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The Scattergood Hostel

Here is an interesting excerpt from a book titled  “Out of Hitler’s Reach: The Scattergood Hostel for European Refugees.” By Michael Luick-Thrams.    This was submitted by Cheryl McChesney. 

Toward the end of WII a Quaker settlement in central Iowa, called the Scattergood Hostel, took in European refugees (i.e. Jewish refugees) who had come through Canada. The excerpt talks about some of the feelings the refugees experienced. Some of these may parallel the feelings of the refugee students we work with. This may offer some small bit of insight into the emotional mindset of our students. 

Excerpt

      One guest who did not perceive a community at the hostel was Ernst Malamerson, who maintained that “the refugees themselves, on the whole, disliked each other considerably. I must say that I did not find myself particularly interested in any of them and I think they had a sort of…well, let me put it this way: to begin with, [they were] psychologically anti-American. 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…At the same time they also doubted fully their ability to re-establish themselves, so they were all ambiguous.” 

     “Well, each one felt that the other did not recognize his or her importance in view of their position. On the whole…I think the Quakers tried very hard to form a community as it were but they didn’t really succeed in this 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…”

 

    Want to learn more about the Scattergood Hostel - visit this site:  http://www.traces.org/scattergood.html

 

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