ORT in the American zone of Germany

The American zone of occupation consisted of Bavaria and Hesse in Southern Germany and the northern part of Baden-Wurtemberg. The headquarters of the American military authority was in Frankfurt.

The first school ORT school in the zone, in the large camp of Landsberg, was opened already in August 1945, three months after the end of the war. It was set up by Jacob Oleiski, a pre-war leader of ORT Lithuania who during the war with extreme dedication run vocational courses in the Kovno Ghetto. It was Landsberg that became the first site of the ORT field headquarters, which later, as the school grew, were moved to Munich.

Due to the constant influx of survivor, which led the number of Jewish DPs to rise to almost 150,000 by November 1946, and consequently rise in the number of people requiring vocational training, new schools had to be constantly opened. Schools were established in around sixty-five places in the American zone of Germany, aimed both at those living in camps and those who decided to settle in German towns, the so called ‘free-livers.’ The majority of them were placed in the south, in the environs of Munich, where the largest all Jewish camps- such as Föhrenwald and Landsberg were installed. By June 1947 ORT schools in the American zone had a total of 5,304 students.

 Due to the number of schools in the zone, they were divided into firstly four, and later five and six administrative districts. The headquarters of ORT in the American zone were placed in Munich.