Displaced Persons -

Bamberg DP Camp

in Germany


Inara Bush of Australia has supplied us with these photos of Bamberg. If you see your family in these photos, email her to receive higher 1200 dpi images: inite@live.com.au

Aug. 17, 2007, Inara writes: Most of the photos were taken by my father, Arvids Buss (1909-1999). I am grateful that he was an avid photographer. He had kept many rolls of negatives from our DP years and most of the images are scanned from these.

Click to enlarge photos

 

Bam200  
My mother, Alise Buss (pronounced Bush), my elder sister, Anita, and I, Inara, were evacuated from Riga by ship in July 1944. The Soviet Army re-occupied Latvia in October 1944. My father, Arvids, a soldier in the Latvian Army, remained in Latvia. He tracked us down in the hamlet of Hermannsried some weeks after the war ended on May 8, 1945. We lived in DP camps in Windischbergerdorf, Bamberg, Wildflecken and Delmenhorst until we boarded an IRO ship at Bremerhaven in 1950, bound for Australia under its DPs Immigration Scheme.  

Inara and friend at the early Baltic DP camp in Bamberg in 1946. It was a single building with vast rooms divided with blankets into cubicles containing bunks for families. I had a top bunk which meant that I could see all activities in the room.

These are some of the buildings housing DPs in the large Bamberg Baltic Camp to which we were transferred. DP policemen on duty.

 

Inara with DP Policeman at entrance to the building in which our family was assigned a bed-sitting room with a kitchen next to it on the 2nd floor.

 

DP policeman.This building also housed the camp administrative offices.

 
Inara on right with best friend, Irene, in policemen's sentry box.
 
Bamberg Baltic camp buildings, 1948.
 

The street between the camp buildings as seen from our kitchen window. The women in long dresses are in Latvian national costumes on their way to a concert.

 

Anita and friends pulling Inara on a sled on the frozen pond which lay between Bamberg Camp and railway yards. Camp buildings in the background. Winter 1948/49.

 

Children sliding about on metal jerry cans if they had no skates or sleds.

   
 
Children enjoying the iced-over pond.
 

The same pond in summer. We lived in a builidng facing the pond and the railway yard.

 
Children on a home made raft on the pond.
 

Visitor perched on the end of the bed next to the tiled wood-fired heating stove. Bamberg 1948.

 

Irene and Inara in front of chestnut tres in the camp square. Round children's sandpit on left.

 

Anita in her bunk while ill. I had the top bunk.

 

Anita, Inara and friend on our parent's bed which served as a couch during the day.

 

Our room also contained a wardrobe (behind the toddler) as well as a chest of drawers. Anita's and my bunks are behind the curtain.

Children in front of one of the buildings surrounding the square at Bamberg Baltic camp. Inara in front row on left. A child is literally hanging about on a clothesline on the right. Summer 1948.

 
My mother sewing at the kitchen table.  
A friend and my mother on the right with her hand-operated sewing machine, bought with a carton of "Lucky Strike" cigarettes. Cigarettes were a regular part of DP's rations and they were the currency of the thriving black market. Cigarettes were in short supply to the German population.
 

Diploma issued by the UNRRA U.S. Zone training School at Bad Wiessee at the end of a course in administration.

  This certificate was obtained in support of my parents' application to emigrate to Chile where Arvid's sister had lived since 1936. Arvids failed the medical examination. He was suffering from bronchitis which was misdiagnosed as tuberculosis. Anyone who failed a medical was disbarred from applying to any country for two years.
 
My father, Arvids, in his office. Bamberg 1947.
 
Some of my father's IRO colleagues.
 
Inara's ID photo in 1948.
   
 
Certificate to Latvian Elementary School in Bamberg in 1947. The 'a' ending of my surname denotes female gender, the same as in Russian, e.g. Anna Karenina while her husband is Karenin.  
Inara's report card.
 
Cover to school report card.
School report card.

Sunday school class in Bamberg 1948. Anita is third from the left in front of Lutheran Minister P. Brencis who was also the Headmaster of the Bamberg Camp school.

My Sunday school class in Bamberg 1948. Irene and I are not in the photo because we had skipped the class unaware that photos were to be taken that day. We were in the lavatory block trying to smoke rolled up bits of newspaper like cigarettes. There was such a fuss.

 
 
Mechanics working on the IRO car fleet in Bamberg 1948.
   
 
   

The car maintenace pit and shed were opposite our building.

 
     
 
 
The aproach to Bamberg City from the Obere Brucke (Upper Bridge) over the Regnitz River, through the archway of the old Town Hall with the windows still boarded up. 1948.  
Bamberg City, 1948.
 
Inara and Anita, Christmas Day in Bamberg 1948.
  Christmas Eve in Bamberg 1948. Part of the Christmas Eve ceremony required that each chld stood before the candle-lit Christmas treet and recited a memorised poem, curtsying before and after the recitation.Christmas presents were then distributed and opened.
   
    IRO statement of my father's employment dated April 30, 1949, mentioning the closing of the camp. We were moved to Wildflecken Staging Center shortly after this.
     

See also: Baltics page

Archives of Europe:http://webpages.uidaho.edu/special-collections/euro1.html


    Staatsarchiv für Oberfranken:
    Hainstr. 39
    D 8600 Bamberg
    Germany Phone: (0951) 98622-0
    Fax: (0951) 98622-50

    Bamberg city archives http://www.bamberg.de/stadtarchiv/homeeng.htm
    Untere Sandstrasse 30a
    96049 Bamberg
    09 51 - 87 13 71
    09 51 - 87 19 68

    state library http://www.staatsbibliothek-bamberg.de
    university library
    http://www.uni-bamberg.de/unibib/home.html

    Hi, My parents met in Germany in 1947-8.. My father was a Lithuanian originally taken by Russians to a labor camp in Poland, then taken by Germans to Germany. Later employed by US Army in hospital in Nurnberg to guard Nazi prisoners. We know nothing of my father's side of family or his history prior to my parents coming to America in 1952... We know that he was in 2040 L.Su.Co..in 1947 I've tried finding out what that was. His picture shows him in a dark uniform with dark shirtand white tie.My parents were married in Hallstadt and they mentioned Bamberg as the place where he lived in barricks. One photo shows him in front of Schwabisch Hall. How do go about finding out where he served with the US Army or where in Poland he was interred in the labor camp by the Russians. Any information you can give us would help.Thanks, heidi chrambanis

    I, with my family, lived at the DP camp Bamberg-- Sept 10, 1947 - April 26, 1949, please contact: Silvia Wolff

    Hy, I had a Latvian friend who lived in Bamberg DP's camp between 1945 and 1949. Do you have any sources where I could get pictures or stories about that camp? Best regards Yves Jeanson

    I am trying to find an American soldier by the name of Alexander Solokoff (Sokoloff), of Russian decent, who was in Bamberg Germany sometime between November 1945 and February 1946. I am also looking for the names of the dislocated persons camps located in Bamberg during this same time. Can you piont me in the right direction? Tawana Grabarz

    10/18/04 Hi Olga,
    Just found your website. Great history here. I am looking for information on or anyone who knew Rebecca Kapelsohn who was a Social Worker from New York who worked for UNRRA in Bamberg from 1945 - 1946. Other women who went over with her but apparently didn't work in the same location were Esther Haskin of Dallas, Mrs. Kate Mendel of New York, and Helen Witkin of Chicago. Thanks for any assistance you can provide. Jazz SweetJazz5@aol.com

     

    10/23/2010
    I am seeking information on Hersz Smietana, living in Bamberg in 1948. I guess he lived in the camp of displaced persons. He was born May 16, 1908 in Warsaw. He is the son of the Jewish couple Mordka (Motel) Smietana Laja and Mitler. It was in the ghetto of Lublin in 1945.

    Did you know, you know what became of him? I am his cousine. Daniel VANGHELUWE, France

    vangheluwe.smietan@laposte.net

European Archives: http://councilforeuropeanstudies.org/resources/libraries-archives?gclid=COawguPSm8ICFVCCMgodPToARw


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