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Haifa, Haifa District, Israel
 

Exodus

The Ship that launched a Nation.

 
 
Exodus Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jerry Klinger
1. Exodus Marker
Inscription.  The S.S. Exodus was an American Aliyah Bet ship crewed by American volunteers together with Haganah operatives from pre-state Israel. Her mission was to rescue Holocaust survivors trapped in Europe after the murder of 6 million Jews, bringing them to British Mandatory Palestine.

Despite the promises made in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the British prevented Jewish immigration to Palestine through a naval blockade.

On July 18, 1947, the unarmed Exodus, carrying 4,515 Holocaust survivors, tried to breach the British blockade. In international waters, two British destroyers rammed the ship, threatening to sink the Exodus. British Marines boarded, killed three, including an American Machal crewman, Bill Bernstein; 147 refugees were injured. The Jews resisted bravely.

Captured, the Exodus was taken to the Port of Haifa where the traumatized refugees were transferred to British prison ships and forcibly returned to camps in Germany. World news captured the tragic events in Haifa, garnering international sympathy to the Jewish plight.

In Jerusalem, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine deliberated the Palestine question.

Exodus Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jerry Klinger
2. Exodus Marker
They declined to consider Holocaust refugee testimony. An eyewitness aboard the Exodus was American Methodist Minister Reverend John Stanley Grauel. The Haganah smuggled Grauel to Jerusalem to tell the Committee the story of the Exodus. The Committee agreed to go to Germany and consider survivor testimonies. That testimony changed the Committee’s recommendation to the United Nations from against to in favor of Partition.

Four months later, November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to end British control of Palestine setting the stage for the rebirth of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State. American journalist Ruth Gruber named the Exodus, "The Ship that Launched a Nation.”

In August 1952, the Exodus was scuttled near the Haifa harbor after a disastrous fire. She lies there to this day.
 
Erected 2017 by Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, Port of Haifa, World Machal, Haganah, American Veterans of Israel Legacy Corp, Exodus 1947-2017.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation Markers marker series.
 
Location. 32° 48.81′ N, 35° 1.347′ E. Marker is in Haifa, Haifa District. Touch for map. Located within the Port of Haifa, outside the International Arrivals Terminal. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 18 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Raoul Wallenberg's Residence (approx. 2.2 kilometers away); The German Colony Story (approx. 3.1 kilometers away); The Shrine of the Báb Terraces and Gardens (approx. 3.5 kilometers away); The Crusader Fortress of the Knights of the Hospital and the Ottoman-Turkish Citadel of Akko (approx. 13 kilometers away); The Crusaders (approx. 13 kilometers away); The Shrine and Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh (approx. 16.3 kilometers away).
 
Regarding Exodus. The Exodus project was funded by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. The Exodus was an American Holocaust Rescue ship, American funded, largely American crewed out of Baltimore. The Exodus is recognized as the iconic story of the birth and creation of Israel. The Book Exodus, by Leon Uris, the movie Exodus, by Otto Preminger, and song Exodus by Gold and the lyrics by American pop star Pat Boone have propelled the Exodus and the struggle by the survivors of the Holocaust into mass popular awareness.
 
Also see . . .
1. Exodus 1947: 70 Years Later (Curators Corner #46) (YouTube, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 5 min.). "In this episode of Curators Corner, Judy Cohen and Teresa Pollin talk about Exodus 1947, which sailed for Palestine from France in July 1947. Photographs from the Museum's collection illustrate the experiences of the passengers and crew as they sailed for Palestine, when they were attacked by the British in Palestine's territorial waters, and when they were forcibly returned to Europe." (Submitted on May 31, 2019.) 

2. Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the extraordinary events surrounding the SS Exo. (Submitted on June 1, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida.)
3. In Search of the Exodus. (Submitted on June 1, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida.)
4. Pat Boone and the Exodus Memorial. (Submitted on June 1, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida.)
 
Categories. Notable EventsWaterways & Vessels

 

More. Search the internet for Exodus.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 31, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 31, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Better closeup photo of the marker • Can you help?
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