Let My People Go

Child Survivor in Transit from Germany to France, June 6, 1945

Between 1945 and 1948, the British controlled Palestine and tried to limit Jewish immigration into the territory. Foreseeing no future in Europe, Jewish DPs in the American Zone determined to leave for Palestine despite dangers and the British resistance to their arrival. American Jewish chaplains assisted the DP's to leave the camps and make clandestine trips to Palestine. A few chaplains eventually made aliyah themselves, living out their Zionist beliefs.

In 1947 the Exodus loaded … near Marseilles. I helped bring
5,000 people to that ship [in] a convoy from the American
Zone of Germany across France - 100 trucks with 5,000
people. You can imagine how many armored cars we had
fore and aft. We got 4,400 onto the ship and off she went.


Chaplain Herbert Friedman

Photo, top: NARA. Photo, bottom: Courtesy Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc.

The Exodus 1947. Denied entry to Palestine by the British, passengers were deported back to France, where they refused to disembark.
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