Flight into France from Germany at war's end. CL:Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
The first air-transport of Jewish D.P.'s from Austria to Israel. CL:Bildarchiv Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek
"I consider it almost the task of my life to rebuild the house in which my father and my mother--may they rest in peace--have stood, the house in which I was confirmed the house in which my sister and brothers worshipped for decades. And to rebuild it again as it was. I consider it my life work to rebuild this house for the sake of the dead, for those who shall not return anymore. and for those who were able to leave this country in time, so the word of God may spread all over the world." Jack Matzner, Survivor, I Did Not Interview the Dead, 1949
D.P.'s arrive at entrance to the HIAS shelter, New York, 1949. CL:HIAS
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly, by an overwhelming majority, recommended the partition of Palestine. And on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was born. Arab opposition resulted in the Israeli War for Independence. 6,500 Israeli Jews died before an armistice ended the war in early 1949. By 1951, more than half of the Jewish "D.P.'s" had emigrated to the new State of Israel.
Denied admission to the land of Israel by British, survivors are sent to Cyprus concentration camps. CL:Massada Press Ltd., Israel
"People like me don't need houses. We lost more than houses. We lost more than families--we lost belief in humanity, in friendship. in justice, and without these, I could not begin anew." Simon Wiesenthal, 1945.
Individually, survivors of the Holocaust had to rebuild their lives and also rediscover their very reason for living; so much was gone, missing and shattered by the Holocaust. Culturally, the Jewish people had lost a vital part of their heritage. The elders and rabbis, the culmination of thousands of years of tradition, were gone. And the youth, the inheritors, were also gone. While two out of ever three European Jews had been murdered, children and the elderly were especially vulnerable and few had survived.
The American and Israeli Jewish communiies became the choice, hope and future for most survivors.
Undocumented immigrants to the land of Israel
on board the "Exodus." 1947. CL:BPK