Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars

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The Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, (1933–1941), assisted scholars who were barred from teaching, persecuted and threatened with imprisonment by the Nazis. The Institute of International Education appointed Edward R. Murrow to lead the effort. In the first two years of the Committee's existence, Murrow received requests for help from educators and researchers across Europe. The program expanded to include Austria, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Italy. Over 300 scholars were rescued, some of whom became Nobel Laureates in diverse fields such as literature, medicine, and Physics. As well as many whose work and ideas helped shape the post-war world.[1]

In 1932, at age 24 and well before he began his broadcast career, Murrow was hired as Assistant Director by IIE's founder and Director, Stephen P. Duggan. Murrow's main assignment at IIE was to identify European scholars who were at risk in their home countries and arrange for them to lecture and teach at U.S. colleges and universities. It was first called the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German Scholars, and later expanded to help other “Displaced Foreign Scholars” fleeing Nazi repression throughout Europe. Hundreds of European scholars were successfully relocated to America, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Foundation, and generous hosting by American campuses. Murrow worked with the Emergency Committee until early 1937, overlapping the first year of his long career at CBS News. Murrow would go on to serve as a member of IIE’s Board of Trustees until his death in 1965.[2]

The Emergency Committee would prove to be the early forerunner of IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund, which was established in 2002.

Notable Scholars[edit]


Murrow’s work with the Institute of International Education played a key role in the plot of the film Good Night, and Good Luck, produced, directed and written by George Clooney.


  1. ^ [ The Rescue of Science and Learning: The Story of the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced Foreign Scholars, (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948)]
  2. ^ The Life and Work of Edward R. Murrow: Tufts University

External links[edit]