>>>Stories from the Illegal Immigration
Stories from the Illegal Immigration 2018-02-19T22:11:56+00:00

Stories from the Illegal Immigration

the Exodus

The saga of the illegal Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel reached its peak in the months of July to August, 1947. The American ship, previously named President Warfield, which had been purchased by the Mossad, set sail for Europe and was given a new name, Exodus 47. The name was symbolic of the modern Exodus, not from Egypt, but from Europe. It was the biggest ship ever used to carry illegal immigrants and there were 4500 people aboard it. Immediately after it sailed from a port in southern France, it was joined by British warships that followed it to the coast of the Land of Israel. Even before it entered the territorial waters of the Land of Israel, British forces tried to overtake the ship, using battleships to ram the ship. The immigrants resisted with all their strength, but the British were far stronger and the struggle cost the lives of two immigrants and one Jewish American sailor and many immigrants were injured.

exodus

Back to Europe

The ship was towed to the Haifa Port and the degrading violent ceremony of forcefully transferring the immigrants to deportation ships began. This time, three ships were needed and they started to sail westward. However, instead of heading towards Cyprus, as they had done in the past, they sailed to France. The Jewish world was furious and protested. It soon became clear that the British had decided to stop the illegal immigration by sending the illegal immigrants back to where they had come from. Having coordinated with the French government, the thousands of men, women and children were told to disembark. The immigrants refused. They announced collectively that they would not be moved. They demanded that they be returned to the Land of Israel. They remained in the ship’s holds for three weeks while three deportation ships were anchored in Port-de-Bouc in southern France. It was a war of nerves that was conducted between the powerful empire that had lost its head and the thousands of immigrants, Holocaust survivors, who had nothing left to lose. As the days passed, the situation of the immigrants worsened. The world was shocked by what it was witnessing – the immigrants challenging the mighty British. The world was openly sympathetic to the plight of the Jews and thus, to the Jewish Yishuv’s struggle for free immigration and for the right to establish an independent state that could absorb hundreds of thousands of Holocaust survivors.

The Pressure Mounts

Those were days of discussions at the United Nations as to what to do about the problem of the Land of Israel. A special committee was sent there to examine the issue from every angle. Some members of the committee were at the Haifa port and they observed the violent deportation of the people aboard the Exodus. Afterwards, the committee visited the Jewish refugee camps in Germany in order to sense the mood. The refugees, like the illegal immigrants aboard the Exodus, said, “We want to go to the Land of Israel.” It is not surprising that when the committee submitted its conclusions on the night of August 31, at the height of the struggle for the immigrants aboard the Exodus, it gave great importance to the need to solve the problem of the Jewish refugees who aspired to reach the Land of Israel. The committee decided to recommend establishing a Jewish state, saying that Jewish immigration is the main problem of the Land of Israel at present… The establishment of a Jewish state according to the Partition Plan is the only way to remove this issue from the area of conflict.

Expulsion to Germany

The British were not particularly impressed by the committee’s report and continued to take a hard line. When they realized that the illegal immigrants did not intend to disembark in France, the three deportation ships set sail for Germany. At the port in Hamburg, the same terrible scenes repeated themselves. Hundreds of journalists and photographers recorded the disgraceful behavior of the British, as they hit and dragged the Jews who refused to disembark on German soil. A short time later, the Jews of the Exodus once again set off for the Land of Israel, some of them with certificates and others who would arrive as illegal immigrants.

Exodus

Watch this moving documentary which tells the story of the Exodus

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רשות הדיבור לחבר פרבלום
מילים: חיים גורי | לחן: עממי
ביצוע: חבורת בית רוטשילד
בעד ספינה אשר הפליגה
ולא הגיעה לנמלה –
ניתן –

רשות הדיבור
לחבר פרבלום
רשות הדיבור
לחבר תת מקלע.

בעד אחים טבוחים בגטו,
בעד ארצי שניגזלה-
ניתן –

רשות הדיבור
לחבר פרבלום
רשות הדיבור
לחבר תת מקלע.

cyprus

Jewish refugees at a prison camp in Cyprus

Patria

A deportation boat carried 1771 illegal immigrants who had reached the shores of the Land of Israel in three boats. The British planned to deport the immigrants to Mauritius in Africa. The Haganah planted bombs in the motors of the boat in order to prevent returning the Jews to Europe. The bombs damaged the boat more than was planned and the boat sank. More than 200 Jews and 50 British soldiers drowned. The
survivors were sent to the prison camp in Atlit.

The Struma

The Struma was a boat carrying 760 illegal immigrants who were trying to escape from Fascist Romania led by Antonescu. The boat was sunk by a Russian submarine in the Black Sea. The boat was part of the “Af Al Pi” (Despite) operation, organized by the Etzel. The sinking of the boat with the loss of all aboard, except for one survivor, is considered the worst disaster in the history of the illegal immigration to the Land of Israel and the biggest disaster of the sinking of a civilian boat during
World War II.

Knesset Israel

This was the largest immigrant ship. It set sail from Yugoslavia in 1946, carrying
Almost 4000 illegal immigrants. When the ship reached the Land of Israel, the illegal immigrants fought alone against the British. The fighting was fierce. Several were
injured and a gas grenade was even thrown at them. In the end, they had to give in
and they were sent to Cyprus.

Shabtai Luzinsky (Susanna)

This was an illegal immigrants’ ship that was discovered by the British while it was anchored off the coast of Nitzanim in March 1947. Hundreds of residents of the area were called to come to the beach and everyone that was asked who he was, said, “I am a Jew from the Land of Israel.” It was difficult for the British to identify the illegal immigrants and in the end, they deported 700 people to Cyprus, among them 170 people who lived in the area, while some of the illegal immigrants were released. Haim Hefer wrote the poem, “Shoshana, Shoshana” about this ship

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

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