DP Camps in Austria
In 1938 Austria with its Jewish population of 192,000 was annexed by Nazi Germany. Almost immediately after the annexation, the Nazis started implementing strict anti-Jewish legislation. During the Kristallnacht (‘night of the broken glass’) in November 1938, most of the synagogues in Vienna were burned and thousands of Jews were deported to concentration camps. After the outbreak of the war Austrian Jews were deported to Eastern Europe and later to extermination camps. Approximately 70,000 Austrian Jews perished during the Holocaust, over 100,000 emigrated - mainly to the United States, South America and the United Kingdom.
Austria was liberated in April 1945. From May 1945 the country was occupied by the Allies and under the Allied Commission for Austria, divided similarly to Germany into four zones - American, British, French and Soviet. Vienna itself was also divided into four sectors and an international zone.
After the war a few thousand Jews returned to Austria and joined those who survived in camps and in hiding. Additionally about 130,000 DPs passed through Austria between its liberation and the mass emigration of 1948.
The first DP camps in Austria were opened by UNRRA in 1945. They were administered by UNRRA (later IRO) and the US Army. There were altogether twelve camps for Jewish DPs in Austria. The majority of them were closed by 1952.