice-remained vividly clear. Wessel remembered that upon leaving the hostel people who had been refugees at Scattergood

kept in touch and then nobody did anything for a while. I think people sort of went their own way-almost to forget it maybe. [On top of that, the] German Jews were pretty obnoxious-everybody, including my parents I would say, [as] German Jews by and large felt they were better than any other Jews. For a humorous part of it: my husband's background is Russian- his mother was a Russian Jew-and it was not too accepted to marry a German Jew. There were other reasons, too, but there's always been this kind of German-Russian-Polish [intra-Judaic rivalry].

By the time the children who had been at Scattergood Hostel's became adults-and Americans-however, Old World rivalries and other realities which had so influenced their parents' attitudes or actions seemed ancient and quaint. In the span of a very few years, at some indefinite point the young refugees stopped being foreigners and became-as is possible in "immigrant countries" such as Australia, Argentina, South Africa, etc.- "naturalized natives". With help from Friends, they integrated into and assimilated with the culture of their adopted homelands and, in the process, did indeed become "New Americans".



For a sociological summary of Quaker life and tenets, see Punshon(1984), pp. 1-2.


Nawyn, 1981, pp. 316-317.

According to Nawyn: "Concern often induces service, that is, concrete efforts to reform evil conditions and to help those who are suffering on account of them.. Quakers have been limited pilot projects as a visible way of demonstrating their convictions and a particular area of concern. Service is also frequently viewed as an alternative to participation in coercive measures prescribed by society, especially military" (p. 317).


Genizi, 1983, p. 177.


AFSC report, "1938 Delegation to Germany".


During World War II John Rich was in charge of AFSC work in India and China, "where he made important contributions in this work" (RB, Note to MLT, 18.XI.95 .


John Rich, Unpublished essay entitled "Americanization Through Quaker Hostels", 1940, p. 1.


"Scattergood Hostel Report", 12.VIII.42.


Unsigned essay entitled "A New Use for Scattergood", 29.V.39.

Emil Deutsch attested: "It certainly is hard for many [European refugees], affected in their nervous balance by the horrible experiences and the constant strain of the last years, to fit into new and strange conditions. Moreover, many people, accustomed to regular work and efficiency, suffer from lack of it harder than anything else. Many difficulties, arising among residents of the Hostels [sponsored by the Quakers, of which by the time of Emil's writing there were a few], are based upon this fact. They are hard to overcome before the final goal of everybody's staying at a Hostel is reached, the job, and a new start in American life. But we have to find a way to adapt ourselves to our new life. It is a vital condition of our living in a new country" ("The Refugee and American Life", SMNB, 17.III.41 and 17.VI.41 .


Anonymous, undated and untitled leaflet, circa 1940.


Smith, 1939, p. 115.






Anonymous, undated mimeographed essay entitled "An American Welcome for New Americans".




RFB, Interview with MLT, 13.XI.95.




EME, Interview with MLT, 1.XI.95.

George Willoughby concurred: "John Rich didn't spend much time at Scattergood: he was an organizer, he was a promoter, he had to raise money, he had to sell this; he was a salesperson and so he sold it partly on the basis that a lot of people would say "This is good'".


Interview with MLT, 31.X.95.


RFB, Ibid.


Julia Branson, Open Letter to North American Quakers, winter 1938-39.


"Compared with any other group of refugees", Emil Deutsch said "residents of Scattergood lucky in more than one way. They have more opportunity to improve their English than any Americanization school, even in big cities, is able to offer. They have the advantage of being in steady contact with Americans, of imitating and learning their manners, different from European ones, their ways of speaking and approaching problems"(Deutsch, Ibid .


George Willoughby held that learning to drive "was a very important step forward in being accepted and becoming a part of the American society. To get the right to drive meant "I've come much further', "I'm in it now!' I could see just this in the face of some of the men particularly. [It was] like a kid holding a lollipop up, saying "I got it, I got it!'. It was so exciting to see this and it was good to know that you could teach older people to drive. At times we did climb the trees [and] go into the ditches, but nothing serious happened. And people pursued the driving with great eagerness and real effort to learn" (Interview with EME, September 1994).


WS, Letter to AMLT, 6.VIII.95.


Lotte Liebman, Letter to Mary Rogers, 7.III.40.


EME, Letter to MLT, 25.IX.94.

Both parties said relations between refugees and staff were better than those between Germans and Austrians, with Flintermann explaining: "This was not blatant, but often conveyed in a subtle way, a comment, or a look. Differences in pronunciation, for example, were obvious, and sometimes referred to slightingly" (CHF, Letter to MLT, 2.VII.94 .




CHF, Letter to MLT, 30.VI.94.


CHF, Interview with MLT, 7.XI.95.

Indeed, anti-German sentiment in the U.S. during that period complicated German-speaking refugees' plight- especially after America joined the war. At a Hollywood café in 1942- for example- Alfred Döblin and Ludwig Marcuse "were told by the angry proprietor to stop speaking German or get out" (Jackman, 1983., p. 19).


MB, Letter to Mary Rogers, 23.IX.40.


Homer Morris, Letter to Catherine Williams, 14.XII.38.


According to Genizi, two-thirds of the approximately 7,000 immigrants who arrived in 1936 remained in New York (1984, p. 64).

Crammed into New World émigré enclaves, European refugees were unsure if they would ever be able to return to their native lands. Concurrently, frustrated by changes or difficulties in their new everyday lives, exile often brought out "what was most petty and futile in them: there was a great deal of backbiting, jealousy, and outright anger vented against Americans and fellow émigrés as they attempted to adapt to new lives" in the U.S.. The largest exile communities formed in New York and Los Angeles, but because "these cities were decidedly different from their homelands, the émigrés often clung to their exile groups, even if they did not always get along with one another" (Jackman, Ibid., p. 19).


Quakers were not alone in seeking to lure immigrants beyond the Hudson: in the late 1930s the National Refugee Service and other Jewish agencies avoided resettling Jewish children in or around New York City, thereby accelerating their assimilation into American society and avoiding the formation of noticable groups of refugee children. This policy was an outgrowth of the general resettlement policy of the NRS ["New York is big, America is bigger"] to actively encourage immigrants to settle in areas outside the east coast in general and New York in particular. The policy stemmed partially "from a fear of encouraging the general trend of anti-semitism which, compounded by xenophobia, could serve as a potential threat to continued immigration and successful resettlement" (Baumel, 1990, p. 92).


Wyman, 1968, p. 219.

Some agreed that "too many" refugees in an area would incite undesired reactions and reasoned "if the flow of immigrants into an area is slow and gradual they are more readily accepted. They can be absorbed without causing any serious disturbance in the existing order. Immigrants already adjusted assist their compatriots in sloughing peculiarities that might cause resentment. The old settlers of native stock are accustomed to members of this particular ethnic group and an additional arrival now and then causes no excitement. If, however, the aliens come in large numbers the natives become fearful; they fear competition and a lowering of their standard of living; they fear that their institutions cannot digest so much new material and will be destroyed in the attempt; and they fear that everything for which they have struggled and sacrificed will be trampled under foot by inferior peoples... The fears, due to causes real or imagined, raise impassable barriers of prejudice against the newcomers and they are denied all wholesome contacts with the old residents. This attitude tends to solidify the immigrant group and they become more interested in continuing their old ways of life than they would be otherwise. The prejudicial attitude of the natives is no solvent that will tend to reduce the old-world customs of the immigrants" (Smith, 1939, p. 154).


According to Sherman, popular opinion at the time held that "one refugee is a novelty, ten refugees are boring and a hundred refugees are a menace" (1973, p. 264).

Public debate over immigration owed its breadth to foreign-news reporting, which had increased since the first World War, suggested interest in world events and led to a "world-open news policy". Among other things, that meant that newspaper readers had been informed about Germany since 1933: "That dimension of reportage is important in view of events which led to emigration and subsequent domestic political discussions connected with immigration policies. Newspapers and later radio transmissions gave access to basic information which American had to rely upon in their judgment of the political situation". (Hardt, 1979, p. 318)


Haim Genizi. "New York is Big- America is Bigger: the Resettlement of Refugees from Nazism, 1936-1945". Jewish Social Studies 46#1 (1984), p. 61.




Rosenstock, 1955, pp. 14-15.


Anonymous, "Prejudice", SMNB, December 1942.


Jean Reynolds, Pamphlet "Scattergood Hostel, West Branch, Iowa", 16.I.40.




WS, Unpublished Memoirs "American Beginnings", 1994.


Opponents of immigration usually overlooked the fact that from 1 July 1932 to 30 June 1938, 4,000 more persons left the United States than entered it (American Friends Service Committee, "Refugee Facts", anonymous undated report, circa 1939).


Trachtenberg, 1993, pp. 79-80.

Earle Edwards: "I don't remember anything [regarding an anti-East Coast attitude]. The Protestant, Catholic and Jewish committees that financed quite a number of the refugees... appreciated the hostel to a large extent because it looked at if it might help some people to keep the number of East-Coast refugees from increasing because it was a real problem for them. If it was a problem finding jobs in the Middle West, in the East- where you had so many- it certainly couldn't have been easy and probably would have been harder" (Interview, 1.XI.95 .


For an in-depth review of the bill's history and goals, see Wyman (1968, pp. 75-98).


Trachtenberg,Ibid., p. 69.


Wyman, Ibid., p. 210.


Isabel Lundberg, "Who are These Refugees?", Harpers, January 1941.


See Ruth Mann's "The Adjustment of Refugees in the United States in Relation to their Background" (Jewish Social Service Quarterly 16#1 [1939], pp. 19-28) for a review of this.


Verified exceptions to this included the Arntals (Shenandoah, Iowa), the Deutsches (Des Moines, Iowa) the Drakes (Davenport, Iowa), Franz Nathusius (Hammond, Indiana), Harry Ostrowski-Wilk (Des Moines), Hans Peters (Rockford, Illinois), the Rosenzweigs (Eureka, Illinois), Kurt Schaefer (Iowa City, Iowa), the Seamans (Des Moines and Ames, Iowa), Fritz Treuer (Yellow Springs, Ohio) and the Weilers (Rock Island, Illinois).


In his retirement, Walter Shostal moved with his second wife to Charlottesville, Virginia- home of the University of Virginia and a few hours' drive from Washington, D.C., where son Pierre retired in 1995. Shostal wrote: "We like the friendly people and the warmer climate [than in Peekskill, New York. Charlottesville's] prestigious university supplies an aura of the larger life, even if we can no longer make use of it; its very good sheer delight to me. But most important, it is the aura of Thomas Jefferson which makes us love the place. His statue stands in front of the university which he founded and designed, and we have a good feeling when each spring the students still celebrate his birthday" (WS, Ibid .


WS, Letter to MLT, 26.XI.96.


John Kaltenbach, Letter to Reed Cary, 7.VI.39.








In terms of German Jewry, those from the Third Reich who reached America mimicked the majority of Jewish-descended German refugees: out of 7,155 such individuals who emigrated in 1937, 5,040 had the United States as their destination; in 1938 10,173 out of 16, 561 had the same, as did 6,325 out of 22,706 in 1939 (Kirk, 1995, p. 171).


Julia Branson, Form Letter to Friends Meetings in North America, late 1938.


Herta Schroeder - also a single parent with a child at the hostel- is listed as single women, as her son Gerald was in his early 20s and therefore listed as a single young man.

Sources for the lists of ethnic composition and age-gender classification included the "Chronological List of Guests at Scattergood Hostel", the "Alphabetical List of Scattergood Guests and Nationalities" (both circa 1943 and compiled by either Scattergood or AFSC staff) and interviews with three dozen surviving Scattergood guests, staff and others in 1994 or 1995.


See "Frölich" in Röder and Strauss (1980) for a detailed description of Frölich.


ELM, Interview with MLT, 27.X.1995.


Benz, 1990, p. 64.

Lehmann confirms that for most Jews emigration meant a permanent decision: a mere 1-2% of surviving Jewish refugees are estimated to have returned to Germany between 1945 and 1949 (1976, p. 155). Regarding German refugees' return generally, see pp. 154-157. Marks reported that of 496 heads of families at Fort Ontario, 304 wished to remain in the U.S., 68 sought repatriation, nine sought passage to "a country of established residence other than country of last citizenship, 22 wished to go elsewhere than the [U.S.], the country of last citizen-ship, or of established residence, and 93 were uncertain or had no plans" (Marks, 1946, p. 47).


Marie Juchacz lived in Dsseldorf, while Paul Frölich lived in Frankfurt-Main. Fritz Schorsch returned to Vienna.


Robert Keller became an important figure in Soviet-controlled Germany. He edited the SED's party newspaper Vorwärts from 1947 to 1949, Neues Deutschland from 1949 to 1952 and the Berliner Zeitung 1952 to 1953. In 1950 he went to Moscow and Leningrad- as well around the newly proclaimed German Democratic Republic- on party business. By February 1953, however, he "didn't conform with the SED policies on many issues" and fled first to West Berlin, then Frankfurt-am-Main, where he died in 1972, having served as press secretary for Frankfurt's police department (Robert Keller, Letter to Annette Keller, April 1954). See 9.25.


Paul Frölich, "Education for Democracy", SMNB, 15.VIII.42.


Davie and Koening, 1945, p. 18.

As with any group, there is danger of grouping "Jews" together into rigid clichés. See Aryeh Tartakower's "The Jewish Refugees: A Sociological Survey" (Jewish Social Studies4#4 [1942], pp. 317-348) for review of the considerable variety or difference among Jewish refugees.


Anonymous article, "Prep Student at Drake: Happy to Be in U.S.: Donald Hopf a Refugee", Article in DMR, 15.IX.39.


Davie, 1947, p. 40.


The few exceptions included the likes of the German butcher Gus Weiler or the Austrian auto mechanic Frank Schloss- the only "workers" recorded at Scattergood Hostel.


CHF, Letter to MLT, 2.VII.94.

The role that refugees' social backgrounds played in their integration or assimilation in America should not be underemphasized. According to one refugee, the effect "of a middle-class philosophy of life was still recognizable in many European [exiles] when they landed in America and its ethical values were still important to them. The European background is relevant to an understanding of their performance" in the U.S. (Fermi, 1968, p. 32). For a review of the historical context behind the European bourgeoisie from which most refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe who reached America came, see Fermi (Ibid., pp. 32-39).


CHF, Ibid.




HDC, Interview with LPW, 10.XI.94.


Anonymous Letter to Kaethe Aschkenes in SMNB, 17.X.41.


This was confirmed- among others- by Walter Shostal, Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan and Ernst [Malamerson] van den Haag. See Marcuse in Schwarz (1964) for an account of one exile's resistance to fleeing to America.


Fermi, Ibid., p. 100.

Fermi continued: "Once in [America], the Germans were surprised at the high academic level of their American colleagues. Most Germans were swiftly won over by the friendliness, benevolence, and tolerance of those with whom they came in contact. [The] Germans rapidly reconized the good features of the American cultural patrinomy and did not try to supplant American methods and ideas with their own but strove to fuse them, promoting understanding between the two traditions" (Ibid., p. 101).


See Fermi's description of Einstein in exile (Ibid., pp. 104-105).


Interview with MLT, 23.X.94.

Although not a Scattergood guest per se, Regina Deutsch's 7-year-old niece Ruth Feigel visited her there and later attended the reopened Scattergood School "for a year or two, but didn't graduate"; as an adult she committed suicide (RB, Letter to MLT, 2.III.95 .


Martin Gumpert. "Immigrants by Conviction", Survey Graphic 20(September 1941).


Davie, Ibid., p. 85.


For a description of Feuchtwanger's own exile, see Kantorowicz (1949, pp. 103-124).


Lion Feuchtwanger. Größe und Erbärmlichkeit des Exils, from Das Wort, Notebook 6, 1938. This passage appeared in a reworked form in his novel Exil.


Rosa Scheider, Letter to MB, 12.I.41.


"Erhard Winter", Interview with AMLT, 25.X.94.

Fifty five years later he said: "I found Scattergood Hostel a rather tiresome affair and stayed there no longer than I had to" (Ibid .


ELM, Interview with MLT, 27.X.95.


EMH, Interview with MLT, 25.X.95.


So he was labeled by volunteer Camilla [Hewson] Flintermann (CHF, Letter to MLT, 30.VI.94 .


Felicity Barringer, "Flight from Sorrow", Washington Post, 31.V.81.


CHF, Ibid.


Bertolt Brecht, for one, found something unsettling about surviving when others had not. He wrote the following poem (Jackman, 1983, p. 18) in Southern California:

I know of course: it's simply luck That I've survived so many friends. But last night in a dream I heard those friends say of me: "Survival of the fittest" And I hated myself.


Magda Shostal, Unpublished Memoirs "Through the Occupation of France 1940", 1942.


AFSC compiled over 50,000 case files of refugees seeking safe haven to prove to U.S. government agents that Jews seeking asylum could be identified (Pickett, 1953, p. 149). One of those was Paul Frölich, who "in spite of all" never saw among Quaker volunteers in Marseilles "the slightest sign of red-tapeism. They did not ask their clients what they thought and what they did in the past. They often asked a lot of questions, but one soon became aware that it was for the purpose of finding the most effective kind of help. To all appearances they made it a goal to find in every case an individual solution which gave not only aid for the moment but a certain security for the future" (Paul Frölich, "How I See the Quakers", SMNB, 17.VIII.41 . Wyman- otherwise critical of non-Jews' apathy toward the plight of European Jewry- did concede that "the AFSC occupied a strategic position in the American refugee aid effort" (Wyman, 1968, p. 277). Barry Trachtenberg- who reviewed AFSC's refugee program in his study of "Christian rescuers"- said: "Next to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the most active rescue organization was unquestionably the American Friends Service Committee; its importance to the entire rescue movement cannot be exaggerated. Whether by processing claims, documenting cases, appealing for help, urging the government to change its policies, or by providing immigrants with the skills and training they would need to become full citizens, the AFSC displayed great humanitarianism in a time of indifference and despair" (Unpublished Thesis, University of Vermont, 1993, pp. 72-73).


Quakers even were present in occupied Poland, where the Generalgouvernement allowed them- along with the Red Cross- to undertake relief work; see Adler (1974, p. 144).


Branson, Ibid.


Former staff Earle Edwards said "we never knew" AFSC's criteria for selecting guests: "Obviously, there were a lot of people who wouldn't have benefitted from [a stay at the hostel. AFSC] did have pretty-well trained social workers on that end of things...and I have no reason to think that they didn't understand what people would be getting into in Scattergood. How well they could size people up who were candidates, I don't know. Of course we know there were some people who really were not very enthusiastic about the prospect of being there. For example, Ilse Stahl said she was miserable as she thought about having to live there; now as it turned out, she was very glad she got there: her whole future life related to that experience" (Interview with MLT, 1.XI.95 .


Rich, Ibid., p. 4.


IRW, Interview with MLT, 30.X.95.


"Ilse Stahl", Interview with the Edwardses and Willoughbys, X.94.


The letter suggests that AFSC had a set of criteria, but Scattergood Hostel staff were not fully informed what those were. Martha Balderston wrote: "The telegram from Seattle raised questions in our minds. We obviously do not wish to accept for Scattergood anyone who for fundamental reasons has not been placeable elsewhere. On the other hand, to have them come for a short period of rehabilitation and study is another matter... This couple may have already passed your referral tests. In that case we should be satisfied, but if they have had no interview to ascertain their adaptability for Scattergood we feel justified in asking for further information. At the same time we do not wish to jeopardize your relations with the NRS by causing repetitious procedure here or making unnecessary demands for information Can you enlighten us on the whole matter? Is this type of referral to be a more common one in the future, and if so what kind of safeguards have been made for Scattergood? Or shall we judge each case as it comes along? Perhaps you should send us word when you advise such referrals from other centers so we have something to guide our decision" (MB, Letter to Louise Clancy, 14.VIII.40 .






Unpublished and unsigned essay entitled "A New Use for Scattergood", 29.V.39.


Jean Reynolds, Letter to Giles Zimmerman, 6.XI.40.




Lotte Liebman, Letter to Mary Rogers, 7.III.40.


"Executive Committee Minutes", 21.VII.42.


SHP, Letter to Reed Cary, 6.VI.39.


Howard Dobson, "Strong Stories Told in Faces of 4 Refugees: Find Iowa Haven After Hitler", Des Moines Register, 17.IV.39.


John Kaltenbach, Letter to Reed Cary, 7.VI.39.


Charles Bukovis, Letter, 16.II.43.


Giles Zimmerman, Letter to Mary Rogers, 8.XII.41.


Untitled Report on Scattergood Committee executive board meeting, 25.IV.41.


Giles Zimmerman, Letter to Jean Reynolds, 6.XI.40.




CHF, Letter to MLT, 30.VI.94.


MB, Letter to John Rich, 30.IX.40.

Although no excuse, Mary Rogers did later confirm the Scattergood staff's decision, saying "apparently we had the right hunch on Esther Levine. I felt awfully sorry for her and hope she will succeed in finding some sort of work" (Letter to MB, 16.X.40 .


Asked some five decades later about why her family celebrated Hanukkah in their bedroom and not in a public space, Edith [Lichtenstein] Morgan responded: "I can't think of a reason... I'm trying to think if it was a matter of size or what. I mean, there was no reason to hide: it wasn't a question of fear, particularly. There was no pressure to become a Quaker or any of that kind of thing; at least I don't recall any pressure- and that wouldn't have worked anyway: my parents would have done what they wanted to do" (Interview with MLT, 27.X.95 .


In his essay "Americanization Through Quaker Hostels" (p. 1), John Rich noted that the refugees included Christians and Jews: "Many have been through experiences that have shattered their spirits and shaken their faith. It is not the Quaker way to proselytize or inject an unwanted religious note, but in the daily opportunity for fifteen minutes' silent worship has been found the strongest factor for rebuilding morale. These silent gatherings, rarely broken by a few brief words from any one of the worshippers, are occasions that the refugee residents seem especially to treasure. Scattergood Hostel is fortunate to have on its grounds a tiny, unused Quaker Meeting House that was once a part of the school. Here the refugees will gather for "a time apart'. In tribute to the spirit of that place, they recently contributed materials and labor to renovate its leaky roof".


Sources for the previous three quotes were: "Scattergood Hostel Report of Lectures and Field Trips for January and February, 1941"; Anonymous, "Chit Chat", SMNB, 17.II.41. and Clarence Pickett, Letter to SHP, 30.I.40.


Haim Genizi. "American Interfaith Cooperation on Behalf of Refugees from Nazism, 1933-1945". American Jewish History 70#3 (1981), p. 357.


Lucy Selig, Report titled "A Quaker Project", spring 1940.


RFB, Interview with MLT, 13.XI.95.


Robert Cory, Letter to Mary Rogers, 20.V.42.


RFB, Ibid.

Regarding its use of volunteers, Earle Edwards said: "AFSC had a lot of experience in appointing young people to work in a wide variety of situations as volunteers in Mexico or among Native Americans or in the coal fields and so on. Out of that kind of thing, they probably knew something about these people. For example, Marjorie and I [as students] spent summers [working on AFSC projects]. So somewhere in the organization, there were people who were accustomed to reading people's curriculum vitae and making some judgements and I'm sure they had something to go on in their files- at least in our case and in some of the others... Everybody wanted to be useful and I don't think there were any people [on the staff] who had big egos. The interesting thing in retrospect is how much the staff enjoyed one another. I think that was the thing that made the whole thing feasible [because] you knew that everybody was investing as much as possible. It was around the clock "opportunity': you never knew when [you'd be called]". He noted: "There weren't any booklets [for orientation], as far as I know" (Interview with MLT, 1.XI.95 .


RFB, Ibid.


When asked about this point, George Willoughby wondered "Where would we get experience running refugee hostels other than by doing it- would we go to the university [and if so] what would they have known about it? There's a difference in attitude: one is, "we do it'- a Quaker approach: we learn, by god, how to do it. The other is "first you gotta learn'... At Scattergood there was this difference, which is characteristic of Quakers [even if] it has problems. Even for the misfits who came to Scattergood and didn't fit in very well, it was a home, it was a refuge. I can compare Scattergood with the resettlement of Japanese-Americans because... I spent a year working with the War Relocation Authority, which ran the relocation centers; we didn't have the guts to call them "concentration camps'. Scattergood was vastly different. There was no barbed wire around it, you could go in freely- it was a home, whereas War Relocation Centers were camps. They were devoid of real physical violence but there armed guards around: they weren't very conspicuous, but there was barbed wire, there were lights on the periphery and you had to have some sort of identification to get in. And yet, it didn't provide a refuge for those people from a world that was very angry and hostile toward the Japanese Americans" (Interview with MLT, 31.X.95 .


Gertrude King, Letter to Mary Rogers, 23.VI.42.


WS, Unpublished Memoirs "American Beginnings", 1994.


These figures come from the 73rd edition of the Department of Commerce and the Bureau of the Census' Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington, D.C., 1952.


World Almanac. New York, 1996.


Reed Cary, Letter to SHP, 9.V.39.


SHP, Letter to Reed Cary, 21.V.39.


Lucy Selig, Transcript of a Talk given in the second half of 1940.


Richard Schuber, Unpublished Essay, February 1940.


Mary "Mimi" Scheider, Letter to MB, 12.I.41.


Vita Stein, Letter to MB, spring 1942.


Mary [Middleton] Rogers, Letter to SH, April 1941.




At least one other refugee- the German youth Erhard Winter- also held some guests in disregard- and specifically Jews, despite being one himself. He complained: "For the most part [were] a whiny, complaining, smart-alecky bunch who were never satisfied". Winter erroneously felt he had nothing in common with then and "wished to have nothing to do [with them]. They were shirkers" he claimed: "Whenever...a tough or dirty job needed to be done, all the Jews disappeared and it ended up being done by staff or by one of the non-Jews". He maintained that "many of the Jews at S.H. found its simple lifestyle and accommodations somehow demeaning; some expected staff to wait on them; few expressed gratitude, mostly they expressed irritation and self-pity". Winter found the pronounced personality of one of the other guests- for example- particularly offensive and later labeled him "a greasy Jew", referring to the man's attempts to straighten his naturally wavy, dark hair (Letter to CHF, spring 1994).


EMH, Interview with MLT, 25.X.95.






Morgan, Ibid.




John Kaltenbach, Letter to SH, April 1941.

Apparently guest Hans Peters had experienced this spirit at the hostel on a profound level, for after he left he later advised "if you go to Scattergood, someday, to visit the folks there, be open-minded and prepared for the things you cannot see, you cannot touch. I mean the spirit, the atmosphere...". For him, that "spirit is still alive, moving on to responsible service among human society, inspiring greater action in this life" (Hans Peters, "Alumnus Returns", SMNB, 17.I.41 .


Rich, Ibid., p. 3.


Indeed, those hidden fears and resentments surfaced just at the point that the Scattergood staff attempted to transform the closing refugee hostel into a center for displaced Japanese-Americans; unreceptive, negative response in the community shattered those plans. For a fuller report on the events surrounding the ensuing controversy, see the epilog of OHR.


SHP, Letter to Homer Morris, 19.IV.39.

In the mentioned letter from Homer Morris, he had said: "I am sure that you will find a great many difficult problems to work out in connection with the development of this hostel. We always do in any such work. We have found, however, that the Quaker method of "proceeding as the way opens' is a good one to follow" (Letter to SHP, 17.II.39 .


"Minutes of the Executive Board of the Scattergood Hostel", 10.V.39.


John Kaltenbach, Letter to Reed Cary, 28.VII.39.




In retrospect, however, Fawcett could look back at that period and see it as "very helpful", for after West Branchians "got to know the people it was helpful for the community and I hope we contributed something to help these people who came out here. I thought, while we were involved, that it was a very interesting time" (Interview with MLT, 17.XI.94 .


MB, Letter to Mary Rogers, 2.XII.40.


William Davidson, Letter to "My Dear Sir", 17.XI.40.


Mary Rogers, Letter to William Davidson, 27.XI.40.

Rogers noted: "You also said that some of our criticizers thought perhaps we did not know what was going on at Scattergood. Scattergood has been visited by [five specific visitors] and several other members of the staff. I have been there twice, having just returned... I would be very much interested in what they think is going on that we can take exception to".

Altruistic appeals alone would not win the confidence or favor of the locals. As Robert Berquist noted, "One thing...that did help was the fact that Scattergood was dependent upon local businesses for various kinds- for coal, repair of plumbing, grocery items- and [it] did a lot of business in West Branch. This brought West Branch to the hostel and they in that way could understand it better and become acquainted with some of the people and find they were really some interesting people and pleasant people to visit with". A local farmwoman and Quaker, Helen Fawcett added: "On the other hand, the women were invited and did come to our homemakers' meetings, which was the women of the community [who] met with the Farm Bureau and had talks about how to do things at home: sewing and cooking and this sort of thing. I remember, too, that some from the hostel came up and we put on a play or something at the high school and there was some interaction [with the local community] that way. I know I took an art course which one of them gave at Scattergood... We all went in and they taught us how to make apple Strudel the way the Germans did... It was a way we had a one-to-one interaction with local people" (RFB and Helen Fawcett, Interview with MLT, 17.XI.94 .


Mary Rogers, Letter to MB, 27.XI.40.


George Krauthamer, "First Impressions of an American High School", SMNB, 15.IX.42.

Despite the two youngsters' impressions, some neighborhood children remained less than "kindly". According to a visiting reporter, "a class of war refugees lay on blankets in the shade of a big maple tree at Scattergood hostel [with] their attention...on John Kaltenbach, 24, youthful Pennsylvania-Dutch Yale graduate and hostel director who was giving a lecture- in English- on the Declaration of Independence. Fifty yards away, on the road, a bright yellow school bus roared by, raising a cloud of dust. The heads of school children stuck out of all the bus windows toward Scattergood. They were yelling wildly. "Hi, yi! German spies. Hi, yi! German spies!' The reporter jerked his head quickly toward the road- then back to the solemn-faced group of refugees. The expressions on their faces did not change. And Kaltenbach, without a change of expression, continued his lecture" (Herbert Owens, "Refugees Learn of U.S.; Hostel Studies History; Hear Jeers by Iowa Boys", Des Moines Tribune, 24.V.40 .


Richard Schuber, Unpublished Essay, February 1940.


Lucy Selig, "A Quaker Project", SMNB, 17.X.40.

Refugees initially did have difficulty adjusting to the amount of hostel work: "At first, we were greatly astonished at the huge quantities of everything- dishes to be washed, shirts to be washed and ironed, and food to be prepared. But since we work in teams (the men help with every work), we got used to it very soon" (Lotte Liebman, Letter to Mary Rogers, 7.III.40 .


Grete Rosenzweig, Unpublished Memoirs "My Life Told for My Grandchildren", 1974.


Margot Weiss, "Impressions of Scattergood", SMNB, 17.VII.41.


Rich, Ibid., p. 2.


Emil Deutsch, "The Refugee and American Life", Essay in SMNB, 17.III.41.




As Peter Curtis- grandson of AFSC-staff Reed Cary- saw it, "One requirement of living in a new country that all could agree to at once was the need to learn anew language, history and literature. From the very beginning classes were held in all these subjects, taught by staff members. Coupled with them was an ensure that the predominant language used at the hostel would be English. The minutes of one staff business meeting after another are filled with exhortations to try to impress on the residents the importance of using the language of their adopted land in their daily conversation. That they were not doing so was clearly the product of habit, not intention. English language classes were the best attended and considered by all to be the most important at the hostel" (Essay "The Scattergood Refugee Hostel and Iowa Friends, 1938-1943", p. 6).


In a letter she wrote to "Trudy" King on 3 June 1942, Mary Rogers admitted that "the problem of teaching English to older people is one that is almost insurmountable. I don't wonder that the staff becomes discouraged".


Gertrude King, Letter to Mary Rogers, 23.V.42.

On a positive beat, Gertrude noted: "On the whole... Scattergood is doing a great deal for the people there now. [Refugees] meet Americans in very informal settings and get to know our customs and our idiosyncracies. We all do the same things together, play, work and learn. Most of them like Iowa when they get there but are disappointed not to find any Indians" (p. 4).


Ibid., p. 2.




Ibid., pp. 2-3.


Rich, Ibid., p. 2.




Gertrude King, Letter to Mary Rogers, 23.V.42.


Securing work and establishing a career were fundamental steps in adjusting to life in America. See Davie, Ibid., pp. 129-142 for information on "occupational adjustment".


"Report of the Executive Board, June 22nd and 23rd", 1939.


Regarding follow up, Lynn Zimmerman wrote: "The Scattergood placement worker has always made at least one call for follow up. This call was usually arranged at the time of the placement. Judging by the number of minor difficulties straightened out (some might have resulted in dismissals if not corrected before the misunderstandings became too great) this follow-up with the employer and refugee is absolutely essential to successful and permanent placement. This pre-arranged call usually takes place about six weeks from the date the refugee starts work. In all cases except one...all refugees have had five or more follow up calls. When the placement worker is in the vicinity he always calls on refugees who have been placed. He only sees employers at request of refugee after the first follow-up call. On one occasion the employer sent for him. Many refugees are placed in [nearby larger] cities... where the placement worker makes frequent calls looking for new positions; these refugees therefore receive calls every few weeks, although such frequent calls are not necessary. The placement man always calls on special request as soon as possible. There is a close contact maintained by letters to the persons placed. There is at least one letter a month, and frequently more" (Essay, "Placement Analysis, Scattergood Hostel, West Branch, Iowa", 21.VII.40 .


"Minutes of the Executive Board", 27.X.41.


Rich, Ibid., p. 3.


Reed Cary, Letter to SHP, 6.IV.39.

If Friends worried about arousing anti-foreigner sentiment from natives who felt threatened by potential foreign-born competitors for jobs, at least the experiences of one refugee contradicted such fears. Said Hamburg professor of art history Erwin Panofsky: "No foreign art historian has, to the best of my knowledge, ever displaced an American-born. Immigrants were either added to the staffs of college or university departments already in being...or were entrusted with the task of instituting the teaching of the history of art where it had been previously been absent from the scene. In either case the opportunities of American students and teachers were widened rather than narrowed" (Panofsky in Crawford, 1953, p. 92).


In the previous paragraph, Zimmerman had written: "In carrying out our program, we have tried to keep our wage-earners in their former lines of work, whenever possible. In many cases this could not be done; and while they now may be far below the standard they had in Europe, at least they are in their own field, in a position to make the best contribution possible to our way of life, and are thus given an opportunity to proceed on their own merits- the chance they ask of us. In other cases, they have had to use an avocation or a hobby for a start in this country, and in a few cases, they have had to try something entirely new to them. Many different fields have accepted our New Americans, including: engineer-ing, teaching, music, farm products, business, manufacturing, sales, advertising, institution-al work and individual enterprises" ("Scattergood's Placement Record", SMNB, 12.XII.41 .


Zimmerman, Ibid.


WS, Ibid.


CHF, Letter to MLT, 25.XI.94.


Ruth Carter, Report titled "Scattergood- August, 1939".


EMH, Interview with MLT, 25.X.95.


"Scattergood Hostel News- Special Alumni Number", April 1943.


Nora Hackel was already working in the same capacity in a house there containing 28 children and her mother Hedwig was serving as a cook; in her spare time, "Omi" also did embroidery work while looking after little Nicole, who by then was 4 years old.


Marianne had experience running children's homes: after she and Nora Hackel fled Berlin- both "militant" SPD members and the latter a Jew- the two established a home for refugee children in the French capital (Marianne Welter, Interview with MLT, 23.X.94 .


For detailed statistical or visual descriptions of refugee physicians in the U.S., see articles "The Problem of the Refugee Physician" and "Immigration of Alien Immigrant Physicians" (Journal of the American Medical Association 25#8 [1939]) or the photo-essay "Refugee Doctor" (Look, 29.III.46 . Additional material can be found in the National Refugee Service's special-issue booklet called "Pilgrims in Our Time" (April 1946) and Kathryn Close's "A Place to Call Home" (Survey Graphic 30#12 [1941]).


Having been a business person in Europe, in America Rolf Arntal found employ-ment at someone else's business; he worked for the Henry Fields Seed and Nursery Company in Shenandoah, Iowa, for more than 20 years before retiring (RFB, Letter to MLT, 13.III.96 .


Ernst and Ilse Stahl came to Scattergood as political refugees. Two other recorded political refugees at Scattergood Hostel, Arbeiterwohlfahrt's founder Maria Juchacz and Paul Frölich of Leipzig- both one-time Reichstag members- were already in their 50s by the time they arrived at West Branch. The hostel's job-placement director could find suitable positions for neither and both eventually returned to New York, where Juchacz lived with relatives and awaited her chance to return to Germany once Hitler had fallen. When she did, she worked to revive the well-respected Arbeiterwohlfahrt and served as its honorary chair until her death in Bonn in 1956. At the time of her return to Germany in 1949, the Berlin Stadtparlament officially welcomed her to the divided former German capital. In her reply of thanks, she said: "It is a miracle, that despite Hitler and everything else which has befallen us, here today there is still- or, again- so much joy and love among people" (see Grassl, 1979).


Refugees did not only "take" manufacturing jobs, but also created them- as explained in the article "Refugees Build U.S. Industries" (Business Week, 27.IV.40 .


"Optimism" either pleases or irritates- depending on the beholder. Later the head of Hitler's unsuccessful attempt to build a nuclear weapon, in 1929 Werner Heisenberg sailed to America to lecture on quantum theory in Chicago and later reported that "the new world cast its spell on me right from the start. The carefree attitude of the young, their straightforward warmth and hospitality, their gay optimism- all this made me feel as if a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders" (Heisenberg, 1971, p. 94).


"Erhard Winter", Letter to CHF, spring 1994.


This is not only my opinion, but also that of Emil's son-in-law, Phil Clampitt (brother of Scattergood volunteer staff Amy). Upon reading this essay, Phil said: "That didn't sound like the Emil Deutsch that I knew- the one who wrote those glowing things about America: I just never saw him that way. I think he was maybe trying to wish, to see America in the best light that he could and hope that it was true; then he found out that it wasn't" (Interview with MLT, 10.XI.95 . As opposed to this essay's treatment in OHR, all sexist passages are left in their original, non-inclusive language.

Emi Deutsch wasn't the only exile from "Greater Germany" who cited non-conforming images of America. Upon returning from a professional trip to America in spring 1921, Albert Einstein offered "My First Impressions of the U.S.A.": 1 Contrary to widespread stereotypes, there is in the U.S. not a preoccupation with materialistic things, but an "idealistic outlook"; "knowledge and justice are ranked above wealth and power by a large section". 2 The superiority of the U.S. "in matters of technology and organization" has consequences at the everyday level; objects are more solid, houses more practically designed. 3 What "strikes a visitor is the joyous, positive attitude to life". The American is "friendly, self-confident, optimistic- and without envy. The European finds intercourse with Americans easy and agreeable". The American lives for the future: "life for him is always becoming, never being". 4 The American is less an individualist than the European- with "more emphasis on the we than the I". Thus, there is more uniformity of outlook on life and in moral or aesthetic ideas. But, therefore, one can also find more cooperation and division of labor, essential factors in America's economic superiority. 5 The well-to-do in America have impressive social consciences, shown, for example, in the energy they throw into works of charity. 6 Last but not least, "I have warm admiration for the achievements of American institutes of scientific research. We are unjust in attempting to ascribe the increasing superiority of American research work exclusively to superior wealth; devotion, patience, and the spirit of comradeship, and a talent for cooperation play an important part in its success" (Einstein, 1954, pp. 16-19).


Deutsch was not alone in disdaining European provincialism. Exiled theologian Paul Tillich claimed: "America can save [transplanted Europeans] from European and other provincialism, but it does not necessarily make you provincial itself. There was and there still is a give and take in [the U.S.] which makes the growth of an American provincialism extremely difficult. This is a summary of my experience and, I believe, of that of other theological and philosophical refugees" (Tillich in Crawford, Ibid., pp. 138-139).


Exiled French literary figure Henri Peyre echoed Deutsch's conclusions: "Some of the differences between cultural conditions in the United States and Europe are valuable ones and should be preserved; others can be eliminated through the mutual acquisition by each of what is best, and assimilable, in the other" (Peyre in Crawford, Ibid., p. 54 .


Emil Deutsch, "The Refugee and American Life", SMNB, 17.III.41. and 17.IV.41.


EMH, Interview with MLT, 25.X.95.


Frank Keller, Letter to MLT, 31.X.96.




After serving in the air force, Helmut attended Iowa State College and became an architect, while Ilse/Elizabeth became a teacher, then a tutor for learning-disabled children.


Pierre Shostal, Interview with MLT, 26.X.94.


As an adult, Clampitt said: "I think one the most difficult adjustments for me somehow was leaving my home... It seems like the after-effect mostly was turning out to be a very shy, retiring, unsure person. When we got to Scattergood, somehow that was the first place that seemed like home- partly because it was green and where we lived in Vienna, in Grinzing, is also green. Later, after I had gone back to Vienna in 1983 and came back to visit Scattergood again and I turned around to look at the landscape on the way back from the farm, I realized that the topography of the land was the same as I saw from my backyard in Vienna... I think the hostel was the first place I felt secure and like I had a community again. I don't think I was aware of any problems among the guests at the hostel because of political backgrounds or the staff. My own response was, I really loved a lot of the staff; I can still pick out their names and I don't really even remember their faces very much, but somehow they were very special" (HDC, Interview with LPW, 10.XI.94 .


HDC, Interview with MLT, 31.X.94.


HDC, Interview with LPW, 10.XI.94.


While emotional problems might have made them seem conflicted, the external manifestations of internalized trauma did not meant that the youngest "New Americans" were not intelligent. In August 1939, for example, some 50 refugee children living in New York were guests of Vermont families for a fortnight. One host later wrote: "As we came to know them, we thought them unusually smart children, as might have been expected when you remembered that most of their parents had been exiled for the crime of being successful. For of course the refugees now being driven out from totalitarian counties are the intellectual and cultural cream of their fatherlands" (Dorothy Canfield. "New Americans in Vermont", Readers Digest 26#214 [1940]).


IRW, Interview with MLT, 30.X.95.










WS, Letter to MLT, 6.VIII.95.




Clampitt tried to account for Deutsch's professional misfortune, but admitted: "It's very difficult for me to tell what had to do with his personality and what had to do with the actual situation- whether he really was sort of passed over at work or what that was about. I don't know... I almost had the feeling that [his bosses] would have liked to have helped him more, and I don't know what was in the way. I have the feeling that a lot of my father's bitterness was already within him and the circumstances kind of ripened it- that it had a lot to do with his base personality. It was a mix: it was a situation where maybe he wasn't valued enough, but he also didn't know how to bend or relate to those people- because in Vienna, he was a very prized part of his company" (Interview with MLT, 10.XI.95 .


Clampitt elaborated: "He was a political creature: he spent hours, hours writing letters to Congressmen and he wrote poetry... I think he was disillusioned [with America] before the [McCarthy era in the] "50s... He just became very negative about [everything, but] on the one hand, if he liked somebody and thought somebody was wonderful, then he was very [doting]... He spent a lot of hours doing the books for [AFSC] in Des Moines and donated that service- you know, kind of giving back what the Quakers gave to him (Interview, 10.XI.95 .


Interview with MLT, 10.XI.95.


According to Clampitt, Emil "felt ill at ease at the Jewish synagogue and he felt that Quakerism was a real way to live, so he wanted to become a Quaker- which for my mother, having been raised orthodox, presented quite a problem" (Ibid . Furthermore: "My father had [a] problem with the socio-economic background of the Jews in Des Moines, who were all very wealthy and didn't have the Quaker values which somehow seemed to fit in a lot more for my parents than those of the wealthy Jewish community [there]- and so they became Quakers". Clampitt became a Quaker, too, and married a "birthright Friend" at Friends House in Des Moines- "but now we are not attending Quaker meeting: I call myself, though, a "Jewish Quaker'" (HDC, Interview with LPW, 10.XI.94


HDC, Self-recorded Monolog, 31.X.94.


EMH, Interview with MLT, 25.X.95.


At that point van den Haag joked: "I sometimes have told friends that I go to the Berlitz School to renew my European accent- [laughing] I'm really from Brooklyn" (Ibid .


Welter said of work in post-war Germany: "It took some doing emotionally" to be there after all that had happened to her personally and "after I had my [U.S.] citizenship. It helped me a great deal to with my emotions in regard to my return in that I found that I made connections with the Arbeiterwohlfahrt- which had been banned and were rebuilding their own organization and their work and their services. In Bremen, friends from here had referred me to an underground person who in the meantime had become the Brgermeister of Bremen, so my connections were very, very helpful in my return [and] in working with what our assignment was- [namely] to...bring the young social workers who had been exposed to fascism and didn't know any other approach, really, than that- to bring that other world to them and, also, to acquaint them with our team: a psychologist, a psychiatrist...I was a social worker expert, our administrator and so on... We had a comparable team in those fields of Germans, so we held these "institutes' for several years for three months during the summer. Out of that grew the establishment of the Bremen neighborhood social-settlement house" (Marianne Welter and Nicole Hackel, Interview with MLT, 23.X.94 .




As a grown woman, Hackel "had a hard time admitting that I'm an American - in a funny way. I'm more terms of the culture I've absorbed in my life: I am really am an American, so when I go outside of America, I realize "Oh my, a lot of my perspective is "American"'...but I don't quite believe it. I don't think I have ever totally accepted being an American. And most certainly, not in that "Super American' way, that "America's right'. It's much more a self-conscious position of being in critical opposition: "we're not going to be hoodwinked by any sort of government line', no matter where it comes from. Maybe I'm not grateful enough to this country, really. That's what Marianne said about me; she said "You know, this country has its faults and everything, but it really saved us and its true that we have to criticize and so on- but we have a lot to appreciate. She really thinks I'm too cynical. I can be modest about the appreciation, whereas I'm quite vocal about my criticisms. [Marianne] calls herself American with some kind of pride. It's not snobbery- she's not snobbish about being an American, but I think she is proud of it" (Nicole Hackel, Interview with MLT, 31.X.95 .




Frank Keller, Ibid.


Robert Keller returned to Germany in 1947 and- according to son Frank- the marriage "floundered on this issue. My mother did not want any more hardships. We three children stayed with her in the U.S. My parents never divorced and...we children always hoped for a reconciliation. Our mother, despite illnesses, struggled very hard to make a life for us & discovered that the streets [in America] are not paved with gold" (Ibid . Robert, on the other hand, later wrote a narrative for his children in which he explained: "After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the question of returning to Germany came up for many German political refugees. [The Kellers] discused that problem profoundly. Dadd was of the opinion that his return was necessary because so many of his political friends [in Germany] who had worked with him against the Nazi system after 1933, had even lost their lives in this hard struggle. Dadd was of the opinion that his staying in the States would be some kind of political desertion, as he had had a big responsibility in fighting the Nazi system". He later regretted this decision, though, and concluded his essay: "Dadd's misfortune has been that he entered German politics. German politics are a bad thing. Almost nobody can feel happy in German politics except men without any scruples" (Robert Keller, Letter to Annette Keller, April 1954).


Frank Keller, Ibid.

Robert Keller was not the only refugee to disdain aspects of American materialism. Exiled composer Arnold Schoenberg often felt appalled by what he saw in Southern California. He once wrote to Oskar Kokoschka in New York: "You complain of lack of culture in this amusement-arcade world [of America]. I wonder what you'd say to the world in which I nearly die of disgust... Here is an advertisement by way of example: There's a picture of a man who has run over a child, which is lying dead in front of his car. He clutches his head in despair, but not to say anthing like "My God, what have I done?' For there is a caption saying: "Sorry, now it is too late to worry- take out your policy at the XX Insurance Company in time.' And these are the people I"m supposed to teach composition to!" (Jackman, Ibid., p. 97)




ELM, Interview with MLT, 27.X.1995.






For example, Morgan told how her family coped in France, where they lived from April 1933 to August 1941: "So when we were in France, we learned French; we learned French culture: you know, anyone who's educated in Germany knows...all the French painters and all the French artists. We were there when I was three and...went to public school. My parents entrusted us to the school, but they never left us with anybody else: "The school is okay'. So we spoke French outside and we spoke German at home. For some reason, French never caught on at home, because my parents were much more comfortable with it. And then we added French food to German food: you know, we ate the best of both" (Interview with MLT, 27.X.95 .


As the Lichtensteins were to discover, where they lived in America made a crucial difference in how they lived in America and how they perceived their adopted country. The first Lichtenstein residence in America was "a "cold-water flat' in the downstairs of a house and we had a little potbellied coal stove and my mother lugged coal up from the basement everyday in a bucket in the morning in the wintertime and lit that little stove before any of us got up. And she would put a candle under the cold water tap to melt that- so it wasn't an easy life for somebody who had never had to do these kinds of things. It was pretty primitive... My dad worked at various jobs; my mother stayed home and took care of us- and was a great manager. We never went hungry and never went without clothes; she saved everything, she was very frugal. Which was interesting because she was the baby in her family, she never had to do anything, she was spoiled rotten as a child. And then her parents died and all this happened: somehow or other, she managed to survive. And my dad was just a real scholar, he didn't have a clue: he couldn't boil water" (Ibid .




The Lichtensteins were not alone in not freely choosing the United States as a refuge. Writer-playwright [Blue Angel] Carl Zuckmayer once admitted that he "did not think about America" upon fleeing occupied Austria in March 1938: "No, we said like obstinate children. One flight is enough. We're Europeans and we'll stay in Europe. What would we do in a country where people pour ketchup on beef and where our greatest linguistic achievement would be to say in English: "I am not able to express myself'?" (Zuckmayer, 1984, p. 78).










ESC, Interview with MLT, 28.X.95.






Pierre Shostal, Interview with MLT, 26.X.94.






Pierre is not Walter Shostal's only son with definite preferences regarding his place-of-residence. Asked about the economic and social health of the New York metropolitan area which as head of the Regional Plan Association he knows well, Claude Shostal explained that "the reason the best and brightest chose to be here is because it's still the most exciting place in the world- with the highest concentration of talent, media, communications, technology, magazines, publishing. When we talk to large companies, we find that quality of life is of paramount importance. Our economy is going to be built by creative people, and in an increasingly mobile society we have to give those people a reason to be here. So [attracting and retaining people] boils down to improving quality of life to keep the best and brightest in New York as opposed to Boise or Denver" (Kenneth Wapner, "Risk Assessment: A Stroll Up the Mountain with Regional Plan Association Chief Claude Shostal",Woodstock Times,11.IV.96

In sending the above article, Walter Shostal suggest that I might "contrast Claude's vision of the future of America and his concept of the melting pot with the...parochial concept of it by which [Scattergood Hostel] operated. Remember, by Sc.H. standards NYC was a definite No-no, where people could never be "real Americans'" (WS, Letter to MLT, 3.V.96 .


Clampitt elaborated: "Probably the biggest obstacle to adjusting to American life was feeling different and feeling that my parents were different... When we lived in Des Moines, at school I never felt like I fit in...very much. "It just was always uncomfortable' is the best way I could describe it, and it did feel like my parents were different and at that time I probably was ashamed- and I didn't want to speak German at home" (HDC, Interview with LPW, 10.XI.94 .


HDC, Thesis titled "The Experience of Inner Conflict as Described by Women Between 40 and 60", Center for Humanistic Studies, 1987, pp. 4-5.


Expectably, Clampitt's memories of that time remain fragmented, as she explained: "I remember [after the Anschluß] waking up at night and having somebody pounding on the door and saying "You better get out of here!'- "Ihr mußt weg gehen!' And actually, my father talked about Nazis in our neighborhood taking care of us by doing that- that people would do that, that Nazis would "take care' of their local Jews by telling them to get out of there. I don't know if that was true in other places, but we went to another part of the city before we could leave. And my uncle- my mother's oldest brother- had to scrub the streets. We were among the last people to get out of there- it was September or October of "38. I don't know, but that was pretty close to when people couldn't make it out, so [Hanna's voice trails off]. And I can't remember leaving: I can remember lots of stuff before we left and I can remember England after that, but I cannot remember leaving. I don't know what happened in there. Someone told me that some children were given sleeping pills or something so that they couldn't make noise: I don't know if that happened or not..."(Interview, 31.X.94 . In a similar vein, Hanna reported: "my parents pretty much shut out their past in the sense that I wanted my father to go back to visit Vienna with me after my mother passed away: he would not go. They didn't talk much about... [Hanna's voice fades out] Well, that's not true: there was a whole refugee community in Des Moines and those folks got together- and some of them were from the hostel...but...I don't really know how much they talked about what had been in the past" (HDC, Interview with LPW, 10.XI.94 .


HDC, Interview with MLT, 10.XI.95.






All of the quotes in this section come from an interview with MLT, 30.X.95.

No reactionary conservative, given her biography Wessel has grappled with questions of identity, nationality and group membership. As an example of her own process of becoming comfortable identifying herself as an "American", she told of the time "a very good friend came and asked me to register to vote as a Democrat and I was registered to vote, but as an Independent. I got very emotional and we had a big discussion [with the family] who thought I was stupid not to register as a Democrat. I said, "Well, how can I register as a Democrat- I might want to vote as a Republican on some issue and I could be deported'. I ended up bringing up the Bill of Rights and all kinds of things to convince everybody that, you know, "You can be deported if you do the wrong thing'. That was when I think I was fairly rational as an adult, but still that fear that something could happen, I think, has stayed with me. But it's changed".

[Titlepage] [Introduction] [1] [2] [3] [Appendix] [Appendix] [Abbreviations] [Bibliography] [Acknowledgements]

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