The European Lost and Found – Displaced Persons after World War II (10-Week Course, A19 & B19)
In the late 1940’s “DP” was a term to describe Europeans who didn’t seem to belong anywhere. Thin, tired, wearing donated clothing, they waited in crowded “camps,” mostly former army barracks, assigned by nationality. The DPs could not return to their home countries, but it seemed no nation was willing to take them. Eventually over 400,000 displaced persons came to the US. While their children and grandchildren have become part of American society, their struggles are largely forgotten.
We will focus on stories of individual DPs. We will also look at high-level policy and how powerful Americans like Truman, Eisenhower, and Eleanor Roosevelt worked to help the displaced. We will also look at how DPs were personally impacted by Cold War politics and were involved in the birth of the State of Israel.
David Nevard is a retired IT professional. While in high school he took some advanced courses at Brandeis, including European Politics which started a lifelong interest in the history and politics of Europe. His wife’s family were displaced persons after World War II, which inspired this course. He led this course at Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute three times from 2016 - 2018.
REQUIRED BOOK: DPs: Europe’s Displaced Persons, 1945–1951, by Mark Wyman, Cornell Press. ISBN-10:0801485428.
READING FOR FIRST CLASS: Instructor will email assignment.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)
Assumption College, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609