The divergence of refugees

At first, in 1945-1946 Lithuanian DPs were hoping, that with the help of the USA the Baltic States would soon regain their independences and refugees could come back to their homeland. Unfortunately, with the change of political course of events, DP camp's residents living under temporary care, had to consider long-lasting migration to other countries.

In 1946 the British already started to recruit the Baltics (500 Lithuanians among them) for jobs in the industry sector. Later some refugees were accepted by Belgium to work in the coal mines.

From 1947 a mass emigration started, which opened the ways to Canadian (around 20 000 lithuanians), Australian (10 000 Lithuanians), Argentinian (around 800 Lithuanians), Brazil (700 Llithuanians), Columbian (500 Lithuanians) and New Zealand (250 Lithuanians) job markets. But the most attractive country, furthermore with the oldest Lithuanian immigrant history (first Lithuanians settled here as far back as the 18th century) was the USA. By immigration law USA accepted 30 000 Lithuanians. Later some of the Lithuanians who previously migrated to the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada or Australia also moved to the USA and stayed here for a greater period of time joining the ranks of USA Lithuanian communities.

Part of Lithuanians stayed in Germany even when the DP period was over. Not without their efforts LTB (Lithuanian Reffugees Community) was reorganized to a Germany Lithuanian Community. Regional Lithuanian communities sooner or later were established in all bigger Lithuanian clusters, they were all united by The Lithuanian World Community, which is considered to begin its activities in 1949, when the Lithuanian Charter was promulgated.


Information letter of Displaced Persons Commision
Lithuanian National Library 179-223
Immigrant's registration book
Lithuanian National Library F28-272
Remembrances of Lithuanian exiles society for person leaving DP
Lithuanian National Library F28-63
The voyage to freedom [paper published by emmigrants departing to USA].1949, no. 1
Lithuanian National library BLp(LKA)2185