ORT, THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THE REHABILITATION OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS by Sarah Kavanaugh, forward by David Cesarani – published February 2008 UDATE: Funded by The Claims Conference, further research is currently being undertaken into ORT’s work both in the DP camps and elsewhere in Europe. Building upon the information from Sarah Kavanaugh, the aim of this new research is to setup an educational website which will be available in late 2009. This book centres on the role played by ORT in the rehabilitation of Holocaust survivors inside the Displaced Persons camps after the Second World War. A brief history of the ORT organisation is followed by the author highlighting ORT’s work during the 1920s and 1930s, using Berlin as a case study. The important and often life-saving work carried out by ORT workers inside the ghettos of Eastern Europe, primarily in Warsaw and Kovno is then examined. The book then focuses on the liberation of the concentration camps, the set-up of the post-war allied zones of occupation, the establishment of the DP camps and ORT’s arrival within them. The mature period of ORT’s work in the DP camps is then covered, looking at Belsen in the British zone of occupation and Landsberg in the American zone. The book also explores ORT’s work in Austria and Italy. The final chapter highlights the closure of the DP camps, the subsequent immigration of the DPs and the creation of the State of Israel. For millions of people across Europe, 1945 brought an end to six years of war but not an end to their struggle to survive. For no-one was this more true than the thousands of Jewish refugees who had miraculously evaded Hitler’s Holocaust only to find themselves herded into Displaced Persons camps. For many among this remnant of European Jewry the joy of liberation soon gave way to the bitter realisation that they were alone in the world. The home they had known before the war was no longer theirs and passage out of Europe to a new home was severely restricted. And no matter where they lived they would face the problem of how to earn a living: some had been unable to complete their schooling, others needed new skills to meet the demands of a new age. There was, however, an organisation that enabled the Survivors to hope again – World ORT. In the condemned communities of the ghettos, ORT had prolonged lives by providing workshops that temporarily exempted trainees from transports east as well as giving them shelter and extra rations. In the DP camps, ORT set about rebuilding lives by preparing Survivors for the future with vocational training and apprenticeships as well as psychological support. This book explores World ORT’s lifesaving work inside the ghettos of Eastern Europe during the Second World War and its role in the DP camps between 1945 and 1948. In presenting what is the first comprehensive study of World ORT’s work with Displaced Persons and its contribution to the rehabilitation of Holocaust Survivors, this book also sheds light on an often overlooked part of Holocaust history. What becomes evident is that whatever the circumstances and wherever it was needed, ORT rose to the challenge and helped imprisoned and demoralised Jewish communities; it transcended differences and divisions by offering help to all Jews, irrespective of political or religious allegiances. In exploring the dignity and hope that ORT provided this book not only tells the story of those imprisoned in the ghettos of eastern Europe and those languishing in the DP camps, it also provides insights into the shape of Europe and Israel today. Available through Valentine Mitchell – www.vmbooks.com