An officer of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) visits with a group of young refugees. Eschwege displaced persons camp, Germany, July 7, 1946.
United Nations Archives and Records Management Section
Eschwege, a former German air force base in the Frankfurt district of the American-occupied zone, became a displaced persons (DP) camp in January 1946.
Eschwege housed approximately 1,770 Jews at the time of its opening and its young population quickly developed a revitalized community, evidenced by the opening of a kindergarten with 50 children by April 1947. In contrast, the elementary school had only 30 students at that time. Eschwege also had a Talmud Torah (religious elementary school), a cheder (traditional religious school for young children), and a yeshiva (religious academy), as well as a "Bet Ya'akov" religious high school for girls.
Religious life was also celebrated in the camp's several synagogues and a mikvah (Jewish ritual bath). Eschwege had a sports club with 100 players, a movie theater, a 500-seat auditorium, and a theater group. The camp published the newspaper Undzer Hofenung (Our Hope).
At its peak, on October 19, 1946, Eschwege housed roughly 3,355 Jews. The camp closed on April 26, 1949.