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Displaced Person (Refugee/Resettlement) Camps

Definition:
  "While planning for the postwar refugee crisis, the Allies coined the term displaced persons
  to identify the uprooted people who were eligible for Allied care."

History:
  "Following the defeat of Nazi Germany in the spring of 1945, there were as many as seven
  million uprooted and homeless people classified as displaced persons (DPs). In the chaotic
  six-month period after the war, six million non-Jewish DPs, who had been deported to Germany
  as forced laborers for the Nazis, wandered through Germany and Central Europe..."

Kidnappings:
  "Initiated as early as 1940, a number of Nazi agencies became responsible for the selection
  of children in occupied countries whom they thought could be 'Germanized' by placing them in
  German homes. In Poland, over 200,000 children were kidnapped, these children were simply
  kidnapped from their homes or torn from the arms of their mothers on the street, their only
  crime being that they had fair hair, blue eyes, or they just 'looked Aryan'. Between 40 and
  50 thousand children were kidnapped in Russia, and in the Hungarian Ukraine, another 50,000
  were kidnapped. Children under six years of age were adopted out to German families who were
  told that their parents were killed in air raids. Children from seven to twelve were placed in
  special institutions such as State Boarding Schools, Reich Schools, in Napolas Schools (Nazi
  Political Schools) or put in the B.D.M. (League of German Girls). Children who failed to pass
  the selection tests were simply put on trains leaving for Kalisz or Auschwitz, to disappear
  without trace. After the war, the International Refugee Organization, searched for these
  children who were put up for adoption. Only between 15 to 20 percent (about 25,000) were
  traced and returned to their original families."

Misc Info:
  These camps were not the same as the prisioner of war (POW) or concentration death camps.

  They were administered by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)
  then in 1947 by the International Refugee Organization (IRO).

  The IRO terminated its work in 1952, having resettled c.1,000,000 persons. It was superseded
  by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

  The Red Cross has a free(?) tracing service (see links below).

Additional resources on the web...


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08/2002 M.A.Leonard, Last Update-09/03/2007