After World War II, the Allies repatriated millions of displaced persons (DPs) back to their countries of origin. But hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 250,000 Jewish refugees, could not or would not return. Most Jewish DPs preferred to leave Europe for either Palestine or the United States. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) housed them in camps in occupied Germany and Austria until they could be resettled. Here, Jewish DPs raise their children in the camps, preparing them for eventual emigration to Palestine.
Here in Austria, thousands of Jewish refugees are still homeless, working and hoping, but depending on UNRRA for most of the necessities of life. In open-air schoolrooms against the backdrop of mountain peaks, the children keep up with their three "R"s. In this English class, almost the first sentence they learn expresses the hopes and dreams of every member of the camp. Youngsters who have never known a normal home, somehow manage to keep cheerful. Theirs is a dark future indeed, unless Europe settles its problems with justice for all.
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