Image: Library of Congress
When Axis and Soviet forces invaded Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the early years of World War II, they sent thousands of refugees fleeing south and east to escape the chaos
Many fled across the Mediterranean, hopping from island to island in search of safety.
To manage this exodus, in 1942 the British established the Middle East Relief and Refugee Administration (MERRA) and set up a constellation of camps in Egypt, Gaza, and Aleppo, Syria, providing havens for over 40,000 displaced Europeans.
At the El Shatt camp near the southern end of the Suez Canal, thousands of Yugoslavian refugees were settled in tents pitched in the baking sands. Read more…