Everything Possible: JDC and the Children of the DP Camps, featuring historic photographs from the JDC Archives, focuses on JDC's significant efforts on behalf of children in the displaced persons camps established by the Allied Armed Forces after World War II. JDC was permitted to enter the camps to supplement minimal provisions with critical nutritional, medical, educational, and religious services for survivors.
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated by the British in April 1945. One of the first acts survivors took was to erect a memorial: "In memoriam to the 30,000 Jewish victims of war and starvation who fell during the regime of the German tyrants and the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen." Joseph Rosensaft, chairman of the camp’s Central Jewish Committee of Liberated Jews, later noted that JDC’s representatives were the first to visit from the outside world, and that its staff brought survivors "warmth and encouragement from America." Germany, c. 1945.
Those who made it through the devastations of the Holocaust found themselves at the end of the war with nothing to live on and no place to go. Refugees with newly provided clothes lined up for counting at a displaced persons camp. Germany, c. 1945.
An urgent cable from JDC's representative in Switzerland, Saly Mayer, received on June 14, 1945 shortly after the liberation, conveys the desperate conditions facing displaced persons and the challenges for those seeking to help them. AR45-54, File 323. View this document as a PDF
President Truman's Special Envoy Earl Harrison (right) came to Germany in the summer of 1945 to inspect conditions in the U.S.-administered displaced persons camps. He invited Dr. Joseph Schwartz (left), JDC's Director of Overseas Operations, to accompany him. Harrison's subsequent report led to significant improvements and separate camps for Jews. Germany, c. 1945.
By September 1945, JDC had been given official sanction to aid in the DP camps, and its teams had begun to arrive. In Bamberg, JDC’s headquarters were noted on the U.S. Army camp sign. Germany, c. 1946, Al Taylor.
JDC often served as mediator between Jews in the camps, the U.S. Army staff, and UNRRA in efforts to achieve more livable conditions. Jews in Linz were living in two camps so unsafe that the U.S. Army planned to shut them down. After some difficult negotiations, the Bindermichl housing project was made available. Originally built for workers in the Herman Goering factory, and converted by the U.S. Army, it became one of the most habitable DP camps. Austria, c. 1945, Sgt. Lloyd C. Hawkins, U.S. Forces.
JDC gradually opened field offices, such as this one in Linz, which had the greatest concentration of displaced persons at that time. Newly trained staff provided help with placement in the camps, tracing loved ones, and other urgent matters. For a young child, waiting in an office was one more step in an exhausting journey. Austria, c. 1945.
The care of orphaned children became a top priority for JDC. These Polish orphans came via Czechoslovakia to a transient camp in Vienna. After their immediate need for rest, food, clothing, and medical attention was addressed, orphans were sent to JDC children’s homes in France, Switzerland, England, and other countries when possible. Others were placed in separate children’s sections of the DP camps. Austria, c. 1946.
Children in the DP camps soon included those born in hiding. This little girl and her father, a Czech partisan, were reunited after the Liberation and joined a "kibbutz" within the Foehrenwald camp. Germany, c. 1947.
During the war, this man and his wife fought as partisans in the woods of Poland. At Bad Reichenhall camp in the Bavarian Alps, he was interviewed by JDC's chief nurse for Germany's U.S. Zone. Germany, c. 1947, Al Taylor.
For a time, 2,000 refugees, many of them children, arrived in Austria daily from Poland, Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia. UNRRA administered to all, but the transient camps, with their larger populations, depended more on JDC support. Austria, c. 1947, Walter Limot.
Two refugees born in flight from Poland were held by their proud fathers in Vienna. At all stages of their journey, they received JDC assistance. Their well-being would be looked after in the more stable environment of a "permanent" camp, with supplementary food, medical and child care services provided by JDC. Austria, c. 1946.
JDC established its Austrian headquarters in the U.S. Zone of Salzburg. From there, it ministered to the needs of those residing in the camps as well as those seeking access. The transient camp Mulln was opened in response to the accommodation crisis in late 1945. In the Mulln dining hall, JDC Regional Director James Rice (at left) and resident camp leaders welcomed a sea of newcomers. Austria, c. 1946.
In Vienna, too, a seemingly endless flood of Jewish survivors from Poland, then Romania, streamed in from Eastern Europe, overloading the established camps. JDC helped transform the dilapidated Rothschild Hospital into a makeshift camp and lobbied UNRRA to absorb it into the DP camp network. Normally housing 600, every inch of space was used to make room for the thousands of refugees heading towards the more permanent camps in Austria or Germany. Austria, c. 1947.
When there was no more room left inside the Rothschild Hospital, wooden pallets placed on the ground outside served as makeshift beds. This child slept soundly despite the chaos. Austria, c. 1946.
At Mulln camp, in the U.S. Zone of Salzburg, children on their own received special attention from JDC. Clothing was in short supply as cold weather approached; many wore altered army uniforms. Austria, c. 1946.
Separate units for children were established in a number of camps, such as this children's home in Riedenburg. The camp initially housed around 400 Jewish displaced persons and was closed by winter 1945. It reopened the following summer (1946) to accommodate more than four times that number, mostly refugees from Poland who entered the occupied zone through Salzburg. Austria, c. 1946.
A few peaceful moments were valuable to this 17-year old Polish girl. Her parents were killed by the Nazis after years of near starvation in the woods. After the war, she and her sister spent four months recuperating in a JDC convalescent center, and then ended up at DP camps in separate countries. Germany, c. 1947.
These children escaped during the “liquidation” of the Radom ghetto after their parents were killed. A friendly Ukrainian family took them in. But the eldest boy was caught by Germans and transferred from one concentration camp to another. At the time of liberation, he weighed less than 80 pounds. JDC's Tracing Bureau located his sisters and brother in the Feldafing camp. They were later sent to the International Children's Center at Prien, until the youngest girl could grow well enough to pass the emigration physical. JDC would then help with visas and transportation to the U.S. Germany, c. 1947.
The bulletin board at Babenhausen camp, near Darmstadt was a favorite gathering point for Jewish refugees from Poland seeking to be reunited with friends and family as they continued to arrive in the U.S. Zone. Germany, c. 1946, Al Taylor.
For a people nearly wiped out, children were an even greater gift than under normal circumstances. A young mother proudly shows off her baby at the Bet Bialik camp. Austria, c. 1948.
This baby's birth in 1945 was the first one among the 250 non-Italian Jews in Italy. Refugees from Austria, Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia had started to arrive in camps there. The bris (circumcision ceremony) took place at Cinecittá, in Rome, the center for DP camps in Italy. A mohel presided while Reuben B. Resnik, JDC’s Country Director at the time, held the baby. Italy, c. 1945.
A new generation of healthy, happy children was born in the camps. Their presence cheered and inspired the whole community. Germany, c. 1949.
This five-day old was born in Pocking camp in 1947. By then, it had become the second largest in Germany, with over 7,600 residents. JDC-supported maternity wards were established to address the population explosion in the camps. Germany, c. 1947.
In early 1946, there were no children between one and five among the demoralized population in the Landsberg camp. By 1948, the birthrate in the camps had grown to one of the highest worldwide. Landsberg displaced persons were trained to build carriages for the new babies on the former site of an SS headquarters. Germany, c. 1948.
In 1947-48, some 665 babies were born each month to Jewish mothers in German DP camps in the U.S. Zone, one of the highest rates in the world. This JDC nurse looked after infants in the nursery of a Munich DP camp. Germany, c. 1947.
This baby slept peacefully at the displaced persons pre-natal care center maintained by JDC in Uelzen (near Bergen-Belsen). Just one year before this infant’s birth, Uelzen had been the site of a concentration camp. Germany, c. 1946.
To ensure well-baby care for camp residents, JDC set up clinics staffed by doctors and nurses from the U.S. or from within the camps. These infants received thorough examinations at Bad Reichenhall camp. Germany, c. 1948.
Shoes were a priority item for growing feet. A young Polish girl outside the warehouse for the Duppel Center shows off her new shoes to Eli Rock, Chief of JDC Operations in Berlin. All JDC staff wore U.S. Army uniforms to make access to the camps possible. Germany, c. 1946, Al Taylor.
A resident at Neu Freiman carries his allotment of new clothes from a JDC shipment of SOS supplies. Germany, c. 1948.
Bags of coffee and flour, headed for the displaced persons camps in Germany, were loaded onto a JDC-requisitioned barge in Paris. France, c. 1950, Al Taylor.
Military authorities supplied JDC with gasoline, but it had to purchase its own fleet of trucks. This truck brought food from Rome to camps in Milan. Italy, c. 1945-46.
A young girl received a food package from a JDC representative. The contents of bundled supplies were written on the blackboard. Austria, c. 1946.
JDC sent boxes of "Babs" homogenized evaporated (concentrated) milk from New York for children in Italian camps. Italy, c. 1946.
Romanian Jewish refugees at the Rothschild Hospital in Vienna welcomed fresh bread. Austria, c. 1947, Gerry Holme.
During the war, Babenhausen was a crude barracks used to hold prisoners. The first Jews arriving there, in late September 1946, still faced deplorable conditions. JDC representatives met them with supplementary food and clothing and immediately began efforts to obtain better lodgings for the winter, especially for families with small children. By the time this Polish mother and her children arrived, a substantial community with several schools had been established. Germany, c. 1947.
As the IRO placed caps on the number of refugees accepted into Italian camps, JDC provided shelter, provisions, schools and medical care for those beyond the quota. At the Chiari camp in Milan, established for unregistered Jewish infiltrees, 10,000 arrived in the first half of 1947. Although the movement of hopefuls boarding ships for Palestine led to a relatively fast turnover of residents, more kept coming. In 1948, Chiari's kitchen turned out 1600 meals, three times a day. Italy, c. 1948.
JDC supply officers and drivers with the fleet of trucks in Schleissheim, near Munich. The former airplane hangar served as one of JDC's 68 warehouses where supplies from overseas were stored before distribution to the camps. Hundreds of thousands of tons of food, clothing, and amenities were distributed every month to camp residents to supplement their basic rations. Germany, c. 1946.
A special feeding program for children at the Riedenburg camp depended on JDC supplies of milk, chocolate, and other nutritious foods to build up the quality and size of meals beyond IRO rations. Germany, c. 1948.
Even as some camps closed, many displaced persons remained. JDC's supplemental rations became more essential as dwindling funds led to large cutbacks in IRO support. This girl and her mother waited to depart for the U.S. Austria, c. 1949.
The JDC doctor at the Kloster Indersdorf Children's Center looked after Jewish orphans and slave labor camp survivors. The facility was located in a 700-year-old Catholic monastery near Munich. Germany, c. 1947-48, Al Taylor.
Nurse Rebecca Lyons checked on children at the JDC-sponsored nutrition center in Esslingen. Germany, c. 1948.
Izak Smolowitz created a JDC school for stammerers at Geretsried camp in Munich. He achieved good results by drilling students in a metronomic speech pattern. A JDC medical consultant observed the class. Germany, c. 1948.
Jews were uncomfortable with German doctors examining them. Many camps, such as Foehrenwald, had their own hospital. Germany, c. early 1950s.
Displaced children, like this little girl at Hochland camp, were restored to health in part by time spent outdoors. Germany, c. 1949.
At a JDC-sponsored medical dispensary in Munich, children were inoculated against contagious diseases--a vital part of the health program. Germany, c. 1949.
This young girl had her height measured in Munich, as part of a comprehensive program of health exams by JDC for 230,000 Jews living in European camps at the time. Germany, c. 1948.
Feldafing camp had once housed Hitler Youth. By the time the first JDC relief team arrived, there were 6,000 people in a camp meant for 2,000. JDC immediately initiated a medical program, and by fall, a hospital was in place. JDC provided a supervising physician and 1,000 beds. As more and more children came to live at Feldafing, a JDC-sponsored summer camp became a feature. Germany, c. 1948.
Sports activities enhanced children's lives. Soccer gave youngsters at Foehrenwald the chance to test their prowess. Germany, c.mid-1950s.
Girls practiced gymnastics at the Duppel Center (aka Schlachtensee) in Berlin as part of the JDC-sponsored athletics program for young people in the camps. Germany, c. 1948.
This sister and brother were among the 50 children from the Berlin DP camps sent for a three-month JDC-sponsored vacation in Switzerland. Henry L. Levy, Director of the Berlin office, was the driving force behind this physical and mental rehabilitation project. Germany, c. 1947.
The participants in JDC's summer program named their vacation spot Jointland for its sponsor. Sports Director Leon Korb rowed a group at Jointland summer camp gently down the stream. Germany, c. 1947.
In one of the many competitive sports activities at Jointland, these children participate in a race. JDC established ten summer programs for displaced children in the camps of the U.S. Zone; 800 participated in 1947. Similar programs were run in Austria and Italy as well. Germany, c. 1947.
Bet Bialik, a former concentration camp renamed for a beloved Hebrew poet, was one of the centers established by the U.S. Army and UNRRA in the summer of 1946 to house the overflow of thousands of Polish Jews pouring into Salzburg. It immediately became overcrowded, too. Austria, c. 1948.
Muddy, dusty “streets” were a common sight in camps like Bet Bialik. Austria, c. 1947.
In the cramped, sparse living quarters of Riedenburg camp, an empty crate served as the table. Austria, c. 1947.
Once immigration to Israel opened up, camps in Austria started closing. Hallein, a former forced labor camp, became the Austrian collection point for those remaining, a vast majority of them Hungarian Jews. Space in the camp remained tight: one ramshackle section of a plywood barracks served as the laundry, washroom, kitchen, playroom, and dining room for this family. Austria, c. 1951-53, Jan Breit.Â
Camps with no weatherproofing were dangerously cold, especially in Germany and Austria, but travel in winter was even riskier. Most camp residents stayed put. Foehrenwald, Germany, c. early 1950s.
This Jewish family in a Munich camp crowded around a stove--their single source of heat--for protection against the cold seeping through the thin walls of their cubicle. Germany, c. 1948.
As the first Director-General of UNRRA, Herbert H. Lehman, wrote in 1945, “The only way to have avoided mistakes would have been to make the greater mistake of doing nothing.” Still involved later, as a JDC Vice-Chairman, he visited Jewish children and their parents at Jaeger Kaserne on a JDC tour of DP camps to evaluate services and programs. Germany, c. 1949.
In the washroom of the Bindermichl camp, refugee children had an opportunity to learn the basics of good hygiene. Austria, c. 1945, Sgt . Lloyd C. Hawkins, U.S. Forces.
This 2-year-old girl, born in the Aschau camp, brushed her teeth with a toothbrush supplied by JDC. Germany, c. 1951, Jerome Silberstein.
At the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in the British Zone, children received supplementary food rations and clothing from JDC. It also established a nursery and a kindergarten, enabling parents to join work projects or learn new trades. Outdoor exercise was part of the early morning routine. Germany, c. 1947.
Looking after living things, a luxury during war time, made life in Foehrenwald a bit more natural and pleasurable for this young camp resident. Germany, c. early 1950’s.
A JDC worker visited residents at the Duppel Center. By the fall of 1946, over 5,100 people were living there, including 959 children, making it the largest DP camp in the Berlin district. As supplies and services stabilized, residents experienced a flourishing community with schools, a synagogue, hospital, library, sports club, newspaper, and theatre group. This life was upended in the summer of 1948, when the Soviet blockade of Berlin was followed by emergency airlifts to camps in western Germany, c. 1946.
Crowding into a JDC jeep was more fun for these youngsters in the French sector of Berlin than living in the crowded conditions of Wittenau. At JDC's intercession, French authorities had turned a block of apartment houses into this camp for Polish infiltrees. By the summer of 1946, as the population grew to 2,400 residents, UNRRA agreed to take it over. Germany, c. 1946.
Home in a DP camp usually meant living among thousands in close quarters. At Bet Bialik, eight residents shared a 12'x16' cubicle. But a small child could still find space to play. Germany, c. 1947.
Dolls and toys had special value for children who had endured much in their short lives. This Lithuanian girl was forcibly separated from her parents during the war, and lived with a non-Jewish family in a nearby village. Her mother was killed, but her father survived in a forced labor camp. After the liberation, they were reunited and came to Feldafing camp. Germany, c. 1947.
Camp residents founded an elementary school at the Bergen-Belsen camp as early as July 1945; 340 pupils attended by 1948. In the beginning, paper, pencils, chalk and blackboards were lacking in all the camps. JDC alleviated these shortages. Germany, c. 1948.
Children returning from school at Berlin's Duppel Center. Most of the teachers were residents themselves. Germany, c. 1946, Al Taylor.
Students at this camp attended school six days a week. The curriculum included Hebrew, Jewish history, the history of Palestine, world history, English, arithmetic, geography, anthropology, drawing, music, and physical education. Germany, c. mid-1950's.
The Riedenburg camp school in the Salzburg District was largely run by JDC. Austria, c. 1947-48.
As the number of children grew, education became a chief concern for JDC. Kindergartens, like this one in the Saint Marein camp in the British Zone, received JDC support. Austria, c. 1948.
Despite early obstacles, an extensive education system was developed at the Landsberg camp, extending from pre-school through college. A Landsberg kindergarten teacher and two of her pupils. Germany, c. 1946, Ira Kalb.
These young girls took needlework courses in the Theodore Herzl camp. Materials for these courses were supplied by JDC, which also furnished supplementary food and clothing. Austria, c. 1947-48, Jan Breit.
This Orthodox Jewish boy was one of 13,000 students attending schools organized and supported by JDC in the DP camps in Germany and Austria. Germany, c. 1947.
A prominent American Jewish leader from Chicago, Robert C. Klein, visited the Munich Hebrew Gymnasium (secondary school). This school was the largest educational institution supported by JDC. Germany, c. 1948.
A young student in the JDC-supported Rivoli camp school. Located near the border, the camp was constantly over-populated, housing at times almost 2,000 people. It had a vibrant youth culture, a sports team, a library, and a school with 45 students and two teachers in late 1946. Italy, c. 1947.
A group of young people learn to transplant seedlings. JDC-sponsored training classes at Bergen-Belsen included auto mechanics, dressmaking, design and blacksmithing. Germany, c. 1946.
There were still 500 children attending school at Foehrenwald in 1953, when JDC transferred its management to the camp's German administrators. Germany, c. 1953, Jerome Silberstein.
In the seaside town of Ostia, raising the Jewish flag stirred emotion among displaced persons. JDC assisted them with a maritime program and training center—one of 73 "hachsharot" in Italy by 1947. The hachshara settlements provided vocational and agricultural training for prospective emigrants to Palestine. The positive emphasis on Jewish heritage and on cooperative living also helped prepare young displaced persons for their new lives. Italy, c. 1945.
At Hochland camp, near Munich, these children celebrated Lag B'Omer with the flag of the State of Israel. After statehood was attained, a huge wave of remaining displaced persons settled in the Jewish homeland with the help of JDC's Emigration Service. By the summer of 1949, only 12 Jewish camps remained in Germany's U.S. Zone. Germany, c. 1949, Al Taylor.
Children received religious instruction at Kobenz, one of five camps in the British Zone collectively known as Judenberg. Austria, c. 1947-48.
Orthodox Jews established yeshivas in many DP camps, including Pocking, near Munich. JDC provided supplementary food grants to students in Germany and supplied them with school supplies, textbooks, literature and religious publications in both Yiddish and Hebrew. Germany, c. 1947-48.
These young boys received religious instruction at the yeshiva in Wels camp. Rabbis and teachers instructing the Jewish youngsters received special compensation from JDC. Austria, c. 1948.
Students in Riedenburg camp's Hebrew School studied the "Shema" prayer, Austria, c. 1947, Jan Breit.
Shipments of Passover matzah were sent to JDC warehouses, such as this one in Schleissheim, for distribution to Jewish displaced persons throughout the U.S.-Occupied Zone. Germany, c. 1947-48, Al Taylor.
JDC organized the baking of matzah in Bavaria and then shipped it to Berlin for displaced persons. It also supplied shmurah flour for the Orthodox community in the camps. Jewish Chaplain Captain J. Robbins watched the baking of the shmurah matzah with a young resident of the Mariendorf camp. This took place at an especially volatile time. Within a couple of months after Passover, the Soviets had blockaded the city, and U.S. planes evacuated camp residents from Berlin to the U.S. Zone of Germany. Germany, c. 1948, Alois Bankhardt.
A camp representative in Foehrenwald carries his group's allotment of special Purim items and chocolate for the children from the local JDC warehouse. Germany, c. 1948, Al Taylor.
Foehrenwald was one of the centers of Orthodox Judaism among the camps. This child performed a Chassidic dance there during a production of the play "Bat Yiftah.” Germany, c. 1950.
This historic silent footage from "Passover 1947 Vienna," shows JDC's extensive operation to ship and prepare provisions for celebration in post-war Vienna. It includes shots of individuals lined up for holiday supplies, and from community Seders. The first, held for displaced persons at the Rothschild Transit Camp, was led by Chief-Rabbi Ernst Israel. The second, a Seder for 700 Jewish survivors living in Vienna, was conducted by Rabbi Isidor Oehler.
Was this youngster from the Wetzlar camp yeshiva delivering a Talmudic discourse, or asking the Passover questions? Wetzlar opened in the fall of 1946, and within six months, it had a large elementary school of 450 students, two talmud torahs (religious elementary schools), two yeshivas, and a kindergarten. Germany, c. 1946-48.
Fascinated children watch the entertainment during the Purim Festival at Wittenau, the only Jewish camp for displaced persons in the French Sector of Berlin. Germany, c. 1946.
At the JDC-supported children's nutrition center in Bad Nauheim, children entertained guests and residents at a Chanukah party, one of 300 sponsored by JDC for over 15,000 Jewish children at camps in the U.S. and British Zones of Germany and U.S. sector of Berlin. Germany, c. 1947-48.
Holidays gave children a happy taste of Jewish culture and religious tradition. For most, it was their first holiday experience; for others, having lived as captives, in hiding or on the move, there had been no celebrations. A children's Chanukah party at Porta Nuova camp near Turin. Italy, c. 1948.
Children, mostly orphans from children's centers in the U.S. Zone, danced at Funk Kaserne in Munich. JDC paid for their passage to Marseilles, and then Haifa. Germany, c. April 1946, Wlad Groman, UNRRA.
These Jewish displaced children, many of them survivors of concentration camps, were sent to Palestine by ship from Naples. Italy functioned as a major departure point for both legal and illegal immigration. Italy, c. 1945, Wagers, Signal Photo Platoon.
The S.S. Marine Flasher was the first ship to transport Jewish displaced persons to the United States. In addition to travel costs, JDC provided entry assistance, kosher food and other necessities. One of the youngest among 450 passengers aided by JDC, a baby girl carried on board in her new carriage leaves Bremerhaven for New York. Germany, c. 1946.
From prison ships to barred trains, Exodus passengers, even children, resisted their confinement. Rough handling, reduced rations and confinement were some of the methods the British military employed to set a discouraging example for others attempting illegal entry into Palestine. Public attention to the capture had an impact on U.N. deliberations at that time regarding Palestine. Germany, c. 1947, Ursula Litzmann.
The prisoners, including children, were brought in mid-September to hastily repurposed British camps near Lubeck. These had been temporarily turned into detention centers with barbed wire, flood-lit watchtowers and armed guards. Poppendorf had iron-roofed Nissen huts, for up to 130 people, and tents. All 2,700 residents shared five washrooms and undivided lavatories open to the elements. In Am Stau's wooden barracks, they slept 16 to a room on straw-filled potato sack mattresses. Neither camp had heat. As winter approached, both became unlivable; residents were moved to the more habitable camps of Emeden and Sengwarden. Germany, c. 1947, Ursula Litzmann.
JDC cocoa was a welcome addition to the poor diet supplied by the British, at one point as little as 1,500 calories per day. Once given entry, JDC supplemented the calories and nutritional quality of food in the detention camps, with kosher canned meat, milk and fresh vegetables. JDC brought in medical supplies, warm clothing, and 3,000 pair of shoes for the children. As elsewhere, JDC also sponsored schools, religion classes and recreation programs. Germany, c. 1947, Ursula Litzmann.
Dolls brightened the lives of young detainees in a British detention camp housing passengers from the Exodus. The dolls were made in JDC-sponsored work programs in other camps. Germany, c. 1947, Ursula Litzmann.
Some 12,000 passed through the Marseilles staging area each month. All stages of the trip were financed by JDC. These new arrivals waited near their train in Marseilles after a long trip from Germany. A JDC transport took them next to a transit camp for further waiting, until they boarded a ship for Israel. France, c. 1949, Herbert Steinhouse.
At the Neu Freiman camp near Munich, a JDC-sponsored dental exam was one of the first steps on this child's passage to Israel. Germany, c. 1949.
Siblings dressed in new clothes provided by JDC before leaving Neu Freiman for the train from Munich to Marseilles, and then, a ship to Israel. Germany, c. 1949.
These sisters waited to board the S.S. Marine Shark, a refurbished army transport boat used to bring survivors to the U.S. after immigration laws were adjusted to let in more displaced persons. Germany, c. 1949, H. Michenfelder.
Jewish survivors board a ship at Bremerhaven leaving for the U.S. The JDC Emigration Service furnished emigrants with clothing, luggage, pocket money, and children's toys. Germany, c. 1949, Al Taylor.
A young child sits among her family's baggage at the Funk Kaserne in Munich, as Jewish displaced persons leave for Bremerhaven to embark for the U.S. Germany, c. 1949, Al Taylor.
A JDC volunteer worker gives a farewell kiss to one of the children leaving Bergen-Belsen camp. She would most likely have been headed for one of three destinations--Israel, the U.S., or Canada. Germany, c. 1948.
These hopeful travelers were among 250 from displaced persons camps in Germany and Austria brought to Marseilles by JDC. It financed their stay in France and their portage to South America. France, c. 1947.
This toddler's family was part of a group of Czech concentration camp survivors headed to new homes in Australia. A failed transport ship left them stranded in Rome. JDC's Emigration Service staff worked out all the ensuing difficulties and sent them on their way. Some 25,000 displaced persons settled in Australia with JDC's help. Italy, c. 1948.
Some families remained in Foehrenwald longer because of health issues. This boy and his family immigrated to Norway with the assistance of JDC. Germany, c. 1952-53.
Foehrenwald had been one of the best-run. It became the last to close, functioning until 1957 as a home for those with no place to go. JDC maintained a presence there until 1954, helping residents financially until the end, but camp oversight was transferred to the German government by the end of 1951. Germany, c. 1951, Al Taylor.
Displaced persons, brought safely through great hardship and long waiting, took up their journey again after years in limbo. This time the transport train and ship would take them to their new lives in Israel. Germany, c. 1949.