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Transit Camp

A “transit camp” is a temporary and often improvised accommodation for a large number of people. During the Second World War, National Socialists forced prisoners of war, forced labourers and Jewish people to live in “transit camps” before they were deported. Following the migration movements after the Second World War, many refugees and expellees in Germany temporarily lived in “transit camps”. The “border transit camp” Friedland is one of the most famous “transit camps” in Germany. It was established in September 1945 at the border of the US-American, British and Soviet occupation zones and served as a reception centre for refugees and expellees as well as for soldiers coming back from war and people who were evacuated from their homes. Friedland is still operating as a “transit camp” and has housed over four million people since 1945. In 1951, North-Rhine Westphalia established the reception centre and “transit camp” Unna-Massen. Unna-Massen took in large numbers of refugees and (late) repatriates and over the years even developed the infrastructure of a small town.