Read reflections and testimonies written by Holocaust survivors in their own words.
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My Journey to America
October 23, 2019
Oders of soot and salt water fill the air. It is November 1948. I am seven years old. My dziadzio (grandfather, in Polish) has sent me to America for a “better life” than the one we had in the Robert Tyler Displaced Persons Camp in Linz, Austria, where he, my babcia (grandmother, in Polish), and I had been living in one room in an unheated, wooden barrack without indoor plumbing or running water. By “better life,” he meant a life of safety, shelter, and plentiful food for me.
Life in the DP Camps
November 1, 2011
Life in the displaced persons camps gave people hope, for the first time, since they left their home. Almost every person there had lost parents, siblings, extended family, and many friends. As people started to feel better, they embraced life with zest. Though they had been dehumanized, sick and at death’s door, many started to marry. In the camps, they made wedding dresses from any material they could find, even parachutes.
From Ashes to Life
November 1, 2011
After liberation from the concentration camps in 1945, survivors stranded all over Germany and Austria were able to go to displaced persons camps set up by the Allies to be deloused and fed. Thousands of people couldn’t digest the food provided and died immediately. I got some of my strength back in one of these Allied camps and I was anxious to go home to search for family members. Then I heard that many people who returned to their countries of origin in Eastern Europe were not welcomed—in some cases Jews were even murdered as they returned. As a result many people decided to stay where they had been liberated.
That First Day
September 18, 2005
I don’t remember the name of the displaced persons camp, or which country I was in, but I do remember that first day.