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The United States Committee for the Care of European Children (USCOM) was founded in the summer of 1940 by Clarence Pickett to help evacuate children from incessant German bombing of English cities, commonly known as the Battle of Britain. The U.S. government wanted to save children by moving them away from areas under attack; therefore, it was receptive to lobbying by humanitarians who argued that British children should be temporarily relocated to the safety of the United States. In June 1940, FDR asked Eleanor Roosevelt to establish USCOM to help transport these children across the Atlantic; however, by the fall of 1940, its evacuation efforts were temporarily suspended after having successfully relocated just over 800 children.

The committee is most often noted for the role it played in trying to evacuate German Jewish refugee children. Although the USCOM could only allow a certain number of refugee children to enter the United States, the committee vigorously lent its support to the Wagner-Rogers Bill which would have expanded the quota significantly. Despite the vocal support that the committee received from prominent humanitarians, particularly Eleanor Roosevelt, the legislation failed to pass. Nonetheless, the support of ER and others enabled the committee to resume and expand upon its work. In 1942 and 1943, USCOM struggled to relocate several hundred Jewish refugee children from Western Europe. The committee continued to function after the war's conclusion, but disbanded completely in 1953.


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "United States Committee for the Care of European Children." Internet on-line. Available from

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "Historical Overview of the Fate of European Refugee Children". Internet on-line. Available from

Lash, Joseph. Eleanor and Franklin. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1971, 821.