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Information bulletin
No. 131 (March 23, 1948)

Displaced persons,   pp. [3]-4 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 4

lands for fear of persecution because
of race, religion, nationality  or
political opinions.
QNE OF THE major categories
_ receiving DP care is the Jewish
group. There are from 10,000 to 15,000
former concentration camp victims
remaining in United Nations dis-
placed persons assembly centers. In
addition, more than 100,000 came to
Germany during 1946. Most of these
were Polish Jews who had left Poland
for a variety of reasons-the loss of
homes, business, and relatives during
the war; the increased anti-semitism
encountered after the long Nazi oc-
cupation of their country; and the
tremendous surge of the Zionist
movement toward Palestine.
As early as 1943, Supreme Head-
quarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces,
was planning for the care of persons
after the liberation. Before the ces-
sation of hostilities, the assembly,
care, and maintenance of DP's became
the mission of whole tactical units.
Providing the basic needs of shelter,
food, and clothing for millions of
liberated persons required energetic
organization and planning.
Simultaneously with the redeploy-
ment of the bulk of the US Army,
the United Nations Relief and Re-
habilitation Administration (UNRRA)
assumed the functions of operating
assembly centers, directing activities
of voluntary agencies, operating a
tracing bureau, and initiating arrange-
ments for the repatriation of DP's.
The Army retained the respon-
sibility for obtaining and delivering
necessary food, supplies and equip-
ment; for transporting DP's and for
the provision to UNRRA of ad-
ministrative facilities. Thus UNRRA
furnished the operational personnel
for the care and maintenance of DP's,
while the   over-all responsibility,
support, and supervision remained in
military hands.
A   second  international  agency
which assisted in the DP operation
was the IntergovernmentalCommittee
on Refugees (IGCR), founded In 1938.
In July, 1946, the IGCR expanded its
previous work with stateless persons
In assisting in resettlement of all
categories of DP's.
In December, 1946 the United Na-
tions General Assembly approved
the constitution of a third agency
Children at the Dueppel Center displaced persons camp in Berlin learn
folk dances.
to take over the combined func-
tions of UNRRA and IGCR in the
work with displaced persons-the
International Refugee Organization
(IRO) a body sponsored by UN
countries that are signatories to the
UN constitution, and supported by
the contributions of those countries.
The IRO constitution is to come
into force upon the full accession of
15 governments whose cumulative
financial contributions amount to not
less than 75 percent of the operational
budget. As these two stipulations
have not been completely met to
date, the Preparatory Commission
which was established to finalize the
IRO has been delegated authority by
the United Nations to operate as an
interim organization pending full
activation of IRO.
On July 1, 1947, the day after
UNRRA and IGCR phased out of the
picture, this interim agency, PCIRO,
under an agreement with the US Mili-
tary Governor, began the exercise of
major responsibility for the actual
care, maintenance, resettlement, and
repatriation of displaced persons in
the US occupation area. The Military
Governor, as the supreme zonal
authority, is responsible for the over-
all maintenance of law, order, security,
and economy, and offers such as-
(OMGUS photo)
sistance within his resources as does
not involve the use of appropriated
The US Government agreed to sup-
port PCIRO with the qualification
that the expense of the DP operation
in the US occupation area would be
borne by this new agency, and that
allocations previously carried in the
military budget for DP's would be
It was originally intended that the
entire cost of caring for displaced
persons would be borne by the Ger-
mans, but the almost total break-
down of the German economy shifted
the financial burden to the American
During the period of UNRRA's
participation, part of the subsistence
for the DP's was made up from
available indigenous sources, and the
deficiencies were met by imported
food paid for from funds appropriated
to the Army by the US Government.
With  special grants  of extra
calories for workers, hospital patients,
adolescents, and expectant mothers,
the food supplied by the Army
amounted to an average of 2,425
calories per person per day. The
present UN DP normal consumer
ration is 2,000 calories, 450 calories
(Continued on Page i5s
MARCH 23, t948

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