Story by Elena Makarova

  People from Lund
  Big news
  Striptease for dessert
  A role
  El Paradiso in Jerusalem
  Time Machine
  Old age
  Cloud Catcher
  Mauritius  Odyssey     Refugees      Slobodarna       Voyage under the Panama flag    Defense Regulations    Holy Land    Deportation    British Prison    Fritz Haendel  

On May 1939, the British government announced that within ten years an independent state would be established in Palestine. This so-called ‘White Paper’ also placed restrictions on the transfer of Arab property to Jews and limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 over the next five years. The ‘White Paper’ closed the last door that had been partially open to the Jews – that of Palestine. This occurred at exactly the same time that emigration had become a question of life or death. The hope of leaving was revived when the Nazis founded the Central Office for Jewish Emigration (COJE) that was directly under the Reich’s Security Ministry. Emigration candidates crowded into these offices at their peril, because the Gestapo harassed them. They knew that the alternative was eventual deportation to the supposed “work camps” that had been established in Poland and in other places. Among many Jews who previously had been opposed to the Zionist Movement there was a growing feeling that the only hope was Palestine, which they had to reach at any cost, and some managed to leave through the COJE. Approximately 3,500 refugees benefited from another bit of good fortune, an escape to Palestine by sailing down the Danube and then by sea. The plans were worked out and executed by Zionist organizations. The refugees, old and young, came from Vienna, Prague, Brno, Berlin, Munich and Danzig. Until their actual departure in September 1940, most of them were waiting about 8 months in Bratislava in hard conditions.



      Boarding Pass to Paradise. Artists Peretz Beda Mayer and Fritz Haendel.  © Elena Makarova, 2005. For Contacts: Elena Makarova