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Christmas in Bethlehem
Atlit is a former detention camp that was used to house illegal Jewish immigrants who travelled to Palestine for refuge during the the 1930's and the 1940's. During this period Palestine was controlled by the Britishh and there were very strict restrictions in place regarding the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
The camp is situated just south of the port city of Haifa and approximately one hour north of Tel Aviv. Today the camp has been transformed into a museum; the barbed wire fence can still be seen surrounding the area. An on site movie tells the story of the refugee camp and the barracks that are seen today clearly depict the conditions that were prevalent when the camp operated. The camp is also surrounded by watchtowers. The British authorities, succumbing to Arab demands to limit Jewish immigration, refused to allow these Jews to enter the country.
An interesting sidenote to Atlit involves one ship, named the Patria, that contained 5000 illegal immigrants. Detained on the island of Mauritus, the Jewish Underground Movement, known as the Haganah, blew up the ship's hold and the ship sank an 216 people drowned. The survivors were held in Atlit and were not deported.
The camp sut down in 1942 and later reopened folowing World War II. Many of the new detainees were Holocaust survivors from Europe who arrived via an underground immigration network that had been established.
Nearby Places of Interest
Buri Buri Fish Restaurant - 5 minutes
Haifa- 15 Kilometers north
Caesarea - 12 kilometres south
Bahai Gardens - 15 kilometers north
Ein Hod - Artists Community approximately 8 kilometers south of Atlit off of Route 4.
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