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CARE Delivers Packages to Orphans in Postwar Europe

CARE Delivers Packages to Orphans in Postwar Europe

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At the end of World War II, CARE introduced the first CARE Package® for the post-war hungry, ultimately delivering 100 million of them to families around the world.

UN Security Council Syria Humanitarian Briefing Remarks by Sherine Ibrahim, CARE Turkey Country Director

Thank you Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General and Excellencies. I am honoured to address the Security Council today on behalf of my organization, CARE International, and in solidarity with the humanitarian community operating in Syria.

Open Letter to United Nations Security Council Ambassadors on Syria Cross Border Resolution

The United Nations Security Council has until July 10 to renew the Syria cross-border resolution, which ensures life-saving UN aid reaches millions of Syrians in need. NGO leaders are calling on the Security Council to renew the resolution for a period of 12 months and guarantee UN cross-border access to both North West and North East Syria.


The Australian Red Cross reported dispatching a total of 395,695 food parcels and 36,339 clothing parcels to Allied POWs in Germany and Turkey during the course of World War I. [2] Food parcels were also sent to needy civilians in Belgium and France.

British PoWs during World War I were supplied with food parcels by the British Central Prisoners of War Committee of the Joint War Organisation, the combined Red Cross and Order of St John. When the Central Powers refused to allow food to be sent to prisoners of war by the British government, the British Red Cross had stepped forward. Packages containing food and conveniences were sent fortnightly to POWs. Donations collected from the public for these parcels reached £674,908 19s 1d. A total of £5,145,458 16s 9d was spent. [3] By the end of the war, some 9,000,000 food parcels and 800,000 clothing parcels had been despatched by various organisations to British prisoners abroad. [4]

French POWs were required to pay for parcels sent to them through a French commission these packages included potted chicken, various pâtés, and even bottled wine. [5] Indigent French POWs could receive parcels with lower-quality food for free, from the "Vetement du Prisonnier" which liaised actively with the Croix-Rouge française.

New Zealand Edit

New Zealand relatives had to buy parcels and were given a choice:

  • 1 Alp milk chocolate
  • 1 condensed milk
  • 1 cheese
  • 1 block chocolate
  • 2 packets tobacco
  • 2 packets citrol
  • 1 tin Liebig
  • Handkerchiefs or towel or sewing kit
  • 1 ⁄ 4 pound (110 g) tea
  • 1 condensed milk
  • 1 ⁄ 4 pound (110 g) sugar
  • 1 jam
  • 1 pound (450 g) biscuits
  • 1 block chocolate
  • 6 Maggi soups
  • 1 packet tobacco
  • 1 pack cigarettes
  • 1 day shirt
  • 1 vest
  • 1 under drawers
  • 1 pair socks
  • 1 towel
  • 2 handkerchiefs
  • 1 toothbrush
  • 1 toothpowder
  • 1 washrag
  • 1 soap

D - For invalids - 6 shillings

  • 1 pound (450 g) condensed milk
  • 1 pound (450 g) cocoa
  • 1/2 pound (225 g) sugar
  • 1 pound (450 g) Quaker Oats
  • 1 pound (450 g) cod liver capsules
  • 1 box extract of malt, Ovomaltine or "Mellins Food"

Relatives could send a specific parcel or a package made up of A & C or B & C [6]

American Edit

The American Red Cross commenced delivery of food parcels to American PoWs in German camps in November 1917. [7] The first parcel received by a POW included the following items:

  • One pound (450 g) tin of corned beef
  • One pound (450 g) tin of roast beef
  • One pound (450 g) tin of salmon
  • Two pounds (900 g) of hash
  • One pound (450 g) of jam
  • One bar of soap
  • Four packages of tobacco
  • One overshirt
  • One undershirt
  • Two cans of pork and beans
  • One can each of tomatoes, corn and peas
  • One pair of drawers
  • Two pairs of socks
  • Three handkerchiefs
  • Two towels
  • One tube of toothpaste
  • Two pounds (900 g) of hard bread
  • 1 US pint (0.47 l 0.83 imp pt) of evaporated milk
  • One pound (450 g) of sugar
  • One-half (225 g) pound of coffee
  • One toothbrush, comb, shaving brush and "housewife" kit (sewing kit), plus shaving soap. [8]

Thereafter, further parcels were sent once per week. These were rotated on a four-week schedule between packages labeled "A", "B", "C" and "D". Each parcel contained meat, fish, vegetable, bread and fruit items, together with eighty cigarettes or other tobacco products. [9] Items of clothing were also provided for American POWs through the American Red Cross. [10] Toward the end of the war, German camp guards and other personnel would sometimes steal the contents of these packages, often leaving only bread for the helpless prisoner. In such events, American camp representatives attempted to make up the loss through stores kept for this purpose in the POW camps. [11]

A special agreement between the YMCA and the American Red Cross resulted in the YMCA providing athletic equipment, books and games for American prisoners in German POW camps. [12]

Red Cross food parcels during World War II were mostly provided from the United Kingdom, Canada and America (after 1941). An Allied POW might receive any of these packages at any one given time, regardless of his or her own nationality. This was because all such packages were sent from their country of origin to central collection points, where they were subsequently distributed to Axis POW camps by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

For POWs held by Axis forces in Europe the parcel route through Lisbon required escorted ships to bring the crates of parcels, or for British, mail bags full of parcels, to Lisbon, there being no safe conduct agreement. In Portugal, parcels would be loaded onto Red Cross marked ships with many taken through the port of Marseilles, for onward freighting by rail to Geneva, from where they would be sent to various camps by the International Committee of the Red Cross. [13] [14] Barcelona was also used as an Iberian transit port, with Toulon as an alternative French port. [15] The returning ships sometimes carried allied civilians and wounded being repatriated. [16] : 69

The route from Iberia to the South of France was not safe. The Red Cross ship SS Padua was damaged by British bombing in Genoa in 1942 and then sunk by a mine outside Marseilles in October 1943. The SS Embla was bombed by British aircraft on 6 April 1944 causing a fire, and the same ship was attacked again on 20 April 1944, by American B-26 bombers, who this time sank the ship and killed the ICRC agent. On 6 May the "Christina" was attacked while at anchor in Sete. This latest act resulted in the ICRC suspending the route. [17] The Operation Dragoon invasion of Southern France, preliminary bombing in July and the actual invasion in August 1944 put a stop to rail transport [15] and then Marseilles being used by the Red Cross. The SS Vega sailed to the alternative port of Toulon with parcels in November 1944.

On 8 May 1945, it was reported that 7,000,000 parcels, weighing 35,000 tonnes (34,000 long tons 39,000 short tons) were at sea or in warehouses in Britain, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseilles, Toulon, Geneva and Gothenburg. A Red Cross representative said that they were not perishable and could be used for distressed civilians and as a flexible reserve. [18]

British food parcels Edit

During World War II, The British Joint War Organisation sent standard food parcels, invalid food parcels, medical supplies, educational books and recreational materials to prisoners of war worldwide. During the conflict, over 20 million standard food parcels were sent. [19] Typical contents of such a parcel included:

  • 4 oz (110 g) packet of tea
  • Tin of cocoa powder
  • Bar of milk or plain chocolate (often Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut chocolate, or a similar product)
  • Tinned pudding
  • Tin of meat roll
  • Tin of processed cheese
  • Tin of condensed milk (Klim—a Canadian instant milk beverage—or else Carnation or Nestle brand)
  • Tin of dried eggs
  • Tin of sardines or herrings
  • Tin of preserve
  • Tin of margarine
  • Tin of sugar
  • Tin of vegetables
  • Tin of biscuits
  • Bar of soap
  • Tin of 50 cigarettes or tobacco (sent separately—usually Player's brand cigarettes, or Digger flake pipe tobacco). [14][20]

The Scottish Red Cross parcels were the only ones to contain rolled oats. Approximately 163,000 parcels were made up each week during World War II.

Sometimes, due to the shortage of parcels, two or even four prisoners would be compelled to share the contents of one Red Cross parcel. [20]

American food parcels Edit

The American Red Cross produced 27,000,000 parcels. [21] Even before America entered the war in late 1941, they were supplying, through Geneva, parcels to British, Belgian, French, Polish, Yugoslav, Dutch, Greek, Norwegian, and Soviet prisoners of war. The Philadelphia centre alone was producing 100,000 parcels a month in 1942. [22] A list of the contents of a typical Red Cross parcel received by an American airman held prisoner in Stalag Luft I near Barth, Germany on the Baltic Sea:

  • One pound (450 g) can of powdered milk
  • One package ten assorted cookies
  • One pound (450 g) can of oleo margarine
  • Eight-ounce (230 g) package of cube sugar
  • Eight-ounce (230 g) package of Kraft cheese
  • Six-ounce (170 g) package of K-ration biscuits
  • Four-ounce (110 g) can of coffee
  • Two D-ration chocolate bars
  • Six-ounce (170 g) can of jam or peanut butter
  • Twelve-ounce (340 g) can of salmon or tuna
  • One pound (450 g) can of Spam or corned beef
  • One pound (450 g) can of Liver paté
  • One pound (450 g) package of raisins or prunes
  • Five packages of cigarettes
  • Seven Vitamin-C tablets
  • Two bars of soap
  • Twelve-ounce (340 g) of C-ration vegetable soup concentrate. [23]

According to this airman, recipients of these parcels were permitted to keep only the cigarettes and chocolate bars the remainder of the parcel was turned over to the camp cook, who combined them with the contents of other parcels and German POW rations (usually bread, barley, potatoes, cabbage and horse meat) [23] to create daily meals for the prisoners. [23]

Cigarettes in the parcels became the preferred medium of exchange within the camp, with each individual cigarette valued at 27 cents within Stalag Luft I. [23] Similar practices were followed in other POW camps, as well. Cigarettes were also used to bribe German guards to provide the prisoners with outside items that would otherwise have been unavailable to them. [23] Tins of coffee, which were hard to come by in Germany late in the war, served this same purpose in many camps. [20] Contents of these packages were sometimes pilfered by German guards or other camp personnel, especially toward the end of the war. [24]

Canadian food parcels Edit

The Canadian Red Cross reported assembling and shipping nearly 16,500,000 food parcels during the Second World War, at a cost of $47,529,000. [25] The Canadian Red Cross Prisoners of War Parcels Committee was led by Chairman Harold H. Leather, M.B.E., of Hamilton, Ontario and Vice Chairman John Draper Perrin of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Contents of the Canadian parcel included:

  • One pound (450 g) of milk powder
  • One pound (450 g) of butter
  • Four ounces (110 g) of cheese
  • Twelve ounces (340 g) of corned beef
  • Ten ounces (280 g) of pork luncheon meat
  • Eight ounces (230 g) of salmon
  • Four ounces (110 g) of sardines or kippers
  • Eight ounces (230 g) of dried apples
  • Eight ounces (230 g) of dried prunes or raisins
  • Eight ounces (230 g) of sugar
  • One pound (450 g) of jam or honey
  • One pound (450 g) of pilot biscuits
  • Eight ounces (230 g) of chocolate
  • One ounce (28 g) of salt and pepper (mustard, onion powder and other condiments were also sometimes enclosed)
  • Four ounces (110 g) of tea or coffee
  • Two ounces (57 g) of soap. [25]

Parcels did vary those delivered to the Channel Islands by the SS Vega in 1945 contained slightly different quantities, both Eight oz (230 g) raisins and Six oz (170 g) prunes, and marmalade instead of jam. [13]

New Zealand food parcels Edit

The New Zealand Red Cross Society provided 1,139,624 parcels during the war period, packed by 1,500 volunteers. [26] Prisoners parcels included:

  • Six ounces (170 g) of tea
  • Nineteen-ounce (540 g) can of corned mutton
  • Fifteen-ounce (430 g) can of lamb and green peas
  • Eight ounces (230 g) of chocolate
  • Twenty ounces (570 g) of butter
  • Fifteen ounces (430 g) of coffee and milk
  • Ten ounces (280 g) of sugar
  • Nine ounces (260 g) of peas
  • One pound (450 g) of jam
  • One pound (450 g) of condensed milk
  • Fifteen ounces (430 g) of cheese
  • Six ounces (170 g) of raisins. [13]

Unlike the American and British parcels, Canadian and New Zealand Red Cross parcels did not include cigarettes or tobacco.

Indian food parcels Edit

Indian parcels, supplied by the Indian Red Cross Society contained:

  • Eight ounces (230 g) fruit in syrup
  • One pound (450 g) lentils
  • Two ounces (57 g) toilet soap
  • One pound (450 g) flour
  • 8 biscuits
  • Eight ounces (230 g) margarine
  • Twelve ounces (340 g) Nestle's Milk
  • Fourteen ounces (400 g) rice
  • One pound (450 g) pilchard
  • Two ounces (57 g) curry powder
  • Eight ounces (230 g) sugar
  • One ounce (28 g) dried eggs
  • Two ounces (57 g) tea
  • One ounce (28 g) salt
  • Four ounces (110 g) chocolate [13]

Indian parcels did not contain meat or tobacco products.

Argentinian bulk parcel Edit

The Argentinian Red Cross provided parcels containing:

  • Three ounces (85 g) bully beef
  • Five ounces (140 g) meat and veg
  • Three ounces (85 g) ragout
  • Two ounces (57 g) corned mutton
  • Four ounces (110 g) pork and beans
  • Five ounces (140 g) butter
  • Two ounces (57 g) lard
  • Two ounces (57 g) honey
  • Five ounces (140 g) jam
  • Two ounces (57 g) milk jam
  • Four ounces (110 g) condensed milk
  • Eight ounces (230 g) sugar
  • Seven ounces (200 g) cheese
  • Eight ounces (230 g) biscuits
  • One ounce (28 g) pea and lentil flour
  • Three ounces (85 g) chocolate
  • Two ounces (57 g) cocoa
  • One ounce (28 g) tea
  • 1 soap
  • Three ounces (85 g) dried fruit [27]

South African parcels Edit

From the British South African Red Cross. [28] [ self-published source ]

Invalid Food Parcels Edit

Invalid parcels were specifically designed for invalids, i.e. disabled or ill prisoners. The contents varied, but what appears to be a British one contained:

  • 2 tins Yeatex
  • 3 tins concentrated soup powder
  • 1 tin gooseberries
  • 1 tin Horlicks
  • 1 tin Ovaltine
  • 1 tin milk powder
  • 2 tins dried eggs
  • 1 block of chocolate
  • 1 tin cheese
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 2 tins compressed oats
  • 4 ounces (110 g) tea
  • 1 tin creamed rice
  • 1 tin Rowntree's cocoa
  • 1 tin lemon curd [13]

Food parcels in the Pacific theater Edit

In 1942, permission was granted by Japan for a diplomatically neutral ship, after Japan refused to permit a Red Cross ship to be deployed, to be dispatched to distribute the parcels. A Swedish vessel, the MS Gripsholm delivered 20,000 Red Cross parcels from Canada, America and South Africa and in addition a consignment of 1,000,000 cigarettes. A second voyage was refused. [22]

The Japanese government in August 1942 announced that no neutral ship, even a Red Cross ship, would be allowed to enter Japanese waters. Red Cross parcels intended for Allied POWs in Japan were accordingly stockpiled in Vladivostok, Soviet Union, and a single ship was ultimately permitted to transport some of these to Japan in November 1944, which, in turn were carried by the Japanese vessel Awa Maru, carrying Red Cross markings, in March, 1945, to Singapore. How many of these actually reached the POWs is not known, and the sinking of the Awa Maru on the return trip by a US submarine prevented any future shipments from being made. [29]

At the Changi prison camp run by the Japanese in Singapore, an average POW received a fraction of one food parcel in the three-and-a half years that the camp was open. [30]

Food parcels in the German Concentration Camps Edit

In November 1943, the Red Cross received permission from Nazi German authorities to send Red Cross parcels to inmates of concentration camps, but only to those whose names and specific locations were known. By May 1945, 105,000 specific individuals had been identified. About 1,112,000 parcels containing 4,500 tons of food were ultimately sent to the camps, [31] including those at Dachau, Buchenwald, Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. In addition to food, these parcels also contained clothing and pharmaceutical items. [32]

German POWs after World War II Edit

Three months after the German surrender in May 1945, General Dwight Eisenhower issued an order classifying all surrendered soldiers within the American Zone of Occupation as Disarmed Enemy Forces, rather than Prisoners of War. Accordingly, the Red Cross was denied the right to visit German POWs in American prison camps, and delivery of Red Cross parcels to them was forbidden. [33] In the spring of 1946, the International Red Cross was finally allowed to provide limited amounts of food aid to prisoners of war in the U.S. occupation zone. [34]

Postwar study on Red Cross parcels and Canadian POWs Edit

The Canadian government conducted a detailed study of the effect of the Red Cross parcels on the health and morale of Canadian POWs shortly after the end of World War II. Over 5,000 former POWs were interviewed, and Canadian authorities determined that a significant number of soldiers did not get the intended one parcel per man per week most had to make do with one-half of a parcel per week, or even less on some occasions. Soldiers were asked to state their preferences with regard to specific contents of the parcels: the most popular item turned out to be the biscuits, with butter a close second, followed (in order) by meat, milk (powdered and other), chocolate, cigarettes, tea, jam, cereals, cheese and coffee. [25] The Canadian parcel was preferred to British, American or New Zealand-issued parcels, claiming that the Canadian parcels had "greater bulk", "lasted longer", and/or had "more food". [25]

With regard to especially disliked foods, the Canadian respondents (over 4,200 of the interviewed POWs) expressed the greatest distaste for the vegetables and fish enclosed in the food parcels (about fifteen percent of the total number of respondents), followed (in order) by condiments, egg powder, cereals, fat, cheese, desserts, sweets, beverages, jams, biscuits and milk. However, except for the first two items on that list, all of these were named by only a minuscule percentage of the total number of respondents. [25]

Parcels from Red Cross organisations in occupied countries Edit

  • Belgium sent parcels to their POWs and in addition, family members could send parcels. [35]
  • Denmark sent parcels to Danish citizens incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps. [36]
  • France sent parcels to their POWs and in addition, family members could send parcels. [35]

American Edit

A second type of parcel delivered through the Red Cross during World War II was the Red Cross Prisoner of War First Aid Safety Kit, which was supplied by the American Red Cross for distribution through the International Committee. Such parcels generally held the following items:

  • A twelve-page booklet with instructions on the use of the enclosed medical supplies, printed in English, French, German, Polish and Serbo-Croatian
  • Ten packages of sterilised gauze, in two different sizes
  • One package containing 500 laxative pills
  • Two packages containing 500 aspirin tablets each
  • Twelve gauze bandages
  • Two cans of insecticide powder
  • Four tubes of boric acid antiseptic ointment
  • Two packages containing 500 sodium bicarbonate tablets each
  • Two tubes of Salicylic ointment (for treatment of athlete's foot and similar fungal diseases)
  • Two tubes of Mercuric antiseptic ointment
  • Four tubes of sulphur ointment (for treatment of skin diseases)
  • One box containing 100 Band-Aids
  • Two rolls of adhesive tape
  • Two 1-ounce (28 g) packages of absorbent cotton
  • Safety pins, forceps, soap, disinfectants and scissors. [24]

Other kits issued to some POWs through the American Red Cross contained a few differences in contents, but were generally similar to the above. [37]

British Edit

The British Red Cross also supplied Medical Parcels to Allied PoWs during the war. Prior to 15 June 1942, these kits generally consisted of:

  • A general parcel containing cotton wool, safety pins, soap, aspirin tablets and ointment
  • A disinfectant parcel
  • Special parcels containing thermometers and dressing scissors.

After 15 June 1942, the British kits' contents changed. The new kits contained:

  • An invalid food unit consisting of two parcels – milk and food
  • A medical stores unit consisting of four parcels:

In addition, German and Italian authorities sometimes permitted British prisoner hospitals to procure equipment from England via the Red Cross, including microscopes, sterilisers, material for manufacturing artificial limbs, medical instruments, vaccines, drugs and even games and other recreational materials. [38]

The American Red Cross provided a special "release parcel" to some Allied POWs upon their initial release from enemy captivity. These parcels included:

  • Chewing gum
  • Face cloth
  • Cigarette case with the American Red Cross emblem imprinted on it. [39]

These kits were distributed as follows: 71,400 to France 10,000 to the Soviet Union 9,500 to Italy 5,000 to Egypt and 4,000 to the Philippines. [40]

Following the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991, many pensioners in the newly independent nation of Georgia were left destitute by the resulting collapse of the Georgian economy and the inability of their meager pensions to keep up with inflation. The Red Cross, with the financial support of the German government, assisted approximately 500,000 of these mostly elderly people with food parcels over a seven-year period during the 1990s. As of 2001, more than 12,000 were still dependent upon Red Cross food assistance. [41]

Food parcels were also distributed by the Red Cross of Thailand during Red Shirt Movement disturbances in 2006 in Bangkok, [42] and to British victims of flooding in Gloucestershire in 2007. The British package contained: [43]

This Orphanage Did More Than Find Homes for Children of the Holocaust. It Helped Them Reclaim Their Humanity

In the last days of World War II, as Allied forces pushed further and further into Nazi Germany, Erwin Farkas awoke alongside his brother inside a village barn —his first shelter in weeks—to a commotion. Outside, near the German border with Czechoslovakia, American tanks rumbled over a nearby hill. Nazi officers were nowhere in sight. Erwin ran toward the tanks with others, scrambling to catch chocolate that the American soldiers threw towards them. General George S. Patton’s troops had arrived.

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For Erwin and his brother, Zoltan, freedom brought uncertainty. “What we wanted,” remembers Erwin, now 88 and a retired clinical psychologist living in Minnesota, “was to get out of Germany. It was a dark place for us.”  Hungarian fascists had deported their father, a leader in their Transylvanian village, and the brothers became separated from their mother and younger sisters at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the spring of 1944.  They assumed the Nazis had killed their family. Erwin and Zoltan – ages 15 and 17, respectively – moved as forced laborers to Buna, Oranienburg, then Flossenburg before the SS forced them and thousands of others on the Death March to Dachau.  For weeks, the brothers marched at night in lines of five across as officers shot those too exhausted, ill, or hungry to carry on. During the day, they had to hide in the woods, or in their case, an abandoned barn.

But even with freedom, they still had no parents, no possessions, and no place to call home. Millions of displaced children, teenagers and adults shared their predicament, but Erwin and Zoltan were fortunate, finding hope at a place called Kloster Indersdorf, a unique orphanage that became a model for how to humanely treat those who had witnessed humanity at its worst.

Exterior view of the Kloster Indersdorf children's home (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

In 1943, the United Nations estimated that 21 million people were displaced in Europe and established the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) to assist the refugees driven from their homeland either by force or necessity. Coordinating with the Allies, UNRRA sent more than 300 teams of skilled workers and volunteers throughout European and Asian territories to seek, organize and care for those displaced populations.

As liberators and relief workers encountered refugees, they placed them temporarily in Displaced Persons camps, where survivors of all ages sought out family members, if they were still alive, and identified where they might live next. Between 1945 and 1948, UNRRA repatriated approximately 6 million displaced people from Central Europe, including about 50,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

In April 1945, the first UNRRA team entered the American zone of Germany, where agency representatives would eventually register between 6,000 and 7,000 displaced children, teenagers, and young adults considered “lost” amidst the ravages of war. Both Jews and non-Jews, the "unaccompanied" included survivors of concentration camps, forced child laborers, and children taken from or abandoned by forced adult laborers.  Most of these young people lived among adults in Displaced Persons camps, but the Farkas brothers, were fortunate to find a much more suitable temporary home in Kloster Indersdorf.

In July, not far from the Dachau death camp, 11 United Nations workers established a pilot project: the first international displaced persons camp devoted to children in the American zone of Germany.  In a former monastery (Kloster) in the village of Markt Indersdorf, the Sisters of Mercy of Saint Vincent de Paul had operated an orphanage until the Nazis commandeered and closed the facility. The UNRRA charged its own Team 182 with reopening Kloster Indersdorf with the expectation that they could help 75-100 youth.

Within two months of operation, however, the team had already hosted double that number. Between 1945 and 1948, the International Displaced Person Children’s Center at Kloster Indersdorf  as it was officially named, would become home to more than 1,000 child and adolescent refugees.  Team 182’s methodology and level of care was so successful that Kloster Indersdorf served as a model center for at least five others like it in Europe.

Anna Andlauer, a German Fulbright fellow and retired teacher, has spent nearly a decade tracing the orphans of Kloster Indersdorf. She has found over 50. In her book The Rage to Live, she tells the history of the children’s center, detailing the UNRRA team’s commitment “to give each child a feeling of security along with an understanding that he or she was desired and loved.” Andlauer’s research has brought particular attention to a post-war hero, a social welfare officer named Greta Fischer.

Under Fischer’s eye, Team 182 organized the orphans into surrogate families “by development stage and need and attention for care.” One adult, acting as a parental figure, led each group of 12-15 children with the help of assistants. “Fischer knew that intense devotion is required most urgently during the first years of life to ensure a healthy development of basic trust,” writes Andlauer. When more refugees arrived than anticipated, the UNRRA team recruited older refugees to help younger ones. They also invited the Sisters of Mercy of Saint Vincent de Paul to return to their former home.

Fischer was 35 years old when she arrived at the orphanage in 1945. The youngest of six children born to a Jewish Czech family, she escaped the Nazis by immigrating to London in May of 1939. Her parents, who wanted to stay in their native Czechoslovakia, were murdered in 1943.

While in London, Fischer’s job as a social worker put her in touch with Anna Freud, daughter of the famous Austrian psychologist, who was in London to work with child survivors of the German Blitzkrieg. Freud provided a then-progressive type of therapy: listening to children’s stories. When Greta Fischer left London for Kloster Indersdorf in 1945, she brought Freud’s ideas with her.

Children of all ages came to the doors of Kloster Indersdorf. They arrived accompanied by Allied forces, UNRRA team workers or nobody at all. They included malnourished infants, toddlers with scabies who screamed at the smell of food, Polish teenagers conditioned by pro-nationalist adults to hate Jews, and Jewish teenagers who hoped that a parent might be looking for them.

“The first thing was to give them food, plenty of food, to give them clothing, and listen to their stories,” Fischer said in 1985. (Much of what is known about life at Kloster Indersdorf comes from Fischer’s papers and interviews.) “We listened to their stories days and nights. It had to come out. And sometimes it took us hours to sit with them. You could not interrupt.”

The Farkas brothers were part of that flood of children with stories to tell.

After Patton’s troops had found them, the brothers walked until they came across a German POW camp, where liberated Serbian Jews gave them medical help.  Over a month later, they found work—and substantial meals—with a nearby U.S. Army attachment. The American military put them in touch with UNRRA.

The Farkas brothers arrived with the first wave of refugees. Social workers and nurses greeted them with food, new white sweaters, hot baths, medical checkups and their own beds. During the day, they took classes in English, German, and, as staffing increased, their native Hungarian. They took gym class and art, played sports during their free time, and perhaps most importantly, trained in a particular trade like tailoring, a discipline that would give them self-sufficiency once they left the orphanage.  

Tibor Sands (born Munkacsy), a 92-year-old retired cameraman who lives in New York City, vividly remembers UNRRA’s insistence on manners during mealtime.   Sands, a Hungarian refugee, evaded the Nazis three times before they captured him and placed him on a cattle cart to Buchenwald on his 19th birthday. He hated having to watch starving children grab at food “like animals.”

Tibor Sands stands in front of the photo taken of him at Kloster Indersdorf in 1946. (Robert Sands)

“[UNRRA workers] civilized eating by using knives and forks,” he recalls. During the family-style meals, Sands and other older refugees reassured younger ones that they would have plenty to eat. “Some of the kids, they were worried that there wouldn’t be any bread the next day,” he remembers, “so they would grab food and take it to their bunk beds.”

No problem, however, posed as challenging as resettling the children in new homes and families. At first, UNRRA tried to create a detailed dossier on each child, complete with accompanying photos that would help officers reunite orphans with family members and/or send them to safe locations in their home countries. That was more complicated than workers anticipated, especially when it came to young refugees whose ages and even names could not be verified.

Children who came from deplorably run Nazi orphanages (Kinderbaracken) had no surviving records of identity. Others were so traumatized that they forgot their birthdays, their names, and the location of their homes. Many older orphans had grown used to lying about their ages, at first to survive selection lines in concentration camps and then later when they learned their ages needed to align with immigration quotas.

“You must understand,” said Fischer in an interview, “those who survived, and especially the Jewish children, were really extraordinarily strong people. Their will to survive and their rage to live had blocked out absolutely everything else.”

Representing foreign governments in the repatriation process, national liaison officers refused to approve the re-entry of children who did not have enough identifying factors, like names, birthdays, and hometowns. Team 182 searched the clothing the children had arrived in, listened carefully to their accents and worked to gain the orphans’ trust so they could help resurface memories and details that would ensure success in finding a new home.

In October 1945, the U.N. commissioned American photographer Charles Haacker to take a picture of each orphan holding a nameplate. UNRRA hoped its Central Tracing Bureau could use these photos to match children with family members throughout the world.

Twenty-six of Haacker’s photos now hang from fabric banners in the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, where an exhibit titled “My Name Is… The Lost Children of Kloster Indersdorf” runs through April 30. Accompanying narratives tell each child’s story of their lives before and after arriving at Kloster Indersdorf.

In their headshots, many of the children are smiling, their sad yet confident eyes staring into the camera. “The children projected the hopes onto these photos that, if they were still alive, their relatives would be alerted to their whereabouts by the picture and would rush to Indersdorf and pick them up there,” writes Andlauer. “In a few cases, this actually happened, but within most of the Jewish children dark suspicion grew gradually into horrible certainty, that from now on each was all alone in the world.”

Like many of the orphans, Erwin and Zoltan wanted to go to America. A fellow refugee had alerted their father’s siblings in the Bronx that the boys had survived, and the family sent care packages to Indersdorf, informing UNRRA that they wanted the brothers in New York. But the United States, like the U.K. and other Western nations, had quotas. Even orphans like the Farkas brothers, who had family and a place to live, had to wait a long time for the appropriate visas.

The exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City showcases photos of the children who stayed at Kloster Indersdorf (Robert Sands)

“Nobody really wanted the children,” said Fischer in a 1985 interview. “Nobody really wanted the refugees. The world did not believe the stories.” The child survivors of the Holocaust faced a world with rapidly filling quotas and fears of irreparably damaged, dependent refugees. “The world was closed, the world was absolutely closed and in everybody’s mind the question always was ‘where can we go?’”

For some children, that question was never answered.  In August 1946, the UNRRA team moved from Markt Indersdorf to a larger space about 80 miles away in Prien on Chiemsee, and the slow work of repatriation continued. Meanwhile, the “International D.P. Children’s Center” became the “Jewish Children’s Center Kloster Indersdorf,” a home for Jewish children from Poland, Romania and Hungary.

Within two years of UNRRA’s initial intervention into the refugee crisis, the estimated number of displaced persons in Europe had risen from 21 million to 40 million. Two years later, by 1947, UNRRA had employed over 14,000 workers and spent over $ 4 billion in relief efforts. In 1948, the International Refugee Organization, UNRRA’s successor, helped relocate the remaining child refugees at Kloster Indersdorf to the newly formed state of Israel.

In October 1947, Lillian Robbins, Kloster Indersdorf’s first director, asked the U.S. in an address to the American National Federation of Settlements to lift restrictions and bureaucracy in order to provide for orphans of war. “That child knows the result of exploitation, of national greed, of war,” she said. “He can grow up [to become] a bitter, disillusioned, selfish adult, interested only in what works to his own advantage. But such a child can also become the most important contributor to building a new world, where international cooperation is the cornerstone.”

Today, says Andlauer, the more than 50 orphans she has traced into adulthood have realized the potential that Fischer recognized in them over 70 years ago.

After arriving in America in December 1946, Erwin went to live with his uncle’s family in the East Bronx and Zoltan with his aunt’s family in West Bronx.  Finding a new home in their close-knit Hungarian community, they worked in the Garment District for an uncle who was a furrier and took accelerated night courses. Both went to college after obtaining their high school diplomas – Erwin to Cornell, and Zoltan to City College of New York. Both brothers later served in the American military, graduated from college, and entered successful careers. A retired clinical psychologist, Erwin lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Zoltan resides in California, where he spent much of his professional life as a scientist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.  The brothers – neither of whom had children -- stay in touch.

Periodically, the refugees of Kloster Indersdorf gather at their old orphanage (now a school) to remember the short time they spent with a group of aid workers who validated their voices and reminded them of their humanity.

“My quest will not end,” Andlauer says today, “until I have found as many children from Kloster Indersdorf as I can, to let them all know that they are cherished, that they are remembered, that their names mean something to others.”

Reflecting back on his death march experience from 73 years ago, Erwin certainly doesn’t consider himself damaged by the Nazis.

“We were in a labor camp. We were on a starvation diet but we were not abused or tortured,” he reflects. “We recovered physically and psychologically.” The true devastation, he says, was “the destruction of life that we had before.” 

About Carrie Hagen

Carrie Hagen is a writer based in Philadelphia. She is the author of We Is Got Him: The Kidnapping that Changed America, and is currently writing a book about the Vigilance Committee.

Orphan designation: Overview

About 30 million people living in the European Union (EU) suffer from a rare disease. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plays a central role in facilitating the development and authorisation of medicines for rare diseases, which are termed 'orphan medicines' in the medical world.

Sponsors of designated orphan medicines can benefit from a number of incentives in the EU.

Orphan designation in the product lifecycle

EMA's role in orphan designation

The Agency is responsible for reviewing applications from sponsors for orphan designation. To qualify for orphan designation, a medicine must meet a number of criteria:

  • it must be intended for the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a disease that is life-threatening or chronically debilitating
  • the prevalence of the condition in the EU must not be more than 5 in 10,000 or it must be unlikely that marketing of the medicine would generate sufficient returns to justify the investment needed for its development
  • no satisfactory method of diagnosis, prevention or treatment of the condition concerned can be authorised, or, if such a method exists, the medicine must be of significant benefit to those affected by the condition.

Applications for orphan designation are examined by the EMA's Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP), using the network of experts that the Committee has built up. The evaluation process takes a maximum of 90 days from validation.

For information on how to apply, see how to apply for orphan designation.

The Agency sends the COMP opinion to the European Commission, which is responsible for granting the orphan designation. The full list of orphan designations is available in the Community register of orphan medicinal products for human use.

In February 2018, EMA published a question-and-answer document addressing common misunderstandings about the meaning of orphan designation and other aspects pertaining to orphan medicines.

After orphan designation

Developing medicines intended for small numbers of patients has little commercial incentive under normal market conditions. Therefore, the EU offers a range of incentives to encourage the development of designated orphan medicines.

Sponsors who obtain orphan designation benefit from protocol assistance, a type of scientific advice specific for designated orphan medicines, and market exclusivity once the medicine is on the market. Fee reductions are also available depending on the status of the sponsor and the type of service required.

Applicants from the academic sector are eligible to receive free protocol assistance for developing orphan medicines, as of 19 June 2020. For more information see Academia and Fees payable to the European Medicines Agency.

When planning the development of their medicinal product, sponsors should consult the relevant scientific guidelines.

Sponsors must submit an annual report to the Agency summarising the status of development of the medicine.


1899–1905 Edit

Packard was founded by James Ward Packard, his brother William and their partner, George Lewis Weiss, in the city of Warren, Ohio, where 400 Packard automobiles were built at their factory on 408 Dana Street Northeast, from 1899 to 1903. A mechanical engineer, James Packard believed they could build a better horseless carriage than the Winton cars owned by Weiss, an important Winton stockholder, after Packard complained to Alexander Winton and offered suggestions for improvement, which were ignored. Packard's first car was built in Warren, Ohio, on November 6, 1899. [2]

Henry Bourne Joy, a member of one of Detroit's oldest and wealthiest families, bought a Packard. Impressed by its reliability, he visited the Packards and soon enlisted a group of investors—including Truman Handy Newberry and Russell A. Alger Jr. On October 2, 1902, this group refinanced and renamed the New York and Ohio Automobile Company as the Packard Motor Car Company, with James Packard as president. Alger later served as vice president. [4] Packard moved operations to Detroit soon after, and Joy became general manager (and later chairman of the board). An original Packard, reputedly the first manufactured, was donated by a grateful James Packard to his alma mater, Lehigh University, and is preserved there in the Packard Laboratory. [5] Another is on display at the Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio. [6]

While the Black Motor Company's Black went as low as $375, [7] Western Tool Works' Gale Model A roadster was $500, [8] the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout went for $650, [9] and the Cole 30 and Cole Runabout [10] were US$1,500, [11] Packard concentrated on cars with prices starting at $2,600. The marque developed a following among wealthy purchasers both in the United States and abroad, competing with European marques like Rolls-Royce, Renault, and Mercedes Benz.

The 3,500,000-square-foot (330,000 m 2 ) Packard plant on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit was located on over 40 acres (16 ha) of land. Designed by Albert Kahn Associates, it included an early use of reinforced concrete for an automotive factory when building #10 opened in 1911. Its skilled craftsmen practiced over 80 trades. The dilapidated plant still stands, [12] [13] despite repeated fires. [14] The factory is in close proximity to the current General Motors Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly, which was the former site of the Dodge Vehicle factory from 1910 until 1980. Architect Kahn also designed the Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township, Michigan.

1906–1930 Edit

From this beginning, through and beyond the 1930s, Packard-built vehicles were perceived as highly competitive among high-priced luxury American automobiles. [15] The company was commonly referred to as being one of the "Three Ps" of American motordom royalty, along with Pierce-Arrow of Buffalo, New York, and Peerless of Cleveland, Ohio. [16] For most of its history, Packard was guided by its President and General Manager James Alvan Macauley, who also served as President of the National Automobile Manufacturers Association. Inducted into the Automobile Hall of Fame, Macauley made Packard the number one designer and producer of luxury automobiles in the United States. The marque was also highly competitive abroad, with markets in 61 countries. Gross income for the company was $21,889,000 in 1928 ($329,904,560 in 2020 dollars [17] ). Macauley was also responsible for the iconic Packard slogan, "Ask the Man Who Owns One".

The Packard Six was first introduced as a senior level luxury platform for three years starting in 1913, then upgraded to the Packard Twin Six starting in 1916. The first appearance of the Packard "Goddess of Speed" hood ornament first appeared in 1925 on the Single Eight and soon appeared on all their products, while the Cormorant or Swan appeared in the 1930s. Briefly the Adonis hood ornament appeared in the late 1920s. [1]

In the 1920s, Packard exported more cars than any other in its price class, and in 1930, sold almost twice as many abroad as any other marque priced over $2000 ($30,984 in 2020 dollars [17] ). [18] In 1931, 10 Packards were owned by Japan's royal family. [19] Between 1924 and 1930, Packard was also the top-selling luxury brand. [20]

In addition to excellent luxury cars, Packard built trucks. A Packard truck carrying a three-ton load drove from New York City to San Francisco between 8 July and 24 August 1912. The same year, Packard had service depots in 104 cities. [21]

The Packard Motor Corporation Building at Philadelphia, also designed by Albert Kahn, was built in 1910-1911. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. [22]

By 1931, Packards were also being produced in Canada. [23]

1931–1936 Edit

Entering the 1930s, Packard attempted to beat the stock market crash and subsequent Great Depression by manufacturing ever more opulent and expensive cars than it had prior to October 1929, and began offering different platforms that focused on different price points allowing the company to offer more products and remain competitive. While the Eight five-seater sedan had been the company's top-seller for years, [24] the Twin Six, designed by Chief engineer Jesse G. Vincent, [25] was introduced for 1932, with prices starting at US$3,650 ($69,234 in 2020 dollars [17] ) at the factory gate [26] in 1933, [27] it would be renamed the Packard Twelve, a name it retained for the remainder of its run (through 1939). Also in 1931, Packard pioneered a system it called Ride Control, which made the hydraulic shock absorbers adjustable from within the car. [28] For one year only, 1932, Packard fielded an upper-medium-priced car, the Light Eight, at a base price of $1,750 ($33,195 in 2020 dollars [17] ), or $735 ($13,942 in 2020 dollars [17] ) less than the Standard Eight. [29]

Rivals Cadillac and Lincoln benefited from the huge support structure of GM and Ford. Packard could not match the two new automotive giants for resources, however the 1920s had proven extremely profitable for the company and it had assets of approximately $20 million in 1932 ($379,365,854 in 2020 dollars [17] ) while many luxury car manufacturers were almost broke. Peerless ceased production in 1932, changing the Cleveland manufacturing plant from producing cars to brewing beer for Carling Black Label Beer. By 1938, Franklin, Marmon, Ruxton, Stearns-Knight, Stutz, Duesenberg, and Pierce-Arrow had all closed.

Packard also had one other advantage that some other luxury automakers did not: a single production line. By maintaining a single line and interchangeability between models, Packard was able to keep its costs down. Packard did not change cars as often as other manufacturers did at the time. Rather than introducing new models annually, Packard began using its own "Series" formula for differentiating its model changeovers in 1923 borrowing a stragety from GM called planned obsolescence. New model series did not debut on a strictly annual basis, with some series lasting nearly two years, and others lasting as short a time as seven months. In the long run, though, Packard averaged around one new series per year. By 1930, Packard automobiles were considered part of its Seventh Series. By 1942, Packard was in its Twentieth Series. The "Thirteenth Series" was omitted.

To address the Depression, Packard started producing more affordable cars in the medium price range. This was a necessary step as the demand for hand-built luxury cars had diminished sharply and even people who could afford such vehicles were reluctant to be seen in them at a time when unemployment was higher than 20%. In 1935, the company introduced its first car under $1000, the 120. Sales more than tripled that year and doubled again in 1936. To produce the 120, Packard built and equipped an entirely separate factory. By 1936, Packard's labor force was divided nearly evenly between the high-priced "Senior" lines (Twelve, Super Eight, and Eight) and the medium-priced "Junior" models, although more than 10 times more Juniors were produced than Seniors. This was because the 120 models were built using thoroughly modern mass production techniques, while the senior Packards used a great deal more hand labor and traditional craftsmanship. Although Packard almost certainly could not have survived the Depression without the highly successful Junior models, [30] they did have the effect of diminishing the Senior models' exclusive image among those few who could still afford an expensive luxury car. The 120 models were more modern in basic design than the Senior models for example, the 1935 Packard 120 featured independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes, features that would not appear on the Senior Packards until 1937.

During this time, Packards were built in Windsor, Ontario by the Packard Motor Company of Canada Ltd [31] to benefit from Imperial Preference as well as build right-hand-drive cars for export. Production started in 1931, with the best year being 1937, with just over 2,500 cars built. [31] Parts manufactured in Canada included tires, upholstery, radiator cores, headlamps, springs, wheels, while the engines were locally assembled. [32] Production ended in 1939, although the company maintained an office in Windsor for many years. [31]

1937–1941 Edit

Packard was still the premier luxury automobile, even though the majority of cars being built were the Packard One-Twenty and Super Eight model ranges. Hoping to catch still more of the market, Packard decided to issue the Packard 115C in 1937, which was powered by a Packard six-cylinder engine since the Fifth Series cars in 1928. The decision to introduce the "Packard Six", priced at around $1200, [33] [34] was in time for the 1938 recession. This model also tagged Packards as something less exclusive than they had been in the public's mind and in the long run hurt Packard's reputation of building some of America's finest luxury cars. [35] The Six, redesignated 110 in 1940–41, continued for three years after the war.

In 1939, Packard introduced Econo-Drive, a kind of overdrive, claimed able to reduce engine speed 27.8% it could be engaged at any speed over 30 mph (48 km/h). [36] The same year, the company introduced a fifth, transverse shock absorber and made column shift (known as Handishift) available on the 120 and Six. [37]

A new body shape was introduced for the 1941 the Packard Clipper. It was available only as a four-door model on the 127 in (3,226 mm) wheelbase of the 160, but powered by 125 hp (93 kW 127 PS) version of straight-8 engine used the 120. [38]

1942–1945 Edit

In 1942, the Packard Motor Car Company converted to 100% war production. [39] During World War II, Packard again built airplane engines, licensing the Merlin engine from Rolls-Royce as the V-1650, which powered the famous P-51 Mustang fighter, ironically known as the "Cadillac of the Skies" by GIs in WWII. [40] [41] Packard also built 1350-, 1400-, and 1500-hp V-12 marine engines for American PT boats (each boat used three) and some of Britain's patrol boats. Packard ranked 18th among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. [42]

By the end of the war in Europe, Packard Motor Car Company had produced over 55,000 combat engines. Sales in 1944 were $455,118,600. By May 6, 1945, Packard had a backlog on war orders of $568,000,000. [39]

1946–1956 Edit

By the end of World War II, Packard was in excellent financial condition with assets of around $33 million, but several management mistakes became ever more visible as time went on. Like other US automobile companies, Packard resumed civilian car production in late 1945, labelling them as 1946 models by modestly updating their 1942 models. As only tooling for the Clipper was at hand, the Senior-series cars were not rescheduled. One version of the story is that the Senior dies were left out in the elements to rust and were no longer usable. Another long-rumored tale is that Roosevelt gave Stalin the dies to the Senior series, but the ZiS-110 state limousines were a separate design. [43]

The Clipper became outdated as the new envelope bodies started appearing, led by Studebaker and Kaiser-Frazer. Had they been a European car maker, this would have meant nothing they could have continued to offer the classic shape not so different from the later Rolls-Royce with its vertical grill. Although Packard was in solid financial shape as the war ended, they had not sold enough cars to pay the cost of tooling for the 1941 design. While most automakers were able to come out with new vehicles for 1948–49, Packard could not until 1951. They therefore updated by adding sheet metal to the existing body (which added 200 lb (91 kg) of curb weight). [ citation needed ] Six-cylinder cars were dropped for the home market, and a convertible was added. These new designs hid their relationship to the Clipper. Even that name was dropped—for a while.

The design chosen was a "bathtub" type. While this was considered futuristic during the war and the concept was taken further with the 1949 Nash—and survived for decades in the Saab 92-96 in Europe—the 1948–1950 Packard styling was polarizing. To some it was sleek and blended classic with modern others nicknamed it the "pregnant elephant". Test driver for Modern Mechanix, Tom McCahill, referred to the newly designed Packard as "a goat" and "a dowager in a Queen Mary hat". Packard sold 92,000 vehicles for 1948 and 116,000 of the 1949 models, however in the early post-WWII years, the demand for new cars was extremely high and nearly any vehicle would sell. Attempting to maintain strong sales beyond this point would prove far more problematic.

Cadillac's new 1948 cars had sleek, aircraft-inspired styling that immediately made Packard's "bathtub" styling seem old-fashioned. Moreover, Cadillac also debuted a brand-new OHV V8 engine in 1949 which gave their cars a reputation for performance that Packard's dependable, but aging inline eight engine couldn't match. The lack of a modern powerplant would prove an increasing liability for Packard as the 1950s unfolded.

Packard outsold Cadillac until about 1950 most sales were the midrange volume models. During this time, Cadillac was among the earliest U.S. makers to offer an automatic transmission (the Hydramatic in 1941), but Packard caught up with the Ultramatic, [44] offered on top models in 1949 and all models from 1950 onward.

Designed and built by Packard, the Ultramatic featured a lockup torque converter with two speeds. Early Ultramatics normally operated only in "high", with "low" having to be selected manually. Beginning in late 1954, it could be set to operate only in "high" or to start in "low" and automatically shift into "high". "High" was intended for normal driving and "Low" mainly for navigating hills.

The Ultramatic made Packard the only American automotive manufacturer other than GM to develop an automatic transmission completely in-house, as even Ford had chosen to outsource the design of theirs to Borg-Warner (Ford had initially attempted to purchase Ultramatics from Packard to install in Lincolns, but ended up buying Hydramatics until Lincoln got its own automatic transmission a few years later). However, Ultramatic did not compare to GM's Hydramatic for smoothness of shifting, acceleration, or reliability. The resources spent on Ultramatic deprived Packard of the chance to develop a badly needed modern V8 engine. Also, when a new body style was added in addition to standard sedans, coupes, and convertibles, Packard introduced a station wagon instead of a two-door hardtop in response to Cadillac's Coupe DeVille. The Station Sedan, a wagon-like body that was mostly steel, with good deal of decorative wood in the back only 3864 were sold over its three years of production. Although the Packards of the late 1940s and early 1950s were built in its old tradition with craftsmanship and the best materials, all was not well. The combination of the lower priced Packards leading sales and impacting the prestige of their higher end brethren and some questionable marketing decisions, Packard's crown as "king" of the luxury car market was at risk — and it would eventually be stolen by a rising Cadillac. In 1950, sales dropped to 42,000 cars for the model year. When Packard's president George T. Christopher set course for an evolutionary styling approach with a facelift for 1951, others wanted a radical new design. In the end, Christopher resigned and Packard treasurer Hugh Ferry became president - he demanded a new direction. Ferry, who had spent his career at Packard in the accounting department, did not want the job and quickly made it clear that he was serving on a temporary basis until a permanent company president could be found.

The 1951 Packards were completely redesigned. Designer John Reinhart introduced a high-waisted, more squared-off profile fitting the contemporary styling trends — very different from the traditional flowing design of the immediate postwar era. New styling features included a one-piece windshield, a wrap-around rear window, small tailfins on the long-wheelbase models, a full-width grill (replacing the traditional Packard upright design), and blunt "guideline fenders" with the hood and front fenders at the same height. The 122-inch (3,099 mm) wheelbase supported low-end 200-series standard and Deluxe two- and four-doors, and 250-series Mayfair hardtop coupes (Packard's first), and convertibles. Upmarket 300 and Patrician 400 models rode a 127-inch (3,226 mm) wheelbase. The 200-series models were again low-end models and now included a business coupe. The new appearance showed many similarities to Oldsmobiles, which were more moderately priced and sold in greater numbers.

The 250, 300, and 400/Patricians were Packard's flagship models and comprised the majority of production for that year. The Patrician was now the top-shelf Packard, replacing the Custom Eight line. Original plans were to equip it with a 356 cu in (5.8 L) engine, but the company decided that sales would probably not be high enough to justify producing the larger, more expensive power plant, and so the debored 327 cu in (5.4 L) (previously the middle engine) was used instead. While the smaller powerplant offered nearly equal performance in the new Packards to that of the 356, the move was seen by some as further denigrating Packard's image as a luxury car.

Since 1951 was a quiet year with little new from the other auto manufacturers, Packard's redesigned lineup sold nearly 101,000 cars. The 1951 Packards were a quirky mixture of the modern (the automatic transmissions) and aging (still using flathead inline eights when OHV V8 engines were rapidly becoming the norm). No domestic car lines had OHV V8s in 1948, but by 1955, every car line offered a version. The Packard inline eight, despite being an older design that lacked the power of Cadillac's engines, was very smooth. When combined with an Ultramatic transmission, the drivetrain made for a nearly quiet and smooth experience on the road. However, it struggled to keep pace with the horsepower race, which was increasingly moving to high compression, short stroke engines capable of sustained driving at speeds greater than 55 MPH.

Packard's image was increasingly seen as dowdy and old-fashioned, unappealing to younger customers. Surveys found that nearly 75% of Packard customers were repeats who had owned previous Packards and few new buyers were being attracted to the make. Compounding this problem was the company's geriatric leadership. The Packard board of directors by the early 1950s had an average age of 67 and younger executives with a fresher approach to running the company were badly needed—in 1948, Alvin Macauley, born during the Grant Administration, had stepped down as chairman. Hugh Ferry therefore decided that there was no choice but to hire an outsider to take over as president. To that end, he recruited James Nance from appliance manufacturer Hotpoint. At 52, Nance was more than a decade younger than the youngest Packard executive.

One of the main reasons for the aged leadership of Packard was the company's lack of a pension plan for executives (the rank-and-file workers had a pension plan per their UAW contract). As a result, Packard executives were reluctant to retire and be left with no source of income other than a Social Security payment, thus blocking younger men from coming to power in the company. One of James Nance's first actions as president was creating a pension plan to induce Packard executives to retire. Nance worked to snag Korean War military contracts and turn around Packard's badly diluted image. He declared that from now on, Packard would cease producing midpriced cars and build only luxury models to compete with Cadillac. As part of this strategy, Nance unveiled a low-production (only 750 made) glamor model for 1953, the Caribbean convertible. Competing directly with the other novelty ragtops of that year (Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Fiesta, and Cadillac Eldorado), it was equally well received, and outsold its competition. However, overall sales declined in 1953. While the limited edition luxury models as the Caribbean convertible and the Patrician 400 Sedan, and the Derham custom formal sedan brought back some of the lost prestige from better days, the "high pocket" styling that had looked new two years earlier was no longer bringing people into the showrooms for the bread and butter Packards. Packard's build quality, which had once been second-to-none, also began slipping during this period as employee morale decreased.

While American independent manufacturers like Packard did well during the early postwar period, supply had caught up with demand and by the early 1950s they were increasingly challenged as the "Big Three"—General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler—battled intensely for sales in the economy, medium-priced, and luxury markets. [45] Those independents that remained alive in the early '50s, merged. In 1953, Kaiser merged with Willys to become Kaiser-Willys. Nash and Hudson became American Motors Corporation (AMC). The strategy for these mergers included cutting costs and strengthening their sales organizations to meet the intense competition from the Big Three. [46]

In 1953–54, Ford and GM waged a brutal sales war, cutting prices and forcing cars on dealers. While this had little effect on either company, it gravely damaged the independent automakers. Nash president George W. Mason thus proposed that the four major independents (Nash, Hudson, Packard, and Studebaker) all merge into one large outfit to be named American Motors Corporation (AMC). Mason held informal discussions with Nance to outline his strategic vision, and an agreement was reached for AMC to buy Packard's Ultramatic transmissions and V8 engines. They were used in 1955 Hudsons and Nashes.

Although Korean War defense contracts brought in badly-needed revenue, the war ended in 1953 and new Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson began cutting off defense contracts from all automotive manufacturers other than GM, which he had formerly been president of.

Chrysler and Ford during the early 1950s also waged a campaign of "stealing" Packard dealerships, consequently Packard's dealer network became steadily smaller and more scattered.

Packard's last major development was the Bill Allison–invented Torsion-Level suspension, an electronically controlled four-wheel torsion-bar suspension that balanced the car's height front to rear and side to side, having electric motors to compensate each spring independently. Contemporary American competitors had serious difficulties with this suspension concept, trying to accomplish the same with air-bag springs before dropping the idea.

As of October 1, 1954 Packard Motor Car Company bought the failing Studebaker Corporation to form America's fourth largest automobile company but without full knowledge of their circumstances or consideration of the financial implications. [47] However, SPC's Nance refused to consider merging with AMC unless he could take the top command position (Mason and Nance were former competitors as heads of the Kelvinator and Hotpoint appliance companies, respectively), but Mason's grand vision of a Big Four American auto industry ended on October 8, 1954 with his sudden death from acute pancreatitis and pneumonia.

A week after the death of Mason, the new president of AMC, George W. Romney, announced "there are no mergers under way either directly or indirectly". [48] Nevertheless, Romney continued with Mason's commitment to buy components from SPC. Although Mason and Nance had previously agreed that SPC would purchase parts from AMC, it did not do so. Moreover, Packard's engines and transmissions were comparatively expensive, so AMC began development of its own V8 engine, and replaced the outsourced unit by mid-1956. [49] Although Nash and Hudson merged along with Studebaker and Packard joining, The four-way merger Mason had hoped for, which would have joined Nash, Hudson, Studebaker and Packard, did not materialize. The S-P marriage (really a Packard buyout) proved to be a crippling mistake. Although Packard was still in fair financial shape, Studebaker was not, struggling with high overhead and production costs and needing the impossible figure of 250,000 cars a year to break even. Due diligence was placed behind "merger fever", and the deal was rushed. It became clear after the merger that Studebaker's deteriorating financial situation put Packard's survival at risk.

Nance had hoped for a total redesign in 1954, but the necessary time and money were lacking. Packard that year (total production 89,796) comprised the bread-and-butter Clipper line (the 250 series was dropped), Mayfair hardtop coupes and convertibles, and a new entry level long-wheelbase sedan named Cavalier. Among the Clippers was a novelty pillared coupe, the Sportster, styled to resemble a hardtop.

With time and money again lacking, 1954 styling was unchanged except for modified headlights and taillights, essentially trim items. A new hardtop named Pacific was added to the flagship Patrician series and all higher-end Packards sported a bored-out 359-cid engine. Air conditioning became available for the first time since 1942. Packard had introduced air conditioning in the 1930s. Clippers (which comprised over 80% of production) also got a hardtop model, Super Panama, but sales tanked, falling to only 31,000 cars.

The revolutionary new model Nance hoped for was delayed until 1955, partially because of Packard's merger with Studebaker. Packard stylist Dick Teague was called upon by Nance to design the 1955 line, and to Teague's credit, the 1955 Packard was indeed a sensation when it appeared. Not only was the body completely updated and modernized, but the suspension also was totally new, with torsion bars front and rear, along with an electric control that kept the car level regardless of load or road conditions. Crowning this stunning new design was Packard's brand new ultra-modern overhead-valve V8, displacing 352 cu in (5.8 l), replacing the old, heavy, cast-iron side-valve straight-eight that had been used for decades. In addition, Packard offered a variety of power, comfort, and convenience features, such as power steering and brakes as well as electric window lifts. But air conditioning was an anomaly. Although available on all makes by the mid-1950s, it was installed on only a handful of cars in 1955 and 1956 despite Packard's status as a luxury car. Model year sales only climbed back to 55,000 units in 1955, including Clipper, in what was a very strong year across the industry.

As the 1955 models went into production, an old problem flared up. Back in 1941, Packard had outsourced its bodies to Briggs Manufacturing Company. Briggs founder Walter Briggs had died in early 1952 and his family decided to sell the company off to pay for estate taxes. Chrysler promptly purchased Briggs and notified Packard that they would cease supplying bodies after Packard's contract with Briggs expired at the end of 1953. Packard was forced to move body production to an undersized plant on Connor Avenue in Detroit. The facility proved too small and caused endless tie-ups and quality problems. [ citation needed ] Bad quality control hurt the company's image and caused sales to plummet for 1956, though the problems had largely been resolved by that point. [ citation needed ] Additionally, a "brain drain" of talent away from Packard was underway, most notably John Z. DeLorean. [ citation needed ]

For 1956, the Clipper became a separate make, with Clipper Custom and Deluxe models available. Now the Packard-Clipper business model was a mirror to Lincoln-Mercury. "Senior" Packards were built in four body styles, each with a unique model name. Patrician was used for the four-door top of the line sedans, Four Hundred for the hardtop coupes, and Caribbean for the convertible and vinyl-roof two-door hardtop. In the spring of 1956, the Executive was introduced. Coming in a four-door sedan and a two-door hardtop, the Executive was aimed at the buyer who wanted a luxury car but could not justify Packard's pricing. It was an intermediate model using the Packard name and the Senior models' front end, but using the Clipper platform and rear fenders. This was to some confusing and went against what James Nance had been attempting for several years to accomplish, the separation of the Clipper line from Packard. However, as late as the cars' introduction to the market, was there was reasoning for in 1957 this car was to be continued. It then became a baseline Packard on the all-new 1957 Senior shell. Clippers would share bodies with Studebaker from 1957.

Despite the new 1955/56 design, Cadillac continued to lead the luxury market, followed by Lincoln, Packard, and Imperial. Reliability problems with the automatic transmission and all electrical accessories further eroded the public's opinion of Packard. Sales were good for 1955 compared to 1954. The year was also an industry banner year. Packard's sales slid in 1956 due to the fit and finish of the 1955 models, and mechanical issues relating to the new engineering features. These defects cost Packard millions in recalls and tarnished a newly won image just in its infancy.

For 1956, Teague kept the basic 1955 design, and added more styling touches to the body such as then−fashionable three toning. Headlamps hooded in a more radical style in the front fenders and a slight shuffling of chrome distinguished the 1956 models. "Electronic Push-button Ultramatic", which located transmission push buttons on a stalk on the steering column, proved trouble-prone, adding to the car's negative reputation, possibly soon to become an orphan. Model series remained the same, but the V8 was now enlarged to 374 cu in (6.1 L) for Senior series, the largest in the industry. In the top-of-the-line Caribbean, that engine produced 310 hp (230 kW). Clippers continued to use the 352 engine. There were plans for an all−new 1957 line of Senior Packards based on the showcar Predictor. Clippers and Studebakers would also share many inner and outer body panels. (A private presentation of this 1957 new-car program was made to Wall Street's investment bankers at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York in January 1956.) These models were in many ways far advanced from what would be produced by any automaker other at the time, save Chrysler, which would soon feel public wrath for its own poor quality issues after rushing its all−new 1957 lines into production. Nance was dismissed and moved to Ford as the head of the new Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln division. Although Nance tried everything, the company failed to secure funding for new retooling, forcing Packard to share Studebaker platforms and body designs. With no funding to retool for the advanced new models envisioned, SPC's fate was sealed the large Packard was effectively dead in an executive decision to kill "the car we could not afford to lose". The last fully Packard-designed vehicle, a Patrician four-door sedan, rolled off the Conner Avenue assembly line on June 25, 1956. [50]

1957–1958 Edit

In 1957, no more Packards were built in Detroit and the Clipper disappeared as a separate brand name. Instead, a Studebaker President–based car bearing the Packard Clipper nameplate appeared on the market, but sales were slow. Available in just two body styles, Town Sedan (four-door sedan) and Country Sedan (four-door station wagon), they were powered by Studebaker's 289 cu in (4.7 l) V8 with a McCulloch supercharger, delivering the same 275 hp (205 kW) as the 1956 Clipper Custom, although at higher revolutions. Borrowing design cues from the 1956 Clipper (visual in the grille and dash), with wheel covers, tail lamps, and dials from 1956 along with the Packard cormorant hood mascot and trunk chrome trim from 1955 senior Packards, the 1957 Packard Clipper was more than a badge-engineered Studebaker—but also far from a Patrician. Had the company been able to invest more money to finish the transformation and position the car under a senior line of "true Packards", it might have been a successful Clipper. However, standing alone the cars sold in very limited numbers—and a number of Packard dealers dropped their franchises while customers stayed away, despite huge price discounts, fearful of buying a car that could soon be an orphaned make. With the market flooded by inexpensive cars, minor automakers struggled to sell vehicles at loss leader prices to keep up with Ford and GM. [51] Also, a general decline in demand for large cars heralded an industry switch to compact cars such as the Studebaker Lark.

Predictably, many Packard devotees were disappointed by the marque's perceived further loss of exclusivity and what they perceived as a reduction in quality. They joined competitors and media critics in christening the new models as "Packardbakers". The 1958 models were launched with no series name, simply as "Packard". New body styles were introduced, a two-door hardtop joined the four-door sedan. A new premier model appeared with a sporting profile: the Packard Hawk was based on the Studebaker Golden Hawk and featured a new nose and a fake spare wheel molded in the trunk lid reminiscent of the concurrent Imperial. The 1958 Packards were amongst the first in the industry to be "facelifted" with plastic parts. The housing for the new dual headlights and the complete fins were fiberglass parts grafted on Studebaker bodies. Very little chrome was on the lower front clip. Designer Duncan McRae managed to include the 1956 Clipper tail lights for one last time, this time in a fin, and under a canted fin, a wild—or to some bizarre—mixture. Added to the front of all but the Hawk were tacked on pods for dual headlights, in a desperate attempt to keep up with late-1950s styling cues. All Packards were given 14 in (36 cm) wheels to lower the profile. The public reaction was predictable and sales were almost nonexistent. The Studebaker factory was older than Packard's Detroit plant, with higher production requirements, which added to dipping sales. A new compact car on which the company staked its survival, the Lark, was a year away, and failed to sell in sufficient numbers to keep the marque afloat. Several makes were discontinued around this time: Packard, Edsel, Hudson, Nash, DeSoto, and Kaiser. Not since the 1930s had so many makes disappeared, and it wouldn't be until the automotive industry crisis of 2008–10 that so many makes would be dropped at the same time again.

Concept Packards Edit

During the 1950s, a number of "dream cars" were built by Packard in an attempt to keep the marque alive in the imaginations of the American car-buying public. Included in this category are the 1952 Pan American that led to the production Caribbean and the Panther (also known as Daytona), based on a 1954 platform. Shortly after the introduction of the Caribbean, Packard showed a prototype hardtop called the Balboa. [52] It featured a reverse-slanted rear window that could be lowered for ventilation, a feature introduced in a production car by Mercury in 1957 and still in production in 1966.

The Request was based on the 1955 Four Hundred hardtop, but featured a classic upright Packard fluted grille reminiscent of the prewar models. In addition, the 1957 engineering mule "Black Bess" was built to test new features for a future car. This car had a resemblance to the 1958 Edsel. It featured Packard's return to a vertical grill. This grill was very narrow with the familiar ox-yoke shape that was characteristic for Packard, and with front fenders with dual headlights resembling Chrysler products from that era. The engineering mule Black Bess was destroyed by the company shortly after the Packard plant was shuttered. Of the 10 Requests built, only four were sold off the showroom floor.

Dick Teague also designed the last Packard show car, the Predictor. This hardtop coupe's design followed the lines of the planned 1957 cars. It had many unusual features, among them a roof section that opened either by opening a door or activating a switch, well ahead of later T-tops. The car had seats that rotated out, allowing the passenger easy access, a feature later used on some Chrysler and GM products. The Predictor also had the opera windows, or portholes, found on concurrent Thunderbirds. Other novel ideas were overhead switches—these were in the production Avanti—and a dash design that followed the hood profile, centering dials in the center console area. This feature has only recently been used on production cars. The Predictor survives and is on display at the Studebaker National Museum section of the Center for History in South Bend, Indiana.

Astral Edit

One unusual prototype, the Studebaker-Packard Astral, was made in 1957 and first unveiled at the South Bend Art Centre on January 12, 1958, and then at the March 1958 Geneva Motor Show. [53] It had a single gyroscopic balanced wheel and the publicity data suggested it could be nuclear powered or have what the designers described as an ionic engine. No working prototype was ever made, nor was it likely that one was ever intended. [54] [55]

The Astral was designed by Edward E. Herrmann, Studebaker-Packard's director of interior design, [56] as a project to give his team experience in working with glass-reinforced plastic. It was put on show at various Studebaker dealerships before being put into storage. Rediscovered 30 years later, the car was restored and put on display by the Studebaker museum.

The end Edit

Studebaker-Packard pulled the Packard nameplate from the marketplace in 1959. In 1962, "Packard" was dropped off the corporation's name at a time when it was introducing the all new Avanti, and a less anachronistic image was being sought, thus finishing the story of the American Packard marque. The Packard name (as well as Pierce-Arrow) had been considered for the Avanti, but this wasn't done.

In the late 1950s, Studebaker-Packard was approached by enthusiasts to rebadge the French car maker Facel-Vega's Excellence four-door hardtop as a Packard for sale in North America, using stock Packard V8s and identifying trim including red hexagonal wheel covers, cormorant hood ornament, and classic vertical ox-yoke grille. [ citation needed ] The proposition was rejected when Daimler-Benz threatened to pull out of its 1957 marketing and distribution agreement, which would have cost Studebaker-Packard more in revenue than they could have made from the badge-engineered Packard. Daimler-Benz had little of its own dealer network at the time and used this agreement to enter and become more established in the American market through SPC's dealer network, and felt this car was a threat to their models.

Aborted revival Edit

In the late 1990s, Roy Gullickson revived the Packard nameplate by buying the trademark and developing a Packard Twelve for the 1999 model year. His goal was annual production of 2,000 cars, but lack of investment funds stalled that plan indefinitely. The only prototype Twelve made was sold at an auto auction in Plymouth, MI, in July 2014 for $143,000. [57]

Every CARE Package is a personal contribution to the world peace our nation seeks. It expresses America's concern and friendship in a language all peoples understand.

President John F. Kennedy


An original CARE Package recipient reminisces on receiving a "gift from America" in November 1947.

Leo and Helga Kissell met in Germany during World War II. After Leo returned to the USA, he sent Helga one of the first CARE Packages. Within three years, they were married.

CARE Delivers Packages to Orphans in Postwar Europe - HISTORY

Below is a description of the lists currently searchable in the Names Database. As this is an ongoing effort, the inventory of lists available to the public continues to grow, with more names and documents being added periodically.

Early Remittance Lists

Early Remittance Lists: The Transmission Department of the JDC was established in 1915 to deliver personal remittances to those areas in Europe and Palestine where normal transmission agencies were incapable of functioning due to war conditions. Relatives from the West were able to deposit small amounts of money (typically $5 or $10, up to $100) for JDC to remit to their relatives overseas. The remittance lists include both the names and addresses of remitters and beneficiaries, prime genealogical material that cannot be found elsewhere. In the 1917-1920 period these remittances exceeded $6,966,195. The JDC Archives has indexed remittance lists from Poland (including the “Occupied Territory”), Romania, Palestine, and Russia. Files include:

  • Poland Remittances 1, 1915-1917 (PDF 1.70 MB)
  • Poland Remittances 2, 1915-1917 (PDF 21.5 MB)
  • Russia Remittances, 1916-1917 (PDF 1.10 MB)
  • Romania Remittances, 1916-1918 (PDF 1.61 MB)
  • Palestine Remittances, 1918 (PDF 4.89 MB)
  • Remittances for Jaffa, 1918 (PDF 604 KB)
  • Remittances for Palestine, August 1, 1918 (PDF 736 KB)
  • Remittances for Palestine, July 11, 1918 (PDF 1.55 MB)
  • Remittances for Saffed, Palestine, 1918 (PDF 200 KB)
  • Remittances for Poland (“Occupied Territory”), 1918(PDF 1.20 MB)
  • Poland Remittances 3, 1919 (PDF 9.29 MB)

The 1914-1921 Period

Jewish Men from Rohatyn, Poland Imprisoned in Siberia, 1916 (PDF 703 KB)
A 1916 list of those from the Galician town of Rohatyn, Poland imprisoned in Siberia. The entire male population, aged 12 to 70, was imprisoned by Russian troops, leaving a community of starving women and children, to whom the JDC endeavors to distribute proper aid.

Aid to Rabbis in the Russian Empire and Palestine, 1916 (PDF 2.43 MB)
Lists from 1916 detailing financial aid for prominent rabbis.

Jews from the Russian Empire Requesting Contact with Relatives, 1917 (PDF 2.25 MB)
JDC representatives assisted Jews from the former Russian Empire in attempts to contact and locate their relatives in the West. JDC representatives acted as intermediaries between relatives in this 1917 list and provided aid.

Injured Jewish Prisoners of War Repatriated to Their Home Countries, 1920- (PDF 12.4 MB)
In the aftermath of World War I, JDC, together with the American Red Cross and other groups, sought to repatriate 160,000 prisoners of war in Siberia, 10,000 of whom were Jewish. This list includes information on “60 Jewish war invalids” who were repatriated on May 11, 1920 on the SS Shunko Maru, funded by JDC. Photographs and genealogical details are included on this list.

Vienna Professionals to Whom JDC Distributed Food Parcels, 1920- (PDF 2.31 MB)
Following World War I, Austria suffered unprecedented inflation, shortages and devaluation of the Austrian krone. JDC responded to this crisis by providing Jews with food, clothing, heating materials and cash assistance. This list details engineers, physicians, government employees and others who were newly destitute and received food parcels from JDC.

Prisoner of War in Siberia Cards, 1920
In the aftermath of World War I, 10,000 Jews were among the 160,000 prisoners of war in Siberia. JDC, together with the American Red Cross and other groups, established the Siberian War Prisoners Repatriation Fund. Almost all inmates who desired to return to their homes were able do so, saving tens of thousands from death. This collection of over 1,000 cards has photographs and biographical information about Jewish prisoners.

Lists of Polish Jews, Grouped by Town, Requesting Assistance from U.S. Relatives, 1921 (PDF 24 MB)
JDC representatives in Poland transmitted requests for affidavits, transportation funds, and other assistance from Jews overseas to their stateside relatives. JDC field representatives sent to the JDC NY Headquarters lists of Jews from a specific town in Poland, which included information on their individual needs and the details regarding their U.S. relatives. The NY office then followed up with stateside relatives. Genealogically rich materials such as Polish and American names and addresses appear on these 1921 postwar lists.

Orphans Provided Guardianship through JDC’s Financial Adoption Program, 1921 (PDF 5.91 MB)
Following the upheaval of World War I, JDC initiated a legal adoption program, whereby a patron sponsored a child’s welfare for the yearly sum of $100. Immigrant Aid Societies, Synagogues, and distant relatives in the United States often sponsored children.

Prisoners of War Released from Siberia, 1921 (PDF 1.57 MB)
This 1921 list details former Hungarian, German and Austrian Prisoners of War who received aid from JDC and the American Red Cross upon arrival in San Francisco, en route to Trieste, Italy. This list was published for the information of relatives, who could expect the arrival of their relatives in Trieste by the end of June, 1921.

Lists from the Nazi Period and its Aftermath

Refugees in Polish Border Areas, 1938-1939 (PDF 72.5 MB)
Lists of Polish Jews expelled from Germany by the Nazi government into the Polish border town of Zbaszyn and others expelled from the German client state of Slovakia to towns in the no-man’s-land across the border in Western Galicia, receiving assistance from the JDC in 1938-1939.

Polish Jewish Emigrants in Hungary, 1939 (PDF 2.18 MB)
A list of emigrants from Poland receiving welfare aid from the JDC in Budapest in 1939.

Refugees on the SS St. Louis Who Received JDC Aid, 1939 (PDF 2.07 MB)
In May 1939, the SS St. Louis ferried more than 930 passengers fleeing Nazi Germany to Cuba. They were denied entry into Havana, and JDC came to their aid. When negotiations between JDC and the Cuban government failed, the ship was forced to return to Hamburg with 907 passengers. While the ship was still on the high seas, JDC won the consent of Holland, Belgium, England and France to accept the refugees, posting a $500,000 guarantee to cover support costs. When it reached Europe, the ship was able to dock in Antwerp, where the passengers disembarked.

Escaped Polish Jewish Officers in Komarom, Hungary, 1939 (PDF 2.18 MB)
This 1939 list includes names of the escaped Polish Jewish officers in the camp at Komarom, Hungary. Detailed information about the officer’s city of origin and relatives relative is listed.

Children in Holland Whom JDC Is Trying to Assist to Emigrate to the United States, 1940 (PDF 6.69 MB)
JDC rescue efforts during World War II included reaching out to a network of other organizations, including HIAS and the NY-based German Jewish Children’s Aid to help children, some of whom had relatives in America, emigrate from Holland to the U.S. Relatives were contacted for affidavits, funds, and to provide homes for young relatives.

Vilna Refugees, 1940 (PDF 27.4 MB)
Polish Jewish refugees receiving JDC aid, after they had moved eastward to Vilna, Lithuania in 1940 to escape the Nazi regime.

Jewish Refugee Children Receiving JDC Aid in France, Including Information on Overseas Relatives and Friends, 1940 (PDF 27.4 MB)
During World War II, JDC supported childcare for Jewish refugee children in France. JDC funded efforts of the U.S. Committee for the Care of European Children, which helped children emigrate to the U.S. This list includes names of Jewish refugee children in France, their parents’ names, the child’s birth date and place, and names and addresses of U.S.-based relatives or friends from whom assistance was sought for affidavits.

German Jews in Lisbon for Whom JDC Covered Emigration Costs, 1941 (PDF 14.1 MB)
JDC and its partners helped German Jews flee Nazism to North and South America, and other safe havens via ships from neutral Portugal. JDC funded transportation costs, HIAS funded administration fees and the HIAS-ICA Emigration Association in Lisbon (HICEM) provided logistics. Listed are names, family members, sailing date, ship name, destination, and expenses covered by JDC.

Ship Sailings of Refugees from Japanese Ports to the Western Hemisphere, 1940-1941 (PDF 38.3 MB)
These 1940-1941 lists contain information on European Jewish refugees seeking to emigrate from Japan to the West. Files on individual sailings are included, to safe havens such as Canada, USA, and South America. Included are names, city of origin, nationality, and destination. Names and addresses of relatives and friends who gave affidavits securing their passage are included.

Jewish Refugees Escaping to Shanghai, China via Yokohama, Japan 1941 (PDF 53.3 MB)
These lists detail German Jewish refugees escaping Nazism to China and Japan via the TranSiberian railroad. Included are names, addresses in Germany, nationality, amount paid for passage, destination and date of departure. Also included are relatives overseas in Shanghai, USA, South America, and the Philippines supplying affidavits.

Jewish Refugees Leaving Japan for Other Safe Havens, 1941 (PDF 8.86 MB)
These lists detail refugees who, after finding refuge in Japan from Nazism, are leaving Japan for Australia, Canada, USA, Burma, South Africa, Palestine, and South America. Included are names, nationalities, dates, Japanese ports of departure and destinations. A Refugee Aid Committee was formed in Japan in 1939, with JDC migration offices opening in 1940.

German Refugees Receiving JDC Aid in Japan, 1941 (PDF 1.45 MB)
This is a 1941 list of German and Austrian refugees stranded in Japan. Funds for their support are drawn from the JDC Germany budget. Included are names, cities of origin in Germany, and ages.

European Refugees Receiving JDC Aid in Japan, Including Information on Overseas Relatives, 1941 (PDF 58.2 MB)
The Jewish community in Kobe, Japan compiled this list of European refugees and their relatives overseas, so that JDC can solicit aid from family members. Included are names, ages, birth information, profession, citizenship of refugees, as well as the names and addresses of relatives abroad. In the 1940-1941 period, JDC allocated more than $158, 284 to refugees in Japan.

Yeshiva Students Receiving JDC Aid in Wartime Japan, 1941 (PDF 3.00 MB)
Lists of students, organized by yeshiva, receiving JDC aid in wartime Japan. Included are the Mirer, Kamieniecer, Slonimer, Ostrów Mazowiecka, Klecker, Radiner, Telser, Nowogrodker, Lucker, Warschauer, Reverends and Lubavitcher Yeshivas. Names, ages, birth data, profession and citizenship, as well as names and addresses of relatives abroad, are listed. From 1940-1941 JDC allocated more than $158,284 to refugees in Japan.

Refugees Arriving in Japan and Receiving JDC Aid, 1941 (PDF 8.61 MB)
These 1941 lists detail Polish and German Jewish refugee subjects, as well as refugees from other locales, arriving in Kobe, Japan in 1940-1941. Included are names, ages, birthplace, profession, date of arrival in Japan, destination and date of departure. With the heavy refugee influx, community groups turned to JDC for aid. A Refugee Aid Committee was formed in Japan in 1939, with JDC migration offices opening in 1940.

Guarantees from the Mirrer and Lubavitcher Yeshivas in Support of Students Finding Safe Havens in Canada or Other Friendly Countries, 1941 (PDF 4.76 MB)
These are lists from the Mirrer and Lubavitcher Yeshiva representatives of their students and faculty who are refugees in Kobe and Shanghai. The Yeshivas are guaranteeing their support of $8/per month for each faculty member and student, and JDC is seeking countries of safe haven for these refugees.

Passengers on the SS Mouzinho, 1941 (PDF 84.7 MB)
The SS Mouzinho left Lisbon for New York on June 10, 1941. JDC had secured the entire ship for refugee passengers, including more than 100 children, many of whom had been living in internment camps in southern France. Among the passengers were artist Marc Chagall and his wife, Bella.

JDC Lisbon List of Polish Jewish Passengers to Cuba or Jamaica, 1942 (PDF 745 KB)
A group of Polish Jews, refugees stranded without papers in Portugal, faced imminent deportation. JDC assisted them to reach out to the Polish Government-In-Exile, and an agreement was reached with the British, allowing the refugees to live in Jamaica on a temporary basis. JDC arranged for transportation of 157 Polish Jews from Lisbon to Cuba, and to a refugee camp in Jamaica. JDC covered living expenses for the refugees.

Individual Recipients of JDC Food Parcels in Poland, 1941-1943 (PDF 26 MB)
These lists detail Jews in Poland who required assistance during the World War II years and to whom JDC shipped parcels and food packages. Included are lists of individuals for whom package shipments were requested as well as lists of individuals with confirmation that their packages were received. Also included are lists of individuals to whom packages were sent but returned, never reaching their intended recipients.

Beneficiaries of JDC’s Free Parcel Service in the Soviet Union, 1943-1945 (PDF 15.4 MB)
These 1943-1945 lists contain the names and addresses of Jews receiving JDC parcels in the Soviet Union and the liberated territories. Included are refugees who had previously fled eastward to escape the Nazis.

Refugees Emigrating from Portugal to Canada with Help from JDC, 1944 (PDF 326 KB)
As part of the Canadian Emigration Project, the JDC appropriated $150,000 for support of Jewish refugees in Spain and Portugal and for the transportation of refugee holders of duration-of-the-war visas to Canada. This list includes 81 members of 30 family units who received Canadian visas in Portugal as of February 12, 1944.

Refugees Receiving JDC Aid in Tangier, 1944 (PDF 1.76 MB)
This list details 807 Jewish refugee families who received assistance from JDC in Tangier, an international city since 1938. Aid to these refugees, many of whom were rendered stateless due to the trials of World War II, was provided in partnership with the local refugee committee. Refugee names, place and date of birth, nationality and occupation were recorded, as relayed to the committee by the refugees themselves.

Lists of Passengers Who Sailed on the SS Serpa Pinto, 1941-1944
In numerous sailings over the course of World War II, the SS Serpa Pinto (or Serpa Pinta) bore more refugees across the Atlantic than any other Portuguese ship. It typically carried up to 800 passengers per sailing, departing from Lisbon and often stopping in Casablanca to pick up additional passengers. The ship’s destination was generally the United States, but other points of disembarkation included Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico. JDC financed or shared in the financing of these trips by purchasing tickets and providing guarantees, which enabled thousands of refugees to reach safety. These JDC lists are not ship manifests they are lists of refugees assisted by JDC. The lists that have been indexed are arranged chronologically below:

  • March 1941 (PDF 1.3 MB): This list includes passengers’ addresses and information about the sponsor in the United States who deposited funds with the JDC to ensure passage.
  • June 1941 (PDF 600 KB): This list is arranged by the JDC office (Berlin, Amsterdam, and Vienna) that arranged the refugees’ passage. Financial information about the sums provided has been redacted.
  • September 1941 (PDF 1.3 MB): This list is arranged by the partner organization that arranged the refugees’ passage. Financial information about the sums provided has been redacted.
  • November 1941 (PDF 242 KB): This sailing included passengers who had been waiting in Vigo, Spain, and a group bound for the Dominican Republic, mostly in connection with the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA) program.
  • January 1942 (PDF 1.64 MB): This sailing included passengers bound for Jamaica, Cuba, and New York.
  • June 1942 (PDF 1.35 MB): This sailing included passengers embarking in Lisbon and Casablanca. Details include age, occupation, and nationality.
  • September 1942 (PDF 1.78 MB): This sailing included passengers bound for Veracruz, Mexico its final destination in the United States was the port of Baltimore.
  • November 1942 (PDF 204 KB): This list of 181 names does not include any additional information about destination, age, or nationality.
  • January 1943 (PDF 369 KB): This list is arranged by citizenship and includes date of birth and prior country of residence.
  • April 1943 (PDF 181 KB): Details on this list include age and citizenship.
  • August 1943 (PDF 450 KB): Details on this list include age, marital status, and nationality.
  • October 1943 (PDF 54 KB): This brief list includes name and age only.
  • March 1944 (PDF 406 KB): The passengers on this list were in transit to Canada via Philadelphia. Details include age and nationality.
  • May 1944 (PDF 54 KB): This list includes passengers bound for Canada from Barcelona and Madrid in addition to those already in Lisbon. While at sea, the ship was attacked and held by a German U-boat but finally was allowed to proceed. An accompanying news item describes the incident.
  • Jewish Refugee Children on the SS Serpa Pinto, 1943-1944 (PDF 2.06MB): This list details Jewish refugee children who were helped by JDC in Barcelona. The JDC then assisted with their emigration from Lisbon on the SS Serpa Pinto.

Refugees Receiving JDC Aid in Camp Fadhala, Morocco, 1944 (PDF 899 KB)
This is a list of 853 refugees in Camp Fadhala, a transit camp for refugees who arrived from Spain. With most doors closed to European Jewry, JDC helped recruit refugees to the safe haven near Casablanca, providing support for care and maintenance, as well as equipment. Residents of the camp were from Greece, Yugoslavia, Tripoli and Malta, and the camp harbored both Jewish and non-Jewish refugees, including a Roma minority.

Jewish Refugees in Spain Who Received Visas to Canada, 1944 (PDF 2.54 MB)
European Jewish families who had escaped the Nazis and were living in the Iberian Peninsula in1944. The refugees were aided by JDC. These lists include families who had received visas to Canada with JDC assistance.

Refugee Children in Spain and Portugal Whom JDC Is Helping to Emigrate, 1944 (PDF 225 KB)
JDC is attempting to connect Jewish refugee children with their relatives overseas, to secure age affidavits for the children to facilitate immigration. Included are names, place and date of birth, parents’ names, and names and addresses of relatives overseas.

European Jewish Refugee Arrivals from Havana to Miami, 1944-1945 (PDF 2.70 MB)
These 1944-1945 lists detail European Jewish refugees from Havana, Cuba, arriving in Miami, Florida in the postwar period, where they were assisted by JDC and the National Council of Jewish Women. Descriptive material such as full names, relatives, ages, birthplace and wartime location are listed.

Jewish Orphans from Buchenwald Brought to France by JDC, 1945 (PDF 505 KB)
This list contains names of 535 Jewish orphans from the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Joseph Schwartz, JDC’s Overseas Director, negotiated their entry into France and agreed to cover transportation costs. In June 1945, the children reached Paris and were sent to two JDC-supported homes run by OSE, a French childcare organization. In July 1945, 173 journeyed to Palestine on the SS Mataroa, a trip financed by JDC.

Barcelona Refugee Case Cards, 1943-1945
After the fall of France, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees seeking to flee Nazi Europe streamed into Spain from France. JDC set up an office in Barcelona and provided support, housing and emigration assistance to these refugees. JDC also assisted refugees waiting for emigration papers and passage on transatlantic vessels. This collection contains index cards from 1943-1945 for 8220 refugees supported by JDC.

Passengers on the SS Plus Ultra, 1945 (PDF 9.2 MB)
As World War II was ending, JDC arranged documents and paid the transportation costs for survivors to make Aliyah to Palestine. This list provides information on passengers, most of whom were in Switzerland, who were to travel to Palestine via Lisbon on the SS Plus Ultra in May 1945. It was the first passenger ship from Europe to arrive in Palestine after the war.

Passengers on the SS Lima, 1945 (PDF 28.6 MB)
As World War II was ending, JDC worked with HICEM, Hehaluts, and other organizations to arrange documents and transport for survivors to make Aliyah to Palestine. This list provides information on passengers who were to travel to Palestine from Switzerland on the SS Lima in the summer of 1945.

JDC Emigration Service Index Cards: Warsaw Office, 1945-1949
JDC’s operations in Poland were reestablished immediately after the end of World War II. One of JDC’s principal activities was to provide assistance to those seeking to emigrate. Most of Poland’s surviving Jews, including those repatriated from the Soviet Union, left Poland during this period, particularly after the Kielce pogrom of 1946. This index of emigration case files includes approximately 6,400 cards.

JDC Emigration Service Case Files: Prague Office, 1945-1950 (PDF 4.1 MB). [Note: This index is not included in the Names Database.]
This index provides the names of clients served by the AJDC Emigration Service in Czechoslovakia in the years immediately following the end of World War II, until JDC was forced to leave Czechoslovakia in January 1950. The index includes about 11,000 entries covering 22,000 individuals who received emigration assistance from JDC.

Lists of Jews in Europe who received parcels as per orders via JDC’s Jerusalem office, 1945-1947
Immediately following World War II, JDC created a program though which families and friends could get life-sustaining CARE packages to Holocaust survivors in Europe. Included on these list are names and addresses of beneficiaries in Europe and donors in Mandatory Palestine, Iran India, Egypt, and Lebanon, as well as the price of packages.

  • Parcels to Belgium and France, May-July 1945 (PDF 28 MB)
  • Parcels to France, August 1945-February 1946 (PDF 22 MB)
  • Parcels to Europe, June-December 1946 (PDF 16.5 MB)
  • Parcels to Poland, 1946-1947 (PDF 33.8 MB)

Jewish Refugees in Italy Receiving Aid, 1946 (PDF 3.98 MB)
This 1946 list details JDC’s monthly financial support of individuals in the Naples, Florence, Torino, Genova, Modena and Pisa Jewish communities.

Refugees Receiving JDC Aid in Tangier, 1946 (PDF 5.01 MB)
European refugees had been fleeing to Tangier, an international city, since 1938. Under Spanish occupation from June 1940, this became more difficult. After World War II, Tangier returned to international status. Jewish refugees came from different countries including Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Turkey. Many were rendered stateless. This list details monthly assistance provided to refugees by JDC.

Jews in Berlin Seeking Relatives in America, 1946 (PDF 3.98 MB)
Immediately after World War II, JDC initiated the Berlin AJDC Tracing Service with the Berlin Jewish community to list all German Jewish survivors and to make contact with relatives abroad. The names, birthdates and addresses of the German Jewish survivors are listed, as well as the addresses of their American relatives.

Jewish Refugees Finding Safe Haven in Sweden, 1946-1947 (PDF 24.77 MB)
This document lists Jewish refugees JDC assisted to reach Stockholm in the wake of World War II. JDC provided services to these refugees while in Sweden pending permanent resettlement elsewhere in the US, Palestine and South America. Genealogical information such as nationality, birth date and birth year is included.

Rabbinical Students in Shanghai I, 1947 (PDF 282 KB)
This is a 1947 list of rabbinical students living in Shanghai who fled Poland after the Nazi invasion. JDC funded their transportation eastward via Siberia and Japan. On this list, JDC is arranging affidavits for their immigration to the U.S. All told, some 16,000 refugee Jews survived the war in Shanghai with JDC aid, with JDC expending some $7,434,000 between 1938-1979 for their relief and resettlement.

Rabbinical Students in Shanghai II, 1947 (PDF 1.26 MB)
A 1947 list of rabbinical students living in Shanghai who are refugees from the Nazi invasion of Poland. Finding temporary refuge in Lithuania with JDC support, the rabbinical group then moved eastward via Siberia and Japan, with JDC funding their transportation costs. Most were shipped by the Japanese authorities from Japan to Shanghai in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. JDC covered the costs of their support during their entire sojourn in the Far East. In this document, the JDC is arranging documentation and affidavits for their migration to the U.S. All told, 15,000 refugee Jews survived the war in Shanghai with JDC aid. Between 1938-1979, the JDC expended some $7,434,000 for the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of Shanghai refugees.

Jewish Orphans Who Immigrated from Warsaw to France with JDC’s Help, 1947-1948 (PDF 4.15 MB)
This handwritten document relays the names of child survivors living in a JDC-supported children’s home in Warsaw whom JDC helped move to France pending permanent resettlement elsewhere. In the postwar years, JDC supported 32 children’s homes in France which maintained several thousand children. Information on this list includes names, birthplace and birth date.

Departures from Europe, 1947-1953
After World War II, JDC’s Emigration Service, with offices throughout Europe, assisted thousands of Jews to emigrate to North and South America, Palestine/Israel, Australia, and South Africa or to resettle elsewhere within Europe. These lists are regularly issued memoranda of the Emigration Service, detailing information on those who had departed Europe, including the originating JDC office, name, destination, and ship name where relevant.

NEW!! (Apr 2021) Additional pages of lists now indexed!

  • Departures from France, 1947 (PDF 19 MB)
  • Departures from Other Countries, 1947 (PDF 9.9 MB)
  • Departures in 1948 (PDF 5.5 MB)
  • Departures in 1949 (PDF 34 MB)
  • Departures in 1950 (PDF 27 MB)
  • Departures in 1951 (PDF 26 MB)
  • Departures in 1952-1953 (PDF 28 MB)
  • Departures in 1954 (PDF 2.5 MB)

Jewish Students in Poland Receiving Scholarship Assistance, 1948 (PDF 21.3 MB)
This list details Jewish students receiving scholarships to university, based on merit and need. These scholarships were awarded by the Central Committee of Jews in Poland with funds received from the Central British Fund (now World Jewish Relief). JDC participated in the selection committee and provided logistical support.

Shanghai Clients Registering for Emigration to Canada, 1948 (PDF 4.02 MB)
A 1948 list of Displaced Persons in Shanghai who are registering for emigration to Canada. The JDC advocated on their behalf, and the Canadian government is accepting some and refusing visas to others. The Shanghai Joint Distribution Committee and its predecessor organization guided refugee aid and emigration activities, including running kitchens that fed 10,000 people a day. All told, 15,000 refugee Jews survived the war in Shanghai with JDC aid. From 1938-1979, the JDC expended some $7,434,000 for the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of Shanghai refugees.

Ezras Torah Fund, 1948 (PDF 4.88 MB)
A 1948 list of needy Orthodox rabbis and scholars, who, along with their families, received financial aid from the JDC in Europe and Palestine in the postwar period. The Ezras Torah Fund was organized in 1915 by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada.

Polish Jewish Repatriates following World War II, 1948 (PDF 1.77 MB)
This 1948 list from the JDC Location Service details Polish Jewish citizens repatriated from Russia back to their home country in the post World War II period. The Polish Jews on the list had spent the war years in Russia.

Jewish Refugees in Latin America Receiving JDC Assistance, 1948 (PDF 5.20 MB)
These 1948 lists detail monthly reports from the JDC Latin America office on World War II refugees. The refugees immigrated to Paraguay, Cuba, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador and were sponsored by JDC. The lists were submitted by Jewish Welfare Committees in each of the aforementioned countries.

CARE Packages to DP (Displaced Persons) Camps I, 1946-1948 (PDF 15.5 MB)
The Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE) program was founded in 1945 by America’s 26 leading volunteer agencies, one of which was the JDC, to rush life saving CARE packages to survivors of World War II in a safe, non-profit channel. More than 100 million packages reached people in need in the 2 decades following the war. These 1946-1948 lists detail relatives from South Africa and Shanghai, China who sent packages of food or blankets to their relatives in DP camps in Europe. Detailed geographical information of both the remitter and the recipient of aid is included. When the program first began, ten dollars bought a CARE Package, with a guarantee that the recipient would receive it within four months.

CARE Packages to DP (Displaced Persons) Camps II, 1946-1948 (PDF 490 KB)
The Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE) program was founded in 1945 by America’s 26 leading volunteer agencies, including JDC, to rush CARE packages to survivors of World War II. More than 100 million packages reached people in need in the 2 decades following the war. These 1946-1948 lists include the beneficiaries of parcels, as well as the date of package delivery.

JDC Shanghai Refugee Client List, 1950 (PDF 39.9 MB)
A 1950 list of JDC’s Shanghai Case Files of Jewish refugees assisted by JDC during the World War II years and thereafter. Lists are organized according to end destination, e.g. U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, Israel and Australia. Included also are names of family members and case file numbers. Shipment of the files out of Shanghai was first approved by the Chinese Communist authorities, but later rejected. These files remain in the hands of the Chinese government.

NEW!! (Oct 2020) JDC Emigration Service Index Cards: Paris Office, 1945-1953
JDC’s overseas headquarters moved back to Paris immediately after the end of World War II. One of JDC’s principal activities was to assist those seeking to emigrate. This large collection of approximately 30,000 index cards includes cards for Jews who registered directly with JDC’s Paris Emigration Service Office and cards compiled by the Emigration Service Headquarters in Paris for those who had registered with JDC offices elsewhere in Europe. Many of the emigrants passed through France en route to their final destinations. The JDC Emigration Service assisted with travel documents, transportation arrangements, and temporary accommodations.

JDC Emigration Service Index Cards: Munich and Vienna Offices, 1945–mid-1950s
This is a collection of registration cards of Jewish survivors who registered with the Emigration Department of JDC in Munich and Vienna after World War II for help in emigrating to countries other than Israel. The database includes individual cards from 1945 to the mid-1950s for 51,554 Displaced Persons in Munich and 25,374 Displaced Persons in Vienna.

Jewish Displaced Persons Who Immigrated to Australia with Help from JDC, 1951 (PDF 4.54 MB)
This list details survivors who traveled to Australia by boat, with the financial and logistical assistance of JDC. “The Joint” provided its local Jewish partner organizations with the financial means to bring 25,000 Jews to Australia after the Holocaust. JDC supported local Jewish social welfare efforts to absorb the refugees into their newfound country by helping them find housing, employment and educational opportunities.

Jewish Refugees Arriving in Australia via Melbourne, 1946-1954
This was indexed through a Project of Jewish Care (Melbourne, Australia) and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004. The database provides an index of names and available personal data taken from passenger lists sent to the Australian Jewish Welfare and Relief Society in Melbourne 1946 -1954. Before the departure of ships (mostly leaving from Genoa in Italy or Marseilles in France), HIAS and the AJDC mailed a list of Jewish passengers under their sponsorship to the Federation of Jewish Welfare Societies. This enabled family sponsors to be contacted and arrangements to be made for accommodation for those not being met by family. In addition to these shipping lists there are a few lists of refugees who arrived by plane whose fares were paid by family or friends. These lists, along with thousands of personal files relating to requests for landing permits and search requests for missing relatives are stored in the archives of Jewish Care, the major Jewish social service organization in Melbourne, and in the Archives of JDC and HIAS. In 2003 an agreement was drawn up to permit the USHMM to have access to refugee files dating from 1938 for microfilming.

Jewish Residents of China Seeking to Emigrate, 1955- (PDF 1.85 MB)
Listed are 685 individuals from Shanghai, Harbin and Tientsin who received assistance from JDC with their emigration plans. These Jews did not leave immediately after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 for a number of reasons, including: health limitations, non-liquid assets, family members refusing to separate, difficulty receiving visas, and the Soviets making it difficult for Soviet citizens to leave.

Transmigration Bureau Records, 1940-1956
The Transmigration Bureau was established by JDC in New York to help refugees emigrate from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, primarily to the U.S. Its primary role was to accept deposits from friends or family overseas towards the travel costs of Jews emigrating from Europe. Included are deposit cards for 37,732 individuals who emigrated from 1940-1956, with the bulk from 1940-1942.

Aliyah to Israel

Refugees Who Immigrated via North Africa to Palestine, 1944 (PDF 14 KB)
This is a list of 196 men, women and children who immigrated to Palestine via North Africa with the help of “Association D’etude D’aide & D’assistance,” the local Algerian Jewish relief committee, supported by JDC. Included are Algerian, Polish, Czech, Syrian, Austrian, Russian and Greek Jews, as well as French Jews who had been rendered stateless.

Passengers on SS Kazbek Who Received JDC Aid, 1944 (PDF 225 KB)
Arrangements were made for the SS Kazbek, a Turkish merchandise ship carrying goods to Romania to return to Istanbul carrying 752 Jewish refugees to Istanbul, en route to Palestine. These rescue arrangements were organized by JDC, with the organization provided the majority of the funds. Partners included the Jewish Agency, the Romanian government, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Laurence Steinhardt and the U.S. War Refugee Board.

Children for First Postwar Convoy from France to Palestine, 1945 (PDF 4.46 MB)
The list details children, young people and accompanying adults who were scheduled to immigrate after the Holocaust with the help of JDC on the first convoy. A number of the children had been rendered stateless by the war. Key genealogical information such as name, birth date, birthplace and nationality is noted.

Births to Cyprus Detainees, 1948-1949 (PDF 11.2 MB)
From 1946 until early 1949, the British confined over 53,000 Jewish refugees not permitted to enter Palestine, many of whom were Holocaust survivors, in detention camps on Cyprus. These weekly lists document babies born to residents of the camps during the period August 1948-February 1949. The lists record more than 500 births and include date of birth, sex, mother’s name, and camp number.

Operation Magic Carpet Yemenite Airlift: Passenger List of Orphans, Women and Children, and Elderly Men, December 1948-March 1949 (PDF 22 MB)
Following Israel’s independence, JDC organized and financed Operation Magic Carpet, bringing Yemenite Jews to Israel. The first phase initialy airlifted orphans to the newly established State of Israel from the British Protectorate of Aden. It then also included unaccompanied women and children and elderly men. This phase lasted from mid-December 1948 through early March 1949. The list includes names, sex, birth year, weight, and family status.

Operation Magic Carpet Yemenite Airlift: Passenger List of Adenites, March-April 1949 (PDF 10 MB)
Following Israel’s independence, JDC organized and financed Operation Magic Carpet, bringing Yemenite Jews to Israel. The second phase airlifted Adenites in March-April 1949 to the newly established State of Israel from the British Protectorate of Aden, after the armistice agreement that allowed Adenite men of fighting age to immigrate to Israel. The list includes names, sex, birth year, weight, and family status.

Operation Magic Carpet Yemenite Airlift: Passenger Lists from Djibouti and Asmara, June 1949 (PDF 2.2 MB)
Following Israel’s independence, JDC organized and financed Operation Magic Carpet, bringing Yemenite Jews to Israel. In addition, as part of this effort, Jews were airlifted from neighboring Djibouti and Asmara in June 1949. The list includes names, sex, birth year, weight, and family status.

Operation Magic Carpet Yemenite Airlift Passenger List Phase 3, “Massive Aliya,” July 1949-July 1950
Following Israel’s independence, JDC organized and financed Operation Magic Carpet, bringing Yemenite Jews to Israel. The third phase of the airlift began after the Imam of Yemen agreed to allow the more than 45,000 members of the remaining Jewish community to leave. The list includes names, sex, birth year, weight, and family status. The list is organized chronologically portions of the list that have been indexed to date include the following:

  • July-August 1949 (PDF 65 MB)
  • September 1949 (PDF 38 MB)
  • October 1949 (PDF 43 MB)
  • November 1949 (PDF 18.9 MB)
  • December 1949 (PDF 15.9 MB)
  • January 1950 (PDF 9.6 MB)
  • February 1950 (PDF 11.8 MB)
  • Mar-Apr 1950 (PDF 10.8 MB)
  • May-July 1950 (PDF 14.7 MB)

Records from 1954 Onward

JDC Aid to Algerian Jews after Earthquake, 1954 (PDF 12.2 MB)

One of the deadliest earthquakes of all-time hit Orleansville (now Clef), Algeria in 1954, killing 1,600 and leaving 10,000 homeless. JDC contributed to a general relief fund for all victims, and, through the local Jewish community, provided loans to the 130 Jewish families in the city who were rendered homeless and whose businesses were destroyed. Included in this list are family names, given names and occupations.

Hungarian Refugee Registration Cards, 1956-57
With the outbreak of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, more than 18,000 Jews fled to Austria. JDC helped emigrants waiting for resettlement, housing some 11,000 refugees in hotels, private dwellings and camps. JDC also supported two kosher kitchens in Vienna and furnished medical and religious supplies. While some stayed in Europe, refugees emigrated to the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Latin America.

Refugees Assisted in Brazil, 1957 (PDF 1.99 MB)
These lists include information about Jewish refugees from Egypt, Hungary, Israel, and other places helped by the Conselho de Assistencia, a JDC-supported organization in Sao Paulo. Information on the list includes names of family heads, number of persons per family and amount of aid distributed.

Egyptian Jewish Refugees in France Receiving Aid from JDC, 1957-1959 (PDF 1.7 MB)
Fleeing persecution and economic discrimination after the 1956 Suez crisis, 20,000 Egyptian Jews left for Europe, South America and Israel. This list includes payments and loans provided to Egyptian Jewish refugees in France by COJASOR (Comite Juif d’Action Sociale et de Reconstruction). JDC funded COJASOR efforts to assist the refugees with resettlement and housing costs.

Transmigrants Assisted by JDC in Rome, 1969-1973
In Vienna and Rome, JDC developed programs to assist transmigrants, Jewish refugees in transit to other countries, who faced a waiting period of several months for their papers to be processed and were not eligible for work permits. The JDC’s caseload fluctuated in response to political developments in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. The Jerusalem Archives of JDC holds tens of thousands of case files for these transmigrants.

Our History

• Our story begins in 1919, when Eglantyne Jebb launches the Save the Children Fund in London, in the wake of World War I. It soon becomes the first global movement for children. We started child sponsorship the same year.

• An outspoken champion for children, Jebb drafts the historic Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the League of Nations in 1924.


In the U.S. and around the world

• In the wake of the Great Depression, a group of forward-thinking Americans inspired by Jebb’s vision establishes Save the Children in the U.S.

• We help America’s struggling families during the Great Depression support themselves with home gardening programs. We provide children with clothes, shoes, books and toys. And in schools, we serve hot lunches and build playgrounds.
• In Europe, we ensure children displaced by World War II receive much needed aid, including food, medicine, clothes and blankets.


Every day and in times of crisis

• In response to the plight of children caught in the crossfire of World War II, Americans flock to support British war orphans through child sponsorship.

• We provide more than 250,000 Appalachian children with clothing and shoes, plus 800,000 schoolbooks.


Whatever it takes

• Our work expands to include education and farming programs in France, Holland, Italy, West Germany, Austria, Finland, Greece, Lebanon and South Korea.

• We ensure war-affected children in Korea receive food, clothing and school supplies, and launch a Sponsorship program.

• Sponsorship programs are launched for children in ravaged post-war Europe, providing them with shelter, food, health care and schooling.
• Sponsorships for U.S. children are expanded to include scholarships for Native American children.

• Save the Children expands to Asia and the Middle East with education and farming programs.


An expanding global movement

• Save the Children opens its first Latin American field office in Colombia, with a focus on community-development programs.

• Save the Children expands to Vietnam with a community-development program.

• The Appalachian Fireside Craft Project (AFC) launches. Later, crafts from programs worldwide are marketed in our catalogs and online.

• Save the Children opens its first African field office in Tanzania.


Putting pioneering programs to work

• High-impact sponsorship begins in Dominican Republic, combining child-focused community development programs.

• Save the Children scales up our pioneering programs. Our Community-based Integrated Rural Development (C-BIRD) model becomes the standard for overseas development.

• Save the Children expands to Upper Volta (modern-day Burkina Faso) starting the region's first community development program.

• Save the Children expands to El Salvador with a community development program.


The leading expert on children

• Independent of government or religious affiliation, Save the Children is the first international aid agency allowed to return to Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.
• Save the Children is at the forefront of the global campaign to reduce maternal and child mortality with comprehensive child-survival projects during the 1980s.

• Save the Children Federation marks the agency's 50th anniversary as programs open in the Philippines, Republic of Kiribati and Bhutan.

• Food crises in Ethiopia, Somalia, Southeast Asia and Sudan draw worldwide attention and urgent response from Save the Children.

• The Convention on the Rights of the Child, based on Eglantyne Jebb's vision for children, becomes the most universally accepted human rights treaty in history, and is adopted by United Nations General Assembly.



• Children in Rwanda are reunited with their parents in a Save the Children program to help families separated during the genocide.

• U.S. children’s programs expand to provide children with caring adults and safe places for constructive play before and after school.


Pioneering child-centered solutions that work

• The State of the World's Mothers report offers the agency's first annual ranking of mothers' and children's well-being in more than 100 countries.
• People affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa receive new educational and medical assistance.
• The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funds the Saving Newborn Lives initiative to help reduce newborn deaths in developing countries.

• The America's Forgotten Children report spotlights 2.5 million children living in rural poverty in the United States.

• Kim Phuc, who survived napalm burns as a child during the Vietnam War, and actor Sally Field attend a Capitol Hill news conference supporting funding and passage of the Women and Children in Conflict Protection Act.
• The war in Iraq intensifies: Save the Children delivers food, water, fuel and medical supplies to thousands of affected children and families.
• Mothers in India, Mali and Pakistan who are immunized against potentially fatal tetanus infections now total more than 14 million.

• Save the Children establishes literacy and nutrition programs in poor, rural, American community schools.
• Save the Children sends aid to Sudan's Darfur region, where civil conflict displaces more than 300,000 children and families.
• The Asian tsunami kills more than 200,000 people. Save the Children registers 7,000 children separated from their families and sets up schools and trauma care centers.

• Actor George Clooney and CEO Charles MacCormack attend the G-8 Summit in Scotland, to promote the ONE global campaign against poverty and HIV/AIDS. In Ethiopia actor Brad Pitt tours a Save the Children program for the ONE campaign.
• Save the Children’s response to Pakistan's earthquake includes emergency health clinics, schools and shelters.
• Hurricane Katrina strikes the U.S. Gulf Coast, displacing hundreds of thousands of children. Save the Children sets up schools, camps and child care and counseling centers.

• The Caps to the Capitol program enlists volunteers to knit or crochet more than 130,000 caps to keep newborns warm and alive in the developing world, and to write President Bush in support of child survival programs.
• Microfinance loans have now gone to help nearly half a million mothers support their families in 17 countries.
• Save the Children launches the Rewrite the Future campaign to help provide education to some of the more than 40 million children affected by armed conflict worldwide.

• Save the Children observes 75 years of service to children as former sponsored-child Dominique Jones rings the January 8th closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

• In May 2008 Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta. Save the Children reached more than 600,000 affected people including at least 300,000 children, with live-saving aid.

• May 19, 2009 marks the 90th birthday of the Save the Children movement.


Delivering child health, education and protection

• Save the Children organizations around the world join together to become one global movement, transforming children’s lives and the future we share.
• Save the Children provided 1.6 million Haitians – including 700,000 children – with shelter materials, food and water, health care, hygiene and sanitation, after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti.
• Severe monsoon flooding wreaked havoc in Pakistan, forcing an estimated 21 million people to flee their homes. Save the Children helped more than 2.6 million flood-affected people with emergency medical care, as well as food, shelter materials and other basic necessities.
• Save the Children delivered community-based health care to more than 6.6 million newborns and 7.3 million children under age 5.
• In Bangladesh, Save the Children's HIV messages reached 36 million children and youth through a national media campaign.

• When a devastating drought struck the Horn of Africa, Save the Children helped 942,000 children by providing child-friendly spaces, education and counseling services, reuniting children with their families and providing foster families when needed.
• Save the Children provided relief, care and protection for nearly 7.6 million children caught up in natural disasters, including the Japan earthquake and tsunami, tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri, and drought in the Horn of Africa.
• Save the Children's education programs helped more than 15 million children improve their skills and engage in learning in 26 countries.
• Save the Children's health programs reached 16 million children, many through frontline health workers we trained, who played a critical role in treating life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea.

• In September 2012, Save the Children launched the Every Beat Matters campaign, giving Americans new ways to help millions more children survive.
• Hurricane Sandy devastated the east coast in October. Save the Children mobilized our staff and resources for children, providing protection through our child-friendly spaces in emergency shelters.
• TThe Syria civil war killed thousands of children, and many more were injured traumatized or forced to flee their homes. Save the Children workers were on the ground, in very dangerous conditions, helping keep children safe, providing the basics they needed and offering assistance to help them cope with trauma.

• 77% of our early education programs around the world met young children's cognitive, linguistic, physical and psychosocial needs.
• We reached 38,000 American children with early education and 150,000 children with literacy programs.

• Always at the forefront when children’s lives are at stake, we put our courage and care to the test in the fight against Ebola. In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, we reached 897,000 people with lifesaving care, awareness raising and hygiene kits.
• Save the Children reached more than 11.9 million children with HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
• Our education programs helped 11.8 million children have a brighter future.
• We helped 4 million family members increase their incomes and build more sustainable livelihoods.
• We worked in 15 countries to reunite children separated from family members during humanitarian crises, like that in Syria.
• We helped secure a national health bill in Nigeria that could save the lives of over 3 million mothers and children in five years.
• We worked with 194 countries to adopt the Every Newborn Action Plan setting targets to end preventable newborn deaths.
• We directly reached 10.8 million people – including 5.9 million children through our humanitarian response work.
• Save the Children worked in 120 countries, including the United States, and helped more than 166 million children – including more than 55 million children directly.

Britain's child migrant programme: why 130,000 children were shipped abroad

The national child abuse inquiry is hearing testimony from people shipped as children to Australia. Some children sent to former colonies between the 1920s and 1970s faced servitude, hard labour and abuse

Four children carrying suitcases bearing Fairbridge farm school stickers – 215 former Fairbridge children successfully claimed for compensation over the treatment they suffered. Photograph: handout

Four children carrying suitcases bearing Fairbridge farm school stickers – 215 former Fairbridge children successfully claimed for compensation over the treatment they suffered. Photograph: handout

Last modified on Fri 18 Jun 2021 16.30 BST

More than 130,000 children were sent to a “better life” in former colonies, mainly Australia and Canada, from the 1920s to 1970s under the child migrant programme .

The children, aged between three and 14, were almost invariably from deprived backgrounds and already in some form of social or charitable care. It was believed, they would lead happier lives.

Charities such as Barnardo’s and the Fairbridge Society, the Anglican and Catholic churches and local authorities helped with the organisation of the emigration.

Once there, the children were often told they were orphans to better facilitate their fresh start. The parents – many of them single mothers forced to give up their child for adoption because of poverty or social stigma – believed this was giving them best chance in life, though often did not have details of where their offspring were sent to.

The reality, for some of those children, was a childhood of servitude and hard labour at foster homes: on remote farms, at state-run orphanages and church-run institutions. They were often separated from siblings. Some were subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

In 2010, the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, issued an official apology, expressing regret for the “misguided” programme, and telling the Commons: “To all those former child migrants and their families … we are truly sorry. They were let down.

“We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back”. He announced a £6m fund to reunite families that had been torn apart.

The last children sailed in 1967. But it is only recently, as their stories have been told, that details of the abuse, and the official sanction which made it possible, has become public. The Australian government issued an apology in 2009 for the cruelty shown to child migrants.

There were two aims to the child migrant programme: to ease the burden on UK orphanages and to boost the populations of the colonies.

It was not until the early 1980s that Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys found out that there were former migrants in Australia who were just realising they might have living relatives in the UK. They had been told they were orphans. She has since dedicated her work to reuniting lost children with their families.

Allegations about the Fairbridge homes emerged after David Hill, a child migrant sent to the Fairbridge farm at Molong – who became chairman and managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, got together with other child migrants and highlighted beatings and abuse in his 2007 book The Forgotten Children and 2009 ABC documentary of the same name.

Successful claims for compensation on behalf of 215 former Fairbridge children, of whom 129 said they had been sexually abused, were made. The Australian royal commission on child abuse recently revealed 853 people had accused the Catholic order Christian Brothers, which also took in child migrants, of abuse.

In 1956, three British officials visited Australia on a fact-finding mission to inspect 26 institutions which took child migrants, and delivered back a fairly critical report, identifying issues such as lack of expertise in child care, and concerns of the remote rural locations. The report, however, made no mention of sexual or physical abuse. And the child migration continued.

Watch the video: Orphanages children of Romania 1990 (May 2022).