We visit a “Detainee Camp” and the site of the worst fire in Israel’s history…

There is so much history in this tiny little country. Each day brings a new experience. Today was an emotional day for me. I am fully understanding the history of the modern State of Israel and realize how important it’s existence is.

I never knew that Jewish immigrants were sent to detainee camps at the time the land was under control by the British Mandate Authority. I cannot fathom how difficult it must have been for these “illegals” coming from the detention camps in Europe  to then wind up in detainee camps in Israel. Over 121,000 Jewish immigrants attempted to enter Israel. Most of them were sent to British detainee camps in Cyprus and Mauritius.


Atlit  is a coastal town located south of Haifa Israel. It was originally an outpost of the crusaders until it fell in 1291.The Crusaders built Chateau Pelerin,one of the largest citadels in the Holy Land. The ruins of the citadel are still visible but cannot be reached because it is now part of an Israeli Navy Commando base.

The Detainee Camp

The Atlit detainee camp was a detention camp established by the British at the end of the 1930s on Israel‘s northern coast 20 kilometers (12 mi) south of Haifa. The camp was established to prevent Jewish refugees, mainly Holocaust survivors, from entering then-Palestine. It was first closed in 1942 but was then re-opened in 1945. Today the camp is a museum.

The Disinfecting Barrack…

The new detainees were first brought into this barrack and separated men to the right women to the left. They were stripped naked and had their clothes put into the disinfecting vats.

All the detainees were sprayed with DDT to stop the spread of lice and other bugs and were taken to the showers.

Inside the barracks…

While shooting the images below Eileen met a woman who emigrated from Romania to Israel. She said that conditions then were much worse than depicted in the museum.


For lunch we went into the town of Atlit to a highly recommended seafood restaurant. We were not disappointed.

Our day’s journey continues in tomorrow’s blog…


8 thoughts on “We visit a “Detainee Camp” and the site of the worst fire in Israel’s history…

  1. WOW! Amazing pictures and thanks for the history lesson. Incredible how the Jews put up with so much.
    The fish looks really good. Keep the blog coming. Penny

  2. Thanks Ellery, this post was a real eye opener for me, I had no idea about these camps. What a shock it must have been for the European Jews who were detained there, am amazed and horrified at some of the similar practices that many had lived through that you’ve depicted here.

    On a brighter note, you’ve included your great food images and descriptions, always my personal favorites, not sure just what that says about me except that it does my heart good to see you two enjoying yourselves and each other.

  3. Wow! that’s almost all I can say. I am very impressed by all the fascinating pictures. Everytime you send pictures of the food, I enjoy to see what you guys are eating there. Have fun!

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