A Short History of Junkers Camp, Bettenhausen, KasselDonald F. McGonigal, UNRRA, 1947 (monograph)

- 6 -

on the part of the military to check requisitions against population figures. Mrs. Shepe continued to draw food also from the German food office, and the DPs ate the German food and sold or saved the American canned food. The wife of a Class II UNRRA worker in Junkers Camp used the last tin of a reserve accumulated at that time for her 1946 Xmas dinner. The weekly fresh butter issue at this period is reported to have been one half kilogram per person, and the reputation of Junkers as a camp flowing with milk and honey, as well as schnapps, spread far and wide. On the refuse piled outside the windows of many of the DPs, particularly behind the barracks inhabited by the Russians and Poles, were large chunks of stale bread, and potatoes. Later, many of the DPs realized that surplus bread, butter and other perishables as well as tinned food could be exchanged with the Germans for fruit, vegetables and other foodstuffs, and the practice started then continues to this day, but more discreetly and on a much reduced scale.

Each nationality elected a leader and the food for the entire national group was given to him for distribution. Mrs. Shepe says that the Russian leader misappropriated so much of the food given for his countrymen that she was forced to appoint a new leader, but the same experience was reported with most of his successors.

Security and Camp Police.

Junkers Camp in its first phase, like many camps at that time, seems to have had much the appearance of a mining camp in the early gold rush days on a holiday. Practically no one wanted to work, DP and German schnapps was plentiful and was consumed in large quantities with the usual results, many DPs slept most of the day and spent the nights dancing, drinking, fighting and frolicking, especially the latter. Black marketing was rampant, and vandalism was widespread. Practically every wardrobe in the camp was broken up and used as firewood by DPs too lazy to cut their own wood or steal it from the Germans, and the Russians are said to have broken up all the mirrors with which every wash room in camp was equipped,


This content transcribes an original report of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), a separate copy of which is filed in the United Nations Archives (UNA), Reference number: S-1021-0081-05, Title: Monographs - DP-US 20 - Displaced Persons - United States Zone (Germany) - Histories of Individual Camps - History Report No. 30, Report: Baltin Camp in Bettenhausen, Kassel by D. F. McGonigal, Date: April 13, 1945. The UNA grants rights to reproduce with attribution. Additionally, this content is protected as a derivative work under Latvian Copyright Law Chapter 2 § 5 ¶ 3 and as part of a collection under Chapter 3 § 5 ¶ 1.2.

Site © 2018, S.A. & P.J.Vecrumba. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use Privacy Policy.