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Title:LA SUISSE JOUE PARMI LES NATIONS LE ROLE DU BON SAMARITAIN [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 454
Other titles:SWITZERLAND ACTS AS GOOD SAMARITAN TO THE NATIONS [Translation]
Summary: Refugees from Eastern Europe arriving by train, being cared for, and re-united with their families before returning home, Basle, Switzerland, 1918.
Description: The film states that between 5th March 1915 and 15th April 1918 over 370,000 refugees (57,000 men, 190,000 women and 123,000 children) passed through Switzerland. It does not make it clear from where they came, or whether they were permitted to stay, to return to their own country of origin, or to go elsewhere. The greatest emphasis is laid on the Swiss organisation of the scheme. This starts with a posed group of the senior Red Cross nurses at Basle: president Mlle M Paravicini, Mlle H Paravicini who is in charge of the hospital, Mme A Clavel who is in charge of clothing and Mme Wolf-Paravicini who is in charge of the nursery. It is stressed that both the nurses and the refugees come from all social classes. The refugee train arrives at Basle station, and the nurses help the refugees, mainly old people or women with children, to disembark. Some are taken to another train, where the children are bathed. The Enquiry Bureau tries to unite the families as they arrive. The children are given new clothes and small gifts or toys, including little Swiss flags. The people board another train to take them to "the land of their birth, but not to their homes".