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Information bulletin
No. 131 (March 23, 1948)

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


Page [3]


THE SITUATION of the United
Nations displaced persons and
refugees still in Germany, a tragic
reminder of the Nazi scheme of
forced labor and subjugation, is an-
other of the complexities of postwar
Europe. This sociological dilemma is
existent in the three Western Zones
of Germany and apparently is either
liquidated or not recognized in the
fourth zone.
As of Dec. 1, 1947, there remained
in the US occupation area in Ger-
many approximately 475,000 homeless
persons in this heterogeneous group,
the disposition of 'which poses a
tremendous humanitarian and prac-
tical problem. The continued presence
of these persons constitutes another
economic problem of the occupation,
and a political question of many
implications on the scene of inter-
national affaires.
The majority of DP's are in Ger-
many as a result of the Nazi labor
policy to exploit the manpower of
conquered countries in furtherance of
themaster plan for worlddomination.
Millions of workers were transplanted
to the Reich to help it fight the war
of supply by replacing German
workers conscripted into the German
Army.
Some of these workers came to Ger-
many of their own volition. But the
majority  came  under  conditions
ranging from persuasion to forcible
removal from their homelands. In any
case, the impetus was provided by
the Nazi plan to enslave.
Also included among the DP's are
the survivors of the greatest crime
against humanity committed by the
Nazis-the concentration camp vic-
tims. Still others were prisoners of
war who were captured and im-
prisoned by the Germans while fight-
ing alongside Allied troops.
The US Army's direct contact with
DP's began with D-Day in June, 1944.
As the Allied forces overran the
enemy, increasing numbers of DP's
were uncovered until a total of ap-
proximately 8,000,000 persons had
passed from Nazi custody into Allied
hands in western Europe.
About 6,000,000 of them were re-
turned to their homelands in the
latter part of 1944 and the first seven
months   of  1945.  Approximately
688,000 more went home from July 13,
1945, to Dec. 1, 1947, in response to
intensive repatriation efforts.
The remainder, consisting of Es-
tonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish,
Ukrainian, Jewish, Yugoslav, and
stateless people, has not responded
to voluntary repatriation. They can-
not or will not return to their home-
A group of Baltic displaced persons leave a train at Bremerhaven to board
the US Army transport Gen-
eral Heintzelman for Australia. They came from the Diepholz processing camp
in the British Zone, near
Hanover.         nSignal Corps photo)


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