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Collection Guide: Displaced Person Camps

Daily life, children, school; religious life, prayer, bris (circumcision), Torah scroll, weddings, 1948, undated. RG 294.5 (YIVO)

Archival Highlights

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) Records (I-363)

The HIAS records include the archival material from the New York headquarters, from about 1954 to 2000. In 1954 HIAS merged with the United Service for New Americans (USNA) and the Migration Department of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to form the United HIAS Service (UHS), and many of the oldest files in this collection date from the mid-1950s. A few files pre-date the 1954 merger: those of predecessor organizations (USNA, the National Refugee Service (NRS), HICEM) and United States Operations files from staff who moved from NRS, USNA and the JDC to HIAS with some of their earlier files. There are also scattered files within Isaac L. Asofsky's files as General Manager and Executive Director in the Executive Series from as early as 1909.

ORT Photograph Collection, 1904-1972 (RG 380)

This collection consists of photographs and negatives of World ORT conferences and congresses, various individuals connected with ORT, and ORT vocational programs and activities, including in Displaced Person’s camps, in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Cuba, and North and South America.

Albert A. Hutler papers, 1945, 1975 (P-156)

The collection consists of records Albert Hutler received and generated in mid-1945 during his service as chief of the Displaced Persons Office of Detachment F1E2, 2nd ECA Regiment, 7th U.S. Army Military Government, in Mannheim, Germany. Materials, mostly photocopies, include reports and memoranda on the status of displaced persons in Southwestern Germany and a few brief accounts by survivors.

United Service for New Americans records, undated, 1946-1954 (I-93)

Contains the correspondence and published materials of the USNA for the years 1947-54. The manuscript material contains quota correspondence (1949-51) with Jewish institutions in the fifty states, correspondence concerning the Displaced Persons Program (1948-54) which includes unused agency assurances, migration procedure, occupational lists, community relations, and material on the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Abraham Klausner Papers, 1942-2002 (P-879)

This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Abraham Klausner, including articles written by and about him, research materials for his articles and his memoir, correspondence, and Klausner's personal and military records. These materials reflect his active involvement with Displaced Persons and the DP Camps in Postwar Germany as well as his sometimes complicated relationships with the Joint Distribution Committee and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA).

Papers of Cecilia Razovsky, undated, 1913-1971 (P-290)

The papers consist of correspondence and reports of Cecelia Razovsky (married name: Davidson), noted social worker specializing in immigration and resettlement of refugees. The collection includes information about her work with the National Council of Jewish Women in the 1920s, and with the National Refugee Service (and predecessor organizations) in the 1930s. Information is included about her work as a Resettlement Supervisor in the post-World War II Displaced Persons camps in Europe, and as a field worker in the southwestern U.S. for the United Service for New Americans in 1950.

George Benkoe Collection, 1945-1946 (AR 5533) 

This collection contains a few of Benkoe's personal papers, including a ration card, various identification cards, and a document mentioning his employment as a D.P. worker. There are also several pamphlets produced by the American forces which document the liberation of the German camps and the atrocities uncovered in them.

William Wolpert Collection (RG 1241)

Diaries, notebooks, travel documents, correspondence about Wolpert's trip to Europe as a representative of the Jewish Labor Committee. The records concern conditions in displaced persons camps, searches for relatives, and general conditions in post-war Germany.

American Joint Distribution Committee collection, 1914-1988 (I-345)

This collection is comprised of annual reports, budget reports, cables, calendars of events, catalogs, correspondence, minutes, memorandum, lists of Board of Director members, photographs of speakers, and a chart of the organization’s Geneva Headquarters. The documents in this collection describe the many and varied activities of the committee such as fundraising, relief distribution, general information concerning Russian farm colonies and immigration. 

American Joint Distribution Committee, 1929-1949 (bulk 1933-1947.) (AR 7196)

The collection contains a small section of Italian case files of the JDC, 1945-1947, for displaced persons in Italy after the war, concerning attempts to contact friends and relatives, conditions in Italy, and attempts to emigrate.