In 1946, the Doverstorp resettlement camp was reaching the end of its planned services as a resettlement and repatriation camp.
The vision and mission for these camps specified that they were for ‘repatriandi,’ Swedish for repatriates, meaning the goal was to help these former prisoners return to their homes or countries of origin.
< Part 3 – Lest We Forget – Doverstorp | Part 3: Doverstorp Refugee Camp >
Downsizing and Closing Doverstorp Resettlement Camp
The responsibility for transferring while the camps were operational fell to the camp’s leadership to assure its residents humanely and efficiently.
The January 31, 1946 memo below shows in almost bureaucratic language and tone how these arrangements were made.
There is nothing extraordinary about this; organizations know how to manage their logistics, even when there is a ‘large contingent.’
Sten Malmberg, the Camp Manager, writes with equal weight the people being moved and the exact timing of the journey. That was his job, role and function.
“On Monday, February 4, the clientele in Doverstorp’s 1 alien camp will be moved to Bettna. The journey is intended to be undertaken by train, which departs at 9.56 from Finspång, via Kimstad Nyköping.
Taking into account the difficulty of keeping the large contingent collected during the waiting times in resp. Kimstad and Nyköping, it would be desirable if the necessary number of carriages for about 125 people could be inside Kinstade station on Monday February 4, 1946 at 10.30 and that these wagons could then be disposed of during the entire journey until the arrival at Bettna at 14.39. “
Doverstorp, January 31, 1946. Signed by Sten Malmberg, Camp Manager”
The photographs below show what little remains of the compound’s buildings and encampment.
But we hope this article helps assure that the events that took place there are not lost to history.
Sign marking one of the two Dining Buildings (35)
The Doverstorp Resettlement Camp Potato Cellar (36)
Inside the Potato Cellar (37)
Foundation of the Water Works Building (38)
A more intact Water Works Structure
Remnants of Water Taps located around the site since the barracks did not have running water
Concluding Thoughts on the Doverstorp Resettlement Camp
Consider these words and phrases; they are the opposite of those referring to abandoned and forgotten at the start of this article.
|Recollect||Keep in mind||Point out|
These terms describe the present day looking back at the history and impact of Doverstorp.
Once the resettlement location for thousands of new arrivals from the Nazi concentration camps at the very end of World War 2, the remnants of this camp are but a few pilings, foundations and markings.
Yet, the heroic work of a staff of hundreds over a two year period made an impact on lives that must not be passed over by history.
It is our hope that you, the reader, will remember the journeys of these Holocaust survivors, and those who cared for them, as they headed into the unknown of life after war.
PHOTO GALLERY OF WHITE BUS CONVOYS AND RESCUE
Dedicating White Bus #38 Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Holocaust Victims,
December 1, 1991
Lest we forget.