Iowa Hostel Sheltered 185 WWII Refugees From 1939-1943

Edith Morgan-Froehlig sits with a kitten on her lap with her brother on the steps of the Scattergood hostel.

Eighty years ago, a small dedicated group of Quakers opened a hostel to provide shelter and a pathway to a new life for refugees who fled Nazi violence and aggression in Europe. Thus began the history of the Scattergood Friends Hostel in West Branch.   

During this segment of Talk of Iowa, we hear Edith Morgan Froehlig's memories. She was 11-year-old Edith Lichtenstein when she arrived with her family at the hostel, which provided shelter to 185 refugees between 1939 and 1943.

She's pictured above holding a kitten on the steps of Scattergood Hostel with her brother. 

Michael Luick Thrams is presenting about the history of the Scattergood hostel this spring. Find his tour schedule here.


  • Michael Luick Thrams, Director of the TRACES Center for History and Culture, visiting lecturer at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon
  • Editth Morgan Froehlig, fled from Germany in 1933 with her family and arrived at Scattergood Friends Hostel at age 11