About the Exhibition

This year marks 70 years since thousands of citizens from the Baltic countries began their journey as refugees. A large number of them left their birthplaces forever.

Many refugees of 1944 found their first place of detention in Germany, where countless camps were organized, and which were later called DP Camps (displaced persons' camps). According to historical research, it is calculated that approximately 40,000 Estonians, 171,000 Latvians, and 60 to 70,000 Lithuanians came to Germany.

To introduce the public to evidence, processes, and activities of this dramatic period, the following archival institutions of Baltic Countries have developed a virtual exhibit, Refugees from the Baltic Countries in German Camps 1944-1951; These institutions are the Estonian National Archives, the Latvian National Archives, the Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania, the Baltic Heritage Network and many supporters. The creators of the exhibit offer to those interested a look into the period of the refugee camps, beginning with their formation, daily activities, holidays, and closing.

The camps were not only homes, where people lived temporarily, but also in their own way represented each Baltic Country's traditions and way of life. Schools, publications, books, theater groups, orchestras, ballet troops, and choruses were organized in the camps. Art exhibits, song festivals, concerts, and various sports' competition took place in camps. Various trade workshops such as sewing, shoe repair, metalworking, and others were popular. A great deal of attention was paid to activities that maintained national self-assurance such as the celebration of founders' days and national holidays of countries.

Those interested in this virtual exhibit can become acquainted with documents, photographs, and a small collection of movie fragments from camps. These offerings can be of interest to specialists of history, as well as to those studying Baltic history concurrent with that of Germany from 1944 to 1951.

Thematic Groups within the Exhibition:
Estonia (18)
Latvia (24)
Lithuania (18)

Viewing images.

1. Previous 4. Shift
2. Slide show 5. Zoom
3. Next 6. Close

Materials and excerpts from the virtual exhibit may be used and quoted with proper credit given to the source.

Links to exhibition.

Comments about the virtual exhibition can be sent to

The National Archives of Estonia: e-mail: rahvusarhiiv@ra.ee, www.ra.ee (J. Liivi 4, 50409, Tartu, Estonia).
The State Archives of Latvia: e-mail: lva@arhivi.gov.lv ( Bezdelîgu iela 1, Rîga, LV-1048, Latvia)
Martynas Maþvydas National Library of Lithuania,  Lituanica Department:
e-mail: j.budriuniene@lnb.lt (Gedimino ave. 51, Vilnius, LT-01504)


© The National Archives of Estonia, 2014.
© The National Archives of Latvia, 2014.
© Martynas Maþvydas National Library of Lithuania,  Lituanica Department, 2014.