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Joy in the Midwest

Hitler Exiles Happy In Iowa

A spread in the Des Moines Sunday Register detailing life in the Hostel

Despite the difficulties of adjustment and integration, many of the guests remembered their time at Scattergood as happy and peaceful. For the first time in years, they had the chance to relax and enjoy themselves. The guests staged their own plays and wrote musicals commemorating their time at the Hostel. This community bonding was fundamental to well-being for many of the guests. In an interview, Hannah Deutsch noted that the "hostel was the first place I felt secure and like I had a community again." Hannah was a child during her time at Scattergood. Like many of the children, she found a sense of belonging, not with other children, but with the adults of Scattergood.

Although the Hostel was in a rural area, there was constant interaction with local culture. The Hostel was visited by hundreds of people every month, including the famous Trapp Family Singers. Many refugees were invited to speak at luncheons and other events. The refugees also frequently visited Iowa City and participated in the midwestern city's version of urban culture.