Although World War I was being fought in Europe, people in America were directly affected by it too. The U.S. sent soldiers and support personnel overseas and many lost their lives. Soldiers’ families back home had to find work to support themselves, and people had to ration goods that were needed for the war effort. Most Salvatorians in the U.S. had come from Europe. They found it difficult to get news from family members and fellow Salvatorians back in their homelands. In Europe, German-born Salvatorians, including Father Francis Jordan had to find neutral places to live, or risk being drawn into the war.
These WWI photos come from a collection from Father Ralph Fontaine, SDS. He had served in Salvatorian missions in India until all German missionaries were forced to leave the country after the war began. Many photos from that era were ordered destroyed when Hitler rose to power in the 1930s. Only photos taken out of Germany before that time survived — including Fr. Ralph’s. His photo album came to the Society of the Divine Savior Archives after he died in 1943.