Camps for Displaced Persons After the End of World War II

In the years after the end of World War II, there were many camps for displaced persons. The reason for their occurrence is that the liberated people had nowhere to return, or it was challenging to do. At first, representatives of various nationalities lived there, but later, the Jews were transferred to separate camps. Several main aspects of life determined their activity. First, it was necessary to establish everyday life – for example, schools and other educational classes were organized, people celebrated holidays. Second, people in the camps made it possible to find families and friends again. It was rarely possible to establish a connection with relatives, but many young families were created. Third, the Jews in the camps significantly influenced Zionism by expressing a desire and preparing to move to Palestine. Finally, their emigration to new homes became a problem for world countries, which they solved for a long time. Nevertheless, by 1952 almost all camps were closed and people moved to new homes.

Quotes:

  • “More than anything else, though, the vitality of the refugees was expressed in their intense desire for human relationships. Most of them found themselves entirely alone, having lost their parents, spouses, children and siblings during the Holocaust.” (“Displaced persons camps,” n.d.). – About weddings and finding families in camps.
  • “Zionism (the movement to return to the Jewish homeland in what was then British-controlled Palestine) was perhaps the most incendiary question of the Jewish DP era. In increasing numbers from 1945–48, Jewish survivors, their nationalism heightened by lack of autonomy in the camps and having few destinations available, chose British-controlled Palestine as their most desired destination.” (Holocaust (“Displaced persons,” n.d.)

Photos:

References

(n.d.). United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

(n.d.). Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

Faithfull, A., & Blagojevic, P. (n.d.) Displaced persons camps in Post-World War II Germany. Museums Victoria. Web.

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