Memorial plaque for the ‘Exodus’ emigrant ship
The plaque installed in 1995 commemorates the fate of the Exodus emigrant ship. In July 1947, 4,530 Jewish Holocaust survivors who wanted to emigrate travelled on the ship from France to Palestine. Palestine was under British administration at the time and there were restrictions on Jewish immigration.
The passengers were refused entry to Palestine with the justification that their presence in the British Mandate would destabilise the region and British rule there. British naval ships attacked the Exodus and towed it to the port of Haifa. The refugees were forced onto three other ships and taken back to France. They refused to disembark once there, so the ships continued on to Hamburg, which was under British administration. The British occupiers in Hamburg arranged for the passengers to be taken to two internment camps near Lübeck. But one month later, public pressure had grown so intense that the British let the detainees go. Many of them set out for Palestine once again.
The actions taken by the British against the Exodus and its passengers caused an international outcry that accelerated the foundation of the State of Israel.