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“Life in transit - trauma and new beginnings” - An exhibition of the fate of Displaced Persons after 1945

A research project at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen is providing access to as yet unexplored archival materials and is developing a travelling exhibition to be launched in 2014. The implementation of the exhibition project "Life in transit - trauma and new beginnings. Survivors of Nazi persecution" is supported by the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ).

"The records in the ITS archives are a valuable source on the subject of life after survival," said Dr Susanne Urban, head of research and education at the ITS. "The materials document the Allies' care and relief efforts for survivors of concentration camps and forced labour, but also the difficult quest for a new beginning. The experiences of the survivors range from voluntary return to their home countries, to forced repatriation and emigration." There is as yet no comprehensive account available of this subject matter. The western Allies defined DPs as people who were persecuted and deported from their home countries by Nazi Germany. About ten million people were affected at the end of World War II.

"The aim of making the materials accessible and putting together the exhibition is to shed light on postwar history and the fate of survivors of concentration camps and forced labour", said Günter Saathoff, director of the EVZ. "The implications and consequences for survivors of Nazi injustice living in postwar societies have to be examined and embedded in the European culture of remembrance."

A comprehensive brochure as well as educational resources will complement the exhibition. After the opening in 2014 the exhibition will be shown at seven further locations in Germany at least.