Forgiveness at Atlit

A Haifa Home Update

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Posted on: 
15 Sep 2015
Forgiveness at Atlit

Several residents from the Haifa Home visited a very special event in Atlit, organized by British Christians and Jews. Most people are not familiar with the place Atlit and what happened there in the 1930’s and 1940’s. During these years the British government prevented thousands of Jews from reaching their biblical homeland, and Atlit was the main detention camp to which ‘illigal Jewish immigrants’ were transported.

The Haifa Home residents who came to Atlit, had been detained in one of these detention camps. It was an emotional and difficult time for them, filled with memories of their lost ones, filled with memories of the hard conditions on the ships, filled with the traumas of being placed into a detention camp. Motke was interviewed for one of the TV Stations and told that until today he cannot forgive. He was comforted by the fact that there are British who are grieving about this black page of history and who show support to the Nation of Israel.

Between 1938 and 1948, the British prevented more than 90 ships from reaching Israel. These ships were carrying tens of thousands of Jews who were fleeing Nazi Europe to find a safe haven in Israel. Especially in the latter years, these ships were filled with Holocaust Survivors who were desiring to leave the suffering of Europe. The British tried to blockade the ships. The illegal immigrants who made it to the shores of Haifa were brought to Detention Camps that had certain resemblances to concentration camps.

The main camp was the Atlit detention camp, which is situated just south of Haifa on the Mediterranean coast. However many Jewish people, about 52,000, were sent away by the British to detention camps in Cyprus. There were also over 1,000 Jewish refugees who were sent away to what has been described as a prison in Mauritius.

The event organized by British Christians and Jews who had come to Israel to express their deep sorrow and shame for much of the British conduct during the Mandate period, took place on the 7th of May 2015.

"I'm here to commemorate those Jews … who suffered or died as a result of the shameful policies of the British government of the day," Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan 


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