United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration

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Josef (Janek) Szlajfaztajn (later Josef Schleifstein) (born March 7, 1941 in Sandomierz ) after his liberation from Buchenwald concentration camp
David Ben Gurion memorial at the former UNRRA camp in Eschwege

The United Nations Emergency Relief and Reconstruction Administration or UNRRA for short . United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was an aid organization founded on November 9, 1943 during the Second World War on the initiative of the United States , the Soviet Union , the United Kingdom and China . After the war it was adopted by the United Nations .

UNRRA was active in Europe until December 31, 1946, when it was replaced by the International Refugee Organization . She worked in Africa , the Middle East and China until June 30, 1947.

The main task of UNRRA was to support the military administration in the repatriation of so-called Displaced Persons (DPs or DPs). The UNRRA was given the task of looking after the DP camps in the liberated areas. A UNRRA team, which was subordinate to the local military command, was responsible for each camp. For its part, UNRRA was authorized to issue instructions to non-military aid organizations such as the Red Cross or the Joint Distribution Committee in the camps .

As the headquarters for the American occupation zone UNRRA since November 1945 served the building of today's Karlsgymnasium Munich-Pasing and the nearby College of Education Pasing . Near Cologne ( British occupation zone ) the UNRRA set up an open camp for DPs in the former monastery , labor camp , concentration camp and Gestapo prison in Brauweiler (now part of Pulheim ), which existed until at least 1948.

After the goal of repatriating all DPs could not be fully achieved by 1947, the UNRRA was dissolved. Although the overwhelming majority of those affected could be repatriated, the UNRRA was accused of failure from several sides.

Your successor organization IRO pursued the goal of the non-repatriated DPs in other countries, such as. B. Australia , Canada or Palestine , to settle or to integrate into German society. This approach has been known as resettlement .

Immediately after the war, initially only refugees or concentration camp victims from other countries were cared for. Austria, for example, only received food and clothing from this relief operation between February 8, 1946 and June 30, 1947 following the application of the Allied Control Council . This ensured the survival of many people, especially during the harsh winter of 1946/47. Also seed as wheat from the United States or rye from the USSR was distributed. This relief operation was later replaced by ERP and CARE .

But vehicles that were left over from wartime, especially from the American military , were distributed throughout the country. The fire brigades often converted the first vehicles after the war from vehicles that had to be in service until the 1960s, as most of the fire brigade's vehicles were confiscated during the war.

See also


  • Grünbeck, Max; The essence of UNRRA; Berlin - Rome - Tokyo , vol. 5 (1943), no. 9, p. 8
  • Wilfried Mähr: From UNRRA to the Marshall Plan. American financial and economic aid to Austria from 1945–1950 . Vienna 1985 (Vienna, Univ., Diss.).

Web links

Commons : UNRRA  - collection of images, videos and audio files