American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers)
Founded: 1917 in Washington, DC, USA
Field: peace movement
Prize share: 1/2
The second organization to receive the divided Peace Prize for 1947 was The American Friends Service Committee. It was founded in 1917, when the United States was drawn into World War I. Like their British co-religionists, the American Quakers sought to demonstrate God's love for man by doing good deeds. Having appealed to the Government to be allowed to undertake humanitarian work as an alternative to war service, they were given the opportunity to assist in the rebuilding of France.
The Quakers set up provisional houses, provided livestock and seed corn, and were very active in their efforts to help the sick and pregnant. After the war they organized impressive aid projects in Germany and the Soviet Union, where there was great suffering from hunger and need.
In the 1930s, American Quakers worked hard on behalf of Jewish refugees, and cared for victims on both sides in the Spanish civil war. During World War II they assisted the Japanese-Americans who were interned after the attack on Pearl Harbor. When peace came, they cared in particular for slave workers and prisoners of war in war-torn regions.