Carrying on from yesterday, when Great Britain agreed to house 10,000 Jewish people escaping from mainland Europe; taking them away from Hitler’s Final Solution after the Evian conference arranged by the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Jewish refugees time in the UK was short lived due to what I can only see as the ultra paranoia of the British who, after war finally broke out in 1939, made another incredible decision. Winston Churchill declared that every man aged 16-60 years was to be interned because of the possibility of those coming into Britain from mainland Europe might have been sent as spies. These men were then transferred to the Isle of Man and then transported to Canada where they faced further persecution for being Jewish. I’ll explore this further at a later date.
There were many attempts by the Ha’apla ships, illegal immigration, which were desperate to get to the land that had been promised to them. Jewish refugees flocking out of northern Africa and mainland Europe had attempted many crossings but few succeeded against the might of the British navy.
One such incident that has shaken me was the story of the SS Struma where in the region of 760 Jewish refugees had left Romania in order to escape to the British mandate of Palestine. The British had avoided giving these refugees visas to enter Palestine and kept the ship holding these Jewish people for over 70 days in Ankara, Turkey. The Turkish were not allowing them to disembark and the British, who it was discovered later had the visas all the time, and as we have come to realise were breaking international law in the protection of their own interests. What happened next was devastating. The Turkish authorities towed the SS Stuma out to sea and abandoned it with over 760 people on board. A lone Russian submarine then allegedly mistook this ship for a foreign enemy vessel and fired a torpedo sinking it. There was one survivor.
I continue to ask God for his forgiveness for our sinful behaviour against the Jewish nation I continue to cry out to Him for his mercy grace and forgiveness and that we can become a nation that will once again carry the torch for a God who is in such need in a desperate and lost world.