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UNRRA selected records AG-018-010 : Austria Mission

Document | Digitized | Accession Number: 2018.77.1 | RG Number: RG-67.067

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    Consist of administrative files related to displaced persons, repatriation, emigration, tracing of people, child welfare, Children's Homes, welfare assistance by various international organizations; special monthly reports and statistics from British, French and American Zones; files of the displaced persons camps, narrative reports, correspondence, and registers from the particular UNRRA teams regarding operations of the displaced persons camps.
    inclusive:  1945-1948
    Collection Creator
    United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)
    UNRRA. Austria Mission
    The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was an international relief agency representing 44 nations, but largely dominated by the United States. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations (UN) in 1945, and it largely shut down operations in 1947. Its purpose was to "plan, co-ordinate, administer or arrange for the administration of measures for the relief of victims of war in any area under the control of any of the United Nations through the provision of food, fuel, clothing, shelter and other basic necessities, medical and other essential services." Its staff of civil servants included 12,000 people, with headquarters in New York. Funding came from many nations, and totaled $3.7 billion, of which the United States contributed $2.7 billion; Britain $625 million and Canada $139 million. The Administration of UNRRA at the peak of operations in mid-1946 included five types of offices and missions with a staff totaling nearly 25,000: The Headquarters Office in Washington, The European Regional Office (London), the 29 servicing offices and missions (2 area offices in Cairo and Sydney; 10 liaison offices and missions in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Trieste; 12 procurement offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and later Peru, Cuba, India, Mexico, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela; 6 offices for procurement of surplus military supplies in Caserta and later Rome, Honolulu, Manila, New Delhi, Paris, Shanghai), the sixteen missions to receiving countries (Albania, Austria, Byelorussia, China, Czechoslovakia, the Dodecanese Islands, Ethiopia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Korea, the Philippines, Poland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia), and the Displaced Persons Operations in Germany.

    UNRRA cooperated closely with dozens of volunteer charitable organizations, who sent hundreds of their own agencies to work alongside UNRRA. In operation only three years, the agency distributed about $4 billion worth of goods, food, medicine, tools, and farm implements at a time of severe global shortages and worldwide transportation difficulties. The recipient nations had been especially hard hit by starvation, dislocation, and political chaos. It played a major role in helping Displaced Persons return to their home countries in Europe in 1945-46. Its UN functions were transferred to several UN agencies, including the International Refugee Organization and the World Health Organization. As an American relief agency, it was largely replaced by the Marshall Plan, which began operations in 1948. [Source: UN Original finding aid of records of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)]
    UNRRA operations in Austria began in the summer of 1945 with the dispatch of teams of UNRRA workers to assist the occupying Military Governments in the administration of displaced persons camps. Zone Directors in the French, British, and United States Zones supervised this camp management work under the close control of military officials. A Central Headquarters was formally established in Vienna by an agreement dated 26 November 1945, and Brigadier R.H.R. Parminter became Director-in-Chief. In the meantime the UNRRA Council had resolved in August that Austria should be treated as a liberated area and hence should be eligible to receive relief and rehabilitation assistance. Brigadier Parminter was instructed, on his appointment in September, that his duties would include relief and rehabilitation work as well as responsibility for displaced persons operations. Although the two functions were maintained as distinct parts at the beginning, they were gradually integrated into a single Mission office. Brigadier Parminter assumed the title of Chief of Mission on 1 January 1946.
    The peak of the Mission's operations was reached in August 1946. When the total staff numbered 1,368 but after this date there was a continual decrease leading to the transfer of displaced persons work to IRO on 30 June 1947 and the final liquidation of the Mission on 29 February 1948. The records listed below were received by the United Nations in extreme disorder, and a few significant files appear to have been lost. The remaining files have been arranged as nearly as possible to conform to the pattern of the
    administrative structure of the Mission. Because the Displaced Persons Organization maintained a status almost apart from the Mission proper during most of its life, its files were kept separately. Most of the headquarters files on this work (which included also many of the papers of the Mission's Department of Relief Services) were turned over to IRO. Remaining files on DP work comprise most of the material listed below under the three zone Headquarters and their field offices [Source: United Nations. Archives and Records Management Section]

    Physical Details

    English German
    49,018 digital images.
    System of Arrangement
    Selected records arranged in seven sub-series: 1. Chief of Mission 1945-1948 [Selection of files: S-1492 to S-1498]; 2. British Zone Headquarters, 1945-1948 [Selection of files: S-1501 to S-1504]; 3. British Zone Field Offices, 1945-1948 [Selection of files: S-1505]; 4. French Zone Headquarters, 1945-1948 [Selection of files: S-1506]; 5. French Zone Field Offices, 1945-1948 [Selection of files: S-1507]; 7. United States Zone Headquarters Salzburg, 1945-1948 [Selection of files: S-1508 and S-1510]. Note: See the finding aid of detail arrangement of selected files.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing stations. No other access restrictions apply to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    The United Nations Archives is a holder of the copyrights of this collection.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Source of acquisition is the United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (UN-ARMS), UNRRA records AG-018-010. The collection was digitized through a cooperative agreement between the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Mémorial de la Shoah, France and the UN-ARMS. The USHMM Archives received copied collection via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archival Programs Division in March 2018, and accretion in March 2019.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 15:26:49
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