History

These holdings comprise documents drawn up by the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and its predecessor organizations between 1945 and 1951. They come from Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Austria that provided accommodations to Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and former Nazi forced laborers while they awaited emigration. Among the DP camp residents were also persons who, for political reasons, had fled the sphere of Soviet control.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Bad Godesberg, Bonn Branch Office

Inventory Description

The approximately 40,000 files contain some 300,000 documents with mention of about 111,000 names. To receive support from the IRO, the uprooted persons had to complete “applications for assistance” and answer various questions. Their answers shed light on their origins, professional qualifications, persecution by the Nazis, desired emigration destinations, etc. The files moreover document marriages, births and deaths taking place during the people’s years as Displaced Persons. The file designation CM/1 refers to “care and maintenance” (CM) and the questionnaire type used (1). The applications were reviewed for whether the applicants were eligible for assistance according to the terms of the IRO mandate.

Organization and Arrangement

The CM/1 files are in alphabetical order by name. Where a single dossier contains information on an entire family, a head of family was established and the case was filed under his name. Only this head of family’s nationality and religion were registered. Apart from the CM/1 forms, the files also contain questionnaires for DPs, confirmations of eligibility for support, applications for change of status (CM/3 forms), photos of the applicants, health records, correspondence and memos on matters discussed orally.