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Displaced Persons Camps and Centers Photograph Collection
The collection is comprised of photographs of various provenances related to the lives of Jewish displaced persons (DPs) in the period immediately following the Second World War, from 1945 to 1952. The photographs pertain to DP camps and communities in the Allied occupation zones in Germany, Austria, and Italy, primarily those established by the American and British military, and administered by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and, later, the International Refugee Organization. Diverse aspects of daily life among the DPs are depicted, such as school, work, recreation, and vocational training, including many activities sponsored by Jewish voluntary organizations, especially World ORT and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Also depicted are cultural activities such as theater, children’s performances, Jewish holiday celebrations and parades, and commemorative events honoring those who died in the Holocaust. The photographs capture leaders of the Jewish DP zonal and camp committees, DP police, and Zionist living collectives (kibbutzim), as well as notable military, political, and cultural personalities of the period, such as Lucius D. Clay, Fiorello LaGuardia, David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Gruenbaum, and H. Leivick. The photographs also reflect political and historical developments, including the major congresses of the DP leaderships in Germany, Austria, and Italy; protest demonstrations concerning British policies regulating immigration to Palestine; and events held upon the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.