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There are many Kapfenberg monthly reports. A summary of some monthly reports are presented here. The full reports have significant additional detail. If interested in a particular report please get in touch. 

Save the Children Fund

20, Gordon Square London W.C.1, England

Snippets from – Reports from Austria from Miss C. McMurray September 1948

Kapfenberg ‘U’ and ‘Y’ DP Assembly Centres

  • Camp 1 – Supplies of wood have been arriving regularly and there is now a very good stock. There is a weekly ration of wood given to each family.

  • There are three kitchens – main kitchen, hospital kitchen and school kitchen. The main kitchen is large with a separate room for preparing vegetables and fruit. The dry store is rather small and has little ventilation. It is suggested that a larger room, with a window, is fitted up as a store room. No running water is laid on for this kitchen and washing up has been very primitive. This is now being rectified, and work has begun on laying the necessary pipes.

  • A cobbler’s machine is required for the shoemakers shop. Various sources have been approached but as yet without success.

  • Camp 5 is still very dreadfully overcrowded.

  • Four classrooms are available in Camp 5 for 400 children, so half the children attend in the morning and the other half in the afternoon.

  • Camp 2 – wood is short and blankets are in short supply. The area where felling trees has been done is so inaccessible that the idea is to wait until the snow comes and then slide the wood down to where it can be picked up by transport. It is most important that large supplies of dry wood are brought in immediately – the kitchen alone uses 30 meters a week.

  • Camp 2 barracks are in a filthy condition, the electric wiring has been removed, doors and window panes were missing and most of the stores and beds were ‘kaput’. The barracks have been cleaned out and ‘deloused’ but it will take time to do all the necessary repairs.

  • The welfare committee seems to consist of Lagorverwalter, members of the administration and friends!! It is intended to dissolve this Committee and form a new one representative of and elected by the camp population.

Save the Children Fund

20, Gordon Square London W.C.1, England

Snippets from  Kapfenberg– Reports from Austria from Miss C. McMurray October 1948

  • Great work has been done in the last month, the repair work and the dividing up of barracks continues. Asbestos boarding has been issued free by the Lagerverwaltung to the people. This can be fixed to the inside walls and so improve the rooms. The lavatories are now usable, the showers in the bathrooms have been repaired and hot water is available every weekend.

  • The dance hall and canteen are being repaired and redecorated, the carpenter is making a new bar and I think I heard that there was a stock of wine ready for the big opening dance the first week in December.

  • Camp 5 – living conditions have not improved. Overcrowding is still prevalent, as many as 20 people in one room.

  • Blankets are still in short supply, approximately 800 are required to allow an issue of 3 per person.

  • It has been decided to divide up the barracks previously used for the Russian church and to use this larger part of this for a Kindergarten. The other end of this barrack will be used for a church for the Protestant members of camp.

  • I have had endless visits from DPs out of camp, requesting for clothing. It has been so hard to turn them away as so many have no help at all and are very badly off.

Save the Children Fund

20, Gordon Square London W.C.1, England

Snippets from Kapfenberg – Reports from Austria from Miss C. McMurray December 1948

  • The Kindergarten was finished this month and opened with the Christmas party. The barrack has been made into a delightful kindergarten and plans for the future include a playground and a sand pit to be made on the adjoining spare ground.

  • Lack of shoes or worn shoes has kept the school children at home in the last few weeks. One mother said to me, my child cries because she cannot go to school, but I cannot let her walk to school through the snow without shoes. This child had been in Scheifling TB camp for four months and did not look strong. We are eagerly awaiting the promised supply of new shoes.

  • In all four camps we had little Christmas celebrations for the kindergarten and school children.The children sang carols and performed little Christmas plays.

  • The dance hall and canteen have also been repaired and redecorated and dances are now held fortnightly for the Welfare Fund.

  • I attended some Youth Club meetings and gave talks on relief work in Austria, and have since received parcels of pictures, books, atlases, chalks, wool, material etc.

  • A supply of clogs was received from DP warehouse. As soon as they arrived children crowded into my office asking for ‘Holzschube’.

'As regards work for DPs, Miss McMurray at Kapfenberg – with seven camps needing her watchful attention – reports improvements in many respects, with friendly cooperation and understanding of the problem from the camp authorities.

A kindergarten at one of them is a shining example; gay china has replaced the normal camp vessel of a tin with a handle, children are enveloped in large bibs at mealtimes and the standard of table manners is exceptionally good.

There are 318 children at this particular camp and they have all been fitted out with shoes from UNAC (United Nations Appeal for Children). Parcels of clothing from an English school were given to this camp. In another of the camps, a doctor is urgently needed, and continual proddings from Miss McMurray have resulted in one being seconded for morning visits.’

The Foreign Field Periodical News from Workers of Save the Children Fund  Abroad, April 1949

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