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Author to share story of little-known haven for Hitler's refugees

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Historian and author Michael Luick-Thrams will visit the University of Illinois and surrounding communities Nov. 28-Dec. 3 to share his knowledge of a little-known, Midwestern safe haven for refugees of Hitler's Nazi regime.

Luick-Thrams is the author of "Out of Hitler's Reach: The Scattergood Hostel for European Refugees, 1939-43." The book chronicles the experiences of 185 refugees who fled Nazi Germany to the safety of a refugee center run by Quaker farmers and college students in an abandoned Friends boarding school in Iowa.

Dubbed the "Schindler's List on the Prairie," the hostel also was the focus of a PBS documentary.

Luick-Thrams' visit to the community is co-sponsored by the UI's Russian and East European Center, the Drobny Program for the Study of Jewish Culture and Society, and the Office of Continuing Education.

While in Champaign-Urbana, he will speak to area high school students, retirement-center residents and to the general public.

His schedule of public appearances includes a talk at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Champaign Public Library, 505 S. Randolph St., Champaign; and talks Dec. 1 at noon in Room 101 of the International Studies Building, 910 S. Fifth St., Champaign; and at 2:30 p.m. at the Urbana Free Library, 201 S. Race St., Urbana

. For more information about Scattergood Hostel and Luick-Thrams on the Web, go to