March 9, 1952: Boyertown Demonstrates Generosity of Spirit, Sponsors Refugees


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

March 9, 1952: To welcome 175 refugees from war-torn Europe to Boyertown, a Thanksgiving service was given at S.t John’s Lutheran Church, which had sponsored 18 German families who had been expelled from their homeland by the Communists, suffering persecution and great hardship. The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service had brought them to America.

The first family to arrive in Boyertown was that of Willi and Franziska Neubauer with seven of their nine children, the youngest two having died in exile. Their sponsor was Dan Unger, who provided them with a fully-furnished house and jobs for Willi and three of their children.

Herbert and Johanna Engel and their two children were also brought to Boyertown by St. John’s after a Catholic relief agency refused to help them because, although Johanna and their children were Catholic, Herbert was not. They were sponsored by William and Joseph Quigley.

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