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After the UN General Assembly resolved to establish the IRO, 15 funding member states had to sign an agreement so the IRO could officially begin its work. To ensure that the DPs were cared for even in the interim period, the UN set up the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organization (PCIRO). On July 1, 1947, PCIRO employees took over the responsibilities previously handled by UNRRA in the DP camps. They also began to review the DPs’ status by having them fill out CM/1 forms. These forms, with the abbreviation “PCIRO” in the header, were used until the PCIRO became the IRO in August 1948. The five-member Wegehingel family from Yugoslavia filled out an application for PCIRO support in November 1947. This is just one example of a CM/1 form from the PCIRO. There were several variations of the form, though they differed only in their typefaces, not in the questions asked. Today the PCIRO and IRO are usually equated because the difference between them was essentially just a formality. For this reason, when the IRO is mentioned in the e-Guide, the PCIRO is usually being referred to as well.

After the UN General Assembly resolved to establish the IRO, 15 funding member states had to sign an agreement so the IRO could officially begin its work. To ensure that the DPs were cared for even in the interim period, the UN set up the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organization (PCIRO). On July 1, 1947, PCIRO employees took over the responsibilities previously handled by UNRRA in the DP camps. They also began to review the DPs’ status by having them fill out CM/1 forms. These forms, with the abbreviation “PCIRO” in the header, were used until the PCIRO became the IRO in August 1948. The five-member Wegehingel family from Yugoslavia filled out an application for PCIRO support in November 1947. This is just one example of a CM/1 form from the PCIRO. There were several variations of the form, though they differed only in their typefaces, not in the questions asked. Today the PCIRO and IRO are usually equated because the difference between them was essentially just a formality. For this reason, when the IRO is mentioned in the e-Guide, the PCIRO is usually being referred to as well.

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Questions and answers

  • What are considered variations in the e-Guide?

    The e-Guide distinguishes between main cards and variations. The reason for this is that there are sometimes different versions of a single type of document that can vary significantly.

    The documents referred to as main cards in the e-Guide are standard documents that were used especially frequently in concentration camps, DP camps, and for the registration of forced laborers, and about which a good deal of information is available. The Arolsen Archives also hold variations of these documents, however, which served the exact same purpose as the corresponding main cards, but which look different. There are various reasons for this: Some camps used their own individually produced cards instead of the standard versions. In many other cases, individual cards and forms were used before the introduction of standardized pre-printed forms.

  • Do you know more about the document?

    If you have any additional information about this document or any other documents described in the e-Guide, we would appreciate it very much if you could send your feedback to eguide(at)arolsen-archives.org. The document descriptions are updated regularly – and the best way for us to do this is by incorporating the knowledge you share with us.

     

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