What happened to the surviving Jews after the end of World War II?

DP children in the Bindermichl DP camp (1947). Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Nordico Museum Der Stadt Linz

After the end of World War II, the Allies liberated thousands of prisoners from Nazi camps across the territories previously occupied by the Third Reich.

The Allies wanted to return the Jews whom they had liberated in the Nazi concentration and death camps to their countries of origins. Most of the liberated Jews from western European countries and from Czechoslovakia in fact went back to their former homes and renewed their lives there.

Many liberated Jews from Poland, Hungary, Romania, and other eastern European countries did not want to go back there, and between 1945 and 1952, more than 250,000 Jews lived in Displaced Persons camps in Germany, Austria and Italy until they were able to resettle in other countries, with the bulk eventually making their ways to the United States and the soon-to-be-established State of Israel. The last DP camp was finally closed in 1957, twelve years after the end of the war.

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