Stuttgart West was an urban all-Jewish displaced persons (DP) camp in the city of Stuttgart, Germany, in the American-occupied zone, while other DP camps in the city housed refugees who had been forced laborers. Stuttgart West was formed in a group of requisitioned apartment buildings.
On March 29, 1946, the Stuttgart DPs rioted after US Military Government officials authorized 200 members of the German police to raid the refugee center early in the morning in search of black market offenders. The violence resulted in the death of one Jewish DP and three others were injured. The clash had occurred after the DPs, terrified at the sight of German police banging on doors and rousing Jews from bed, reacted by throwing household objects at the police. An ensuing directive forbade German police from entering Jewish DP camps except under rare circumstances.
Life in the Camp
Stuttgart West maintained a Talmud Torah (religious elementary school) and a kosher kitchen for feeding 400. It published newspapers named Oyf der Fray (On the Way to Freedom) and the Shtutgarter Byuletin (Stuttgart Bulletin).
During October 1946, the Jewish population in the camp reached over 1,400. On June 13, 1949, the camp closed and the remaining DPs of Stuttgart were transferred to Heidenheim.
Critical Thinking Questions
- What challenges did survivors face in the DP camps?
- What challenges did the Allies face in establishing and supervising DP camps?
- What responsibilities do (or should) other nations have regarding refugees from war and genocide?