This museum tells the wrenching story of those who tried to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe and of the few Holocaust survivors who made it to safety. Throughout the time of the Holocaust, when Jews desperately needed a haven, admission to British Mandate Palestine was largely denied to them by the British. Nevertheless, Jews fleeing from the Nazis during World War II, and Jewish escapees from displaced-persons camps after the war, constantly attempted to enter Palestine on rusty, unsafe, illegal vessels. One of these ships, the Struma, waited for months at sea for a country to accept the 765 refugees aboard until it was torpedoed and sank off Turkey in 1942. All but one on board perished. Other ships went down in Haifa harbor, with hundreds killed in sight of safety; still others, like the Exodus 1947 (made famous by the Leon Uris book “Exodus” and the 1960 film), ran the British blockade only to have its passengers shipped to a Cyprus detention camp or returned to detention camps in Germany. The blockade-running vessel Af-Al-Pi Chen (Nevertheless) is now a part of the museum, commemorating all the ships that defied the British blockade.
- Frommer's Staff