A Right to be Individual

The DP theatre group “Baderech” announces its formation.

Flyer for the DP theater “Baderech”

What always matters to us is to overcome the shadows of yesterday. […] We need artistic self-actuation, we have the right to individualism: For years we were supposed to die as a monolith; now the time has come when we want to live as a people! Our little theater on the outskirts of Berlin, the transit station on the way to a new life, is the first step towards this.

Flyer for the DP theater “Baderech”

After the end of World War II, Berlin became a place of refuge for millions of refugees and displaced persons (DPs). Several groups of people who had lost their homes through war, enslavement and persecution fell under the DP status.


In addition to former forced laborers, foreign contract workers and prisoners of war, Jewish displaced persons also found themselves in Berlin. They had been liberated from Nazi concentration camps or on death marches or were returning from exile. They called themselves she‘erit hapletah, (Hebrew for “the surviving remnant”, in Yiddish sheyres hapleyte). For most of them, Germany, as the land of the perpetrators, was the last place they wanted to stay.

Three larger transit camps for Jewish DPs were established in the destroyed city. Being housed in a camp again had a retraumatizing effect on many. But within a few months, the camps developed into self-governing small towns within the urban area of Berlin. The camps remained only until 1948, but some residents stayed in the city for the rest of their lives.


Flyer for the DP theater “Baderech”

Actor from the DP theatre group “Baderech” in the Jewish newspaper Der Weg, September 5, 1946.