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The Anguish of Liberation and the Return to Life

Return to Life
Yad Vashem Photo Archives, 378/47
Circumcision ceremony of Josef Lichtensztein, the first baby born in the DP camp, 1946 – Heidenheim, Germany

The birth rate in the DP camps in the years 1946-48 was the highest in the world, reaching approximately 700 children per month at its peak. Having children was the survivors’ strongest expression of the will to rebuild their lives. Religious rituals such as circumcision took on special significance, having been forbidden by the Germans during the war.