Displaced persons (DP) camps were found in West Germany and Austria after 1945, on territory occupied by American, British and French forces. The term “displaced person” refers to civilians, who through any number of factors, were not in their home country when the war ended. After 1945-46, when most people from Western Europe had returned home, the term referred to people who refused to return to their countries. The vast majority refused to return because their country was Communist-dominated.

In 1947 some 1.6 million people were held in DP camps. About 250 000 of these were Ukrainians. The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (1945-August 1947) and then the International Refugee Organization were responsible for administration and supply of the camps. In 1946 there were almost 500 DP camps; by 1950 the number had shrunk to less than 250. The largest Ukrainian camps, housing between 2 and 5 thousand people were Karlsfeld, Werner-Kaserne (near Munich), Somme-Kaserne (near Augsburg), and Jager-Kaserne (near Mittenwald).

During the short existence of the camps, an active political, cultural and educational life developed. In 1948, for example, 102 elementary schools, 47 secondary schools and 43 trade schools operated in the camps. More than 200 periodicals and almost 1000 books were published in the camps in 1948. Most of the Ukrainian DPs settled in the United States, Canada, Australia or Western Europe.