Jewish Women Survivors in the Displaced Persons Camps of Occupied Germany: Transmitters of the Past, Caretakers of the Present, and Builders of the Future
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- Purdue University Press
- Volume 24, Number 4, Summer 2006
- pp. 67-89
- Additional Information
During the years 1945 to 1950, nearly 300,000 Holocaust survivors passed through the displaced persons camps in Germany. Within the confines of the DP camps, the survivors began to rebuild Jewish communal life and to work toward a future in Palestine. This "surviving remnant" of European Jewry understood itself to be the inheritors of a great tradition as well as the key to the Jewish future. Many Jewish women sought to achieve community goals through their traditional, feminine roles of mothers, teachers, and needleworkers. The often traditional nature of women's activities has tended to obscure their significance, yet the DP camps were a most non-traditional environment. There, women's reproductive and childrearing roles, cultural endeavors, economic and political pursuits were essential to the normalization and revival of Jewish communal life after the Holocaust.