Jackie Coogan, Film Coupon

A coupon at the Brooklyn Daily, inviting parents to bring the coupon and a piece of garment and let their children admitted to Jackie Coogan film.

Ship with Donated Goods

A cover of the New Near East magazine shows the ship that is sent with donated items to refugees in Constantinople.

Annie T. Allen

An article about Annie T. Allen and her work at the Near East Relief.

Alice In Hungerland, Near East Relief

An article about The Near East Relief in the Pacific and the story of ” Alice In Wonderland”, how it was used in a different way as ” Alice In HungerLand”

Medals, Near East Relief

An article described the workers’ medal designed by Walter Thompson to overseas workers of Near East Relief in recognition of their splendid service.

Bessie Murdoch

An article mention Bessie Murdoch who was a nurse settled down at the Turkish borders to serve refugees in that area.

Handmade Products, Textiles

Near East Relief supported children and refugees from hunger and displacement. Selling handmade products to support refugees in one of Near East shops.

10,000 Orphans Greet You

Orphans greet American tourists arriving in Constantinople for the first time since before World War I.

Rodosto Cottages

Men, women, and children standing in front of Rodosto cottages

Children in Rags

Children in rags waiting outside a Near East Relief Orphanage.

Children in Rags

Children dressed in rags waiting outside a Near East Relief Orphanage.

Wedding of Elsa Reckman and Stanley Kerr, Beirut, 1922

Relief workers Elsa Reckman and Stanley Kerr met while working in Marash. They worked together to evacuate thousands of children from Cilicia to Syria. The couple was married at the Near East Relief personnel house in Beirut in 1922. Photo courtesy of Doug Kerr.

L-R: Roy King, unknown man, unknown child (possibly Zadi Gannaway), Stanley Kerr, Elsa Reckman Kerr, Marion Kerr King (Stanley’s sister), unknown woman. 

Assyrians on the road to Tabriz

The Assyrian refugees in this picture had recently survived a raid by local Kurds. The raiders took all of the refugees’ possessions — even their clothing. Near East Relief provided the refugees with food and clothing as they tried to return home to Tabriz. This photograph appeared in the May 1922 issue of the New Near East magazine.

Children waiting at the Near East Relief eye clinic, Constantinople

Children in line for treatment at the Near East Relief eye clinic in Constantinople. Near East Relief operated health clinics, a tuberculosis hospital, and at least three dedicated trachoma orphanages in the city in the early 1920s. This photograph appeared in the October 1922 issue of The New Near East magazine.

Refugee woman and baby

Nellie Miller’s original caption reads: “A woman caring for one of the babies at Birdsnest Orphanage, Sidon hilltop.” Based on this caption, the woman is probably not the child’s mother. She is most likely a mairik (matron).

Mother carrying a child on her back

Mother carrying a child in the traditional Armenian manner. Nellie Miller’s original caption reads: “A mother carrying a sick child.  Months of hardship reduced these folks to beggars.”

Refugee camp in Beirut

Nellie Miller’s original caption simply states “Beirut.” Armenian refugees formed communities in Beirut, with the largest in the Bourj Hammoud district.

Two refugee boys

Two refugee boys dressed in scavenged clothing. The boy on the left is barefoot; the boy on the right wears shoes that are either improvised or severely damaged.

Refugee child in rags

Refugee child  in rags. Children struggled to keep covered in the extreme climate. Many suffered from sunburn and frostbite. Nellie Miller’s original caption reads: “With clothes torn patched, torn again, tied together children presented a pitiful sight.”

Girl washing clothes with a small cup of water

Nellie Miller’s original caption reads: “An Armenian girl trying to do her laundry with a little pan of water.” Refugees struggled to preserve their dignity in extremely difficult living conditions.

Refugee camp in Beirut

Nellie Miller’s original caption reads: “Many tents were furnished by the French Government. This shows close up of day in the camp household.”

Girls studying in a large classroom

The original caption reads: “Off with the klop-klops for the study.” The girls have removed their shoes for lessons. Location unknown.

Children with a truck

Nellie Miller’s original caption reads: “Don’t you love these boys.  Did I write to you about them – the ones from Alexandretta.  If not I must write.  They are dears, as lively as any boy you ever saw, even though their books and clothes are not uniform.”

Refugee girl

Refugee girl in the Caucasus region. This girl appears in two photographs; this one says “1922” on the back.

Refugee relief ship

Refugee relief ship from H.C. Jaquith’s collection. Given his role in the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the ship may be carrying people bound for resettlement.

Portrait of a small child in overalls

The original caption reads “54% of the orphans are still under 12 years old.  There is a large work yet to be done even if nothing in behalf of the destitute and orphan children in the refugee camps is undertaken.  Near East Relief needs the help of all lovers of children.”

Refugees on the docks at Salonika

The original caption reads “There are still nearly 500,000 refugees in Greece who need aid. Among them are at least 10,000 full orphans, besides many more absolutely destitute children.”

Boys in uniform leaving Constantinople

Young Near East Relief orphans in uniform leaving Constantinople in the wake of the Smyrna disaster. The Near East Relief warehouse is visible in the background.

Crowd of men on shore of Kavalla, Greece

A massive crowd of men on the shoreline at Kavalla, Greece. The men were probably involved in a Christian religious ceremony that reenacts the baptism of Jesus Christ.

New Near East, October 1922: Orphan Boy Studying

New Near East magazine cover featuring a studious orphan. This issue included a special supplement on the burning of Smyrna, which had happened the previous month. That event would shape Near East Relief’s work for the foreseeable future.

New Near East, September 1922

A New Near East magazine cover showing a girl and a boy using a simple cooking stove. Although they are clad in simple garments, the children are tidy and clean. Near East Relief strove to present images of industrious Near East Relief children to counterbalance the images of needy orphans that saturated the media.

New Near East, July 1922: Midwinter in the Caucasus

A New Near East magazine cover showing four boys in rags on a midwinter day in the Caucasus. Images like this reminded readers that even in the warmth of July, winter was never far away for the orphans of Near East Relief.

New Near East, May 1922: Refugee Children in Rags, Erivan

The New Near East magazine often used photographs of children — either waiting for entry to an orphanage, or transformed by orphanage life — to appeal to the readers’ parental instincts. This photograph of three children in rags was taken in Erivan (now Yerevan), Armenia in February 1922.

Orphan toymaker in Beirut, 1922

The original caption from the New Near East magazine identifies this little boy as an amateur toymaker in Beirut. Toys were in very short supply in the orphanages, despite donations from American children. The orphans turned to their creativity, making toys from sticks, metal scraps, and cloth.

Refugee woman with baby in a makeshift cradle, 1922

Refugee woman with a baby in a makeshift cradle. The original caption in the New Near East magazine identified the woman as an Armenian evacuee from the Cilicia region of south-central Anatolia. The portion of the Armenian population that was able to return to Cilicia after the 1915 deportations faced a new crisis when the Turkish Nationalist army took over Cilicia in the early 1920s. Most of the refugees fled to Syria.

Aerial view of orphans on the parade ground at Alexandropol

Aerial view of the orphan population of Kazachi Post orphanage, Alexandropol (now Gyumri). Photographs like this show the massive scale of Near East Relief’s orphanage operations. The barracks in the background served as dormitories for thousands of children.

Soldiers walking down a street

Soldiers walking down a street, date and location unknown. Although the image quality is poor, their rifles are visible.

Men leading a camel

Photograph of two men leading a camel. Although camels are not indigenous to Turkey, they were widely used as draft animals in the Ottoman empire. Near East Relief sometimes used camels to distribute supplies in harsh terrain where cars, trucks, and trains were unable to travel. Although the location of this photograph is unknown, it was most likely taken somewhere in Turkey.

Man driving a cart through water

Man driving a cart drawn by cows through a body of water. As a result of the genocide and widespread famine, there was a shortage of work animals throughout the region. Agricultural schools like the one Near East Relief operated at Polygon Orphanage, Alexandropol (and later at Stepanavan) worked to restore the cattle population with modern breeding programs.  Near East Relief also employed refugee men to build modern roads and bridges throughout Armenia and the Caucasus. In addition to the man driving the cart, there is a second man visible at left. There is a bridge in the lefthand background. These men may have been part of a construction crew.

Refugee girl in front of row of tents

Young refugee girl standing in front of a row of tents. The photograph is heavily damaged. A row of tents is visible to the left, extending into the background. The girl wears a head scarf and simple clothing. Additional people are visible in the background. Near East Relief supported tens of thousands of families living in refugee camps by providing supplemental food, employment, medical care, and clothing. The exact date and location are unknown, but this is most likely from the Caucausus region in the early- to mid-1920s.

Soldiers walking down a city street

Photograph of a city street with soldiers visible in the middle ground. The soldiers are wearing uniforms and carrying rifles. The image is damaged, and the date and location are unknown. It is possible that the soldiers are members of a Greek army battalion either entering or leaving the city of Smyrna.

Young men in uniform on a city street

Young men in uniform on a city street in front of a large building. The young men may be dressed as Boy Scouts, or it may be an orphanage uniform. They wear matching shirts, shorts, knee socks, and hats. The boys in the second row appear to be carrying a small trunk. There is a small crowd gathered on the sidewalk, indicating that the boys may be marching in a parade.

Woman with orphans in white dresses

Photograph of woman with orphans in white dresses on the grounds of Alexandropol orphanage. The children wear garments sewn by older girls at the Alexandropol workshop as part of their vocational training in dressmaking. The photograph shows heavy wear and scratches.

Near East Relief student nurses standing around an examining table

Near East Relief student nurses in white caps standing around an examining table. Near East Relief operated a nursing school in Alexandropol. The school moved to Yerevan (Erevan) in the late 1920s. Near East Relief’s training program produced the first academically trained nurses in the region and helped to professionalize nursing in the Caucasus region.