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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.
This collection of posters includes approximately 1,000 rare or unique items pertaining to over 100 displaced persons (DP) camps and centers in Germany, Austria, and Italy, dating primarily from 1946 to 1952. Comprised of approximately 60% handpainted and 40% printed items, it includes posters produced by diverse Jewish groups within individual camps, such as administrative and cultural committees, sports clubs, Zionist and religious groups, and landsmanshaftn; as well as organizations active throughout the camps, including the Jewish central committees in the respective countries, the World ORT Union, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish National Fund, and the Jewish Agency. A small number of items also document activities of the revived Jewish communities in the city centers of Munich and Vienna. Many of the posters use not only language but also color, graphic design, and pictorial and figurative elements to engage their audience with calls to entertainment, lectures, protests, and commemorations.
These records detail the history of the displaced person camps in the American zone in Austria. They include the records of the individual camps as well as political and cultural groups that operated within the camps. The collection primarily consists of administrative records such as reports, correspondence, and lists as well as cultural materials from political, vocational, and cultural groups, as well as personal papers. There are also records of the U.S. Army, UNRRA, and IRO’s actions in the camps.