News Local Museum searches for Jews deported to Cyprus in 1940s

Museum searches for Jews deported to Cyprus in 1940s

A search is on for former inmates of the British internment camps set up in Cyprus to house Jewish immigrants trying to illegally reach pre-state Palestine, known to Jews as the “yishuv”, in the mid-1940s, as reported by the Israeli publication Ynet.

Seventy-three years ago, the British government decided to deport illegal Jewish immigrants caught trying to make their way to the British-ruled yishuv – many of them Holocaust survivors – without the proper permission, sending them to detention camps in Cyprus.

Four days after the initial deportation order was issued on August 8 1946, the first group of immigrants was sent to the British-controlled island.

Over the next three years, 52,000 Jews, mostly from Romania, were sent in 39 ships to Cyprus, where internment camps were operated jointly by the British Foreign Office, the Colonial Office, the Mandatory Government and the British Army.

During this period, 2,200 babies were born to families interned in the camps.

Today, the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum in Atlit in northern Israel is attempting to contact immigrants who were captured in pictures taken at the time.

The photographs will be posted on social media in the hope that family members recognize some of the faces and come forward.

Ynet’s sister publication Yedioth Ahronoth is providing its readers with a first glance at some of the pictures showing daily life, celebrations, sporting events and even medical examinations.

“There are very few photographs from the camps in existence today,” said Nir Maor, director of the museum. “Some came to us from the daughter of a social worker who was sent there to help the immigrants. And others we believe were smuggled out by two photographers who were among those being held by the British.”

The camps were surrounded by barbed wires, Maor explains, and though there was food, the inmates could play football with their British captures and were occasionally allowed out to visit the beach, they were still confined against their will.

Maor says the fact that Holocaust survivors were once again kept behind barbed wire fences was used by the Zionist leadership to pressure the international community and evoke criticism of the British government.

In the view of the museum director, such pictures played a role in promoting the support for a Jewish national homeland.

(Photo taken from Ynet News)

Top Stories

Large blast in Beirut port area shakes Cyprus

A large explosion shook the Lebanese capital Beirut and a giant column of smoke was seen rising over the city, Reuters witnesses and local...

Twenty-five new corona virus cases detected out of 3,988 tests

According to the Epidemiological Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health 25 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected out of a total...

Mainly fine weather with new yellow alert for extremely high temperatures

Mainly fine weather on Wednesday with yet another yellow alert for extremely high temperatures issued – in effect from 1pm to 5pm. Temperatures are expected...

Industrial producer prices up by 0.7% in Euro area and 0.4% in Cyprus in June 2020

In June 2020, the fourth month during which Covid-19 containment measures are being applied in most Member States, industrial producer prices rose, compared with...

People needed to manage thermal cameras

The Ministry of Health announced a tender for the purchase of services by health professionals for the management of thermal cameras at Larnaca and...

Taste

Octopus ‘Kathisto’ (or Octopus braised in Wine)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped fine 1 large octopus, about 2kg (cleaned and kept whole) 3/4 cup dry red wine 1/3 cup...

Homemade lemonade

Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar Method: Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water. Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing...

‘Striftaria’ mini cheese pies

Ingredients 1 ½ cup milk 2 tbsps. flour 4 tsps. of butter 3 eggs, slightly beaten + 1 extra with 1 tbs. of milk for spreading 1 pack of...

Mini potato canapes baked on salt

Ingredients Serves: 12 1kg small Cypriot potatoes rock salt, as needed 250g salted butter 300ml full fat cremé frâiche 1 pot cod or salmon roe Method Prep:20min › Cook:35min › Ready in:55min Take...