Care for refugees

Many parallel organisations operated during World War Two that dealt with displaced persons and resolving displaced persons situation. Most touched upon the displaced persons in camps in Germany with the creation of the United Nations Relief and Recovery Administration (UNRRA) as well as Allied Expeditionary Forces (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, SHAEF). According to the agreement between the UNRRA and SHAEF, the UNRRA ran under the patronage of military authorities. The UNRRA supplied the agency, coordinated and monitored the work of voluntary organisations, ensured supplies (tobacco, sweets, teaching aids, entertainment), organised information centre work, and where necessary, assisted with the repatriation of displaced persons to their homeland. Later, the UNRRA had to support the camp with the means available.

While creating the UNRRA, it was noted in the statute that the UNRRA's main purpose was to solve repatriation problems for displaced persons in Europe. That was the point that caused a lot of problems for activities for Estonian and Baltic displaced persons’ organisations. After the liquidation of SHAEF in July of 1945, the UNRRA signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with each specific military authority zone. In the middle of 1947, the UNRRA was liquidated and the welfare of the DPs was taken over by the International Refugee Organisation (IRO), whose main task was the day to day management of the organisation of the resettlement of displaced persons to new countries. When analysing the work and activities of other international displaced persons organisations during World War Two and the post-war period, it must be recognised that the resolution of humanitarian problems was not a priority and resulted in a transnational power struggle. The International Red Cross also assisted in the camps. The German Soviet zone did not receive the help of any organization.

Forms of donations gathered by Estonian Aid in New York.
ERA.1622.2.61, pages 13–14 (digitized,
An appeal of World Association of Estonians to the President of United States of America, Harry S. Truman. July 24, 1948.
ERA.1622.2.61, pages 21–22 (digitized,

The beginning of displacement

DP camps in Germany



Soldiers in Germany

Care for refugees

Children in DP camps

Culture and sport activities


The Church


Organization Red Cross in Germany

Youth organizations

Public holidays

The Statehood representatives – envoys in DP camps

Unity of the Baltic States

The resettlement of refugees

Audiovisual Chronicle