What do we do when it comes to displaced World War II persons and refugees? Well, that is simple: our very best to find them.
Are these people still around?
This is a very good question with a straightforward answer: yes. Today there is indeed a dwindling number of post-WWII people still alive, but many of those who experienced the war was only five years old in 1945. So, they are still with us in some numbers.
Click these links for more information: National Archives relates to separated Jewish Children here and United Nations Archives here
Post-WWII Carnage after 1945 Central Europe.
We can not do it alone
We are not able to find these people without any outside help. Thus, we are delighted to announce an excitingly new but challenging service project relating to these lost people.
The Refugee and displaced People Post WWII tracing service was created in conjunction with our International people Tracing and Detective Agency section which has many central European connections. Prague is one in particular.
It’s quite astonishing to take in that many of these sad and lost people were quite devastatingly never reunited with their families or relatives after WWII ended. Particularly individuals who in 1945 found themselves stateless, homeless, and with no particular place to go.
The Red Cross offer appears a fantastic service, here. Providing support to families and refugees of WWII. It seems, though, that it ended in 2008. You can follow this link to read more: https://www.icrc.org/en/document/international-tracing-service-and-icrc
Class portrait of school children at Schauenstein DP camp, about 1946
Group of anxious children.
While we cannot match the Red Cross’ resources and abilities, we can fill in some cracks we have found. Those often overlooked were, in fact, German citizens. Children who lost both parents and who were forced to vanish during the war. The East-West split separated many in the aftermath.
Yes, German children were in the same predicament as other nationals at the war’s end. However, they were not prioritised, given the understandable hostility towards Germany. So, we are here for them today!
We know we won’t always succeed
The reason is that there are many highly challenging obstacles to circumvent here. Besides old age getting in the way, many of their relatives perished in concentration camps unbeknown to the survivors.
Many were tortured to death and others, for various reasons just vanished. The backgrounds of these people today are very patchy, and in others, there is no info. Country boundaries and borders have changed; for example, parts of Poland merged into Germany and Russia, creating chaos. Add to this that by 1948, large chunks of Europe were absorbed into the Soviet Bloc.
If you lived in the Soviet-controlled part, your past was often eradicated, and your files were destroyed. Many people were sent to forced labour camps, never to be seen again. Nobody was around to challenge or dispute what was going on. Most were labelled undesirable, so there was then and still is, no recourse for them. People had to carry on with forced labour until they dropped dead. No records of their existence or their death were ever kept.
Covering The Entire Spectrum In Private Investigations
We have decided to pursue these cases, despite knowing these complex trace assignments often involve “out of the box” thinking.
Whether it be finding post-WWII refugees or their descendants, it is very challenging indeed. We have discovered several unsolved cases of surviving older people who, in 1945, were classed as displaced persons.
Where do our international people tracer services cover?
Everywhere. However, our World War Two displaced services are searching for individuals overseas in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Poland, Israel, Hungary, Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia), Slovak Republic, Ukraine,
We also have our regular overseas traces, tracing people in further locations, such as the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
We recognise and accept that this service may not be in great demand. So be it, but we felt we should at least give it a go.
It would be more than worthwhile if we could reunite with just one family.
How much will this cost?
It is more likely to be in the thousands than the hundreds. But right now, we don’t know! There is currently funding from the German Government, but it’s due to expire in 2023. So, here we have to redouble our efforts. For the time being, our services will remain free of charge.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you or anyone you know is searching for a person/s lost/missing from this era.
- International Tracing Service’s “Request for persons persecuted by National Socialism, their families and representatives” in Bad Arolsen, Germany
- The Red Cross tracing service, via your local Red Cross chapter
- Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names in Jerusalem, Israel
- The Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History in New York City, USA
- The US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center in Washington, DC, USA
- International Refugee Organization Archives at Archives Nationals in Paris, France
- The Routes to Roots Foundation, an online database for Jewish and civil records in Eastern Europe