Photo of migrants boarding ship in European port

Discussion in 'Photography' started by magicsurfbus, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    [​IMG]
    Maybe not what you expected - this photo was taken around 1947-8, probably in Antwerp. The ship is the SS Ernie Pyle, which was ordered directly by President Truman to help speed up the evacuation of concentration camp survivors from post-WW2 Europe to the USA.

    Civilians persecuted and viciously maltreated on grounds of race and religion by intolerant armed fascist thugs, hoping for a better life in a more peaceful country. I hope they found it.

    My - how times and priorities have changed.

    The photo is scanned from one of 15 negatives I found in a collection at a Belgian flea market last spring. I've offered copies of them to the Holocaust Museum in New York and they've happily accepted - apparently they're a piece of social history.
     
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  2. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Does it say that on the negative? o_O
    They look very well dressed (and well fed), for people viciously maltreated by a regime that had been non existent for three years......
    It does seem that yes, some were from the Nazi camps, but the majority were displaced persons from The East of Germany, Poland, and Ukraine, who couldn't return home because of the Communist takeover of their countries.
     
  3. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    The SS Ernie Pyle was a troopship specifically ordered by Truman to ferry civilian refugees from Europe to New York, starting in January 1947 and only finishing when the mission was complete. There'd be no other reason for civilians to be aboard that specific troopship in those numbers.

    Your eyesight is better than mine if you can see the quality of their garments and evidence of good feeding. They wouldn't still be in striped camp clothing and staggering around with malnutrition after more than two years of Allied medical assistance and relief would they?

    No shortage of DPs among them Tootles, as you rightly say, and yes, a large number who couldn't return home due to the loss of their countries to invaders who'd do them harm if they tried to return. A bit like today in some respects.
     
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  4. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    Number of migrants then makes today's number look like peanuts. 60 million by some estimates. Here are 21 contemporary photos published by Time.

    Daily Mail and Express led a vigorous campaign to keep them out of UK. In the end we did take some Polish miners in and put them down our pits.

    http://time.com/4029800/world-war-ii-refugee-photos-migrant-crisis/

    Dick
     
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  5. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    Great picture. Back in the day they were properly processed authentic refugees who were destitute and desperate.
    Unlike today where most are economic migrants and prepared to comit desperate and or criminal acts to get to a country of their choice. Not just a safe country.
     
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  6. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    We didn't want then even then though

    Dick
     
  7. Wyaye wires

    Wyaye wires

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    At the end of the war in Europe the UK and USA sold the Poles down the river by withdrawing recognition of the Polish Government in exile...
    The Labour Government of the time then wanted all Poles out of the country, along with most of the trade unions... This when there was a massive shortage of manpower in agriculture and mining...
    The Polish servicemen who fought for us against Nazi Germany were treated appallingly by Britain all to appease Stalin: who, don't forget, signed an alliance with Hitler and invaded Eastern Poland at the same time as the Nazis invaded the West of it...
    A disgraceful period in British history...

    'The Forgotten Few' by Adam Zamoyski is an interesting read about the events involving the Polish air force during and immediately post war...
     
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  8. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    Not so sure about that...........However, even if that is so, you don't need a ship or a boat to get from Syria to Turkey. :)

    It wasn't a troopship, just a semi converted cargo ship.
     
  9. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Can see a little more detail in it now.
    Ernie Pyle.jpg
     
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