The Army and the DPs

Chaplain Harold Saperstein, Father Andre and Jewish Orphans in Namur, Belgium, 1945

Initially, American military policy defined the stateless Jews in conquered Germany as "enemy nationals." Regulations prohibited the chaplains from "fraternizing" with the survivors. Compelled by the Jewish survivors' obvious suffering, the chaplains took two actions: fight to have the regulation changed; and help the DP despite risking a court martial. Eventually, the chaplains' advocacy helped the military view the Jewish DPs in a more favorable light.

Harrison and his ilk believe that the Displaced Person
is a human being, which he is not, and this applies
particularly to the Jews[,] who are lower than animals.

General George S. Patton to his diary

Photos: NJWB, American Jewish Historical Society

Chaplain Robert S. Marcus and the self-governing Jewish Committee of Buchenwald DP Camp, 1945
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