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More from Samantha Knapton

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.

The Atlantic Charter and Anglo-Polish Relations

As the New Atlantic Charter was recently signed to reaffirm Anglo-American commitment to democracy and strengthen trade deals, how was the original Atlantic Charter received and who did it benefit? Held up as a blueprint for the post-war order, the original charter signed in 1941, signalled new international cooperation – but for some, it signalled betrayal as the principles were applied haphazardly. Anglo-Polish relationships soon soured after the Polish government-in-exile asked why Britain was not adhering to the much celebrated principles of the Charter.

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.