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    "body": "<html><body><br/>\n<div id=\"databox-PeopleDisplay\">\n<table class=\"infobox\" width=\"200px;\">\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Name</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">Ralph Smeltzer</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Born</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">May 26 1916</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Died</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">March 9 1976</td>\n</tr>\n<tr>\n<th scope=\"row\" style=\"text-align:left;\">Birth Location</th>\n<td style=\"text-align:left;\">Chicago</td>\n</tr>\n</table>\n</div>\n<div id=\"databox-People\" style=\"display:none;\">\n<p>FirstName:Ralph Emerson;\nLastName:Smeltzer;\nDisplayName:Ralph Smeltzer;\nBirthDate:1916-05-26;\nDeathDate:1976;\nBirthLocation:Chicago;\nGender:Male;\nEthnicity:White;\nGenerationIdentifier:;\nNationality:;\nExternalResourceLink:;\nPrimaryGeography:;\nReligion:Church of the Brethren;\n</p>\n</div>\n<p>Church of the Brethren minister who, with his wife, taught at <a href=\"/wiki/Manzanar\" title=\"Manzanar\">Manzanar</a> and operated <a href=\"/wiki/Hostels\" title=\"Hostels\">hostels</a> for resettling Japanese Americans in Chicago and New York. Ralph Emerson Smeltzer (1916–76) was born in Chicago and raised in Southern California in a family that belonged to the Church of the Brethren, a peace church akin to the better known Quakers or Mennonites. While attending the Brethren run LaVerne College in the late 1930s, he met <a href=\"/wiki/Mary_Smeltzer\" title=\"Mary Smeltzer\">Mary Blocher</a>, and the couple married in 1940. Both became school teachers in Southern California. Ralph became an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren in the spring of 1941 and registered as a conscientious objector.\n</p><p>The Smeltzers became involved with the forced removal of Japanese Americans in February 1942, when Ralph volunteered to assist Japanese Americans evicted from <a href=\"/wiki/Terminal_Island,_California\" title=\"Terminal Island, California\">Terminal Island</a>. They went on to work with the <a href=\"/wiki/American_Friends_Service_Committee\" title=\"American Friends Service Committee\">American Friends Service Committee</a> to prepare and serve breakfasts to Japanese Americans on the mornings of their evictions from homes and communities. Once Japanese Americans had been removed from the West Coast, the Smeltzers became teachers of math and biology at <a href=\"/wiki/Manzanar\" title=\"Manzanar\">Manzanar</a>. Choosing not to live in the nicer staff housing, they insisted in living in the inmate area and were eventually assigned to live with a group of young <a href=\"/wiki/Kibei\" title=\"Kibei\">Kibei</a> men in barracks set aside for them in block 36, serving as advisers for this group. Later, during the <a href=\"/wiki/Manzanar_riot/uprising\" title=\"Manzanar riot/uprising\">mass uprising at Manzanar</a> in December, Smeltzer hid a fleeing <a href=\"/wiki/Togo_Tanaka\" title=\"Togo Tanaka\">Togo Tanaka</a> on the floor of the car and drove him out of the to escape the angry mobs.\n</p><p>After six months at Manzanar, the Smeltzers turned their attention to <a href=\"/wiki/Resettlement\" title=\"Resettlement\">resettlement</a> and left to manage a <a href=\"/wiki/Chicago_Brethren_Hostel\" title=\"Chicago Brethren Hostel\">hostel in Chicago</a> at the Bethany Theological Seminary in March 1943. Working with <a href=\"/wiki/War_Relocation_Authority\" title=\"War Relocation Authority\">War Relocation Authority</a> officials and the Church of the Brethren, the Smeltzers providing temporary housing for resettling Japanese Americans and help with jobs and finding permanent housing. They moved the hostel in the fall to a larger location that could accommodate up to 35. After having housed some 1,000 people by March 1944, the Smeltzers left the Chicago hostel and moved on to New York, where they opened a fourteen room <a href=\"/wiki/Brooklyn_Hostel\" title=\"Brooklyn Hostel\">hostel in Brooklyn</a>, the first in the New York area. Faced with opposition from some local community members and Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia—along with threats of violence—the Smeltzers held firm and the hostel opened on May 10, 1944, where it ran without incident.<sup class=\"reference\" id=\"cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\"><a href=\"#cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\">[1]</a></sup> In August 1944, Smeltzer took a position with the church back in Illinois, where he continued to help with resettlement.\n</p><p>After the war, he continued to work for the church and as a peace activist. He was stationed in Austria 1946 to 1949 working with people displaced in the European war. In the 1960s, he was sent to Selma, Alabama, where he set up mediation sessions between various segments of the black and white communities there in 1964–65. He died of a heart attack in May, 1976.\n</p>\n<div id=\"authorByline\"><b>Authored by <a href=\"/wiki/Brian_Niiya\" title=\"Brian Niiya\">Brian Niiya</a>, Densho</b></div>\n<div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">Niiya, Brian</div>\n<h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">For More Information</span></h2>\n<p>\"Japanese American Relocation.\" Finding aid for collection, Brethren Historical Library and Archives. <a class=\"external free\" href=\"http://www.brethren.org/bhla/ag/j_japanese_am_relocation.html\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.brethren.org/bhla/ag/j_japanese_am_relocation.html</a>.\n</p><p>Longenecker, Stephen L. <i>Selma's Peacemaker: Ralph Smeltzer and Civil Right Mediation</i>. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.\n</p><p>Siegel, Shizue. <i>In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese Americans During the Internment</i>. San Mateo, CA: AACP, Inc., 2006.\n</p>\n<h2><span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Footnotes\">Footnotes</span></h2>\n<div class=\"reflist\" style=\"list-style-type: decimal;\">\n<ol class=\"references\">\n<li id=\"cite_note-ftnt_ref1-1\"><span class=\"mw-cite-backlink\"><a href=\"#cite_ref-ftnt_ref1_1-0\">↑</a></span> <span class=\"reference-text\">\"Brooklyn Group Approves Nisei Hostel Plan\"; \"Brooklyn Hostel Opened With Arrival of Family From Gila,\" <i>Pacific Citizen</i>, May 20, 1944, p. 3, accessed on January 3, 2014 at <a class=\"external free\" href=\"http://www.pacificcitizen.org/digitalarchives/assets/images/full/PCN_19440520_003.jpg\" rel=\"nofollow\">http://www.pacificcitizen.org/digitalarchives/assets/images/full/PCN_19440520_003.jpg</a>.</span>\n</li>\n</ol></div>\n<!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCPU time usage: 0.068 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.070 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 170/1000000\nPreprocessor generated node count: 1114/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 1898/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 215/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 5/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nExtLoops count: 0/100\n-->\n<!-- Saved in parser cache with key mediawiki:pcache:idhash:2595-0!*!0!!*!*!* and timestamp 20170309214328 and revision id 18089\n -->\n<div class=\"toplink\"><a href=\"#top\"><i class=\"icon-chevron-up\"></i> Top</a></div></body></html>",
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    "url_title": "Ralph Smeltzer",
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    "title": "Ralph Smeltzer",
    "url": "http://encyclopedia.densho.org/api/0.1/articles/Ralph%20Smeltzer/",
    "absolute_url": "http://encyclopedia.densho.org/Ralph%20Smeltzer/",
    "title_sort": "SmeltzerRalph",
    "modified": "2015-03-24T22:33:45",
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