ABSTRACT

On 17 May 1946, the American social worker Charles Maxton Schermerhorn (1901–1986) arrived in Greece, where he would soon become an eyewitness to the internecine Civil War (1946–1949). Charles was appointed by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), subsequently by the Near East Foundation, and eventually by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Thus, in the five years of his stay, Charles saw a tremendous amount of American-influenced administrative and logistical planning for Greece, which had become a focus of intense early Cold War scrutiny and friction. Charles' personal and professional commitment was toward Greek children and rural families, especially those in the most afflicted areas of northern Greece. This annotated introduction, with ample bibliographical references to further reading, provides the necessary context to the various strands of Charles' extensive memoir, focusing on social history and on the organization of post-WWII humanitarian aid.