Babenhausen was a mid-size Jewish DP camp in the Frankfurt district of the American-occupied zone. During the war it had been a camp for Soviet prisoners of war, and the meager barracks sometimes made for harsh housing conditions. These dismal conditions were reported in a December 13, 1946, issue of the Eschwege camp newspaper, Undzer Hofenung (Our Hope):
Housing conditions here [in Babenhausen] are horrible. They used to be stalls for the horses of the Third Reich; now they are homes for the surviving Jews. Jews did not want to leave the trains so as to have to move in here.
The U.S. Army used the camp immediately after the war to hold German military and civilian personnel who were awaiting trial. The camp did not open to Jews until September 29, 1946, when a train bearing 1,000 Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union arrived. When 1,200 more arrived two days later, the new residents lobbied the Army's Office on Jewish Affairs to protest the camp's conditions. Nevertheless, the camp remained open and it became a substantial community that even earned a visit from Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion in late 1946. The residents of Babenhausen DP camp founded a Talmud Torah (religious elementary school) as well as a secular school. The camp population had reached 3,026 by October 1949, and the camp closed on April 25, 1950.