Milk Distribution at a Children’s Health Clinic in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland


The mothers shown in this photograph are receiving milk from the staff of a children’s health clinic at a town in Poland. The conflicts and pogroms that took place during and after World War I brought disease, famine, and dislocation to hundreds of thousands of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, especially in Poland. In response, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization created at the start of World War I by American Jewish groups, established soup kitchens, reconstructed and equipped hospitals, supported orphanages, and sent food in convoys of trucks to hundreds of towns and villages in Poland. The child care program, involving about 400,000 children who required extra help, was considered of the greatest importance. The JDC established milk stations where babies and children could receive a glass of milk for less than one cent. In Warsaw, at the height of the emergency period, as many as 35,000 children were supplied with milk each day through these stations. The photograph is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Last updated: March 17, 2016