Regensburg Displaced Persons Camp

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United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Archives
Record Group: PAG 4 Box 14-17: Area Team 1046: Regensburg

City archives
Postal address: Stadtarchiv und Denkmalpflege Regensburg,
Postfach 110643, 93019 Regensburg
Street address - Stadtarchiv
Keplerstr. 1
93047 Regensburg
09 41 - 5 07 14 52
09 41 - 5 0744 58

Some Ukrainian documentation at Shevchenko Scientific Society Library.
Regensburg: Articles and Documents on the History of Ukrainian Emigration in Germany after World War 2;editor Omelian Kushnir. New York, Paris, etc. 1985, 684 p. Part of the Shevchenko Scientific Society Ukrainian Archive Series, vol.40. Contains many photographs. Written in Ukranian, summaries in English, German and French. Regensburg: Statti, spohady, dokumenty do istorii ukrains'koi emigratsii v Nimechchyni pislia Druhoi Svitovoi Viiny. Shelved under: NTSh. Ukrains'kyi Arkhiv, t.40. Kushnir, Omelian, Redaktor. NTSh. 684s. 26sm. iliustratsii. 2 prymirnyky. Language--U. Paryzh-Sydnei-Toronto, 1985.

Regensburg was in the US Zone. There were multiple camps:

• CC Kdo of Flossenbuerg, Arbeitslager Regenburg. The Kdo was working for the Reichsbahn and 400 prisoners were billeted in the Colesseum Regensburg-Stadtbahnhof (city rail station).

Prison: Landgerichsgefaengnis, Zimmerstrasse

CWC (civilian workers camps):

Signalmeisterei, Reichsban, Lager Jakobinerschenke, 1943-45, housed 200 men

Signalmeisterei, Reichsban, Lager Ostendorfenstrasse, 1940-45, housed 160 men

Reichsbahn on Kirchmaierstrasse, 1943-45, housed 150 men

Reichsbahnlager on Nockherkeiler, 1943-45, housed 200 persons


DPs Crime And Related Problems Inside and Outside Camps (e.g. Bremen, north Germany and Polish DPs camp in Regensburg, Bavaria)
From: book excerpts.
Submitted by Alan Newark, England - UK.

The Germans attributed all violent crimes to the DPs; and military government reluctantly came close to agreeing with them. Of 2.5 million DPs originally in the US zone, all but 600,000 had been sent home by the end of September, and General Wood reported the repatriation problem "substantially solved." 41

But those who stayed were becoming a special problem, being a hard core of largely nonrepatriable stateless persons.

About half were Poles [Ukrainians from Poland], for years the most mistreated of the Nazi forced laborers and now torn between their desire to go home and their apprehension about the future awaiting them in Communist Poland. The rest were Balts, non-German Jews, eastern Europeans other than Poles, and -although many fewer than there had been- Soviet citizens, most of whom tried to claim special status as Ukrainians. USFET policy made repatriation entirely voluntary for all DPs except those who came from within the pre-1939 boundaries of the Soviet Union [i.e, Ukrainians]; many had legitimate reasons for not wanting to return, principally fear of political or religious persecution, such as being sent to Siberia. As the total number of these displaced persons declined, however, the percentage of doubtful types among those who remained, such as criminals and Nazi collaborators, constantly increased, as did their influence on the others. A questionnaire, similar to the Fragebogen used for the Germans, tried on 240 DPs in a camp at Regensburg, Bavaria, revealed that 40 percent, if they had been Germans, would have been in the mandatory removal category, that is, unemployable in responsible positions and possibly subject to arrest. 42

Among all categories of DPs, uncertainty about the future, free rations and lodging without having to work for them, privileged status under the occupation, and virtual immunity from the German police bred indolence, irresponsibility, and organized criminality. Their access to Army, UNRRA, and Red Cross supplies made them potent operators in the black market; the camps provided havens for black market goods and bases for criminal gangs; and the Army-issue clothing that most of them wore was excellent camouflage for the criminal elements and an effective means of intimidating the Germans.43

The 100,000 or more DPs who did not live in camps or who drifted in and out of them at will constituted the nucleus of a kind of Army-sponsored underworld. Even the former concentration camp inmates were becoming an annoyance. Many persisted in wearing their convict uniforms and were willing to regale any newspaper reporter who would listen with supposed new atrocities being inflicted upon them by the Army. Some were trying to make their privileged status permanent by having official-looking documents drawn up and badges made.

At the same time, stories about the DPs in US newspapers were making them objects of particular public and official sympathy. In the summer the US representative on the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, Earl G. Harrison, visited the camps as President Truman's special emissary and recommended setting up separate camps for Jews. Later, after Saul S. Elgart of the American Joint Distribution Committee surveyed the Jewish camps, UNRRA undertook to distribute Red Cross packages to the Jews, thereby raising their ration to over 3,000 calories a day.

In September, Eisenhower personally inspected several DP camps and announced that general officers would inspect all camps. Although the inspections showed the camps in general to be adequate and the larger ones often excellent with kindergartens, chapels, medical facilities, electric lights, flush toilets, and average food rations above 2,100 calories a day, the press and public concern did not abate.

In late September, Eisenhower ordered the military government and military authorities to requisition housing for DPs from the Germans without any hesitancy, prohibited any restrictions on the DPs' freedom of movement, and made food and sanitation in the camps a concern of all responsible officers. 44

As a consequence, the Office of Military Government for Bavaria reported later, "there were so many inspections by generals, public health officers, correspondents, and other privileged emissaries of interested organizations that the objects of scrutiny themselves cried for a respite." 45

Upon hearing of the order to let the DPs come and go as they pleased, the detachment in charge of 15,000 in a camp at Wildflecken, Bavaria, observed that considering the marauding and looting which had taken place when only 1 percent a day were allowed to leave, it looked to the future "with great concern." 46

The detachment's apprehension was not unfounded. DP depredation was the chief reason for rearming the German police in September; until then, they had only, carried nightsticks. Military government recorded 1,300 DP raids against Germans in Bavaria during one week in October, and in some country districts people were afraid to leavetheir houses even in the daytime. Many farm communities found a new use for old air raid sirens: to warn of approaching DP bands. In Munich, DPs constituted 4 percent of the population but were responsible for 75 percent of the crimes.

Military government courts in Bavaria held 2,700 trials between 1 June and 30 October in which displaced persons were accused of serious crimes, such as murder, robbery, and looting; and in Bremen, a DP population of 6,000, 3,500 of them males over fourteen years of age committed 23 murders, 677 robberies, 319 burglaries, and 753 thefts. Organized gangs armed with pistols and automatic weapons operated out of the Bremen camps. When an eight-man gang murdered thirteen Germans during one night in November, soldiers of the 115th Infantry raided the camp from which they had come and uncovered large quantities of illegally slaughtered beef and US property. Afterward, in protest, the DPs flew black flags and placed large signs at the camp entrance reading "American Concentration Camp for Poles." 47

Next to the black market and the DPs, German youths were military government's most worrisome concern. Many children were completely adrift, orphaned by the war, unable to find their families, or simply abandoned. All were idle. Schools were closed; youth organizations, other than a few sponsored by the US forces, were prohibited; and entertainment and recreation facilities were requisitioned for the US troops. The worst off'-and most dangerous in the eyes of military government-were those in their late teens. Although too young to have served in the Wehrmacht and experienced the sobering effects of defeat in the field, they were old enough to have absorbed Nazi attitudes. The Freikorps and the Nazi storm troops had found many recruits among a similar group after World War I. Under the occupation, these young people were becoming sidewalk loafers. They could not continue their educations or learn trades, and the only jobs being offered involved cleaning up rubble, which was not enticing in either the short or the long run. So they gathered out of the sight of the Americans, made up bawdy verses about the behavior of the US soldiers and German girls, at times threatened to shear the hair of girls who had soldier friends, and sometimes, military government officers suspected, rigged decapitation wires or attempted acts of sabotage. Their activities were all quite amateurish but might not remain so once enough young, lout more experienced, prisoners of war returned home.48

At first the Germans seemed too stunned and, as the summer wore on, too preoccupied with day-to-day existence to think about the future. When the harvest was in and the daily ration barely above 1,200 calories, when the weather turned cold and there was no coal, when the farmers and other producers became increasingly unwilling to part with their products for money, the people, as the Wuerttemberg-Baden Office of Military Government reported, sank "deeper and deeper into despair as they saw a cruel, cold, hungry winter ahead." 3 The harvest, all things considered, had been a good one but could not under any circumstances have been good enough to feed the zone population throughout the winter. Coal output in the British and French zones had increased, but the rail and water transport systems were only able to move about 60 percent of the coal away from the mines. The US zone received half a million tons in August but only 150,000 tons more in December, just enough to run the railroads and essential public utilities. When cold weather came, military government in Stuttgart and other places requisitioned all coal supplies over a quarter ton, and throughout the zone children were required to bring a piece of firewood with them to school each day to heat the classrooms.

Moreabout European Theatre DPs and Allied military leaders' measures in support of DPs.

Does anyone know where I can get information on Regensburg, which was a Refugee camp (D.P.) between 1945-1950. I have a book "Regensburg - articles and documents on the History of Ukrainian Emigration in Germany after World War II". This book is written in Ukrainian and I am looking for info written in English. Much easier for me to read. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me. Natalie Lisowiec

I read with much interest your website about Displaced Persons in Europe. Have you heard or know of any information about the DP camp in Regensburg, Germany having a population of German-speaking peoples that came out of Rumania during the WWII years? This group came out of villages along the Black Sea in Rumania, but were ethnic Germans having settled there during Catherine the Great reign. The Nazis gave their lands back to Rumania in exchange for oil for the war. These people were "on the refugee road" from about 1940 till mid 1940s. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Paula Politzki / email:

11/11/05 Dear Olga
Just came across this Web site and have added it to My Favorites. My late Tato, Mychailo (Michael) Boyko was one the researchers and editors for the book REGENSBURG. This in the days before computors or massive interest by Ukrainians in documenting and recording their history. An example of this insane insensitivity was the destruction of records and photos by the children upon the death of their father to whom they had been entrusted for editing. It was impossible to replace much of that material and so I commend you on recording this epoch of Ukrainian history. We Ukrainians are always waiting for someone else to record and acknowledge our history and achievements. Olena Boyko

Stamps from camp; and photo of Ukrainian children on stage. Ensemble of Ukrainian Actors at Regensburg led by the former artistic director of the L'vov Opera House performances flourished without censorship (such plays banned since 1929) (Wyman, p.165).

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