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Baptist World Alliance relief efforts in Post-Second-World-War Europe: the Baptist World Alliance, the official global fellowship of Baptists, was created at the Baptist World Congress in London in 1905.

Among its many activities is the promotion of cooperative effort in the relief of suffering people, which now is the function of the division of Baptist World Aid. This venture into relief had its beginning in the aftermath of World War I. After unsuccessful attempts by U.S. Northern and Southern Baptist bodies to reestablish relief connections on the continent, the Baptist World Alliance decided to commission the Rev. J. H. Rushbrooke, a London pastor who was fluent in German and had extensive ecumenical experience in Europe, and C. A. Brooks, the European representative of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, to investigate the situation in the war-stricken areas of Central and Eastern Europe. Traveling from May 10 to July 8, 1920, they covered 6,400 miles and visited Baptists and, when possible, civil officials in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Austria. They sought to discern the immediate and long-term needs of the Baptist communities and assist in restoring fraternal contacts with the continental Baptists.

They reported back to a conference at Baptist Church House in London, July 19-23, 1920, attended by seventy-two delegates from Baptist unions and conventions in Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, and eighteen European countries. The conference considered the implications of their report and made recommendations to be acted on by the member bodies of the BWA whom they represented. Five recommendations were adopted: devise means of relief for Baptist churches in the stricken areas, meet the need for trained ministry in Eastern Europe, extend Baptist work throughout the continent, uphold the religious liberty of Baptists who were suffering persecution in Romania, and create a fulltime BWA commissioner to coordinate the European work. (1)

The intention was to set up a single Baptist Relief Fund for Europe that would meet the physical needs of people. United States Baptists were to give $1,000,000--one half through the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and one half through the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention--and to this would be added whatever gifts might come from other bodies in the country. Supplementary contributions came from Baptist bodies in Britain, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Norway, Sweden, and Spain, while individuals in several countries gave directly to the fund. The governing idea was that the agency for distributing the money should ordinarily be the Baptist unions or conventions in the recipient countries. Their representatives were present as members of the London conference and assisted in drawing up estimates of the amounts required and statements about the precise purposes to which they would be applied. They agreed to submit full reports and audited accounts to the Baptist Commissioner for Europe, the position to which Rushbrooke was unanimously elected. (2) In Italy and France, the two American mission boards had their own people supervising the distribution of funds, but these were regarded as part of the common effort and were included in the commissioner's financial reports. The relief program raised around $1,500,000 in money and goods, most of which went for assistance in Hungary and Poland and famine relief in Russia. (3)

The Coming of World War II and the Baptist Response

J. H. Rushbrooke, the principal architect of the post-World War I relief effort, was named the BWA's Eastern Secretary in 1925 and first general secretary in 1928. Then at the sixth Baptist World Congress in Atlanta in July 1939, he was elected president of the BWA. Walter O. Lewis, a Southern Baptist mission executive, was chosen to succeed him as general secretary. The coming of the Second World War put him in a difficult situation. Lewis was unwilling to cross the Atlantic and take up residence in London, which forced Rushbrooke to "fulfill his role as President in a General Secretarial manner in Europe," as his biographer Bernard Green put it. Green added that it was difficult for Rushbrooke to "liaise" with Lewis because of the distance and Lewis's tendency to act without consulting him. He went to the United States for the executive meeting and other BWA business in May-July 1940 and urged the group to have firmly defined policies to meet whatever situation might arise. He was undoubtedly disappointed when the executive on May 21, 1940, decided instead to open a temporary office in Washington, D.C., and function with an American-based "administrative committee" that would supplement the existing London-based structure. (4) Still, as hostilities widened, both men stressed the need for Baptists to plan for relieving distress during and after the war, and they had some support in the executive. Also, Lewis lent the BWA's endorsement to Herbert Hoover's program (National Committee on Food for the Small Democracies) for feeding starving populations in areas overrun by Germany that was initiated in the fall of 1940. (5) Although the enterprise functioned in 1941-42, it was thwarted by the British determination to slap a total blockade on the European continent. (6)

When Rushbrooke returned to the U.S. three years later for an executive meeting in Chicago, he pressed the relief issue. The result was that on May 27, 1943, he obtained passage of a resolution endorsing the creation of a BWA relief committee:
 Motion was made and unanimously adopted that the President should appoint a
 committee on World Emergency Relief to co-ordinate Baptist relief efforts
 in devastated countries and to study and suggest to our constituent bodies
 methods and channels for relief work, both in general relief programs and
 in meeting the special needs of our Baptist brethren. And that this
 committee when appointed be authorized to act at its discretion in the
 disposition of such funds as may come to it.

 Nine people, including the president and general secretary, were appointed
 to the committee at this time, but the documentary record is unclear as to
 what specific charges it actually had. (7)

In a memorandum of October 12 setting forth his vision of relief, Rushbrooke said frankly that he had hoped it would be possible to follow the same procedure as that followed after the war of 1914-18, but it was apparent to him that voluntary organizations would have to play a subordinate part in the administration of relief. The primary factor in relief must of necessity be governments because the need was so massive. Yet, because of Baptists' success after the last war, they were obligated to seek renewal of contacts with their fellow-members of the BWA and find out how they were faring. Even in the realm of physical relief and economic help, some opportunities for direct ministry might emerge, and Baptists should encourage their qualified young people to volunteer for service in the governmental administration of relief.

He also saw possibilities for assistance in the area of church and missionary activities such as developing pastoral leadership; production of religious literature; repair and construction of church buildings; creation of seminaries and other educational institution; and establishing orphanages, hospitals, and homes for the aged. The focus should be on Europe because there they were dealing with indigenous Baptist unions, not foreign mission fields, and the autonomous associations did not have the same sort of physical resources behind them as did the mission societies and the denominations.

Also, British and American denominations had done much to encourage and assist the development of the European Baptists, and working with them would enable them to take advantage of the broadening scope of democratic liberty and freedom in our time to preach the gospel. The BWA Relief Committee had the responsibility to gather information about the needs and circulate this, offer suggestions for coordinating the work of various Baptist groups, maintain a connection with relief authorities in areas where Baptists have special interest, and distribute in accordance with its knowledge of actual needs contributions that came to the Alliance. (8) What finally transpired was not far from Rushbrooke's original vision.

Mission executives Dana M. Albaugh (Northern Baptist) and George W. Sadler (Southern Baptist) proposed at a meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on September 28, 1943, that the two boards should take the lead in planning for relief. Albaugh, an appointee to the original committee in Chicago, called an ad hoc meeting in New York on November 10, 1943, that took place immediately following the larger gathering of the ecumenical Church Committee on Overseas Relief and Reconstruction (the forerunner of Church World Service, that was formed in 1946 and was the largest Protestant relief organization) and was attended by nine people including BWA General Secretary Lewis. He underscored that the group was not thinking of replacing the World Emergency Relief Committee, although nothing concrete had been accomplished to this point. The conferees batted around a lot of ideas about the nature of a relief program, including such topics as who would be involved in it, how it would be financed, and Whether a distinctively Baptist program was necessary. They finally agreed to ask the Northern, Southern, National (Inc.), Canadian, and British Baptist mission boards and relief organizations to send representatives to a conference that would further explore issues relative to world relief. (9)

The result was a meeting in Philadelphia on January 19, 1944, attended by eight people, all but two (secretaries of the Canadian and British missionary societies) who were from the United States. It was chaired by George W. Sadler, and the minutes were kept by W. O. Lewis. The debate about how the BWA should proceed was vigorous. Earl E Adams, a member of the Northern Baptist Convention's World Relief Committee, said his body did not administer relief funds and was working with the CCORR, and he could not see how the larger BWA committee on relief could function because it was impossible to hold a meeting in the near future. A telegram, from Rushbrooke was read that urged the conference to initiate a single coordinated Baptist effort for relief and rehabilitation. The long, intimate fraternal relations demanded renewed expression, and he did not think governmental or general relief agencies could really meet the need adequately.

W. O. Lewis suggested that a united BWA world relief committee be drawn from the various Baptist boards and relief agencies. The minutes indicated serious differences among the conferees whether a general relief committee was needed that would represent all or whether it was sufficient just to have machinery in place to exchange information about needs and plans by the various bodies. Lewis countered by saying UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), an international organization that had been chartered only two months earlier to undertake reconstruction in liberated countries, might be a model for Baptists. (10) He noted that it consisted of representatives from forty-four nations, each having one vote, and the BWA could set up an organization representing many Baptist bodies, large and small, which organization they would control and through which they could contribute. Others said a united relief committee would duplicate machinery already in existence and might lead to confusion. It was also debated whether there would be any place at all for non-governmental relief agencies. It was clear that nothing was resolved and another meeting was necessary. (11)

Matters drifted, but then on September 24, 1944, the BWA Administrative Committee authorized the general secretary to "co-opt" an American Baptist Relief Committee, comprising the American members of President Rushbrooke's relief committee appointed in May 1943 and which would carry out the spirit of the Chicago resolution.

This was followed by a joint consultation of leaders of the Northern and Southern Baptist mission boards in New York on October 2 and in Richmond on January 24, 1945, which discussed further what actions could be taken. Lewis stated at the second meeting that it had proved impractical to have a world committee because of transportation and communication difficulties and this necessitated the formation of a U.S. committee. It was to be comprised of three Southern and three Northern Baptists and one each from the National Baptist Convention, Baptist General Conference of America, and North American Baptist General Conference.

A resolution was then adopted that defined its tasks as: coordinating relief activities of Baptists, sharing information as to plans and need, stimulating relief giving from all Baptist bodies, receiving and channeling gifts from Baptist groups to areas of need where the donors have no administrative agencies and where they can aid through some other Baptist groups, suggesting needs and ways of giving in areas where there is now no organized Baptist relief program, and bearing the message of the Alliance to our brethren in distressed areas in cooperation with existing Baptist agencies. (12)

This meant the BWA World Emergency Relief Committee was now divided

into U.S. and European "sections," with the American one as the dominant group. At a meeting on April 19, 1945, it chose as its officers, Theodore F. Adams, chair; W. O. Lewis, treasurer; and Miss Jessie R. Ford, secretary (she was the regular BWA secretary) and developed a plan for the distribution of funds that would come to the committee through the constituent foreign mission boards. (13)

The European war ended the following month, and Rushbrooke went to Denmark in July and northern Europe in November and December to restore contacts and gain some idea of what the priorities in Alliance work should be. At the same time, money was flowing in for relief projects, and it was decided on February 13, 1946, that the president should appoint two subcommittees, one in England and one in the U.S., to allocate the undesignated funds that were received.

When Lewis went to London in March and met with the European allotments subcommittee (comprised of Rushbrooke; eastern treasurer C. T LeQuesne, a barrister and Baptist Union delegate to Faith and Order and the 1948 World Council of Churches founding assembly; M. E. Aubrey, the. British Baptist Union general secretary; Baptist Missionary Society figure T G. Dunning; and the absent H. L. Taylor, a BMS executive and member of the original [1943] World Emergency Relief Committee), they decided to allocate the various moneys received for specific purposes and authorized the BWA's eastern treasurer to send them to the intended recipients. (14)

The program was starting to take shape, but its more specific character would be fleshed out in 1946-47.

The European Relief Program

The indefatigable Rushbrooke was moving quickly to mount a European effort. He was convinced that Baptists must administer help to their people on a scale vastly larger than that following World War I and that they could not simply depend on ecumenical bodies to do it. He went to Washington in May 1946 to meet with the BWA executive committee and in August made a three-week visit to Germany with H. L. Taylor where they held discussions with key military and church leaders, visited displaced persons' camps, and viewed the destruction of bombed cities, churches, and the Baptist seminary in Hamburg. They also conferred with the leaders of the German Baptist Union who received them cordially. Rushbrooke's mastery of the language and long, intimate knowledge oft he continent and its problems helped him to assess the difficult situation and establish an amicable relationship with his German brethren. Above all, he was convinced that a Baptist congress must be held in Europe as quickly as possible to mend broken relationships, and he persuaded the executive to accept an invitation from Danish Baptists. At once, the seventy-six-year-old president plunged into preparing for the congress in Copenhagen slated for the following July, but he died from a stroke on February 1, 1947. (15)

Meanwhile, the executive in May 1946 decided that the Alliance should be responsible for relief and reconstruction work in Germany and that General Secretary W. O. Lewis should be the special representative for dealing with Baptists in Germany. He crossed the Atlantic and established an office at Baptist Church House in London where he remained for the next four years. He took on the new title of associate secretary of the BWA and director of Baptist relief while Norwegian Arnold T. Ohrn was named general secretary in 1947. Working with Lewis in Europe were two relief experts--Edwin A. Bell from the ABFMS in Paris and Jesse D. Franks from the FMB-SBC in Zurich. In early 1948, R. Paul Caudill, a Southern Baptist pastor from Memphis, replaced Lewis as the head of the relief committee, thus freeing him for his European endeavors. He continued for a few more years as coordinator before retiring in the early 1950s. (Lewis tried in vain to persuade Ernest Payne, a teacher at Regent's Park and later general secretary of the British Baptist Union, to be his successor as associate secretary. (16)) The administrative committee agreed that 75 percent of Lewis's salary would come from relief funds. (17)

The U.S. section, which now called itself American Baptist Relief, took on some additional members and registered with the State Department's Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. In October 1946, it joined the American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Service, (18) which made it eligible to participate in the activities of the American Council of Relief Agencies Licensed for Operations in Germany (CRALOG), but actual involvement only began a year later. (19) American Baptist Relief also signed on with CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe), which enabled it to direct thousands of packages to needy Baptists. The extraordinary efforts of CRALOG, CARE, the various Red Crosses, and Catholic, Protestant, and other private foreign voluntary relief agencies engaged extensively in the distribution of food and clothing to refugees and needy German civilians saved untold numbers of lives in the first two years after the war's end. (20)

Relief money and contributions in kind increasingly flowed into the constituent agencies of the committee (e.g., the Northern, Southern, North American, and General Conference mission boards and relief bodies) and were forwarded to Europe through various channels. The Southern Baptist mission board even opened a special warehouse in New Orleans to collect relief goods.

As a result, the Relief Committee members were concerned how Lewis could get into Germany and establish a direct link between the BWA and recipients there. One possibility was to work through Church World Service, the ecumenical body that was firmly planted in Europe. As the months passed, the committee saw the need for more effective organization, and at the Baptist World Congress in Copenhagen (July 31-August 2, 1947), it adopted a new structure. This involved a U.S. executive committee comprised of Northern Baptist Stanley I. Stuber, Southern Baptist T. E Adams, North American Baptist Frank H. Woyke (a former chaplain who as its executive secretary was directing its relief work), and National Baptist Roland C. Smith, and a European executive committee of Northern Baptist Edwin A. Bell, General Conference (Swedish) Baptist Erik Ruden, and British Baptist B. Grey Griffith. (21) Once again it had reorganized.

At the Copenhagen congress, it was evident that the relief committee was still struggling to establish itself as a distinct presence alongside all the other relief efforts going on. It was stated in the meeting that one of the committee's first tasks should be to carry out a survey of needs-and this was two years after the end of the war! A motion was passed that requested the German and Austrian Baptist unions to ascertain the existing needs and prepare to distribute what the BWA could send. Also, it asked the constituent bodies to make contributions in money and kind in conjunction with the BWA relief committee. Moreover, the need was expressed for the appointment of someone as a liaison in Germany and who would report back to the committee. Edwin H. Bell agreed to do this and spent a couple months on the scene after Copenhagen. Finally, the group reaffirmed the decision made in London in February 1946 that the future efforts of the relief committee should "center in the areas of need for which no other Baptist organization has accepted primary responsibility." (22)

One interesting side note is that the committee voted to ask the attendees at one of the Copenhagen plenary sessions to donate surplus clothing and shoes they had in their luggage to relieve distress of those in need. In a moving service, many delegates walked the aisles and laid their gifts of clothing or cash pledges at the altar. A subcommittee was appointed to distribute the items. (23)

Some of the member bodies had already established connections in Germany. The Northern Baptists were sending money through Das Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen in Deutschland (Evangelical Aid Society), the main German Protestant organization. It had been founded in summer 1945 and coordinated the relief and charitable work of the territorial churches in the devastated country.

The ethnic German North American Baptists worked even more directly among their German brethren. They assisted in setting up the Bruderhilfe (Assistance to the Brethren), a relief group that organized the Western occupation zones into districts with local committees so as to enable the effective distribution of relief through the churches. Because the military governments had accredited the Evangelisches Hilfswerk as a consignee for relief supplies, the BWA General Secretary worked out an agreement (accepted by the administrative committee on October 8, 1947) with the agency regarding distribution of BWA relief shipments to Germany: 80 percent was to go to the Baptist Bruderhilfe and 20 percent could be retained by the Hilfswerk for general distribution. The Bruderhilfe would be recognized as the official distribution agent for relief supplies sent to Germany by the BWA and its constituent members.

The administrative committee also decided at that time to formally affiliate with CRALOG so it would be in a position to act directly in Germany. The U.S. members of the relief body were constituted as a committee to work with CRALOG, with Marlin D. Farnum as chairman and Lewis as secretary. (24) The administrative committee acknowledged that all agencies that belonged to CRALOG were expected to report their activities to the Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (at the State Department), and its budget and books might occasionally be inspected. It authorized "the officers of American Baptist Relief to furnish such information to the CVFA as it may desire." (25)

This had the intended result, and former U.S. Army chaplain Otto Nallinger was sent to Germany at the beginning of 1948 to serve as a staff member of CRALOG. As his salary was paid by the BWA, he acted on behalf of the relief committee. He set up an office in Stuttgart and functioned as the official CRALOG representative for Baden-Wurttemberg. When he returned home in the summer of 1950, he was replaced by General Conference (Swedish) Baptist Kenneth Norquist, whose denomination paid his salary. The latter oversaw the BWA relief operation until CRALOG was terminated in October 1951. Lewis commented about the ending of CRALOG as the time when "our job will be over." (26)

The German program was the most important BWA relief effort, although a noteworthy Romanian refugee program was carried out between December 1948 and April 1950. It took place under the auspices of the Baptist Federation of France and was supervised by missionary Roy Starmer who was loaned by the FMB-SBC, with funding provided by the BWA and interested mission boards. (27)

In Germany, the Bruderhilfe carried out an ambitious enterprise including the establishment of over twenty feeding centers, support of an orphanage and home for the elderly, distribution of clothing and procurement of sewing machines so women could make clothing, and providing bicycles for pastors to help them reach their scattered parishioners. There was growing dissatisfaction in both BWA and German Baptist circles with the Protestant Hilfswerk, (they felt it had become too Lutheran), and it was decided at a July 29, 1949, meeting on of the relief committee with their German counterparts to terminate the relationship and send aid directly. (28)

The BWA had also contributed to reconstruction in Germany. Although no money was available to help individual congregations restore their chapels, the group provided funds to assist in rebuilding the seminary in Hamburg and publication house in Kassel. But Paul Caudill told them in 1949, that funds were "very much depleted" and we "must think in terms of cutting our relief program in Germany." Also the relief committee was channeling money to areas that were in greater need than Germany. (29) The German Baptists succeeded in getting back on their feet as much through their own labors as through BWA aid. The German relief endeavor essentially came to an end in 1949 as the Alliance focused its attention on the displaced persons problem.

Resettling Displaced Persons

The war refugees were categorized as "displaced persons" or in popular parlance DPs. DPs were a matter of considerable concern for all the nongovernmental relief agencies, including the Baptist ones. This became even more of a problem, once German recovery was firmly set in motion and the Allied occupation began to wind down. The classic definition of a refugee in international law is: "The person or categories of person qualifying for refugee status must have left the territory of the State of which they were nationals," and "The events which are the root-cause of a man's becoming a refugee derive from the relations between the State and its nationals." These events "are always for a political nature." They "must be accompanied by persecution or the threat of persecution against himself or at least against a section of the population with which he identifies himself." (30)

The term displaced person, on the other hand, was only introduced in 1943 by population expert Eugene M. Kulischer. (31) Kulischer identified displaced persons as civilians who found themselves outside the national boundary of their country by reason of the war and who were expected to return home once the fighting was over. Most of them were people from the occupied countries who had been brought to Germany as forced laborers, but there were also Eastern Jews who had survived the concentration camps and people who had fled west ahead of the advancing Soviet armies in 1944 and 1945. While awaiting their repatriation, the Allied occupation authorities housed these homeless people in so-called DP camps.

The problem that quickly arose was that many displaced persons did not wish to be repatriated, especially people from the Baltic countries, Ukraine, and other areas under Soviet rule or native communist regimes. The Soviets had demanded the return of all DPs from areas under their control, which the Western Allies were no longer willing to do after the onset of the Cold War. This controversy effectively torpedoed the work of UNRRA and its successor, the International Refugee Organization. Technically these DPs had become refugees and were willing to remain under protection as exiles in the DP centers. These were located mainly in the Western occupation zones of Germany, although a few camps existed in Austria and Italy. (32) The term came to be used freely for the refugees who did not want to (or could not) return to their former homes in Eastern Europe.

As soon as the war was over, the Inter-Governmental Committee on Refugees (founded 1938) and UNRRA endeavored to repatriate as many DPS as possible. However, they could do little about resettling the over one million "non-repatriable" DPs still living in the camps and who desired to go to a third country. The International Refugee Organization, the UN creation that replaced them, did manage during its four and a half years of operation (July 1947-December 1951) to repatriate 73,000 and resettle 1,039,150 DPs in sixty-five different countries. (33) Left behind was a hard core of 125,000 refugees (elderly or physically or mentally handicapped people), for whose care the new German and Austrian governments eventually had to assume responsibility. (34)

DPs were confused in the popular mind with the Volksdeutsche refugees. These were people of German ethnic origin who had fled westward before the advancing Soviet armies or were expelled by the postwar regimes in Eastern countries from the places where they had lived, often for generations. It is estimated that Germany was the recipient of the most gigantic population movement in European history. There were around 7 million DPs at the war's end plus another 12 million expellees who were rapidly streaming in from the east. (35) Although the overwhelming majority of the DPs did return to their homes and expellees were eventually integrated into German society, many of them sought resettlement elsewhere. Various nongovernmental organizations, including the BWA, were involved in this endeavor, which proved to be extraordinarily difficult.

The debate in the United States about the nature of refugee policy and the scale of immigration to be permitted was intense. A loose coalition of patriotic, isolationist, labor, and nativist groups bitterly opposed opening the doors to those DPs wishing or requiring resettlement, while various humanitarian, religious, and ethnic organizations favored doing this.

Recognizing this hostility to a more liberal immigration policy, President Harry S Truman on December 22, 1945, asked Congress to allow the U.S. to receive a limited number of DPs under existing quota laws. However, only 5,000 were admitted in the next nine months, and pressure mounted for legislation allowing more to enter. A bill was introduced into Congress in April 1947 that envisaged admitting 1,000,000 DPs over a four-year period.

After a bitter struggle between restrictionists and supporters of a more liberal immigration policy, a weakened Displaced Persons Act was passed on June 18, 1948, and reluctantly signed by President Truman a week later. It provided that only those DPs who had arrived in a camp by December 22, 1945, would be eligible, 50 percent of the DPs had to be from Baltic countries, 30 percent must be farmers or agricultural laborers, the DPs who came would be counted toward existing immigration quotas, and the number to be admitted was reduced to 200,000.

The outcry, especially from Jewish groups who attacked the law's cut-off date as patently discriminatory and anti-Semitic (many Jewish refugees entered Germany after that time and none was farmers), was so great that an amended bill was passed in June 1950 moving the cut-off date to January 1, 1949, eliminating the special restrictions, and increasing the number to be admitted. When the displaced persons program ended on June 30, 1952, some 337,244 refugees, plus an additional 50,000 Germans who were given a special quota, had been allowed to enter the United States. (36)

The BWA DP program grew directly out of the relief efforts. At the U.S. section meeting of the World Emergency Relief Committee on September 16, 1946, it was noted that various Baptist denominational relief bodies were sending aid into the DP camps, and the BWA committee discussed how it could become involved in ministry to the Baptists in these places. (37) In October 1947, the relief committee called on the administrative committee to clarify its relationship to the DP problem. (38)

In December 1947, it took a direct interest in resettlement by employing the Rev. Adolph Klaupiks, a former Latvian DP, who on his own had been working to find homes for DPs; and in May 1948, the relief committee renewed his appointment as well as urged the BWA Administrative Committee to declare its support of the bill currently before Congress that would allow the admission of DPs to the United States. (39)

In August, the relief committee recommended the creation of a special committee to study the possibility of DP resettlement. (40) At a meeting in Paris on September 6, 1948, this committee advised setting up a structure under the BWA to assist in clearing displaced persons, especially those who were Baptists, for relocation in the United States, Canada, and other countries. Three weeks later, the relief committee endorsed this action and called for the appointment of a full-time representative in Europe and one in the U.S. It also was authorized to implement the plan by working through existing channels, such as Church World Service and the Ecumenical Refugee Commission of the World Council of Churches. (41)

Randolph A. Howard, who had just retired as a foreign secretary of the ABFMS, was appointed to head the operation in Washington, with half his salary coming from NBC sources and the other half from the BWA Relief Committee. His associate, Adolph Klaupiks, handled correspondence and secured sponsors for DPs. Fred C. Schatz, who at the time was assistant to the president at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, was put in charge of the work on the ground in Germany. He opened an office in Munich under the supervision of Lewis, the BWA coordinator of relief in Europe. Joining the staff soon afterwards were Charles R. Gage, who had headed the SBC's relief center in New Orleans and directed the resettlement of DPs in the Southern Baptist jurisdiction, and Jobu Yasumura of the NBC Home Mission Society who handled resettlement in the North and kept touch with DPs arriving at American ports. (42)

The amount of paperwork and bureaucratic hassle involved in the DP program was staggering. Resettlement was a political hot potato and anti--immigration forces were doing all they could to undermine efforts to open the doors. This meant that as many hurdles as possible were placed in the path of the refugees. The BWA staff in Germany had to interview the applicants in the camps and make sure that they would pass the political and health requirements--not be a communist or Nazi, not be too old, not suffering from TB or afflicted with some other handicap, and having a useable skill. Since the DP regulations required that agencies wishing to resettle such individuals in the U.S. had to secure an "assurance" from a specific sponsor (a U.S. citizen) guaranteeing the person with a job and housing (that would not displace the job or housing of an American citizen) and that he or she would not become a public charge, it was necessary to line up Baptist individuals and congregations to sponsor them. The agency also had to meet the persons at the port of entry and provide transportation to their intended destinations.

To get its program off the ground, the BWA committee linked up with the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Refugee Division, an agency that the International Refugee Organization had approved to carry out work in Germany. This enabled American Baptist Relief to gain recognition by the U.S. DP Commission and the IRO. (43) However, because they had given Church World Service the power to process DPs, the U.S. military authorities at first balked at letting Schatz take up residence in Germany under the WCC umbrella. This meant that the BWA had to work through CWS, something that did not appeal to either Lewis or Nallinger. As one of them put it, the CWS personnel
 have more of the attitude and spirit of professional social workers than
 they do of evident and warm spiritual ideals and Christian sympathy. The
 cigarette smoking social workers who may be found with their feet on their
 desk at times do not always inspire the feeling of confidence and
 conviction of interest on the part of some of our Baptist leaders to whom
 tobacco and other epicurian [sic] pleasures are anathema. (44)

However, the ABFMS man in Paris, Edwin A. Bell, expressed confidence that with Mr. Schatz now on the scene as our Baptist representative, this opposition to the CWS would be overcome.

Nevertheless, Bell intimated to his ABFMS colleague in New York, Dana Albaugh, that all was not well organizationally in Europe. For one thing, Lewis was unhappy that he had not been given responsibility at the beginning for the DP work, but he felt better now that the BWA relief committee had recognized him as coordinator for this. Bell went on to lament:
 It is the same old story of the lack of initiative, organization, and
 planning on the part of the responsible BWA leadership. We had exactly this
 difficulty with the relief program in Germany. [It] was organized on the
 basis of reports and recommendations furnished through Dr. Caudill, largely
 by sources outside of the BWA staff.... I must confess to being a bit irked
 at times over the insistence in claiming credit for the BWA for the program
 in progress and when I understand that the BWA officers make their plea for
 enlarged contributions on the basis of things which in a large measure have
 transpired more as a result of the work of people whose connection with the
 BWA is unofficial and voluntary and who are representatives of the
 administrative bodies, than through the BWA personnel.... Now that it is
 off my chest I feel better. (45)

It is clear that the BWA had problems with its DP program just as it did with the relief one. Still, the ties with ecumenical bodies opened the way for a greater role by the BWA in refugee aid and resettlement, as was indicated by Lewis's involvement in the WCC conference on German refugee problems at Hamburg, February 22-24, 1949. (46)

To meet the stringent requirements of the rules was the major task of the BWA DP Committee. The amount of paperwork required was enormous, as the bulging DP file boxes in the BWA archives reveals. Schatz had to interview the applicants, pick out the Baptists, and send the completed forms to Washington, where further processing took place and the necessary assurances had to be found. CWS handled the transportation and billed the BWA for the people it was sponsoring. It had to put up a "blanket bond" of $2,000 through the CWS to satisfy the Immigration and Naturalization Service that individual DPs would not become public charges, and both the Northern and Southern relief committees also contributed to this. (47)

The first DPs began arriving in mid-1949, and over the next four years the BWA arranged for 5,710 persons to come to the United States under the Displaced Persons Act of 1947 as amended. The group had also enabled the resettlement of twenty-two DPs under President Truman's order of December 1945 and 100 Russian Baptists from Shanghai on the West Coast under a special dispensation. However, that number was less than half of those actually processed for admission. Most of the others, uncertain that they could pass the strict health requirements for admission to the U.S., decided to go to Australia, Canada, Brazil, or elsewhere, or simply disappeared from view. (48)

Canadian North American Baptists also mounted a campaign to bring in ethnic German expellees--Volksdeutsche--that had considerable success as well. Earlier, in 1947, the BWA Relief Committee had assisted in clearing about 400 individual DPs for admission to Canada. Then in 1950, an office was opened in Winnipeg that was led by Rev. William Sturhahn, while Hermann Streuber, a local businessman and long-time promoter of Baptist immigration to Canada, went to Germany for a year to coordinate the selection of immigrants and placement possibilities.

When he returned to his private practice, Kenneth Norquist, a Baptist General Conference minister who had replaced Nallinger in the Stuttgart relief office in 1950 and was delegated to terminate the BWA relief work, took over the Canadian immigration effort. He worked closely with German Baptist Union leaders Waldemar Gutsche, Eugen Freigang, and Immanuel Walter to identify Volksdeutsche who could be brought to Canada. In 1951-53 some 1,304 ethnic Germans went to Canada through the "Baptist Labour Scheme," a program placing people in advance as farm laborers, and 475 through other resettlement efforts. (49) The Winnipeg office was closed at the end of 1953 and administration of the program transferred to the North American Baptist Conference Relief Committee. (50)

Gradually the DP program wound down. Fred Schatz returned home in March 1951, and Norquist headed up both the relief and resettlement efforts. A home that the BWA had opened in Munich to care for aged and infirm Baptists who could not qualify for admittance to the U.S. was finally turned over to the German Union. After the expiration of the DP legislation, new measures during the Eisenhower years enabled additional immigration, and in 1954 the BWA Relief Committee developed a plan whereby it would work more closely with the World Council of Churches in refugee matters. Norquist continued to serve in the capacity as a coordinator in Germany and Klaupiks served in the Washington office. (51) Other world problems now attracted the committee's attention, and it moved in new directions, eventually becoming the Division of Baptist World Aid in 1957.


The BWA relief program was a significant contribution of the Baptist World Alliance, although it suffered from uncertainty and organizational snags. It brought various Baptist denominations together in a common effort and sensitized their people to real human needs. The program also involved heightened cooperation between the Americans and Baptists elsewhere in the world, thus enhancing the global Baptist vision. It was a major step forward in making the BWA a genuinely international organization rather than merely an Anglo-American enterprise. The Baptist aid program today is founded on this firm foundation.

(1.) Bernard Green, Crossing the Boundaries: A History of the European Baptist Federation (Didcot: Baptist Historical Society, 1999), 4-5; Bernard Green, Tomorrow's Man: A Biography of James Henry Rushbrooke (Didcot: Baptist Historical Society, 1997), 70-83; Charles A. Brooks and J. H. Rushbrooke, Baptist Work in Europe: Report of Commissioners of the Baptist World Alliance, (London: Baptist Union Publication Dept., 1920). Presented at the Conference in London, July 19, 1920. Copy in Angus Library, Regent's Park College, Oxford. (Hereafter cited as Angus Library.)

(2.) Green, Tomorrow's Man, 83-84.

(3.) F Townley Lord, Baptist World Fellowship: A Short History of the Baptist World Alliance (London: Garey-Kingsgate, 1955), 130; Proceedings, Third Baptist World Congress, Stockholm, July 21-27, 1923, 48; J. H. Rushbrooke, Memorandum on Postwar World Relief, October 12, 1943. Baptist World Alliance. X. 1.1 .B, American Baptist Archives Center, Valley Forge, Penn. (Hereafter cited as BWA).

(4.) Green, Tomorrow's Man, 129.

(5.) BWA 1.2.17.L.

(6.) See Joan Beaumont, "Starving for Democracy: Britain's Blockade of and Relief for Occupied Europe, 1939-1945," War anal Society 8 (October 1990): 57-82. W. N. Medlicott, The Economic Blockade, 2 vols. (London: HMSO, 1952, 1959) is the official defense of the policy.

(7.) BWA X.1.1.B. The committee members were Rushbrooke, Lewis, George W. Truett, Earl E Adams, Dana M. Albaugh, Mrs. E W. Armstrong, Theodore E Adams, W. C. Smalley, and H. L. Taylor.

(8.) Ibid. Copy of Rushbrooke memorandum.

(9.) Ibid. Minutes of the meeting.

(10.) George Woodbridge, ed., UNRRA: The History of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, 3 vols. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1950) is the official history of the body.

(11.) BWA X.1.1.B.

(12.) Ibid. The members were: SBC--George W. Sadler, T. E Adams, Mrs. George R. Martin; NBC--Earl E Adams, Dana M. Albaugh, Mrs. Leslie E. Swain; National Baptist Convention--C. C. Adams; NABGC--William Kuhn; BGCA, R. A. Arlander.

(13.) Ibid.

(14.) Ibid. Minutes of meeting in London, March 27, 1945.

(15.) Green, Tomorrow's Man, 132-33.

(16.) W. M. S. West, To Be A Pilgrim: A Memoir of Ernest A. Payne (Guildford: Lutterworth, 1983), 69-72. West maintains that Payne was not interested because he did not feel he would be able to cope with "the isolationist attitude of the Southern Baptist Convention to wider ecumenical relations." In addition, T. E Adams urged him to consider the post of associate secretary as that would certainly lead him to be appointed general secretary when Arnold Ohm retired, but this possibility did not change his mind.

(17.) BWA X.3.4.N.

(18.) According to the official history, Elizabeth Clark Reiss, The American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Service: Four Monographs (New York: ACVAF, 1985), after a year of periodic meetings that discussed common interests, representatives from ten American voluntary agencies concerned with planning relief and rehabilitation following World War II gathered on October 7, 1943, to ratify an agreement creating a council that could help such bodies coordinate their activities. Within a year thirty-nine organizations, both secular and religious, had joined. The qualification for membership was that the agencies must be or expect to be "engaged in active work in foreign countries" (53-54). The fact that three years passed before the Baptists joined may reflect a hesitancy regarding ecumenical involvements.

(19.) Minutes of meeting of September 16, 1946. BWA X.1.1.B. In January 1946, a group of voluntary agencies created CRALOG. A similar body was formed for Japan--LARA, Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia. Jorgen Lissner, The Politics of Altruism: A Study of the Political Behaviour of Voluntary Development Agencies (Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, Department of Studies, 1977), 63. The official history of CRALOG, Eileen Egan and Elizabeth Clark Reiss, Transfigured Night: The CRALOG Experience (Philadelphia: Livingston Publishing Company, 1964), described its work over an eighteen-year period but completely overlooked the Baptist involvement. The reason for its creation was that the American military authorities would not deal separately with the various church and mission agencies that wanted to send aid to Germany. This way, the military government could deal at one time, and often through one spokesperson, with questions having to do with assistance to the people of the stricken nation. See 63-64.

(20.) Malcolm J. Proudfoot, European Refugees: A Study in Forced Population Movements (London: Faber and Faber, 1957), 382.

(21.) BWA X.1.1.C.

(22.) Ibid.

(23.) A photograph of this act of love is included in the pamphlet by R. Paul Caudill, "The Romance of Relief," which the relief committee prepared for distribution at the 1950 Baptist World Congress in Cleveland. Copy in BWA X.1.1.D.

(24.) BWA X.I.1.C; X.3.4.N.

(25.) BWA X.3.4.N.

(26.) Angus Library, BWA, Relief Agency Material.

(27.) BWA X.3.4.N.

(28.) Ibid.

(29.) Ibid.

(30.) Jacques Vernant, The Refugee in the Post-War World (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1953), 4-7. Vernant admits that the definitional problem is much more complex than this.

(31.) Eugene M. Kulischer, The Displacement of Population in Europe (Montreal: International Labour Office, 1943). This was a study of the forced population migrations caused by German policy.

(32.) Kim Salomon, "The Cold War Heritage: UNRRA and the IRO as Predecessors of UNHCR," in Goren Rystad, ed., The Uprooted: Forced Migration as an International Problem in the Post-War Era (Lund: Lund University Press, 1990), 159. For further information on the vast body of literature on the topic, see Otto B. Burianek, "Refugees, Displaced Persons, and Migration as a Consequence of World War II," in Loyd E. Lee, ed., World War II in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, with General Sources: A Handbook of Literature and Research (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1997), 383-90.

(33.) Proudfoot, European Refugees, 418-19.

(34.) Useful discussions of this problem are found in Mark Wyman, DPs: Europe's Displaced Persons, 1945-1951 (2nd ed., Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998); Tommie Sjoberg, The Powers and the Persecuted: The Refugee Problem and the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees (IGCR), 1938-1947 (Lund: Lurid University Press, 1991); and Wolfgang Jacobmeyer, Vom Zwangsarbeiter zum Heimatlosen Auslander: Die Displaced Persons in Westdeutschland 1945-1951 (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1985.

(35.) Michael R. Marrus, The Unwanted: European Refugees in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 305, 310, 330.

(36.) Helpful assessments of the legislation are found in Wyman, DPs; and Goren Rystad, "Victims of Oppression or Ideological Weapons: Aspects of U.S. Refugee Policy in the Postwar Era," in Rystad, ed., 195-226.

(37.) BWA X.1.1.B. Minutes, September 16, 1946.

(38.) BWA X.1.1.C. Minutes, October 7, 1947.

(39.) BWA X.3.4.N. Minutes, December 1, 1947, May 3, 1948.

(40.) Ibid. Minutes, Sub-Committee on Relief Needs, August 16, 1948.

(41.) Ibid. Minutes, Executive Committee of Relief Committee, September 30, 1948.

(42.) Ibid. Sub-Committee on DPs of the American Baptist Relief Committee, November 29, 1948; Administrative Committee, November 30, 1948; "The Romance of Relief," 7.

(43.) Ibid. Note of Agreement between the Baptist World Alliance and the WCC Refugee Division, November 13, 1948; Angus Library, BWA, Relief Agency Material. Letter, Voluntary Service Division, IRO, Geneva to Lewis, March 5, 1949. On the role of religious agencies in refugee relief during World War II and the immediate postwar years, see J. Bruce Nichols, The Uneasy Alliance: Religion, Refugee Work, and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 52-83.

(44.) BWA X.3.5.A. Letter, Bell to Albaugh, January 28, 1949.

(45.) Ibid.

(46.) Angus Library, BWA, Relief Agency Material. Handwritten notes made at the meeting.

(47.) BWA X.3.5.D; X.3.5.I.

(48.) Angus Library, BWA, Relief Agency Material. Report of the Relief Committee Displaced Persons Resettlement Work, January 1953.

(49.) Ibid. Report of BWA Immigration, Winnipeg, 1953.

(50.) Ibid. Minutes, BWA Relief Committee, November 23, 1953.

(51.) (Ibid. Text of agreement with the WCC, September 10, 1954.

Richard V. Pierard is visiting professor of history, Godon-Conwell College, Wenham, Massachusetts.
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Date:Jan 1, 2001
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