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From the Stars and Stripes archives

857 DPs leave Germany for new life in Venezuela

By WILLIAM B. LEE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 21, 1947

BREMERHAVEN, Germany, Sept. 20 — More than 850 displaced persons sailed from here for Venezuela late yesterday aboard the U.S. Army transport G. Sturgis.

Included in the ship's passengers were 165 former Spanish Republicans who cannot return to their homeland because of their anti-Franco activity.

The shipment yesterday of 857 brings to nearly 5,000 the number of DPs who have gone to Venezuela since the first of the year to seek a new home.

Venezuela has agreed to accept another 10,000 DPs this year if means can be found to transport them.

From the time the train of boxcars arrived at dock side at 2:10 p. m., the loading moved swiftly and without a hitch. As the train halted, mothers with children, and the aged, moved from the lone passenger car to the boxcars in which their husbands and more able dependents had ridden.

Most of the young women boarding the ship seemed sturdy and practically all carried babies. All were thrilled to get fresh or canned milk for their babies and delighted with their clean, neat cabins and the baby beds.

As the large contingent of Spaniards came aboard, Pascual Delgado Filardo, general commissioner for repatriation and immigration of Venezuela, said:

"That's a break for us. Those people intend to make us fine citizens and they're going to conduct Spanish classes on the ship to teach the rest of the immigrants."

For the first few days, officers on the ship said, the immigrants, from habit, will carry from the ship's tables all they cannot eat. Youngsters will stuff ice cream between slices of bread to eat as a sandwich. They will look warily at oranges they have never seen before.

There were many types of workers, technicians and professional men among the passengers.

As the ship was tugged out into the Weser River, faces were at each porthole, waving farewell to a land, that one DP said. "I never want to see or hear of again."

The majority of the immigrants came from Russia, Yugoslavia and from the Baltic states. They came here from a DP camp near Munich and were held in a camp near Bremen in the British Zone before sailing.
 

Displaced persons prepare to leave Germany for their new home in South America in September, 1947.
ROBERT MERRITT/STARS AND STRIPES

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