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Displaced Persons Camp / Work camp and concentration camp difference

delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
28 Jun 2017 #61
My mother worked in a small German village called Marienborn.

Of course, later known as the most important East German border crossing with West Germany. Always wanted to visit there, actually.
spiritus 69 | 666
28 Jun 2017 #62
Exactly. Actually proved to be a sad logistical obstacle to my mother ever being able to visit her father's grave.

Marienborn before the war was an anonymous village where she happened to work with her family on the fields. My grandfather died a few weeks before the war ended and was buried in Marienborn.

Bad luck led to Marienborn (as you rightly say) becoming one of the main checkpoints on the West/East German border meaning it became very difficult for her to visit his grave until the Berlin wall came down.

She visited with her brother around 1995 but the cemetery was overgrown and all the markers she had remembered were obviously gone so she couldn't find his grave. Locals had told her that when the Russians arrived in 1945 they desecrated a lot of the graves so perhaps it's better for us not to know exactly what happened at that time :(
spiritus 69 | 666
28 Jun 2017 #63
A couple of years ago an I decided out of the blue to try to rekindle some contact with an old school friend that I hadn't been in touch with for many years. He emailed me back telling me that he was in the middle of a cycle journey in Germany. He was riding solo along the old West-German border for a book he was writing and told me he was that he was about to arrive at a small German village called Marienborn-I nearly fell of my chair when he told me !
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
28 Jun 2017 #64
Exactly. Actually proved to be a sad logistical obstacle to my mother ever being able to visit her father's grave.

I'm very sorry to hear that. Marienborn was such a focal point during the Cold War that it must have tormented your mother every time it was mentioned - especially given the huge restrictions that were in place near the border. It would have been nearly impossible for her to get permission to go there, and the Russian brutes had absolutely no respect for the dead.

It's even more of a shame to think that had he been buried a short distance to the west, all would have been fine with the graveyard.
spiritus 69 | 666
28 Jun 2017 #65
Thanks Delph. One of those historical quirks I guess.

@Yagutka Did your mother in law spend time in any other DP camps. It was very common for people to be moved around many many times. My mum said she was better fed whilst working under the Germans as a farm labourer then after the war in DP camps.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
29 Jun 2017 #66
I believe there was a DP camp near Lueneburg, in a small town whose name currently escapes me. Celle, I think!
21 Dec 2017 #67
Reference #45 Janina and Stanislaw were our grandparents. They emigrated to Australian in 1950 on the HM Hersey. We are trying to research the polish family, if you have any information.
6 Aug 2018 #68
My grandparents Janina and Jan Sobczak came over on the same ship same time. There are amazing records on the australian archives website but you do have to pay for them. i live in sydney
11 Aug 2018 #69
Your story sounds a lot like my families. Also Trilke Werke & Hildesheim. I was born after the War but in Hildesheim. Unfortunately both my parents died already & were very close mouthed while they were alive.

Does anyone know whether I and other children were given German citizenship? We lived in Germany until the end of 1955. Thank you.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
11 Aug 2018 #70
I know an older Jewish woman, easily in her late sixties, early-seventies by this time, who was born in Celle, Germany not far from Lueneburg in the North and grew up until the age of five or so in a Displaced Persons Camp (Sammellager fuer Fluechtlinge). She then came to the States, speaks no German whatsoever, and talks like a native New Yorker.
spiritus 69 | 666
14 Aug 2018 #71
Does anyone know whether I and other children were given German citizenship? We lived in Germany until the end of 1955.

Good question. My brother was born in Barum, Germany (another DP camp). He was classified as "stateless" so he didn't have any nationality.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
14 Aug 2018 #72
Does anyone know whether I and other children were given German citizenship?

Unlikely, as German citizenship law is very restrictive. It's possible that you actually had it, but lost it through the failure to declare German nationality before you turned 21.

You'd probably qualify for some form of residency in Germany though, if you wanted it.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
14 Aug 2018 #73
In order to qualify for citizenship today in the Federal Republic, official (written) proof must be furnished that BOTH parents were/are German nationals.
Several years ago, I asked a young man whose parents were from Spain, but who was born in Frankfurt (and who spoke only German, no Spanish!), whether he had to apply for German citizenship or whether it was granted automatically as it would be, for instance, here in the States. He replied that technically, he was not a German citizen because his mother and father were guest workers in Germany and therefore never became German citizens; he was still considered a Spanish national!

Perhaps not applicable in Bugaj'daughter's case owing to questions of statehood vs. statelessness, but it might be worth looking into.
Miderg - | 1
1 Mar 2019 #74
@Bugaj'sdaughter. Are there 4 girls in your family.
14 Dec 2019 #75
Hello, I just came across this site and was wondering if you found any answers? If you have not I recently found a site (Arolsen Archives) which does show displaced persons and when they left for US, Canada UK etc, however, you don't provide details to determine if I found the right people.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
15 Dec 2019 #76
Bad Arolsen is the chief repository of Holocaust documents as concerns DPs, both within Germany and throughout Europe.
kaprys 3 | 2,501
16 Dec 2019 #77
It's worth checking their records from time to time as they keep updating available data. Last month I found one of my great grandfathers there. I didn't know he had been also sent to Germany. I came across his name looking for his son. Still no luck for three other ancestors sent to Germany.
26 Sep 2020 #78
Hi, hopefully you are still logged into this site. My grandparents were Stanislaw and Janina Pigon.

My mother was born in Hildesheim in 1945. Her and her family came to Australia in 1950. I will check whether she was given a German birth certificate at birth.
abajthant - | 1
11 May 2021 #79

Displaced Persons Camp / Work camp and concentration camp difference

hello- my name is aniela from buffalo, ny . im the grandaughter of eleonora grabowska from opatow/kaminiec poland and henry fitek ( zagrody poland) they met as POWs in Fallingbostal. they married after the war. My baba worked on a farm to feed the soliders. my dziadzia was considered a polish army vetran in buffalo ny.

my uncle as far as I know was born at the camp ( as all paperwork indicates that when they were sponsored to come to America in 1949). im trying to piece together some missing pieces in my family tree. From DNA, it appears my mom and uncle do NOT have the same Father. My uncle was born in march of 1948. if anyone has info for myself and another person i have been in contact with who are trying to figure this out. please email

other surnames: im looking into are- Baj, Hochul, Szalda ( in buffalo), Krol, Rados, Grabowska, Fitek, Kaczor
kaprys 3 | 2,501
14 May 2021 #80
Start with Arolsen Archives.
Lyzko 32 | 7,873
14 May 2021 #81
Right. As I indicated prior, Arolsen remains the leading archive of its kind anywhere.
20 Aug 2021 #82
my grandparents came on that ship too! janina and jan sobczak

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