Deutsch Zerne Chicago Refugees

Fran Matkovich

This is another refugee rescue book: The Great Chicago Refugee Rescue 
    By Raymond Lohne — available used on Amazon and some used book stores.

Fran Matkovich

On Nov 6, 2020, at 11:41 PM, Dave Dreyer <ddreyer@...> wrote:



Allow me a few comments on Donauschwaben and DPs after the war. 

Banaters who served in the Prinz Eugen were regarded by the Yugoslav government after the war as traitors.  Consider if a US citizen took up arms and fought against their own government.  The US would take a dim view of such an affaire.   In the case of Banaters who came from villages in the former Torontal (eg Yugoslavia) and who ended up in POW camps with the US or English dared no return to their home land where they were likely to be excuted.  When such men were released from POW camps they were classified as stateless.  As such they then mostly ended up in DP camps.  The criteria for admittance to a DP camp changed during the Post war years and was expanded to admit a greater number of refugees.  The whole matter is complicated and varied over time. 

With the passing years the U.S. and England, who were paying for maintaince of those in the camps, badly wanted to shut them down due to the expense and the manpower required.  The main problem was to get countries to accept DPs as potential citizens.  This was a formidal problem involving increditable politicical maneuvering,  Most countries would only take individuals in  good health without dependents.  Canada preferred to take Ukrainians who they hoped would integrate well in the many Ukraine communities in the Praire provinances.  Australia took mainly Balts.  All countries tended to cherry pick people with desirable skills.  Most countries wanted especially people with agricultural experience with was a relatively small proportion of the DP s.

The US and England tended have the same view as to closing the camps except for one important hangup.  This had to do with the Jews.  No one wanted to take them.  They were an awkwrd problem.  One solution was to release them in Palestine but the English who had a mandate from the League of Nations felt responsible to the Palestinians who would have to give up land and property.  This developed into a campaign by Jewish terrorists to drive the British out by making it expensive for them to stay.  I can still remember pictures in the newsreels of the time when the Haganah (or was it the Stern Gang?) bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing a large number of people.   Of course, eventually the British did give it up and the flood gates opened to Israel.

For DPs to get a visa for the US they had to find a sponsor who would be responsible, they had to have a job lined up and prior arrangements for a place to live.  Not too easy to arrange from a DP camp in Germany.  Of great help were the various aid societies, The most active were Catholic aid societies.    I imagine the conditions were similar for England.

Two works which give an idea of the complexity of the problem-----written from the US standpoint and based largely on American records.  They do not cover the Banat or Banaters but give a picture of the times and the complexity of the DP problem.

Nasaw, David, “The Last Million”, 2020

Shephard Ben, “The Long Road Home”, 2011


Dave Dreyer






Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 10:14 AM
Subject: [banat] Deutsch Zerne (GrunFamily) - Labour & Displaced Person Camps


I am trying to discover which labour and/or PoW camps in Yugoslavia housed Donauschwaben after the war. I am also trying to find out the locations and names of DP camps in Austria which housed Donauschwaben after the war. Any information would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Best Regards

Arthur Grun