|"The Jews suddenly faced themselves....They saw that they were different from all other inmates of the camp. For them things were not so simple. To go back to Poland? To Hungary? To streets empty of Jews, towns empty of Jews, a world without Jews. To wander in those lands, lonely, homeless, always the tragedy before one's eyes...and to meet again a Gentile neighbor who would open his eyes wide and smile, remarking with double meaning 'What, Yankel! You're still alive.'" Meyer Levin, Author, June 1946
Fresh bread for the first time in years, Bergen-Belsen D.T. camp, 1945. CL:World Federation, Bergen-Belson Survivors
By the end of the war there were 10 million "D.P.'s," displaced persons. The roads of Europe were clogged with these homeless, who were attempting to reestablish shattered lives. The United Nations and Allied armies established camps for these D.P.'s. By 1946, over 2QO,OOO Jewish survivors were also placed in these camps. Many were not, or could not, return home.
Post-war D.P. camps were models of bureaucratic rigidity, confusion, and Allied bickering. Food, clothing and medical supplies were in short supply, and thus for many survivors, their war-time suffering continued. Noteworthy, however, were the efforts of Army chaplains and the Jewish Brigade (Palestinian Jews serving in the British Army) who organized food shipments, hospital treatment and political action to solve the D.P. problems.
"Liberated but not free--that is the paradox of the Jew. In the concentration camp. his whole being was consumed with the hope of salvation. That hope was his life, for that he was willing to suffer. Saved. his hope evanesces for no new source of hope has been given him. Suffering continues to be his badge." Rabbi Abraham Klausner, U.S. Army Chaplain, June 1946.
Orthodox Jews in D.P. camp, Hallein, Salzburg, 1953. CL:Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Salzburg
Survivors carrying soup, Bergen-Belsen D.P. camp, 1946. CL:World Federation Bergen-Belsen Survivors
"The war broke our lives in 1939. and now. seven years later, the war is still not over for us alone. How long, oh Lord, how long." Jewish survivor, "Why the DP's Can't Wait," Commentary, Jan. 1947
In a D.P. camp in Austria. CL:SWC
Child being sprayed with DDT at Rothschilde Hospital, Vienna, 1946. CL:U.S. Army Siqnal Corps