Paris (Sep. 26)
Displaced persons, who include tens of thousands of Jews who have not been repatriated to their homes, are still confined behind barbed wire in the DP camps of the German zone occupied by Gen, George S. Patton’s Third Army. Armed American soldiers mount guard at all entrances and the inmates are not permitted to leave the camps except in the most drastic emergency and feel themselves, generally, to be prisoners.
Treatment of these homeless people by the Third Army is in marked contrast to the treatment given displaced persons in the zone policed by the United States’ Seventh Army, a survey showed today. In this area, there is neither barbed-wire nor armed guards at the camps. Internees are permitted to leave the camps and visit neighboring villages. They enjoy a much greater freedom than internees under Third Army control.
According to camp authorities in the Seventh Army zone, this greater liberty does not increase problems of discipline but, on the contrary, makes the work of the camp authorities casier since the merale of the internees is kept higher. Instead of considering themselves prisoners, it was pointed out, these internees feel that they are being treated as normal persons who have to be kept in camps only because of the food and housing shortages in Germany.
Sharp criticism of the Army’s handling of the displaced persons problem in Germany is mounting daily. Informed sources, while paying tribute to the Army’s efficiency in repatriating almost four and a half million persons from Germany since V-E Day, charge that it has failed to show a comprehension of the complexities involved in the cases of the estimated 700,000 non-repatriable persons still in Germany.