Item description for The Children of France And the Red Cross by June Richardson Lucas...
In 1917, the Germans sent back into France through Switzerland all those they are unable to use in factory, trench, or agricultural work.
The little town of Evian on the French/Swiss border received a thousand of such rapatris a day. The Red Cross worked amongst these French or Belgian rapatris, a large percentage of whom were young children. The American Red Cross focussed many of their relief efforts on these children: many starving, sick and diseased, showing the effects of three years of dirt and riddled with lice and skin lesions.
June Richardson Lucas, a Red Cross Nurse, worked with her husband, Dr. William Palmer Lucas, Professor of Children's Diseases at the University of California, in the establishment of the American Red Cross work for the children of France. She spent much of her time at Evian.
"The children are so pathetic: many of them without their mothers, just sent along in a crowd in care of the older women, and some of them are too little to know their names and the old people have forgotten. To be four years old, to be six years old, and alone, 'Mother killed by bomb, father in the trenches'. Children come to us to get well and strong and 'wait for father.'
"Six hundred and eighty Belgian children arrived on the morning train. all these children, thin, sickly looking, alone; all of them aged between four and twelve. The boys were livelier than the girls -- the little girls of ten and twelve, in charge of four or five brothers and sisters, cried bitterly. These children have been taken from their parents because their fathers would not work for the Germans and the mothers were willing to let the children go rather than see them starve. I have never seen anything more poignant than those little groups of children clinging to the oldest sister and brother as they marched down the little street. It was the saddest, the cruellest sight -- little starving children, marching bravely along, singing, and crying.
"Men have been taken from 'No-Man's Land'-- and it is a terrible place, that land between the enemies' trenches and our lines -- but that little sobbing child comes from just as terrible a place, -- 'No-Child's Land,' behind the enemies' trenches."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.74" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.39" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Jul 6, 2005
Publisher Diggory Press
ISBN 1905363192 ISBN13 9781905363193