More from Samantha Knapton
The Creation of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA)
The United Nations started with the UNRRA. Created in 1943, driven my Anglo-American interests, UNRRA was a champion of post-war peace, stability, and safety. Although largely forgotten today, UNRRA was a revolutionary organisation that aimed to not only relieve hunger and prevent disease, but to rehabiltate people and land to prevent conditions similar to post-1918 from recurring. The first state-driven international humanitarian organisation, and the blueprint for future world peace.
UNRRA training centres in Normandy – Displaced Persons
On the West Coast of France in 1945, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) requisitioned buildings in Granville and Jullouville to set up training centres for those who were tasked with helping Europe’s Displaced Persons. Becoming an UNRRA worker was, for some, much more than a job but a second chance at a different life. These centres, with a high turnover, created thousands of workers to help repatriate, resettle, and rehabilitate the war’s displaced persons.
Maczków/Haren – a Polish Displaced Persons Camp
In 1945, the German town of Haren was evacuated to make room for a sizeable population of Polish displaced persons (DPs). Many of them ex-/army members who had fought alongside the British. The entire town was requisitioned and turned into a microcosm of Polish society in the heart of Germany for 3 years before the whole process was reversed.