Thursday, February 23, 2012

International Refugee Organization ( IRO)

My Mother's IRO card
The International Refugee Organization ( IRO) was founded on April, 1946, a temporary agency of the United Nations. Their mission was arranging for the care , repatriation, or resettlement of Europeans made homeless by WWII. By the time it had terminated operations on January 31, 1952 it had provided care and shelter for more than 1,000,000 refugees in camps in Europe, moved 1,038,750 in resettlement to overseas countries and repatriated 72,834 people to their countries of origin at a cost of about $400,000,000. Before the IRO took over UNRRA , which was established by the United Nations in 1943, took on the refugee problem and established refugee camps known as Displaced Persons Camp or DP CAmps. The IRO dealt with the massive refugee problem during WWII.
People living in DP Camps were issued identification cards like my Mothers,  above photo.


  1. One of the best books about the work of the United Nations to help the refugees in Europe after the war is Wild Place by Kathryn Hulme (author of A Nun's Story). Hulme was the director of the Polish DP camp at Wildflecken, Germany. Her book is out of print but sometimes becomes available online. Here is a good link to a short bio of Hulme and her time at the DP camp--with many pictures from that experience.

  2. Thank You John , I will check it out.