DP Camp Dora inmates with the director of the French UNRRA team. 29 June 1945. Photo: NARA, College Park, MD.

DP and repatriation camp

After the liberation, the American occupation troops and the UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) cooperated to make the camp buildings suitable for the accommodation of "displaced persons" (DPs). This was the designation given liberated concentration camp inmates and former forced labourers from all over Europe. The UNRRA organised the return to their home countries.

Until mid May 1945 alone, some 14,000 persons were waiting at the DP-Camp "Dora" for their return home. In addition to several hundred liberated concentration camp inmates, they included above all former foreign civilian forced labourers. Most of the DPs from Western Europe, who were fit for transport, could return to their home countries very soon after their liberation. Surviors from Eastern European states usually had to wait for months for their repatriation and often were under general suspicion of having collaborated with the Germans.

In July 1945 Thuringia was placed under Soviet occupation administration. The DP-Camp became a Soviet "repatriation camp", which was already dissolved in October. In November 1945 the last transport with 166 DPs left Nordhausen.