Following the end of World War II, it was widely reported in America that Jewish refugees found lives filled with opportunity and happiness. However, for most of the 140,000 Jewish Displaced Persons—"DPs"—who immigrated to the United States between 1946 and 1954, it was a much more complicated story. Holocaust historian Beth Cohen challenges the prevailing optimistic perception of the lives of Holocaust survivors in postwar America by scrutinizing their first years through the eyes of those who lived it. She explores how the Truman Directive allowed the American Jewish community to handle the financial and legal responsibility for survivors, and shows what assistance the community offered the refugees and what help was not available. Cohen investigates the particularly difficult issues that orphan children and Orthodox Jews faced, and examines the subtleties of the resettlement process in New York and other locales.
"A well-researched and clearly written volume that offers a powerful corrective to the common, somewhat rosy view of Holocaust survivors' experiences.... Beth Cohen's work both illuminates and disturbs."—Peter Hayes