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Yad Vashem This Month in Holocaust History
July 18, 1947 - British soldiers removing Jews from the Exodus in the Port of Haifa

July 18, 1947

British soldiers removing Jews from the Exodus in the Port of Haifa

Featured here is the Exodus at port in Haifa on July 18, 1947, with the gaping holes in the ship from the ramming of British destroyers; British soldiers are removing the immigrants from the ship. Pictured below are some of the passengers from the Exodus praying aboard the deportation ship Empire Rival during its journey back to France on Tisha Ba’av (the traditional Jewish day of mourning), July 27, 1947.

The ship President Warfield set sail from France for British-controlled Palestine on July 11, 1947, carrying 4,500 passengers, the vast majority of whom were Holocaust survivors. One of the ships of the Haapalah (illegal immigration movement), the ship was renamed Exodus 1947 while at sea. Attacked on July 17 by the British navy in international waters before it was able to make a run for the coast of Tel Aviv, a battle took place aboard the ship in which 3 of the Jews were killed and dozens were wounded. Rammed repeatedly by British destroyers, the Exodus hobbled into port at Haifa at 4 pm on Friday, July 18, 1947. The British government, hoping to make an example of the illegal immigrants aboard the Exodus, immediately loaded the passengers aboard three deportation ships of the British navy, Empire Rival, Runnymede Park and Ocean Vigour, which set sail the following day back to France. After France refused to allow the immigrants to disembark, the three deportation ships remained in port for more than three weeks. The British eventually decided to send the Jews back to Germany, where they were forcibly removed from the ships in the port of Hamburg and sent to Displaced Persons camps. The plight of the Jews aboard the Exodus received extensive and widespread media coverage.

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