Exodus 1947: The Ship That Launched a Nation

Overview

On July 18, 1947, Ruth Gruber, an American journalist, waited on a wharf in Haifa as the Exodus 1947 limped into harbor. The evening before, Gruber had learned that this unarmed ship, with more than 4,500 Holocaust survivors crammed into a former tourist vessel designed for 400 passengers, had been rammed and boarded by the British Navy, which was determined to keep her desperate human cargo from finding refuge in Palestine. Now, though soldiers blockaded both exit and entry to the weary vessel, Gruber was ...
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1999 Jacketed Hardcover New in Good jacket New 1999 Copyright In Jacketed Hardcover Format In Good Jacket, Exodus 1947: The Ship That Launched A Nation With Introduction By ... Bartley C Crum, Chapters 1-5, Photography, Epilogue, Afterword, Index, About The Author, 204 Pages And Please Note: Good Original Pictorial Dust Jacket Which Has Some Shelf Wear (1999 Copyright) 020812. Read more Show Less

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Overview

On July 18, 1947, Ruth Gruber, an American journalist, waited on a wharf in Haifa as the Exodus 1947 limped into harbor. The evening before, Gruber had learned that this unarmed ship, with more than 4,500 Holocaust survivors crammed into a former tourist vessel designed for 400 passengers, had been rammed and boarded by the British Navy, which was determined to keep her desperate human cargo from finding refuge in Palestine. Now, though soldiers blockaded both exit and entry to the weary vessel, Gruber was determined to meet the refugees and hear their tales. For the next several months she pursued the emigres' stories, from Haifa to the prison camps on Cyprus where she was misled by the British to believe the DPs would land, though they never did, to southern France, and, appallingly, back to Hamburg, Germany, where they were ultimately sent by the intractable British authorities.. "As the lone journalist covering this story, Gruber sent riveting dispatches and vivid photographs back to the New York and Paris Herald Tribune, which in turn sent them out to the rest of the world press. Gruber's relentless reporting and striking photographs shaped perceptions worldwide as to the situation of postwar Jewish refugees and of the British Mandate in Palestine, and arguably influenced the United Nations decision to finally create the State of Israel in 1948.. "In 1948, Gruber assembled her dispatches and thirty of her pictures into Destination Palestine, the book that became the basis for Leon Uris's bestselling novel Exodus and the film of the same name. In this revised and expanded edition, Gruber has included a new opening chapter of never-before-published material on the wretched DPcamps of Europe, where the refugees were living before boarding the Exodus 1947; updated the fate of many of the passengers, describing how they smuggled themselves into Palestine - despite the myriad obstacles thrown up by the British authorities - even b
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812931549
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 7.71 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Gruber was born in 1911, earned her Ph.D. at age twenty, and soon became a foreign correspondent. At twenty-three, writing for the New York Herald Tribune, she was the first journalist--man or woman--to report from the Soviet Arctic. In 1944, while she was working for Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, President Roosevelt sent Gruber on a covert mission to escort 1,000 World War II refugees in a secret convoy across the Atlantic to America. That mission resulted in her book Haven, which will be the basis of a major network television movie in 2000. Gruber has published fourteen books, including Raquela, which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1978. Her Exodus photographs appeared in the 1997 Oscar-winning documentary The Long Way Home. In 1998 Gruber received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She lives in New York City, has two children and four grandchildren, and speaks frequently around the country.
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Table of Contents

List of Photographs
Introduction
1 The DP Camps of Europe 3
2 Haifa 45
3 Cyprus 101
4 Port-de-Bouc 131
5 Hamburg 181
Epilogue 187
Afterword 189
Acknowledgments 191
Index 195
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2008

    First hand insight into Holocaust survivor's tale of heartbreak and hope- great read

    Ruth Gruber¿s EXODUS 1947: THE SHIP THAT LAUNCHED A NATION In 1945, President Harry Truman, learning of the horrible DP'Displaced Persons' camps in Germany asked Ernest Bevin, England¿s foreign minister to open the doors of Palestine to 100,000 DP¿s. A committee was formed that voted to open the doors, but Bevin refused. The ship named Exodus 1947, carrying 4,554 refugees, met resistance for this destination of Palestine. As noted in Gruber¿s book, Exodus, 1947: The Ship That Launched A Nation, a predominantly Jewish city, Tel Aviv, was on strike to protest this as it shut down for an entire day. Following this, the ship, landed in Haifa as a battered vessel and Ruth Gruber documented the surge of heartbreak and hope, emotion and enormous anxiety to desperately reach the homeland. Exodus, 1947 came out in America recently and just came out in England after being banned for sixty years. It is now receiving rave reviews. One headline in London¿s Sunday Express read, 'I SAW JEWS FORCED INTO SHIPS FROM DANTE¿S HELL', and the article described the shameless way the Jews were treated. Some reporters wrote the Jews of the Exodus were sent to Cypress. It is not true. Bevin considered Cypress a prison hell hole of sand and wind¿too good for the Jews of the Exodus. They were sent to Germany in three prison ships. Gruber was selected to represent the entire American Press aboard the prison ship Runnymede Park. When she climbed the top deck the Holocaust survivors raised a flag. They had printed the Swastichka on the British Union Jack. Gruber¿s photo of the flag became Life Magazine¿s photo of the week. These Jews were defying not only the British Empire. They were defying the whole world. The refugees managed to escape from the prison camps in Germany and were in Palestine when it became Israel on May 14, 1948. Gruber¿s words paint a picture of what the refugees endured between surviving the Holocaust and being settled afterwards. Her insight into the resourcefulness and creativity of people in the camps revealed a people with a fierce determination to rise above a sad past and still difficult present environment. Exodus 1947: The Ship That Launched A Nation chronicles the journey of hope and desperation for Holocaust survivors. By Phyllis Johnson, author of Being Frank with Anne- a poetic interpretation of Anne Frank's diary - Community Press

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling and Eye-Opening

    The title of this book caught my attention when I was shopping in B&N for a completely different subject one day. I picked it up on a whim and couldn't put it down. Not only is Ms. Gruber an excellent writer, she is a talented photographer and an eye-witness to some of the finer details in a period of history many are trying to ignore or erase. But cameras do not lie. You cannot fake the kinds of pictures placed on these pages and you can't ignore the survivors of one of the cruelest and evil acts of humankind the world has ever seen. Most of all, the plight of the DP's in post WWII and their desire to make it to the land of their ancestors to make it their home, should raise our awareness that others face similar persecutions and plights today. We can learn from history and this book should help us do just that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2003

    Heartbreaking. Highly Recommended.

    This very moving book covers the story of the 'Exodus', the unarmed ship carrying more than 4,500 Holocaust survivors seeking refuge in 'British occupied' Palestine during 1947. The ship, a former tourist vessel designed to carry only 400 passengers, is described as having been rammed and boarded by the British Royal Navy which was determined to prevent the Jewish Holocaust survivors from finding refuge in Palestine. The entry of the 'Exodus' into Haifa harbour is further described amidst a British military blockade. But the story in this book is not so much about the ship, but about the individuals on board, their history & personal suffering, together with what faced them following their arrival in 'Palestine' and the process outlined with such clarity in this work, which saw them being used as 'political pawns' by the British Government. The book begins with a description of the 'Displaced Persons' camps of Europe, where those fortunate to survive the 'Concentration Camps' were housed. The book recounts how some 70,000 Holocaust survivors 'found their way out' of the 'Displaced Persons' camps and made the tortuous journey across land borders, forests, mountain ranges, the Alps until they eventually located 'secret' ports in France and Southern Italy where they climbed aboard a motley fleet of virtually obsolete vessels, including cutters, leaky fishing boats, cargo vessels, icebreakers, banana carriers, yachts & steamers (one called Exodus 1947) upon which they embarked upon their desperate journey to reach their ancient homeland of Eretz Israel, the 'Promised Land'. The journey on the 'Exodus' itself is described as being endured under extremely insanitary and unbelievably cramped conditions, whilst always under the threat of being arrested as 'illegal immigrants' during the British blockade. The book is replete with many photographs documenting the above and the story reaches the night of 17th July 1947 when 'Haganah boys' pasted handbills on the shop windows of Netanya, Haifa and Jerusalem depicting the plight of the 'Exodus' and describing it's cargo of 4,554 refugees consisting of 1,600 men, 1,282 women, 1,017 young people and 655 children. The posters also advising readers that the ship had been spotted by the British Navy and that five destroyers and a cruiser were closing in on the vessel. The book documents the subsequent broadcast from the 'Exodus' itself, which related how the Royal Navy had attacked the vessel at a distance of '17 miles from the shores of Palestine' in 'international waters'. The 'Exodus' described as having been rammed from three directions and subjected to gas bombs and gunfire which left one Jewish civilian dead, five dying and some twenty wounded. The boarding of the 'Exodus' by British troops is also detailed. Photographs of the damage to the vessel and the wounded Jewish civilians are also included. The book then describes the plight of the Jewish refugees as they are then forcibly ejected from the 'Exodus'. The ensuing public reaction is also described. As the story proceeds, the book cites the British authorities as describing the prison camps of Cyprus as being 'too good' for the Jewish refugees and outlines how the British 'decided to make an example of them' by returning the Holocaust survivors upon three ships to Port-de-Bouc in Southern France. A measure portrayed in the book as a deterrent to others who would 'dare run the British blockade'. Amidst further British threats to then transfer the Holocaust survivors to Germany the book shows the reaction on board ship as a British flag is painted with a 'swastika' below the Union Jack. The described plight of the refugees is heartbreaking as they are disembarked in Germany where the book recounts so many having been murdered by the Nazi regime. (Being British, having served in our military & studied the Holocaust for many years, I feel very uncomfortable at the described behaviour of my 'compatriots'.) The b

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