Föhrenwald DP (Displaced Persons) Camp

Föhrenwald was one of the largest displaced persons’ camps in Germany and was located in the American occupied sector in Bavaria in southern Germany near the city of Munich. During the Second World War it housed slave labourers who worked at the IG Farben munitions factories. The majority fo the members of the Boys who spent time here came to the UK as part of the second group of the Boys. Edita Schwimmer spent time in Föhrenwald and arrived in the UK as part of the third group. It is possible that other members of the Boys who arrived in 1946 had spent time here.

The camp opened in June 1945 and was run by the United Nations organisation, UNRAA. Just weeks before the members of the Boys left the camp in October 1945, Föhrenwald became an exclusively Jewish DP camp. Most of the time that the Boys spent in the camp it was also home to non-Jewish DPs from Poland, Yugoslavia, Hungary and the Baltic States. Although the majority of these DPs had been brought to Germany as forced labourers but some had collaborated with the Nazis.

In the period that members of the Boys were in Föhrenwald, it was the third largest DP camp in southern Germany after Landesberg and Feldafing. It had a population at this time of about 4,000 people many of whom had been transferred there from Landesberg.

Housing conditions in Föhrenwald were better than in other DP camps as the buildings were small centrally heated homes that had been built in 1939.

The revival of Jewish life in Föhrenwald began before it became an exclusively Jewish DP camp but only really got underway after the second group of the Boys had left for the UK. The care of young people centred on education and apprenticeships and there were a number of training farms close to the DP camp.

Föhrenwald was the last DP camp to close, in 1957. It was renamed Waldram and is now a residential area of the city of Wolfratshausen. There is an information centre for visitors.

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