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Preliminary Report by Eisenhower on Jewish Displaced Persons

(September 18, 1945)

This is the second response to President Truman’s letter of August 31, 1945, asking General Eisenhower to investigate the conditions in displaced persons (DP) camps. He initially telegrammed on September 14 that he would inspect the camps.

In this initial report, Eisenhower says he visited five camps, two of which were exclusively Jewish and a third that was mostly Jewish. He said there was not the “slightest doubt” of the seriousness of the problems highlighted in the Harrison Report.

He found that people from the Baltic states, Poland and Romania did not want to return to their home countries until the political situation changed. Otherwise, they feared they would be killed. Almost all the Jews said they wanted to go to Palestine.

Eisenhower briefly describes the “unsatisfactory” living conditions in the camps, which were mostly in villages taken from the Germans. He said Germans were being thrown out of their houses so they could be used for the displaced persons.

He also describes the involvement of the army in taking care of the DPs and concludes that “if you could compare conditions now with what they were three months ago, you would realize that your Army here has done an admirable and almost unbelievable job in this respect.

On October 8, 1945,Eisenhower provided a complete report of his findings.

Clich here to read Eisenenhower’s letter.

Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 116, Truman Harry S. (4); NAID #12007674