Support a house for Ukrainian refugees in Germany

The Scattergood Center, in the Phyllis-Thrams-Luick-Haus
We run a non-profit, anti-war museum, which arose out of a German-American social-history project*. As a part of our work, we have recently purchased a house in the “Altstadt” (the central “old town”) of Bad Langensalza to house refugees from the on-going crisis in Ukraine. Because of the tireless effort and donations of over 40 local volunteers, the house—known as “The Scattergood Center, in the Phyllis-Thrams-Luick-Haus”**—was cleaned, renovated and equipped with enough furniture and supplies to house mothers and children fleeing war, in just one week, only 1.5 weeks after the purchase of the house. As of mid-April 2022, we already have welcomed a total of 23 people, with additional ones on the way. In the future, when the Ukrainian crisis is over, we will continue to operate the house as a place for other refugees from war and/or environmental disasters.

This project is only possible with the generosity of donors. Your donations will go towards providing food, clothing, toiletries and other supplies for residents of the house, as well as utility and repair costs for the building, plus medical and education expenses for those staying with us. We also assist some of our “guests” in their job-search efforts, already with success. We thank you and appreciate your support.

* Our project consists of two sister organizations active in the US (the TRACES Center for History and Culture, based in director Michael’s native Iowa) and Spuren e.V. in Bad Langensalza, Germany. Both explore and present connections between people from the two countries (and Austria) between 1914-48. An important driving force behind our work is the firm belief that exploring and confronting history is one of the best preventions against conflict between people and even states, now and in the future.

** The funds for the house’s purchase are in part from the sale of Ashlawn Farm, the childhood home of both the director and his mother (Phyllis [née Thrams] Luick); it was in the Thrams’ family for 105 years. Phyllis’ mother’s family emigrated from southern Thüringen to Iowa in the 1850s; in a literal sense, part of the family’s worldly fortune has landed back in the central-German province from where it came. As a teen, Phyllis had African-American and Hispanic friends, in an era when a “white girl” doing so was not the norm; all during Michael’s life, he knew his mother to welcome people of many ethnicities, religions and ways of life into her home. She continues to inspire her youngest son’s work—and thus he dedicates this house to her memory.

To view an unnarrated PP presentation about Scattergood Hostel [a narrated version is coming soon]:

Michael Luick-Thrams (center) and local volunteers Julianne Döbel (left) and Marianne Fritsch (right) welcomed the first Ukrainian family by observing the Slavic tradition of greeting guests with bread, which they then tore and sprinkled with salt before entering the Haus. 
On 3 April 2022, we hosted at Haus der Spuren a coffee and cake reception for some of the Ukrainians then staying at the Scattergood Center. From left: Olga, Anna, Iryna #1, Iryna #2, Kirylo, Igor, Oksana, Maria, Dr. Michael Luick-Thrams & volunteer Christian Maemecke.Still moving frequently and often abruptly, some of the Ukrainians currently at the Center engage in online education for their up-rooted children with WiFi provided at Haus der Spuren, like those here. From the left: Anna, Igor, Oksana and Kirylo

Before (inset) and after photos of the downstairs dorm in the Scattergood Center, which now can accommodate two people.

Before/after photos of the Scattergood Center's downstairs apartment, which now can accommodate 5-8 people seeking a safe haven.
Renovated upstairs dorm in the Scattergood Center, which now can accommodate two people.

Before and after photos of the Common Room in the Scattergood Center's upper level. Volunteers painted, laid a new floor, walled-in a doorway/created a bookshelf, then furnished the room with a dining table for 8 people, with also one armchair and one pull-out couch.

The Scattergood Center's upper-level kitchen is equipped with a donated refrigerator, along with donated cooking and cleaning supplies.
Before and after photos of the upstairs apartment in the Scattergood Center, which is equipped with a full bathroom and storage closet.
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Michael Luick-Thrams

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