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The Holocaust

The Holocaust Resource Center

The Free World and the Holocaust Survivors

During the final months of the war, the Nazi concentration camps were liberated. It was at this point that the Allied soldiers encountered the camp prisoners and were abruptly exposed to the Nazi atrocities. The Allies attempted to repatriate the millions of refugees displaced during the war. Unlike other refugees, many Holocaust survivors refused to return to their countries of origin, choosing instead to remain in Displaced Persons' (DP) camps in Germany, Austria, and Italy. They were subsequently joined by about 200,000 Polish Jewish refugees who arrived from the USSR.

After an initial period in which the survivors lived in camps under harsh conditions, the American and British authorities allowed the survivors to establish a certain level of autonomous community life. But ultimately the Survivors' main goal was the desire to leave Europe and rebuild their life in Palestine or other western countries. The pressure on the western countries increased after the British refusal to open the gates of Palestine to the survivors. Lively discussions were held internationally about the refugee admission policy. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, most survivors established their home there. Some countrys, especially the United States, agreed to accept the remainder of the survivors.

Total Sources (by media type):

Lexicon Entries 12
Photographs 18
Research 13
Testimonies 3
   
Total Sources 46