THE MUSEUM OF FAMILY HISTORY presents

 

Eretz Israel

 

 

Exodus 1947

 

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Exodus ship following British takeover
(note damage to makeshift barriers)
Banner says: "HAGANAH Ship EXODUS 1947"

 

Exodus 1947 was a ship that carried Jewish  emigrants, that left France on July 11, 1947, with the intent of taking its passengers to Palestine, then controlled by the British. Most of the emigrants were Holocaust  survivor refugees, who had no legal immigration certificates to Palestine. Following wide media coverage, the British Royal Navy  seized the ship, and deported all its passengers back to Europe.

 



photo
: As UN official Emil Sandstroem (bottom right, white hat) looks on, British soldiers remove Jewish refugees from the ship "Exodus 1947." The passengers are deported back to Europe. Haifa, Palestine, July 20, 1947.

--photo from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, www.ushmm.org .

The plaque inscription says in part:

Exodus 1947: "The Ship That Launched a Nation"
"Near this spot, the Baltimore steamer President Warfield began hear epic voyage into history. Built in 1928 as the flagship of the Old Bay Line, she ran nightly cruises between Baltimore and Norfolk. In 1943 she was given to Britain under the wartime lend-lease program, but joined the U.S. Navy in 1944 as a harbor control vessel off Omaha Beach after the D-Day landing.

Purchased as war surplus in 1946, she was outfitted in Baltimore as part of a secret fleet to transport Holocaust survivors through the British blockade against Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel.  On July 18, 1947, manned mainly by Americans and carrying over 4,500 refugees, she was attacked by British warships and boarded in  international waters.

--photo: a memorial located in the harbor in Baltimore, Maryland to
the Baltimore steamer President Warfield, later named the Exodus 1947.

Three men were killed, including the American mate William Bernstein, dozens were wounded. During the struggle, the new ship's name, Exodus 1947, was proclaimed to the world.

The British returned the captured refugees by force to detention camps in occupied Germany. The saga of Exodus 1947 inspired the world to condemn British policy, led to the UN resolution to partition Palestine, and symbolized the birth of Israel. The ship itself, battered and abandoned, burned and sank in Haifa harbor in 1952.

Between 1946 and 1948 volunteers from the United States and Canada acquired, equipped and manned 10 ships which carried 30,000 refugees through the British blockade."

--top photo and text from Wikipedia.
 

 


 



 

 


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