Black and white photograph of a group of Polish displaced persons standing inside and outside a train carriage at Heerte Railway Station in the Salzgitter region of Germany, 1946. They are in the process of being repatriated from Heerte Camp to Poland.

This is one of a collection of 24 photographs taken by English staff members of the Guide International Service (GIS) Team 107, part of the combined operation of the 112 Military Government, UNRRA [United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration] and voluntary relief teams looking after the care and repatriation of persons displaced throughout Europe as a result of World War II. This team was working in camps in Germany from the east in the Salzgitter area from 1945 and in 1948-1949 across to the west in Bielefeld. The GIS included many Australian volunteers.

Description of Content

Black and white photograph of a group of men, women and children standing on a railway platform in front of a train carriage and others visible through the window, all facing the camera.

Physical Description

Digital copy of a black and white photograph.


This collection of photographs provides a rare visual insight into the processes of transporting, relocating and repatriating displaced persons after World War II. Millions of people across Europe were displaced after the War, and countries such as England and Australia provided staff to assist with the massive coordination of processing the movement and migration of people. This group of photographs is of particular value as the photographer is known and has provided some background as to staff depicted in the images, the organisation they represented (the Guide International Service Team), the nature of the displaced persons (mostly Polish) and the locality (Salzgitter region in Germany). There is also recorded the names of some of the specific camps and the railway station where people were transported. There are also images of camp kitchens and offices providing further insights into camp management and staffing.

These photographs provided invaluable contextual imagery for the many stories of displacement represented in the Migration collection and the global documentation of the post World War II mass movement of people, including the 170,000 who migrated to Australia.

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