The Displaced Persons camp within the grounds of Hamburg Zoo was build by the Blohm & Voss company during WWII to house the forced labourers that worked in their factory. The camp was taken over by the British on 5 May 1945 and quickly given over as an arrivals centre for displaced persons. On arrival displaced persons were organised into groups of 50 for processing through the reception centre. They were dusted with anti-louse powder and given a registration card (D.P.3) bearing such details as their name, nationality and place of residence. All were then allotted a bed in one of the accommodation huts. In times of overflow a large former air raid shelter was used as overspill night accommodation. After a few days at the camp and when transport was available displaced persons were sent to the appropriate 'National Camp' ready for repatriation to their country of origin. On 4 May 1945, the German authorities estimated there were 45,000 displaced persons in Hamburg. This figure was later increased to 120,000 by 521 Detachment, Military Government, the British formation responsible for all displaced persons in the city.
A Polish family, probably Jan and Maria Klarecki, registering at No.17 Displaced Persons Assembly Centre in Hamburg Zoological Gardens. On arrival each person received a registration card bearing their name, home address and other particulars.
A Polish family registering at No.17 Displaced Persons Assembly Centre in Hamburg Zoological Gardens, 18 May 1945.