Researching DP Camps in the British Zone

Sponsored by the Michigan Family History Network

Map, References / Sources found on intro.

Displaced Persons -Researching DP Camps in the British Zone March 3,2010

Ukrainian DPs in the British Zone
Latest Info:
Jan-Hinnerk Antons paid a two-day flying visit to the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen viewing material for his dissertation on the subject “The life situation of Ukrainian Displaced Persons (DPs) in the British zone”. In a first step, he concentrated his name research on those about 200 former Ukrainian DPs who had a role to play in camp council and camp committee or acted as camp “chief”. “I could discover interesting documents from the post-war era at ITS”, so the historian.

The DPs’ topic had already preoccupied Antons’ mind when he wrote his Master’s degree thesis focussing on the DP camp for Ukrainians at Heidenau. “It was not only the professors who gave me a positive feedback, but in particular the residents of Heidenau and the former Ukrainian DPs themselves who motivated me to conduct further research”, so 29-year-old Antons. The historian has already gone to see the most various archives inside and outside of Germany. Last year for instance he went to the Ukraine and learned the native language enabling him to evaluate Ukrainian documents’ sources.

Centring his research mainly on both the “universe” the displaced persons lived in and their daily camp routine, Antons finds the reports delivered by contemporary witnesses most relevant. “I intend to draw a clear picture of life in the camp. Just evaluating documents and newspaper reports hardly suffices to that end”, knows the historian. “The angle from which the former DPs see or consider their situation is most essential for an authentic depiction.” He has already established contact with German contemporary witnesses. “The attitude the German neighbours of the camps assumed towards the DPs had mainly been a hostile one. Being stuck in the situation and unable to emigrate, the aged, the people in poor health and the single mothers had to endure xenophobic discrimination besides“, so Antons.

The Ukrainian DPs had either been taken forcibly to Germany during the Nazi era to perform forced or slave labour there or had hastily left the Ukraine fleeing the Red Army towards the end of the war. “The Ukrainians found it hard, if not impossible, to live together with Polish DPs”, relates Antons. “The national pride of the Ukrainians played a crucial role in their conduct and made them try to support the fight for a Ukrainian nation-state using their temporary lodgings in Germany as base.” Considering that a part of the Ukrainians had been resettled to Western countries by the “International Refugee Organisation (IRO)” at the time, the accurate figures of Ukrainian nationals staying in Germany at war end are not known.

Jan-Hinnerk Antons is searching for further eye witnesses who may contribute to his research work. Whoever was a DP himself or herself or knew DPs is encouraged herewith to get in touch with him by mail.

Some general information on Ukrainians classified as German POW
from Alan Newark

On 5/7/10 Dear Researcher
A letter to the local paper for that area might produce useful results, might find some elder soul who remembers your dad.

After 1947 many Ukrainians who decided to stay in the UK were chiefly employed on farms and in the coal mines. You could check the Cambridgeshire County Agricultural Board archives. These might be held locally or, even, therefore needing physical consultation, c/o the National Archives in Kew, Surrey.

In 1947 thousands of Ukrainian Waffen SS troops were brought to the UK from Rimini in Italy. Most were eventually released and allowed to settle here. Many went to Canada, America, Australia, etc.

A soldier of some other German Army unit might have been classed as a Pole by some sympathetic Allied tribunal officer and allowed to come to the UK. In late-1945 the British 21 Army Group HQ issued an order saying that the Ukrainian nationality was no longer recognised and that Ukrainian Displaced Persons in Occupied Germany in the British Zone, including POWs, were to be classed as Soviet citizens and, like 2 million other Soviet nationals, compulsorily repatriated (forced) to the USSR.

Otherwise, if he was lucky and got to the UK, the International Committee of the Red Cross archives in Geneva might have a reference card stating which Allied Displaced Persons / POW camps in which he was held in, where he was born, etc. A surname is needed to search International Tracing Service at Arolson in Germany.

I know one or two military historians who are recognised authorities on German Army / Waffen SS Ukrainian forces. However, they would need some firm information such as a surname and / or unit. Also, this is a long shot but if a Ukrainian POW was forced to serve in the German Army, the Berlin military personnel records centre is another option.

Also, the British Government, in the 1960's, transferrred to the German Red Cross the records of tens of thousands of German POW files. Until a few years ago enquirers to the old Public Record Office were routinely told that these records had been destroyed in the 1960's and that enquirers would have to either visit the Kew archives or employ a commercial researcher to do so and to trawl the general - and not helpful or containing names - POW classes of documents.

When I followed up complaints made to me and others the PRO gave me the same answer. I, as a freelance journalist, said that that was not good enough. Precisely when and where were these documents destroyed? What classes of documents and in what numbers? Where had these been previously stored and on whose authority had they been destroyed?

I urged the PRO to launch an internal investigation. They did so and lo and behold..they discovered that the files had not been destroyed after all, that they now lie in the Berlin military archives, WAst Dienstelle, and are mostly available to relatives and bona fide researchers. The PRO duly wrote to me confirming this and revised the intro paragraphs of the on-line and printed info about POWs leaflet.
Best Alan Newark

United Kingdom Public Record Office displaced persons' files
"After the cessation of hostilities there were an estimated 11 million ex-PoWs, displaced persons, former slave labourers and concentration camp inmates in Northern Europe, of which nearly 2.5 million were within the British Zone." more see sec 8 of

Public Record Office in UK - Contribution by Michael Leonard

Thank you for contacting the Public Record Office.

Records of the Control Commission for Germany (CCG) (British Element) can be seen here, and we can give you advice on how to investigate them. However, we cannot undertake research for you. To consult the records, you (or someone acting on your behalf) will need to come here.

Many of the files of the CCG were not selected for preservation: surviving files are generally about administration, and do not contain details of individuals.

There are no surviving comprehensive lists of those employed by the CCG (or similar organisations), or of detainees, displaced persons, or those who were released, of whatever nationality. Occasionally, confirmation of a release or transfer can be found in individual camp records, or in regional camp administration records. The reasons behind detention are also rarely recorded, but this information is sometimes mentioned in camp administrative records, or as the result of separate investigations into an individual's wartime activities.

To investigate the surviving records, you need to start off by looking at the excellent catalogue and index compiled and edited by Birke Booms and Merter, Akten der Britischen Militarregierung in Deutschland (11 vols., K E Saur 1993: ISBN 3-598-22910-0). The Akten gives brief details of the documents, as well as their PRO references: for full details you will need to look at the documents themselves. A reference copy of the Akten can be seen here. If you can get to see this work through a major library near you, or by inter-library loan, it may indicate whether it is worth visiting the PRO.

Once you identified records you have three ways to find out more: 1. Come and visit us to see the documents yourself. Staff on duty will be happy to show you how to set about identifying relevant material.
2. Employ an independent researcher to do the work for you. Please follow the link to
3. Get an estimate of the cost of a copy, if you have a precise reference

Research Information Leaflets cover many of our most popular records, and some unusual ones as well. Browse the index to get some idea of the range of subjects. Please click the link to Click on this link for the most relevant leaflet

After reading a leaflet or if there is none covering your enquiry, try exploring our Online Catalogue,

Because of the many varied and competing demands placed on its staff resources, the Public Record Office, (PRO) is unable to undertake research on your behalf.

We are able to offer general guidance in respect of the PRO's holdings, and can make general suggestions about possible record classes but we cannot identify specific records or mark up documents for copying.

If you are able to visit the Office, staff on duty will be happy to show you how to set about identifying relevant material.

Please check the PRO's web pages for details about how and where to visit us and for details of our holdings. There are also copies of the information leaflets available at:

An online catalogue has been placed on our website at: read the introductory notes carefully before using it.

If you are unable to attend the office yourself, or to arrange for someone to do so on your behalf, you may wish to put the matter into the hands of an independent professional researcher. We can supply you with subject based lists of researchers automatically please follow the link to

Yours Sincerely Vivienne Bales
E-Mail Duty Officer
Reader Information Services Department
Public Record Office, Kew, Richmond, Surrey,
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8392 5200
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8392 5286
Minicom: +44 (0)20 8392 9198

The National Archives The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8392 5200
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8487 1977

The National Archives welcome visitors. If you search yourself, their staff will give you advice free of charge. If you visit them, you will need to register as a researcher. Bring with you some proof of identity. If you are a citizen of the UK or Republic of Ireland, bring either driving license, banker's card or passport. If you are a citizen of another country, bring a passport or national identity card. Telephone 0209 8392 5200 before you visit. You can register in advance as a reader at:

You can carry out some initial research by accessing the research guides and an on-line catalogue at:

Ex-PoWs and Displaced Persons, 1945 onwards
After the cessation of hostilities there were an estimated 11 million ex-PoWs, displaced persons, former slave labourers and concentration camp inmates in Northern Europe, of which nearly 2.5 million were within the British Zone. Between 1945 and 1949 Allied authority in Germany was exercised by the Commanders-in-Chief of the various Allied military zones, and jointly through a Control Council. In 1949, that authority was transferred from the military governors to Civil High Commissioners. In London, the department responsible for the exercising of British control in Germany and Austria was the Control Office, which in 1947 became the German Section of the Foreign Office.

Most of the records were generated by the Control Commission for Germany British Element (CCG) and its predecessors, of these an estimated 29,000 files have survived. Initially, it should be noted that The National Archives does not hold nominal rolls of detainees (except No. 3 Civilian Internment Camp Fallingbostel) displaced persons (DPs), former forced labourers or comprehensive lists of those released. Nor does it hold any nominal lists or the personnel files of those employed by the CCG or similar organizations. Occasionally, confirmation of a release or transfer can be found in individual camp records or regional camp administration records. The reasons behind detention are also scarce, however, this is sometimes mentioned in camp administrative records, usually in connection with incidents occurring within the camp, or as the result of separate investigations into an individual's wartime or post-war activities.

Files of the Displaced Persons Section are to be found in FO 945/359 -404 and 541 -773 and material on the resettlement of displaced persons exists in pieces FO945/460 -527.
The financial aspects of DP administration in Austria and Germany are documented in the Control Office Finance files in FO 944. In addition a few files concerning travel into and out of Germany by ex-PoWs and DP holders of Ministry of Labour permits is in the Control Office Travel files in FO 940.

Historical Manuscripts Commission: HMC is the UK's central advisory body on archives and manuscripts relating to British history. Established in 1869 by Royal Warrant, we are the principal source of information on the nature and location of records and a leading source of advice on matters relating to them. About HMC

Write to The Secretary, Historical Manuscripts Commission, Quality House, Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HP, or Fax 020-7831-3550, or E-mail

"Patrols roamed the area in an attempt to control Displaced Persons (formerly German slave labour of many nationalities). These had become the vagabonds of Germany, eating, sleeping, and taking revenge as they wished. In an attempt to control this gypsy life, the Ems River was made a stop line where all DP's attempting to cross were diverted to proper reception camps and preparations were made to seal off Germany by closing the Dutch / German frontier."..."more 9th Battalion Royal Tank Regiment

Book about postal addresses in the British Zone:
Post der befreiten Zwangsarbeiter (Displaced Persons Mail Paid in Deutschland) 1945-1949 written in German by Wolfgang Strobel. 160 pages. May be ordered from the author W. Strobel, Nietzschestrasse 23, 53177 Bonn, Germany. Postpaid for $24 U.S. cash. Book review by Walter Farber in German Postal Specialist, June 2001 There were millions of Displaced Persons in Germany at the end of World War II, most of whom had been brought in for forced labor during the war effort. Surviving Jews were also subsumed under this designation. The repatriation or emigration of these people was one of the most daunting tasks faced by the Allies after the liberation of the camps. This was exacerbated by the fact that many of the DPs from Eastern Europe (mainly Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic republics) did not wish to go back to their countries of origin, fearing rataliation by the new Communist regimes there. The process thus continued well into the 1950s, when finally all remaining DPs were granted the status of "expatriate residents" in Germany.

This book is the first comprehensive study of the free mailing privilege granted to Displaced Persons in the British Zone of Germany in 1945-49. Mail service for Displaced Persons mail was allowed by the British and Americans long before similar services became available again for the German populace. As an added complication, the British Military Government assigned coded addresses to the camps located in their zone, and until now it had been virtually impossible to decode this system.

Strobel has finally been able to do so through intensive study of formerly inaccessible documents in German and British archives. The book has charts listing all kown camps and centers in the British Zone of Occupation by code number, alphabetically by location, and by the numbers of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, the International Refugee Organization und private relief teams responsible for them.

In addition, a list of British Field Post Office numbers in Germany, as well as of unit numbers of the Britsh Army of the Rhine help to make the history of Displaced Persons and their mails far clearer and easier to understand than they ever were before.

Headquarters British Forces Germany Health Service R02 Clinical Admin Medico Legal & Complainst Manager Whittingham Crescent 41179 Monchengladbach British Forces Post office 40 Tel 0049 2161 908 2234 Fax 0049 2161 908 2420, E-mail

Hamsterley Hall DP Camp - housed about 300-400 men from Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and even East Germany, countries then occupied by soviet Union. If these men had returned home, they wuld have ended up in the Siberian Labour Camps (gulags). Large numers of DPs were allowed into English during 1947, provided they agreed to work for four years eeither on the farms or in the mines:....

There were a large number of similar camps including Villa Real (Consett), Gainford, Firtree and Windlestone Hall, three miles east of Bishop Auckland. Firtree DP Camp was previously the Harperley POW Camp

There were DP Hostel at Old Hexham Road, Ryton and others at Pelaw Bank (Chester-le-Street) and New Kyo (Annfield Plain).

More of this on near the bottom of the page.
May 1, 2014 Dear Olga,

My name is Benjamin Karp. I am working on a book about the DP Camps after WWII. I have been trying to interview people who were there in a greater understanding of this time period.

At the present time, I still have several areas that need to be address. More specifically, views from the British and Soviet Zones about life and daily activities in those camps. Is there a way that this can be posted on your website, and/or could you direct me to someone who could help with my research questions.

I want to thank you in advance for your help. It is greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
Benjamin E. Karp
3 Versailles Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70125
tel: (504) 451-3467

2/5/2007 Dear Olga Kaczmar
Greetings, I am currently involved in a piece of PhD research and am interested in contacting any British based volunteers (especially Quakers and non-Quakers who were in the Friends Relief Service or Friends Service Council) who undertook work in the Displaced Person Camps in Germany after 1945. I am further interested in contacting any individuals who had contact with the volunteer relief teams (FRS, British Red Cross, UNRRA or any other British based relief teams), including any displaced persons to whom they provided assistance. If anyone has any information, please do not hesitate to contact me at
Thank you for your assistance. Jenny

March 9, 2008
The Polish airforce Association in the UK is trying to track the 17,000 plus former Polish airmen - there is still over 9,000 names of airmen about who we don't know what happened after the war

We of the descendant of Polish airmen email group are trying the help Mr Tadeusz Krzysztek who has this undertaking.  The gentleman is nearly 90 and is connected to the internet. If you know of the fate of a former Polish airman - if he has died , when and where, or if someone has settled somewhere --- PLEASE EMAIL ME - I have the full list and can forward the information to Mr Krzystek.

We have identified that some airmen often migrant to one country and then subsequently migrated to another country.  Some of the details on the list are not current SO please help us maintain the records and help us trace the Polish airmen - pass this message on to others who may have information

Lucyna Artymiuk

5/20/08 Hello Olga,
I have just spent some time looking at your wonderful site which I discovered whilst looking for some information on Lemgo. I wondered whether it would be possible to post a request? I am researching a PhD on European Volunteer Workers, the title given to DPs recruited from DP camps and brought to England to work in the essential industries from 1946 to 1951. I would particularly like to get in touch with recruits for ‘Westward Ho!’, the second stage of the scheme which brought men and women to England and placed them within mining, textiles, brickmaking and my particular area of interest, agriculture. If any visitors to this site would be interested in contributing their memories of their new lives in Britain, I would very much like to hear from them Their memories would then become part of a lasting, historical recording of a scheme which has been largely marginalised in history to this point Initial contact would be welcomed via e mail at
Many thanks, Deborah Green

20, Apr 2009, Dear Mrs. Kaczmar,
My name is Hinnerk Antons and I'm doing an PhD about "Lifeworlds of ukrainian DPs in the british Zone" at the University of Hamburg/Germany. I would like to ask you if you could publish a call for rememberances of former DPs and their descandants on your marvelous website. I'm interested in documents, diarys, photos and everything which is still remembered nowadays. I'm especially interested in everyday history, relations to germans, gender relations, "screenings" and political conflicts.

In return I hope to be able to contribute something to your website as well. I could write something about the Ukrainian DP Camp Heidenau with up to 4,000 inhabitants, send pictures (there is still an ukrainan part of the cemetery) and help in finding relatives (there are lists of inhabitants in some local archives).
Yours sincerely,
Hinnerk Antons

Re: German Army Soldier records in UK:  
There are many possible sources of information about individual German Army soldiers. I can think of a couple of fellow researchers who might have ideas about specific sources:

WAst military personnel records centre in Berlin - Searches can take 6-12 months or longer.

The ICRC HQ Archives in Geneva

The International Tracing Service in Arolsen
I can say that thousands of index cards, Fragebogen, Death Records and other records pertaining to German, sic, prisoners in the UK were, in the 1960's, transferred by tthe UK Public Record Office to the German Red Cross / DRK in Hamburg. They were eventually transferred to Berlin.

I know this because for many years the UK PRO printed / on-line POW research leaflets stated that in the 1960's thousands of these documents were DESTROYED, that little remains of POW camp inmates' rosters and that anyone seeking such info should either visit the PRO, in Kew near London, in person or employ a commercial researcher. I received complaints from several, mainly elderly with little money, correspondents saying that they felt that the PRO was ignoring their requests on such an important topic.

As a freelamce jourrnalist I wrote to the PRO, now the National Archives, and said that their attitude was not good enough. I wanted to know WHEN, WHERE, ON WHOSE ORDERS, IN WHAT NUMBERS AND IN WHICH CATEGORIES such records had been 'destroyed'? How, I asked, couldsuch a huge task have been undertaken and there be no paper trail? I demanded an internal investigation.

The PRO duly investigated, discovered the 1960's tranfer of records to the DRK and sent me an apology. They also altered their POW leaflets.
Alan Newark

13 Mar 2014 Submitted by Alan Newark
compiled from assorted Web sources, to be continued: The Greek Catholic Church in London and Yorkshire

Places of Worship :
The Ukrainian Cathedral of The Holy Family In Exile
Duke Street, (Off Oxford Street )
Mayfair, London. W1.
Rev. Stephen Oracz, STD, Administrator

Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate
22 Binney St., London W1Y 1YN
Tel 0171 629 1534

The Holy Trinity And Our Lady Of Pochayer
Wilmer Road, Bradford
Basilian Fathers (OSBM):
Rev Augustine Kuzma ( Parish Priest)
Rev Pedro Paulena ( Assistant )
26 Fairfield Road, BRADFORD, W YORKS BD8 8QQ
Tel 01274-542307

Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate
2 Park View Road, Heaton BD9 4PA
Tel 01274-541931

Our Lady and Saint Paulinus
Huddersfield Road
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Joseph's,
Lidgett Lane, SHEFFIELD
Served from BRADFORD

Sacred Heart
Warmsworth Road
Served from BRADFORD

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
Lemon Street, Queen's Road HX1 0LN
Served from BRADFORD

Saint James the Great
New Hey Road
Served from BRADFORD

Our Lady Of Lourdes and Saint Peter Chanel
Cottingham Road
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Anne
North Street
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Augustine
Harehills Road
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Mary and Saint James
Ukrainian Catholic Church
Rev Ivan Hasiak, STB
328 Yorkshire Street OL16 2DS
Tel 01706-31241

Saint Mary
Leeds Road
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Catherine
Burngreave Road
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Joseph
Wellington Road
Served from BRADFORD

Saint Austin
6 Wentworth Terrace
Served from BRADFORD

General places of worship & Cultural Activities

(Ukrainian Club) Ukrainian Bazilian Fathers (Non-theistic)
Address: 10 Park View Road
City: Bradford
County: West Yorkshire, UK
Postal Code: BD9 4PA
Telephone: 01274 542307
Fax: 01274 409093 Ukrainian Catholic Church
10 Park View Rd
West Yorkshire
Telephone: 01274 542307 Our Lady of Czestochowa (Polish Church)
29 Edmund Street, Bradford, BD5 0BH
Tel: 01274 720848

Most Holy Trinity (Ukrainian Church)
The Presbytery
10 Park View Road
Heaton Bradford BD9 4PA
Deanery: Bradford
Tel: 01274 542307
Email: 01274 409093
Notes: Ukrainian Rite


Our Lady & St Paulinus (Polish Church)
Cemetery Road, Dewsbury, WF13 2SE
Tel: 01924 465638
Station: Dewsbury

Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain
Latest activities of at 2013-12-27 was found on the domain:

Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain
Secretary: Ewhen Bilous
Sacred Heart RC Church
Warmsworth Rd
Doncaster England DN4 0RR
Telephone: 01274 542307
Branches:Ashton, Bedford, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Carlisle, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Halifax

Halifax (Ukrainian Club)

St Mary (Polish Church)

Gibbet Street, Halifax, HX1 5DH
Tel: 01422 352141

Hemsworth (Polish Church)
Sacred Heart (Polish, second Sunday of month)
Market Street, Hemsworth, WF9 4LB
Tel: 01977 610733
Link to church website:

Huddersfield (Polish Church)
Fitzwilliam Street. Huddersfield, HD1 5BB
(Polish language parish)
Tel: 01484 420474

Leeds (Polish Church)
Our Lady of Czestochowa & St Stanislaw Kostka (Leeds)
Newton Hill Road, Leeds, LS7 4EY
(Polish language parish)
Tel: 0113 262 3220

Polish Catholic Centre
518-520 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8RL
Tel: 0114 266 5425
Link to church website:
Last updated 8th December 2012 Report Corrections Sheffield (Polish Church)

St. Marie Cathedral (Polish Church)
Norfolk Row, Sheffield, S1 2JB
Tel: 0114 272 2522


Ukranian Catholic Church
10 Park View Rd, BD9 4PA
Tel: 01274 542307)

This page is sponsored by the Michigan Family History NetworkDonate