Displaced Persons

Wooden sign at the camp entrance, 1951.

The administration of the camp was taken over by German public authorities at the end of 1951. Starting in 1956, expelled Germans were transferred to the premisses, where they lived side by side with the other DPs.

Source: Stadtarchiv Wolfratshausen

View of Roosevelt-Platz, 1956.

In 1945, the streets in the camp were renamed. Adolf-Hitler-Platz was now called Roosevelt-Platz. After 1956 the names were changed once again. The square was now called “Seminarplatz.”

Source: Stadtarchiv Wolfratshausen

Cafeteria, not dated.

The supply of the DP camps with food was the source of never-ending complaints from the German population. From their point of view, the aid given to the DP camps was excessive.

Source: Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte, Augsburg

The soccer teams of the DP camps Landsberg and Föhrenwald, 1949.

Sporting events were an important part of daily life in the DP camps. Starting in 1947, the Jewish DP camps even had their own soccer league.

Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington

Members of the UNRRA Team, 1947.

Each UNRRA Team was in charge of one DP camp. Their main task was to help organize people’s return home or emigration. In 1947, operations were taken over by the International Refugee Organization (IRO).

Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington

Poster of the Maccabi soccer team of the Föhrenwald DP Camp, 1947.

There were 80 Jewish soccer teams in the DP camps, which played in two leagues from 1947. Maccabi Föhrenwald played in the South league (Yiddish: Dorem-Lige) and took fourth place in the first season.

Source: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington

DP camps under UNRRA administration, May 1946.

Until mid-1947, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) managed the DP camps. Afterward they were taken over by the International Refugee Organization (IRO), which attempted to help the approximately 500,000 people still living in the camps to emigrate or to settle in Germany.

Source: Archive of the International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen

Staff of the Red Cross International Tracing Service at a Name Index, ca. 1960.

In 1948, the Red Cross International Tracing Service took over the task of helping with the search for missing or dead family and friends. The most important aid in this task was the “Central Name Index,“ which contained information on some 17.5 million individuals, including several million former forced laborers.

Source: Archive of the International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen

Displaced Persons

The Western Allied occupation powers put those of the former forced laborers who remained in Germany – among them a substantial number of Jews – into “displaced persons” camps, where many waited for a chance to emigrate. Others hoped to succeed in making new lives for themselves in Germany.

It was frequently in former concentration or forced labor camps that “displaced persons” waited for permission to immigrate to the U.S., Canada, Australia or Palestine (and later the newly founded State of Israel). Those who wanted to stay in Germany were regarded by the locals with suspicion. They were viewed as troublesome paupers making unjustified claims.