The Lost Documentary Film of the Commission for Relief in Belgium

Part 2 By Thomas F. Schwartz                 Though the original ten reel production never was released for general viewing, the existing scripts give a sense of its contents.  Because it was a silent film, the subtitles clearly describe the film footage that preceded it.  It begins by stating: “This is not a picture of actors … Continue reading The Lost Documentary Film of the Commission for Relief in Belgium

Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919

Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919

By Thomas F. Schwartz Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919 Among the innovative methods to publicize the work of the Commission for Relief in Belgium [CRB] and the American Relief Administration [ARA] were two documentary film efforts, both which are lost to history.  George Barr Baker served with Herbert Hoover in both … Continue reading Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 3: Caring for the children

Continuing Coningsby Dawson's tour of post-World War I Vienna, his writings sought to convey the absolute desperation of the people – primarily children – who were dependent on the American Relief Administration.  In this dispatch, he describes his visit to one of the child-feeding stations: Today I visited one of the strategic points where the battle … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 3: Caring for the children

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 2: The Dorotheum

In December 1920, as Coningsby Dawson toured Central Europe writing articles to promote the American Relief Administration fund drive, he sought to inform his readers about not only the immediate work of the ARA, but also to offer a wider view of the newly independent nations that were struggling to recover from the war.  In this … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 2: The Dorotheum

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 — Part 1: A visit from Santa

The year 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I.  As far as most Americans were concerned, that was the end of the war – the fighting stopped, the doughboys soon came home, and the Versailles Peace Conference concluded an acceptable peace. In much of Europe, the Armistice brought no … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 — Part 1: A visit from Santa

The Invisible Guest

By Thomas F. Schwartz During the season of goblins, ghosts, witches, vampires, and zombies, “invisible guests” would find themselves among friends.  But invisibility can be the spiteful kind as in H. G. Welles, Invisible Man or something that is not present but felt.  It is the latter that Herbert Hoover evoked in a series of … Continue reading The Invisible Guest

Preventing Tragedy and Statistics

By Thomas F. Schwartz It is easy to overlook the significance of Herbert Hoover’s food relief efforts by looking merely at numbers.  The precise number of people Hoover saved from starvation remains murky but most scholars agree it is in the hundreds of millions.  Ironically, one of the most brutal leaders of modern times, Joseph … Continue reading Preventing Tragedy and Statistics

On Centennial Celebrations

By Matthew Schaefer While driving back from a Des Moines meeting of the Iowa World War I Centennial Committee, it occurred to this Hoover Archivist that a series of monthly posts might be in order to describe the activities of Herbert Hoover as America edged closer to war.  Consider this episode one. Hoover had spent … Continue reading On Centennial Celebrations

Practical War-Pig Plan

  When people think of the home front during a world war, the rationing of food and gasoline immediately come to mind.  But rationing was a feature of World War II, not World War I.  Herbert Hoover as head of the United States Food Administration was able to get Americans to voluntarily reduce their consumption … Continue reading Practical War-Pig Plan

Subversive Flour Sacks of Thanks

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum recently acquired a decorative flour sack that came with a two-typed page explanation by Marthe Boel.  The name is unfamiliar to most Americans but Boel was a leading feminist in Belgian before and after World War I.  She and her husband were imprisoned by the Germans for their activities in … Continue reading Subversive Flour Sacks of Thanks