DESCENDANTS OF DISPLACED PERSONS OFFERED NEW GLIMPSE INTO THEIR IMMIGRANT ROOTS

The U.S. Holocaust Museum and Cleveland’s Ukrainian Museum Archives partnered to create a searchable database of Displaced Persons camps. It will be presented October 24 at the Slovenian National Home.

 Cleveland, Ohio, October 10, 2017 – If your family emigrated to Greater Cleveland from Europe after World War II, chances are they came from a Displaced Persons Camp. These were temporary settlements that housed millions of people uprooted by the war, including former POWs, Holocaust survivors and people forced to work as slave laborers in the Nazi Germany economy.

The camp experience became a big part of the immigrant odyssey for the “DPs”, as camp residents became known, yet it’s a story that has been largely hidden from their descendants. There was no easy way to trace people back to life in the DP camps--until now.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has created a searchable database of information on the Displaced Persons Camps and the people who passed through them.  Earlier this year, the Holocaust Museum partnered with the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland to digitize the UMA’s extensive collection of DP Camp periodicals produced by Ukrainian refugees from 1945-51.  Working with Kyiv-based Archival Data Systems, researchers have scanned more than 75,000 documents archived at the Tremont museum, creating a resource that scholars and others will now be able to access.

Officials from the Holocaust Museum will unveil the new resource and its search tools at a special presentation in Cleveland, a city that resettled thousands of displaced persons. “Solving the Mystery: Tracing Your Family’s Path from a Displaced Persons Camp,” starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 24 at the Slovenian National Home, 6409 St. Clair Avenue.

The event is co-sponsored by Global Cleveland and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

Andrew Fedynsky, the director of the Ukrainian Museum Archives, promises an evening that could help complete many a family tree in Northeast Ohio.

Please RSVP to the Ukrainian Museum Archives by calling 216 781-4329 or via e-mail staff@umacleveland.org.