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Displaced Persons - Zeilsheim German DP camp
Zeilsheim, 12 miles west of Frankfurt, was a civilian work camp in the American zone..
Frankfurt data bases:
Zeilsheim 12 miles west of
Frankfurt on Main, Jews, severly overcrowded;
Zeilsheim became famous for its camp created by the Allies to hold Displaced Persons and exiles after World War II, and in 1946 it was visited by Israeli prime minister David Ben Gurion and former American First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. A small monument in the park behind the city hall is dedicated to the memory of this community.
"Zeilsheim maintained a Jewish theatrical group, a synagogue, a jazz orchestra, a sports club named "Chasmonai," and a number of schools, including an ORT school. The camp had a library with approximately 500 books, and circulated two Yiddish newspapers: Unterwegs (In Transit) and Undzer Mut (Our Courage). The Jewish population in the camp reached approximately 3,570 in October of 1946.
"Zeilsheim was the site of many protests against British policy on Jewish immigration to Palestine. Judah Nadich, General Eisenhower's first advisor on Jewish affairs in the European Theatre of Operations, frequently visited the camp in an effort to see that the basic requirements of DPs were being met. David Ben Gurion, then the chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency (and future Prime Minister of Israel), also visited the DP camp. His personal inspection of Zeilsheim was a pivotal event in the lives of Jewish DPs. The camp closed on November 15, 1948, after a piece de resistance during which the U.S. Army wanted to return the houses to workers from the IG Farben plant in nearby Hechst. Rabbi Bernstein believed that it would be cruel to inconvenience the DPs in order to accommodate Germans, especially since nearly all the camp residents were concentration camp survivors. He warned that the evacuation would only be accomplished through force. Thus, the army postponed the idea until July 1948, when it renewed its plan after the establishment of Israel. Conceding to the pleas of the camp committee, the army postponed the transfer date until November 15, 1948, but survivors still protested the move." for more, see: http://www.ushmm.org
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Archives Record Group: PAG 4 Box 4: District 2: Wetzlar, Zeilsheim
7/30/07 Hi Olga,
My family lived in the displaced persons camp in Zeilsheim for three years, where my grandfather was the photographer for the camp newspaper. I'm interested in visiting the locations in those photos. I realize there is almost no physical evidence remaining there, but I would still like to know the street locations of where things were.
I am wondering if you know of any maps of the Zeilsheim camp. Any information you have would be appreciated.
Olga, yes, we have copies of my grandfather's photographs. They are also accessible through the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, as well as in a book of his photo journal calledDas Robinson Album, which was published via the Fritz Bauer Institut in 1998. I only have one copy of the book, but I can see if there are still more available... Paul Amitai
Paul Amitai put together a movie: http://paulamitai.com