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Jewish "shtetls" in postwar Germany : an analysis of interactions among Jewish displaced persons, Germans, and Americans between 1945 and 1957 in Bavaria / by Kierra Mikaila Crago-Schneider

Publication | Library Call Number: D809.G3 C73 2013
Book cover

After the Holocaust, 250,000 Jewish survivors settled into Displaced Persons (DPs) centers throughout occupied Germany. The housing in Jewish only DP camps in the American occupation zone provided a perceived safe and protected space, attracting the majority of the Jewish Displaced Persons. In these centers survivors rebuilt their lives that were destroyed during the Shoah. DPs also developed a sense of power and entitlement that they invoked in negotiations with international aid organizations, the Office of the Military Government, United States, and later, the West German Federal Republic. Jewish DPs made their first contacts with their American overseers as well as German neighbors in the centers, usually through trade and barter. Some of these interactions grew into lasting personal, criminal, and business relationships while others led to increased anti-Semitism. The Jewish DP centers were beneficial to their residents. However, their extraterritorial nature, the increased and better rations received by Jewish DPs, and their exclusion from the German judicial system before 1951 acted to segregate the inhabitants from the German population. The extralegal nature of these centers threatened the sovereignty of the newly formed Federal Republic prompting the West German government to close the remaining camps. This led to tension, aggression, and conflict between these parties after the German takeover of the remaining centers. Despite this, the Jewish Displaced Persons, Federal Republic, and the Jewish aid organizations, worked together allowing the majority of Germany's displaced Jews to resettle on their own terms even though this meant that Föhrenwald, the last camp, remained open until 1957. This dissertation uses memoirs, letters, oral histories, and reports to examine the creation of the Jewish DP centers at Landsberg, Feldafing, and Föhrenwald to better understand the role these camps played between 1945 and 1957. This work focuses on the Jewish DP centers to recreate the relationships between the Jewish DPs, Germans, and Americans in both legal and illegal activities. It also focuses on the reemergence of anti-Semitism. Finally, this narrative analyzes the arduous process of ending Jewish DP life in Germany that left more than a thousand Jews stateless for years while they awaited resettlement.

Crago-Schneider, Kierra Mikaila, author.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 530-543)
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Record last modified: 2018-06-26 16:42:00
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