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Activities in France; Kershner speech; children sing

Film | Accession Number: 2017.676.1 | RG Number: RG-60.0166 | Film ID: 4243

“American Friends Service Committee.” “Views of some of the activities in and around Marseille May 1942.” “France May 1940.” Flames engulf various buildings, with billowing black smoke. Various collapsed buildings. Civilians leave the city en masse, loaded into trucks or walking. People are carried on stretchers. Large crowds of people sleep in a large, crowded room. CU of various children sleeping, crying, looking upset. AFSC logo. Pan of the AFSC building (the offices weree one floor above Varian Fry's office in Marseille). Howard Kershner, the American head of the Quaker delegation, sits at a desk reading and signing paperwork. He speaks to the camera. Loaves of baguette. More scenes of civilians leaving the cities. Women feed and tend to babies. A map of divided France. A classroom scene. CU of children working. Map of Vichy France, with sections highlighted. Children running in a schoolyard.

Map of Vichy France with various towns labeled. Certain towns are highlighted. Destroyed buildings. People leaving town with their belongings. Back to the map, now focused on Bordeaux and the surrounding villages of Penne, Puycelci, and Bourg d’Oueil. Kershner at his desk at Quaker Headquarters speaks to the camera again, reading off a script.

Back to the map, highlighting different towns along the Mediterranean coast. Kershner speaks to the camera again. Paperwork indicating monetary allocations given to families from the AFSC. A group of women type on typewriters. Kershner speaks to the camera again. Women sit outside the AFSC knitting and sewing. Inside, more women knit and sew by hand or on machines. CU of various women. Young girls sew in a classroom. CU of a clock. They all stand. A classroom of boys. They all stand and line up. They receive a few drops of a solution, which they eat. Children playing in a schoolyard. The bell is rung and they all run to line up. They are led into a cafeteria where they sit at set tables. Bibs are distributed. Women in the kitchen stir and taste soup. “Les Quakers Américains sont heureux d’offrir aux enfants francais un supplément de nourriture en témoignage de l'amitié Franco-Américaine.” (Trans. “The American Quakers are happy to offer food supplements to French children as a testimony to Franco-American friendship.”) Women ladle soup into the children’s bowls. CU of various children eating. CU of the soup. More CU of children eating. Pans of the cafeteria. CU of children eating.

Children walking in rows outside. They scatter and run. They play jump rope and leap frog, dance in circles holding hands, and play catch. They run up to a car with “American Friends Service Committee” written on the side. A woman steps out of the car. The children sit in a large circle on the ground outside. Several girls in the middle of the circle perform a group dance. All the children sing. Girls sit outside, reading and knitting. The large group of children sit in the grass, singing or reciting. A woman distributes bread and the children crowd around her, clamoring for it.

Shot of the countryside through a window. A woman reaches into frame and closes the shutters. Children help one another change into pajamas, brush their teeth and hair, and bathe. CU of children asleep in their beds. Pan of children sleeping in their beds. CU of a hand turning off the light switch. In the morning, the children open the shutters and look out the window.

Event:  1940-1945
Marseilles, France
Vichy, France
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of American Friends Service Committee
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:46:35
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