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"An unpublished chapter in the history of the deportation of foreign Jews from France in 1942"

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 1987.035

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    Consists of a copy of "An unpublished chapter in the history of the deportation of foreign Jews from France in 1942" written by Roswell McClelland, a representative of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), in 1942 or 1943. The "Unpublished chapter..." is McClelland's personal account of the round-up of foreign Jews in France during 1942 under the direction of the Germans, including a deportation from the Les Milles camp in August 1942. Included in the piece are descriptions of various French concentration camps, the treatment of Jewish children, the division of age groups for deportation to the East, and rescue efforts by the American Friends Service Committee. An earlier draft of this document, along with other supporting documentation, can be found in the Roswell and Marjorie McClelland Papers, 2014.500.1.
    Collection Creator
    Roswell McClelland
    Roswell Dunlop McClelland (1914-1995) was born in Palo Alto, California, to Ross St. John McClelland and Alice (Alys) M. Mitchell. He studied French, German, Italian and American literature, graduating with a BA from Duke University in 1936 and an MA from Columbia University in 1940. During his studies, Roswell learned to speak German and Italian. On November 19, 1938, he married Marjorie Helen Miles (1913-1978). Marjorie graduated from Stanford, and completed graduate work in child psychology at the University of Cincinnati and Yale University. Marjorie was a member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers), a Christian religious group devoted to peaceful principals. After Roswell's graduation from Columbia, he was awarded a fellowship to study an archival collection related to Voltaire in Geneva, Switzerland. The fellowship was awarded by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that promotes development, service and peace programs throughout the world. However, by June 1940, Nazi Germany and their allies had occupied most of Europe, and Roswell was not able to use the scholarship.

    With the expanding war in Europe, the AFSC was looking for aid workers to send overseas. Due to Roswell’s foreign language skills, he was recruited to go to Europe and direct an AFSC refugee relief office in Rome, Italy. In August 1940, Roswell and Marjorie went to Europe, spending a month in Lisbon, Portugal, before traveling to Rome. In August 1941, the office closed and the couple moved to Marseille, in Vichy France, where they joined another AFSC office. From their base in Marseille, Roswell worked to provide relief for prisoners in Les Milles internment camp. Marjorie worked to select children for the USCOM children’s transport to the United States in the summer of 1942.

    In the late summer of 1942, the couple moved to Geneva to establish a special office of the AFSC’s Relief & Refugee Section in Switzerland. Roswell and his colleagues developed several programs to provide refugees with financial assistance, clothing, and preparation for emigration. On January 22, 1944, President Roosevelt established the War Refugee Board (WRB) to carry out an official American policy of rescue and relief for victims of the war and Nazi persecution. In March, Roswell was selected as the Board’s representative in Switzerland. He commuted to Bern four days a week, while Marjorie continued to run the AFSC offices in Geneva. As part of his work with the WRB, Roswell translated the Auschwitz Protocol, from German to English. The Auschwitz Protocol was a report written by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler, two Slovakian Jews who escaped from Auschwitz. After the end of the war in May 1945, Roswell became a United States Foreign Service officer. Roswell and Marjorie had four children. Later in life, after Marjorie passed away, Roswell remarried.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    Rights & Restrictions

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    Conditions on Use
    The donor, source institution, or a third party has asserted copyright over some or all of these material(s). The Museum does not own the copyright for the material and does not have authority to authorize use. For permission, please contact the rights holder(s).

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    McClelland, Roswell.

    Administrative Notes

    "An Unpublished Chapter .." was written by Roswell McClelland in 1942. A copy was given to Hyman Bookbinder by an unknown source at the "Washington Post." A copy of the piece was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives in Apr. 1980 by Hyman Bookbinder via Marian Craig of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-28 09:14:58
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