Ottilien Babies

Starting from May 1946, the Jewish Hospital of St. Ottilien used its facilities as delivery station for pregnant Jewish mothers mostly from the DP camp Landsberg which was the largest among the Bavarian DP camps, but also from other camps of the American occupation zone. The delivery station in Landsberg was closed down in autumn of 1946 probably because of the transfer to St. Ottilien. The reason for this transfer was probably the fact that the fully equipped hospital in the monastery had less and less medical cases so that the delivery station provided a new task. The high number of births is part of the so-called „DP baby boom“ among Jewish survivors (starting from the second half of 1946, about 750 babies each month in the US DP camps according to Adina Grossmann, Jews, Germans and Allies, Princeton 2007, p. 188). Altogether 418 children (203 boys, 214 girls, one child with no indicated gender) were born in the monastery compound from 1946 through to 1948 many of whom have now „Eresing“ or „St. Ottilien“ as birth place in their passport. Several couples married in the DP camp. If you want a birth certificate or a marriage certificate of your parents, please address yourself to the local register office of Windach:
LIST alphabetical (according to UNRRA-lists from the International Tracking Service of Bad Arolsen)
LIST chronological (according to UNRRA-lists from the International Tracking Service of Bad Arolsen)

Birth rate 1946 (202 children)
April: 1
May: 10
June: 22
July: 16
August: 19
September: 23
October: 32
November: 40
December: 39

Birth rate 1947 (196 children)
January: 42
February: 37
March: 30
April: 23
May: 19
June: 11
July: 10
August: 3
September: 6
October: 5
November: 7
December: 3

Birth rate 1948 (20 children)
January: 7
February: 6
March: 5
April: 2

The data for the birth registration was always given by the Hospital administration to the local birth registry of Eresing. More precise information about the dwelling places of the parents starts only in August 1946. According to these incomplete indications, the mothers lived in the following places:
DP Camp Landsberg am Lech: 126 (a number of the mothers lived outside the camp)
DP Hospital St. Ottilien: 22
DP Camp Pocking (Waldstadt bzw. Schlupfing): 17
DP Camp Gabersee (Wasserburg am Inn): 16
DP Camp Freimann: 14
DP Camp Neu-Ulm: 14
DP Camp Eichstätt: 10
DP Camp Dornstadt (Ulm): 5
DP Camp Holzhausen (Buchloe): 5
DP Camp Ulm: 4
DP Camp Heidenheim: 4
DP Camp Freilassing: 3
DP Camp Feldafing: 3
DP Camp Frauenberg (Austria): 2
DP Camp Dieburg: 2
DP Camp Bad Reichenhall: 2
DP Camp Gauting: 2
DP Camp Eschwege (Frankfurt a.M.): 1
DP Camp Leipheim: 1
DP Camp Geretsried: 1
Greifenberg, Kibbuz Hanoar: 1
The other mothers lived in private places or their DP Camp is not clearly indicated. Nearly all the mothers came from within the American zone of occupied Germany.

Photographs from the Archives of St. Ottilien

Photographs from contemporary newspapers

The mothers of Dachau
When Dachau was liberated on April 29, 1945, the American troops found seven mothers with their children alive. Five of these mothers spent a rehabilitation time at the DP-Hospital St. Ottilien on June/July 1945.

Photographs of Michaela Steingarten and her son David in St. Ottilien (born on June 12, 1947)
Provided kindly by David Avnir (see also the memories of his mother Michaela Avnir in „Documents, Memories and Films“)