Liberation and Dispersal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article focuses on an immediate aftereffect of the Holocaust: the liberation and dispersal of survivors. When World War II ended, Germany had fewer than 28,000 German Jews and 60,000 Jewish survivors from other countries. By the end of 1947, approximately 250,000 Jews constituted some 25 percent of all the Displaced Persons (DPs) in the British, French, and American occupation zones of Germany. Most of this influx of refugees came from Soviet bloc countries with Moscow's knowledge and consent, and the overwhelming majority concentrated in American-occupied territory, where they received preferential treatment. In contrast, Britain's restrained policy toward the Jewish DPs stemmed first and foremost from its efforts to keep them from entering Palestine. For their part, the Jewish DPs created self-governing Jewish camps and started their long process of mental and physical rehabilitation with the aid of refugee organizations. Many had to stay in Germany and Austria for years, at least until the establishment of the State of Israel, because the western democracies were ambivalent about admitting them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191594724
ISBN (Print)9780199211869
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2010 With the exception of Chapter 11: Rescuers © Debórah Dwork 2010. All rights reserved.


  • Displaced persons
  • Holocaust
  • Jewish camps
  • Jews
  • Rehabilitation
  • Survivors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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