Operation Exodus

From the Nazi Death Camps to the Promised Land: A Perilous Journey That Shaped Israel's Fate

Gordon Thomas

Thomas Dunne Books

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A small steamer which survived U-boat attacks in the war was purchased as part of an ambitious and daring mission: to serve as the lifeboat for over four thousand survivors of Nazi rule and transport them to Palestine. Renamed Exodus 1947, the ship and its devil-may-care young crew of American sailors left France en route to the future state of Israel. In a tragic turn of events, the Holocaust survivors aboard Exodus endured even more hardships when the British Royal Navy boarded the ship in international waters, used physical force in battling both passengers and crew (killing three crew members) and deported its human cargo back to Europe. Thomas recounts this tale with authority, recreating the increasingly dire situation for Jews in Europe before and during World War II, dramatically chronicling the initiative of creating a modern-day Israeli state, and revealing the secret, step-by-step plans to purchase the Exodus ship and launch it on its ill-fated mission. Told through the testimony of survivors who have never before been interviewed, and supported by extensive research and hitherto unpublished documentation, Operation Exodus is the deeply moving saga of a people who risked all in search for a home.

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Operation Exodus Chapter 1 The House of Secrets

In November 1946 a stocky man with a high-domed forehead, bushy eyebrows and piercing eyes arrived in New York, his fourth visit since the end of the Second World War. He had first come to the city in 1915, then a slim youth with bushy black hair and a knife scar on his arm from an unprovoked attack by an Arab while he was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Each time he had come to America it was to visit, not to stay: his spiritual home was Palestine. His ambition then had been, as it was now, to help build a home for the

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Praise for Operation Exodus

"The exciting story of the Exodus ship that in 1947 ferried 4,500 Jewish war refugees to the Zionist homeland.

Despite the urgent need for relocating concentration-camp survivors and displaced persons (DP) at the end of World War II, Britain refused to allow more than 1,500 immigrants per month to Palestine. The Jewish underground army, the Haganah, secured the boats necessary for transporting waves of refugees to Palestine, such as the large Chesapeake steamer, President Warfield. Veteran popular historian Thomas (Secret Wars: One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6, 2009, etc.) moves swiftly from one scene to the other to keep his suspenseful story percolating, using a wealth of information gleaned from official archives, news reports, public records, British intelligence documents and interviews with passengers. The author paints a complete portrait of a variety of settings: within the Haganah headquarters in Tel Aviv’s Allenby Street, as well as its outposts in New York, including the basement of the Copacabana nightclub, called the Kibbutz Fourteen, where Zionist leaders like Golda Meir stayed; DP camps across Europe; and the office of the British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin as he coordinated naval resistance to the “smuggling of illegal immigrants” into Palestine. Thomas looks at the outfitting of the President Warfield by U.S. volunteers, its refitting and slow odyssey in May 1947 from Baltimore harbor to Marseilles, where thousands of refugees at nearby DP camps were ready to board the ship built for holding 400 passengers—all the while tracked by British intelligence. The author then recounts the harrowing trip from July through September, as the now-christened Exodus 1947 was rammed by British destroyers and forcibly boarded, then detoured back to France and Germany before the refugees were finally allowed into Palestine almost a year later.

A fine depiction of the multifaceted context of this cause célèbre."

--Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

Gordon Thomas

GORDON THOMAS is the bestselling author of 40 books published worldwide and a prolific authority on the international espionage community. He lives in London.

Gordon Thomas

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Available Formats and Book Details

Operation Exodus
From the Nazi Death Camps to the Promised Land: A Perilous Journey That Shaped Israel's Fate
Gordon Thomas

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
October 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429946162
ISBN10: 1429946164
400 pages
$7.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
October 2010
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312569938
ISBN10: 0312569939
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 400 pages, 16 page black-and-white photograph insert
$26.99
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Thomas Dunne Books

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