Homes for Children

"The house itself still has echoes of its past luxurious beauty, and, although it is converted into dormitories and the furniture is sparse and far from beautiful, there is still a certain permeating warmth about it - reflected in the large vases of bright flowers and friendly smiles - that spells out the word "home" rather than "institution" - a pleasant note that so many so-called children's homes noticably lack."

- Marguerite Ann Watt

In addition to aiding in the emigration of displaced individuals, the USC worked with children in war-torn regions in Europe, including France, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. Children who had lost their parents to the war, or in concentration camps, found refuge in the USC homes, where they were fed and clothed, given access to education, and kept safe from the ravages of war. Notably, the Bremen Neighborhood House was established in 1950 by the USC in post-war Bremen, Germany to assist in rebuilding the community and minister to children in the area. The Child and Youth Projects Department, including the American Youth for World Youth, was directly responsible for the child program in Germany under the direction of Helen Fogg. Both Fogg and the USC had far-reaching visions for the children of Europe, which were partly realized in the support of these homes for children.

The Unitarian Service Committee's work with children is exemplified by Martha Sharp's personal efforts to aid in the rescue of the Diamant sisters (bottom left), Mercedes Brown (and her brother, Clement), and the Theis sisters (bottom right), among others. Risking arrest, she personally obtained visas and arranged for their travel out of Nazi-occupied areas.

The Diamant sisters left France on November 26, 1940, and Brown and the Theis sisters arrived in the United States on the S.S. Excambion on December 23, 1940.

Homes for Children