By Dr. Beth B. Cohen
Following the tip of worldwide battle II, it used to be generally suggested by way of the media that Jewish refugees discovered lives jam-packed with chance and happiness in the US. besides the fact that, for many of the 140,000 Jewish Displaced people (DPs) who immigrated to the us from Europe within the years among 1946 and 1954, it was once a way more complex tale. Case Closed demanding situations the existing confident conception of the lives of Holocaust survivors in postwar the United States through scrutinizing their first years during the eyes of these who lived it. The evidence introduced forth during this booklet are supported by means of case documents recorded by means of Jewish social carrier staff, letters and mins from employer conferences, oral stories, and masses more.Cohen explores how the Truman Directive allowed the yankee Jewish group to deal with the monetary and felony accountability for survivors, and indicates what advice the group provided the refugees and what support was once now not to be had. She investigates the relatively tricky concerns that orphan young children and Orthodox Jews confronted, and examines the subtleties of the resettlement approach in New York and different locales. Cohen uncovers the reality of survivors' early years in the US and divulges the complexity in their lives as "New Americans." (20110101)
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Extra resources for Case Closed: Holocaust Survivors in Postwar America
What they did not see was how brightly these demographics mirrored what the immigrants had endured during the Holocaust and what they lived with after it. They show a rupture of Jewish life vast and deep: a plethora of thirty-year-old widowers, couples joined together to replace murdered wives and children, youngsters never reaching adolescence, young adults facing life alone. They speak, if we listen closely, about families shattered rather than about those reconstituted, cautioning us to remember the black thread of the Holocaust that continued to weave its way through the immigrants’ lives even as they moved forward.
11 New York was the center of American Jewish life. A range of educational, cultural, social, and religious institutions reﬂected this. New York had Jewish neighborhoods with the infrastructure necessary to those who wanted it. There was a substantial Yiddish culture, both secular and religious: press, schools, theater, and radio programs. New York was also home to the majority of the country’s landsmanschaftn (hometown social groups), which provided an important social network for survivors. The tension between the immigrants’ desire to stay within the New York Jewish community and that community’s wish to have the refugees elsewhere echoed that of earlier Jewish immigration.
With the help of Jewish agencies and American relatives, the survivors ultimately settled in forty-six states. This number 30 Welcome to America! 31 This image is not available. S. General Black brings the ﬁrst DPs under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, October 1948. National Archives and Records Administration. Courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. suggests widespread community participation, but numbers only tell a partial and limited story. Where the refugees settled, who wanted them, and how they were received upon arrival are questions that address the nuances of reception and illuminate the qualitative aspect of this experience belied by both the glowing stories in the media and the agencies’ statistics.
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