Displaced Persons Camp - DP Camps Following World War II - Camps


Displaced persons made themselves known in various ways and under widely differing circumstances in the spring of 1945. Allied forces took them into their care by improvising shelter wherever it could be found. Accommodations primarily included former military barracks, but also included summer camps for children, airports, hotels, castles, hospitals, private homes, and even partly destroyed structures. Although there were continuous efforts to sort and consolidate populations, there were hundreds of DP facilities in Germany, Austria, Italy, and other European countries by the end of 1945. One camp was even set up in Guanajuato in Mexico.

The UNRRA moved quickly to field teams to take over administration of the camps from the military forces.

A number of DP camps became more or less permanent homes for these individuals. Conditions were varied and sometimes harsh. Rations were restricted, frequently curfews were imposed. Camps were shut down as refugees found new homes and there was continuous consolidation of remaining refugees into fewer camps.

By 1952, all but two DP camps were closed. The last two DP camps, Föhrenwald closed in 1957 and Wels in 1959.

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