“The Most Beautiful Spot on God’s Green Earth”. Archives, Microhistory, and the Story of Europe’s DPs
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In 1949, the archipelago of Displaced Persons (DP) camps across Western Europe was very much in flux. As camp populations declined through emigration, labour schemes, and the slow but steady improvement of domestic economies, the International Refugee Organization (IRO) found itself administering facilities that were well below capacity. One solution was to consolidate camp populations into a smaller number of transit and staging camps1. This was by no means a simple process, since it also involved negotiation with the various occupation forces that still controlled Germany, along with German state (Länder) governments and, after the autumn of 1949, with the new Federal Republic of Germany.
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Defrance, C., Denis, J., & Maspero, J.
Personnes déplacées et guerre froide en Allemagne occupée