Atlit detainee camp

The Atlit detainee camp was a detention camp established by the authorities of the British Mandate for Palestine at the end of the 1930s on the Israeli coastal plain (what is now Israel's northern coast), 20 kilometers (12 mi) south of Haifa. The camp was established to prevent Jewish refugees from entering Mandatory Palestine. Tens of thousands of Jewish refugees were interned at the camp, which was surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers.

The Atlit camp is now a museum of the history of Ha'apala. Atlit was declared a National Heritage Site in 1987.[1]

Entrance to the museum at the Atlit detainee camp


The Atlit camp, established by the British Mandatory government in the 1930s, was surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers.[2] Many of the detainees during the 1930s and 1940s were Jewish refugees from Nazi-controlled Europe. In the late 1940s, most were Holocaust survivors. The British authorities, acceding to Arab demands to limit Jewish immigration, refused to allow them to enter the country.

At Atlit camp, the men were sent to one side, women to the other. They were sprayed with DDT, then told to undress and enter the showers. In 1939–1948, tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants were interned here, men and women separated by barbed wire. Some internees stayed as long as 23 months.[3]

The Darien II arrived with 800 refugees in March 1941. They were detained at the Atlit camp until September 1942, when the camp was shut down.

The Atlit camp was reopened in 1945 following World War II, as more and more immigrants arrived in Palestine. Most of them were Holocaust survivors from DP camps in Europe who made the journey through the Berihah and Ha'apala ("Aliya Beth") clandestine immigration network.

Some of the German Templers living in the six Templer colonies in Palestine, who openly supported the Nazis, were declared enemy nationals by the British authorities and were detained at Atlit prior to deportation.[4]

In November 1940, the British authorities decided to send 5000 immigrants to detention camps on Mauritius. One of these deporting ships was the Patria. To stop the deportation, the Haganah, the Jewish underground militia in Palestine, exploded a bomb in the ship's hold on November 25. The size of the explosive charge had been seriously miscalculated, and the ship sank quickly. On board were 1800 refugees; 216 drowned in the disaster. The survivors from the Patria were detained in Atlit and not deported to Mauritius. They were released after a few months.

On October 10, 1945, the Palmach (special forces unit of the Haganah) broke into the camp and released 200 detainees, who escaped. Yitzhak Rabin, then a young officer, planned the raid and Nachum Sarig commanded it. Following this event, the British deported immigrants to Cyprus internment camps. These camps operated from 1946 through the establishment of the State of Israel.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Atlit detainee camp served as a prisoner of war (POW) camp and civil internment camp for local Arabs.[5] Egyptian POWs from the 1967 war and Lebanese citizens were also held there.[6]

PikiWiki Israel 7780 Illegal immigrants camp. Atlit

Jewish immigrants interned at Atlit

Atlit camp 1945

Young Holocaust survivors arriving at Atlit, 1945

Atlit broadcasting station 1947

Atlit. Immigrant detention camp beyond broadcasting station, 1947


Atlit Camp, 1946


  1. ^ "SPIHS – Israel Heritage Sites – Atlit "Illegal" Immigrant Detention Camp". Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
  2. ^ Atlit "Illegal Immigration Camp"
  3. ^ The End of the Line, Hadassah Magazine
  4. ^ Adi Schwartz, "The nine lives of the Lorenz Cafe Archived 2008-06-06 at the Wayback Machine", Ha'aretz, 20 January 2008
  5. ^ Morris, Benny, (second edition 2004 third printing 2006) The Birth Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00967-7 p 467
  6. ^ Red Cross annual Review August 1967
    Red Cross annual Review December 1967
    Red Cross annual Review 1968
    Red Cross annual Review 1970
    International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and David C. Wills (2003) The first war on terrorism: counter-terrorism policy during the Reagan administration Publisher Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-7425-3129-5 p 90.
    PRISON: Atlit Townsfolk Are Bitter – Atlit Prison—an Israel Fixture – Townsfolk Bitter About Plan to Free 31 Muslims By Dan Fisher Published LA Times 24 June, 1985

Coordinates: 32°42′45″N 34°56′57″E / 32.712543°N 34.949141°E

Arieh Atzmoni

Arieh Atzmoni (Hebrew: אריה עצמוני; 1926–2005) was an Israeli soldier rewarded with the Hero of Israel.


Atlit (Hebrew: עַתְלִית) is a coastal town located south of Haifa, Israel. The community is in the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council in the Haifa District of Israel. The Jewish village was founded in 1903 under the auspices of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. In the past, from 1950 until the unification of the municipalities in 2003, Atlit was a local council whose jurisdiction was 14,000 dunams. In 2017 the population was 7,385.The Atlit detainee camp is nearby, which was used by the British to intern Jewish refugees and is now a museum.Off the coast of Atlit is a submerged Neolithic village. Atlit was also a Crusader outpost, which fell in 1291.

Atlit naval base

Atlit naval base is a classified Israeli Navy base on the northern Mediterranean coast of Israel. The base is home to Shayetet 13, Israel's naval commando unit. Within its grounds stands Château Pèlerin, a medieval crusader fortress currently closed to the public.In 2010, Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu visited the base to salute the commandos who took part in the Gaza flotilla raid.

Beit Oren

Beit Oren (Hebrew: בֵּית אֹרֶן, lit. Home of the Pine) is a kibbutz in northern Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Hof HaCarmel Regional Council. In 2017 its population was 470.

Cyprus internment camps

Cyprus internment camps were camps run by the British government for internment of Jews who had immigrated or attempted to immigrate to Mandatory Palestine in violation of British policy. There were a total of 12 camps, which operated from August 1946 to January 1949, and in total held 53,510 people.Great Britain informed the United Nations (UN) on February 14,

1947, that it would no longer administer the Mandate for Palestine.

This prompted the UN General Assembly to recommend partition of Palestine into

independent Jewish and Arab states on November 29, 1947. Some

28,000 Jews were still interned in the Cyprus camps when the

Mandate was dissolved, partition was enacted, and the independent

Jewish State of Israel was established at midnight Palestinian time

on May 14, 1948. About 11,000 internees remained in the camps as

of August 1948, with the British releasing and transporting the

internees to Haifa at the rate of 1,500 a month. Israel began the final

evacuation of the camps in December 1948 with the last

10,200 Jewish internees in Cyprus mainly men of military age, evacuated to

Israel during January 24–February 11, 1949.

Darien II

Darien II was the last ship to bring Aliya Bet refugees to Haifa during World War II. A former lighthouse tender, she sailed from the Black Sea to Palestine in early 1941.

Dov Gruner

Dov Bela Gruner (Hebrew: דב בלה גרונר; 1912–1947) was a Hungarian-born Zionist activist in Mandatory Palestine and a member of the pre-state Jewish underground Irgun. On April 19, 1947, Grüner was executed by the British Mandatory authorities in Palestine on charges of "firing on policemen and setting explosive charges with the intent of killing personnel on His Majesty's service." He is honored as one of the Olei Hagardom, the twelve Jewish pre-independence fighters who were executed by British and Egyptian authorities.


Haganah (Hebrew: הַהֲגָנָה, lit. The Defence) was a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine (1921–48), which became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

History of the Jews in Mauritius

Judaism is a minor religion in Mauritius. The first Jews arrived from Haifa, British Palestine (now Israel), in the 1940s because they were denied entry to Palestine by the British Government. There currently are about 150 Jews in total in Mauritius. There is a synagogue in Curepipe, and a Jewish cemetery in Bambous.

Immigrant camps (Israel)

The Immigrant camps in Israel (Hebrew: מחנות עולים plural Mahanot Olim) were temporary refugee absorption camps, meant to provide accommodation for the large influx of Jewish refugees and new Olim (Jewish immigrants) arriving to Mandatory Palestine and later the independent State of Israel, since early 1947. The tent camps first accommodated Holocaust survivors from Europe, and later largely Jewish refugees from Middle East and North Africa. By early 1950, immigrant camps were converted into Transition Camps, where living conditions became better and tin dwellings replaced tents.

John Stanley Grauel

John Stanley Grauel (December 12, 1917 – September 6, 1986, also nicknamed "John the Priest" after Prester John) was a Methodist minister and American Christian Zionist leader. He was a crew member of the famed refugee ship the SS Exodus-1947 and a secret "Haganah" operative. Grauel is credited with being the key individual who persuaded the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine to recommend for the Partition Resolution of November 1947, creating the State of Israel. In a speech to the Jewish Agency, Golda Meir, referred to his testimony as the first appeal by a “priest, a perfectly worthy gentile, a priori, no Jewish witness was to be believed.”

List of National Heritage Sites of Israel

List of National Heritage Sites of Israel is a list of sites designated by the government of Israel as National Heritage Sites.

Atlit detainee camp, Atlit: Detention center for Jewish immigrants seeking refuge in Palestine during the Mandated period.

Hurvat Anim

Tel HazorNational Heritage Sites of Israel, outside the national borders of IsraelCave of the Patriarchs, Hebron: Traditional burial place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebeccah, Jacob and Leah.

Qumran Caves

Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem: Traditional burial place of the Hebrew matriarch Rachel.

Mordechai Shatner

Mordechai Shatner (Hebrew: מרדכי שטנר‎, 1904 – 1964) was a Zionist activist and a signatory of the Israeli declaration of independence.

Patria disaster

The Patria disaster was the sinking on 25 November 1940 by the Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah of a French-built ocean liner, the 11,885-ton SS Patria, in the port of Haifa, killing 267 people and injuring 172.At the time of the sinking, Patria was carrying about 1,800 Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe whom the British authorities were deporting from Mandatory Palestine to Mauritius because they lacked entry permits. Zionist organizations opposed the deportation, and the underground paramilitary Haganah group planted a bomb intended to disable the ship to prevent it from leaving Haifa.

The Haganah claims to have miscalculated the effects of the explosion. The bomb blew the steel frame off one full side of the ship and the ship sank in less than 16 minutes, trapping hundreds in the hold. The British allowed the survivors to remain in Palestine on humanitarian grounds. Who was responsible and the true reason why Patria sank remained controversial mysteries until 1957, when Munya Mardor, the person who planted the bomb, published a book about his experiences.

Rafah massacre

The Rafah massacre occurred on November 12, 1956, during Israel's occupation of the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Protectorate following the Suez Crisis. The town of Rafah, lying on Gaza's border with Egypt, had been one of two invasion points during the initial incursion by the Israel Defense Forces into the Strip on November 1. As with the earlier Khan Yunis massacre, circumstances surrounding the events which led to the deaths of approximately 111 residents of Rafah and the nearby refugee camp are highly disputed, with Israel neither denying nor acknowledging any wrongdoing, while admitting that a number of refugees were killed during a screening operation. Refugees, it is also claimed, continued to resist the occupying army. The Palestinian version maintains that all resistance had ceased when the killings took place. According to survivor testimonies, IDF soldiers rounded up male individuals over fifteen years of age throughout the Gaza Strip in an effort to root out members of the Palestinian fedayeen and the Palestinian Brigade of the Egyptian army. Israel proclaimed that the civilian population would be held collectively responsible for any attacks on Israeli soldiers during the occupation, which lasted from 1 November 1956 to 7 March 1957. Dozens of summary executions took place of Palestinians who had been taken prisoner, and hundreds of civilians were killed as Israeli forces combed through areas like Khan Yunis, and others died in several separate incidents. Calculations of the total number of Gazans killed by the IDF in this four-month period of Israeli rule vary between 930 and 1,200 people, out of a population of 330,000.

Raquela Prywes

Raquela Prywes (Hebrew: רחלה פריבס‎; born Raquela Levy, 1924 in Jerusalem; died March, 1985) was a nurse in Israel, trained in midwifery, and obstetrics, at the Hadassah Medical Center. A ninth generation Jerusalemite, Raquela is the chief protagonist in the eponymous book, written by Ruth Gruber, who, in 1978, spent a year in Israel writing the life story. The book won the National Jewish Book Award in 1979 for Best Book on Israel, Raquela: A Woman of Israel, written by Ruth Gruber.Raquela graduated nursing at Hadassah Hospital, on Mount Scopus, years prior to the founding of the State of Israel.

After Jordan seized East Jerusalem, in 1948, she worked in the baby's ward at Hadassah Hospital 'A'. She was chosen by her superiors for special duties, being sent to the British Atlit detainee camp and on Cyprus internment camps, deliver babies and care for mothers, in the worst of conditions. On her return from Cyprus, she helped build the nursery wards in Jerusalem and, later, in Beersheba.

She married Dr. Arik Brzezinski, a prominent obstetrician, and worked closely with him. They had two sons, Amnon and Raphael. Amnon later became head of the Patricia and Russell Fleischman Women's Health Center, and Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, at the Hadassah Medical Center, in Jerusalem.

After his death, she married her late husband's friend and colleague, then a widower, Dr. Moshe Prywes (assistant dean of the Hadassah– Hebrew University Medical Center, and later Dean of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and after whom the Moshe Prywes Center for Medical Education, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, is named.) She helped deliver Jewish and Bedouin babies at the new Beersheva hospital, and saved the life of Sarah, Golda Meir's only daughter, who almost died from eclampsia.

Raquela Prywes died in March, 1985, at the age of 60 years.

Shmuel Yanai

Shmuel "Samek" Yanai (Hebrew: שמואל "סמק" ינאי‎) (January, 1921 – June 26, 2011) was a former Israeli naval commander and chair of the Atlit Museum of Illegal Immigration at the Atlit detainee camp.

Yaakov Weiss

Yaakov Weiss (Hebrew: יעקב וייס; 1924–1947) was a Hungarian Jew born in Czechoslovakia and member of the Irgun Jewish guerrilla organization in Mandatory Palestine. After saving hundreds of Jews during Holocaust, he illegally immigrated to Palestine, joined the Irgun, and fought the British during the Jewish insurgency in Palestine. He was one of three Irgun members executed for their part in the Acre Prison break, which triggered the Irgun's retaliatory hanging of two British soldiers. He is memorialized today as one of 12 Olei Hagardom.

Yehuda Amital

Yehuda Amital (Hebrew: יהודה עמיטל, born Yehuda Klein; 31 October 1924 – 9 July 2010) was an Orthodox rabbi, the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Etzion, and a former member of the Israeli cabinet.

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