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Encyclopedia > American Relief Administration

American Relief Administration was an American relief mission to Europe and later Soviet Russia after World War I. Herbert Hoover, future president of the United States, was the program director. Humanitarian aid is assistance given to people in distress by individuals, organisations, or governments to relieve suffering. ... A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is the worlds second-smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ... Soviet Russia is sometimes used as a somewhat sloppy synonym to the Soviet Union — although the term Soviet Russia sometimes refers to Bolshevist Russia from the October Revolution in 1917 to 1922 (Although Russian communists officially formed RSFSR in 1918). ... World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machine guns, and poison gas World War I, also known as the First World War, the Great War, the War of the Nations and... Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10, 1874 – October 20, 1964) is best known as being the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933). ...

The ARA's immediate predecessor was Commission for the Relief of Belgium, also headed by Hoover, which fed seven million Belgians and two million northern French during World War I. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the ARA delivered more than four million tons of relief supplies to twenty-three war-torn European countries.

Once mass famine (that would eventually take an estimated 5.1 million lives) broke out in Soviet Russia in mid-1921, the ARA's director in Europe, Walter Lyman Brown, began negotiating with Soviet deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Maxim Litvinov, in Riga, Latvia. An agreement was reached on August 21, 1921 and an additional implementation agreement was signed by Brown and People's Commisar for Foreign Trade Leonid Krasin on December 30, 1921. [1] A famine is a phenomenon in which a large percentage of the population of a region or country are so undernourished that death by starvation becomes increasingly common. ... Soviet redirects here. ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with: :Sovnarkom. ... Maxim Litvinov Maxim Maksimovich Litvinov (ru: Макси́м Макси́мович Литви́нов) (July 17, 1876–December 31, 1951) was a Russian revolutionary and prominent Soviet diplomat. ... Riga (Latvian: RÄ«ga), the capital of Latvia, is situated on the Baltic Sea coast on the mouth of River Daugava, at 56°58′ N 24°8′ E. Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states and serves as a major cultural, educational, political, financial, commercial and industrial center... August 21 is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... December 30 is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 1 day remaining. ...

At its peak, the ARA employed 300 Americans, more than 120,000 Russians and fed 10.5 million people daily. Its Russian operations were headed by Col. William N. Haskell. The Medical Division of the ARA functioned from November 1921 to June 1923 and helped overcome the typhus epidemic then ravaging Russia. The ARA's famine relief operations ran in parallel with a much smaller Mennonite famine relief operation in Russia. [2] 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... This is about the disease Typhus. ... The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after and influenced by the teachings and tradition of Menno Simons. ...

The ARA's operations in Russia were shut down on June 15, 1923, once the famine was over. June 15 is the 166th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (167th in leap years), with 199 days remaining. ...


  • ^  See a copy the agreement posted by the Hoover Archives
  • ^  See Lance Yoder's "Historical Sketch" in the online Mennonite Central Committee Photograph Collection


  • Bertrand M. Patenaude. The Big Show in Bololand, Stanford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0804744939

External link

  • Hoover Tower Rotunda Exhibit: The American Relief Administration in Soviet Russia



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