Springtime is laughter time for children, but there was no laughter for three-year-old Betti Malek when the Germans crashed through Belgium and took Antwerp in 1940. She was one of numerous child refugees brought from Belgium to England, and one of the million of children who suffered during the five-and-a-half years of war, May 17, 1945.
Betti Malek—pictured on May 17, 1945—was one of numerous child refugees brought from Belgium to England after the Germans seized Antwerp in 1940.AP Photo
Springtime is laughter time for children, but there was no laughter for three-year-old Betti Malek when the Germans crashed through Belgium and took Antwerp in 1940. She was one of numerous child refugees brought from Belgium to England, and one of the million of children who suffered during the five-and-a-half years of war, May 17, 1945.
GERMANY - JUNE 06: Post WWII German refugees and displaced persons crowding every square inch of a train leaving Berlin. 1945.
Operation Overlord
A handful of survivors from the 150 refugees who left Lodz in Poland two months earlier headed for Berlin. They are following railway lines on the outskirts of Berlin in the hope of being picked up by a British train.
Grim-faced refugees stand in a group on a street in La Gleize, Belgium on Jan. 2, 1945. They are waiting to be transported from the war-torn town after its recapture by American forces during the German thrust into the Belgium-Luxembourg salient.
20th March 1945: Refugees from across Central Europe queuing for food at an Allied Forces refugee camp in Germany after being displaced.
Stream of refugees and people who have been bombed out of their homes moving through destroyed streets - 1945after end of war; on the left two soviet soldiers patrolling).
Group of Dutch refugee children arriving at Coventry Station, Great Britain, 1945.
25th October 1945: German refugees fleeing from the Russian zone in the first few weeks after the end of World War II in Europe. They are sleeping on straw in a makeshift transit camp at Uelzen in the British zone of Germany.
3rd March 1945: German refugees crowding the market square at Juchen, Germany, a town captured by the US Army at the end of the Second World War.
Exhausted, homeless German refugees hudd
Dutch Child Refugees: Arrival In Britain At Tilbury, Essex, England, UK, 1945, A small Dutch boy smiles for the camera upon arrival at Tilbury in Essex. He is carrying a small paper parcel under his arm, which contains all his luggage. He, and the other children, (some of whom can be seen behind him) all have labels pinned to their coats which bear their names, home address and destination, 11 March 1945.
Refugees from the East of the German Reich (German Empire) around 1944/1945.
German civilian refugees prepare to flee war-torn Aachen, Germany as the battle for the doomed city draws to a close, Oct. 24, 1944. The refugees have been living in air-raid shelters as the battle for the city rages on. The Americans have about 4,000 of these refugees on their hands, who are being taken to a camp in Belgium and temporarily housed in a large school.
Women and children are standing at the roadside and are waiting for a transport possibility, in 1945.
Swiss Jew Eva Bass, formerly a nightclub singer in Paris, entering refugee camp at Fort Ontario, with her children Yolanda and Joachim, whom she carried on a sixty-kilometer trek through the fighting lines to reach American transport ship Henry Gibbins. 1944.
German civilian refugees walking through the streets of Aachen, Germany, on their way to a safer area away from the combat zone, 15th October 1944.
Civil Affairs Refugee Camp, France, 1944.
War refugees walking through Berlin with their whole belongings on 15th December 1945.
Frenchwoman with two children and belongings loaded on a baby carriage seen in Haguenau, France on Feb. 20, 1945, before they started on their long trek to a safe rear area. They are some of the refugees leaving the town because of the planned withdrawal of the 7th U.S. Army. Many civilians prefer to leave their homes and seek safety in a rear area, rather than suffer another German occupation or risk being conscripted into the German Vollksturn.
An attendant with white brassard (front, r) accompanies newly arrived refugees, in January 1946, through the refugee camp in Bebra.
Betti Malek—pictured on May 17, 1945—was one of numerous child refugees brought from Belgium to England after the German
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AP Photo
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This Is What Europe's Last Major Refugee Crisis Looked Like

As the current migrant crisis in Europe continues, one particular fact gets repeated over and over: this is the worst such disaster since World War II.

That conflict sent millions of Europeans fleeing the persecution, fighting, and poverty that came with it. The displacement began even before the war did, as the first signs of Nazi aggression pushed German residents and their neighbors—particularly Jews—to seek safety elsewhere. Migration continued throughout the war, as families left burned-out towns, children were sent to safer areas, and the scale of Nazi crimes increased. Even the return of peace saw a surge of refugees, with released prisoners as well as citizens of occupied Axis powers left wandering the continent.

All told, by some estimates, a total of about 60 million Europeans became refugees during the entire World War II period. According to the United Nations, a million people had yet to find a place to settle by 1951, more than five years after the fighting stopped.

The despair and urgency of Europe's contemporary humanitarian plight has been powerfully communicated through photography, and that was no less true during the Second World War. These are just a few images that help convey the impact and scope of the post-war refugee crisis.

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Greece Migrants
Syrian and Afghan refugees warm themselves and dry their clothes around a fire after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, early on Oct. 7, 2015.Muhammed Muheisen—AP
Greece Migrants
migrant refugee greece
refugees migrants Lesbos Greek islands
Syrian refugees Lesbos Greece
migrants refugees Lesbos
Croatia Migrants
Croatia Migrants
migrants hungary serbia border clash
migrants serbia
Hungary Serbia border
refugees migrants Lesbos
refugees migrants Hungary
Hungary Migrants refugees children
refugees migrants macedonia
refugees migrants Morahalom Hungary
syrian refugee migrant hungary
refugees migrants Serbia
refugee migrant Lesbos
syrian refugees migrants greek coast guard
syrian refugees migrants greek coast guard
Greece Migrants
Greece Migrants
Migrants walk along rail tracks as they arrive to a collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary
migrant refugees train macedonia
Italy Migrants refugees
Aylan Kurdi boy drowned
Migrant crisis
Migrant crisis
refugees migrants Hungarian-Serbian border
Syrian migrants cross under a fence as they enter Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke
Hungary border fence migrants refugees
syrian migrant refugee girl greece
Macedonian police clash with refugees at blocked border
Calais migrants
Kos Migrants Greece
Syrian and Afghan refugees warm themselves and dry their clothes around a fire after arriving on a dinghy from the Turki
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Muhammed Muheisen—AP
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