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Heritage Civilization and the Jews
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Mother and child, Bejt Bialik DP camp,
Salzburg, Austria, ca. 1948.
(YIVO Institute for Jewish Research)

Many survivors arrived in the DP camps still not knowing the fates of family members from whom they had been separated during the war. Through tracing services set up by the United Nations, the Red Cross, and Jewish organizations, they began to piece together what had happened to their parents, spouses, and children. Some were devastated by the news that they were the only survivors of their entire families. Others were reunited with loved ones they thought they would never see again. Some survivors responded to loss by immediately starting new families. Despite the makeshift nature of life in temporary quarters, there were many marriages. Often, couples had children right away. Soon, the camps witnessed something of a population explosion. One camp, Bad Reichenhall, a camp with a population of only a few thousand, recorded 35 births in October, 1946.

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