Women and Children Receiving Cocoa at YMCA POW Center in Riga | University of Illinois Archives
Caption accompanying image reads: "The first day a transport is in camp, we invite all the women and children to our social room for a cup (or two, or three) of cocoa. For them it is a grand event. Most of them have not tasted anything with sugar in it for three years, and one often finds five-year-old children who have never seen chocolate, add have some hesitate about putting into their mouths the brown stuff we offer them. The news about this cocoa has reached Moskow. 'Someone in Moskow got a letter from here which told that in Riga everyone got real cocoa to drink,' one of the women told me, 'but of course we didn't believe it'. Russian women usually wear head-kerchiefs, but if you will notice carefully, many of these have their hair short: it has to be clipped in any town where there is a typhus epidemic. The gramophone with Russian music always makes a hit, altho it sometimes proves almost too affecting for some of these poor folks embarking on the first journey many of them have ever had outside of their own little peasant villages. The one lone man in the foreground of this photo came to me [presumably Donald Lowrie] just as we were starting to serve the women, and explained that his wife had died on the journey, and asked if he couldn't bring his baby for some cocoa."
Found in RS: 15/35/53, Box 2, Folder Riga-Stettin YMCA work for Central Empires, POW May-June 1921, Image V
YMCA International Committee
YMCA Russian Service in Europe
YMCA War Prisoners Aid
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)