A Short History of Junkers Camp, Bettenhausen, KasselDonald F. McGonigal, UNRRA, 1947 (monograph)
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There has been very little accomplished so far towards resettlement; one person has gone to Sweden and a second expects to go; three are going to join relatives in the Argentine; four have applied for visas for the U.S.A. with some prospect of success, and twenty-one men indicated their intention to take advantage of the offer of the Belgian Government to accept 20,000 miners from the DPs in the American Zone.
The representatives of all the Latvians in Germany and Denmark who held a three-day conference in Junkers Camp in February (see next page), reached certain conclusions concerning resettlement which were stated in their report of the meeting as follows:
"In discussing labor possibilities outside of Germany, the
Central Committee is asked to set regulations for emigrating
to countries in Europe. Essential consideration should be
paid in preserving our national unity (spiritual life, family
life, social insurance), as Latvians are an agricultural people,
such labor offer as work in coal-mines (Belgium) is not the
most suitable. Everybody has to consider such an offer individually
and reacy an individual decision.
The delegates have unanimously come to the conclusion that the Latvians cannot remain in Germany.
To make a decision in favour of one or other country as the emigration goal, two facts should be borne in mind: -
1) Latvians are an agricultural people
2) It is necessary for us to preserve our national
unity. In case of emigration, a possibility should be found
to emigrate together with one's relatives, independently from
the fact, where those relatives would reside at the moment of
emigration (French, British or American Zones in Germany,
Austria, and Denmark).
Taking into consideration the facts which have come to our knowledge as regards the political, social and geographical conditions, the assembly are of the opinion that the most suitable overseas countries for Latvians are Alaska, Canada, but even such countries as the Union of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are mentioned. Prospects to emigrate to the above mentioned countries are vague at the present, and there is little hope that they will improve in the near future. Therefore the necessity arises to find a suitable country for emigration in Europe.