From 1939 to 1943, 185 refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe found refuge at Scattergood, a temporary hostel in what had been a Quaker boarding school near West Branch, Iowa. Among them were Jews, political opponents of Hitler's regime, religious figures, professionals, merchants, journalists, artists, elderly women, single young men, students, and children. With the help of Iowa Quaker farmers and idealistic college kids, the refugees sought to overcome the trauma of their experiences in Europe, find a niche for themselves and build a new life in their New World.
This book examines the refugees' backgrounds, their flight from Europe, and their attempt to integrate into America. This is a story of unimaginable loss and unexpected gain, of the rediscovery of hope and genuine kindness, of generosity of spirit, and of love freely given. It is a story that holds out an ideal to refresh world-weary post modems and restores our eroded faith in human decency.