LISBON (Jun. 11)
The refugee rescue ship Mouzinho sailed for New York last night carrying 700 passengers from all parts of Europe, including 130 children taken from QSE homes and internment camps in France who will be placed in American homes under the auspices of the United States Committee for Care of European Children.
The refugees, most of whom are joining friends and relatives in America, range from a babe in arms to a woman of 38.
Other passengers include Prof. Maximilian Weinberger, former head of the Rothschild Hospital in Vienna, who is supervising the care of the children aboard the ship; the painter, Marc Chagall, who has arranged to give them drawing lessons; Erwald Schindler, Prague stage director, with his wife, who is the daughter of Arthur Nikisch, former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Chief Rabbi Robert Serebrenik of Luxemburg and Martin Aufhauser, banker.
Yesterday being a national holiday, the streets of Lisbon and the ships moored in the harbor were befogged, giving the Mouzinho departure a festive appearance, to which the children added when they drove to the pier waving Portuguese and American flags.
A special shipboard luncheon was attended by Government officials and American diplomats. Morris C. Troper, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee, paid tribute to the Portuguese line for arranging the run, to the Portuguese authorities for facilitating transit and to the American consulates here, in Marseille and elsewhere for their day-and-night work in rushing the necessary visas.
The children’s emigration was arranged by the J.D.C. in conjunction with the American Friends Service Committee. Many of the children are orphans.
A typical case is five brothers and sisters, the oldest thirteen who are joining their grandmother in America. Their father died in the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and their mother died of pneumonia in the Gurs internment camp in unoccupied France.
Virtually all the children show signs of their intense privations of the past year. Those who were recently in Nazi-occupied countries show, by startled response to calls and gestures, the treatment to which they were accustomed.
Nurses who accompanied the children on the five-day trip from Marseille complained that their young charges were so accustomed to suffering that they did not inform the nurses when anything was wrong. One tot suffering from an arm injury bore the pain secretly until virtually in an agony from the infection before telling a nurse. The task of the nurses was eased by the older children, who cared for the youngsters’ needs.
After a few days on Portugal’s sunny coast the youngsters are laughing, smiling and romping, but it will be long before the older children forget their past experiences.
Most of the children arrived here in tattered clothing and wooden-soled shoes. Troper arranged for the children to be re-outfitted before sailing.