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The Story of the Exodus: A Lecture by Itzik Rozman

Wednesday, June 19, 2024 13 Sivan 5784

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


In this lecture, Itzik Rozman, the eldest son of Mordechai Rozman, tells the story of Exodus, starting in May 1945 and ending at the time of de-boarding of the refugees in Hamburg on September 9, 1947. The lecture includes video clips about the story of Exodus, including interviews taken with his father Mordechai over the years.

In May 1945, at the end of WWII, millions travelled across Europe hoping to go back to their pre-war homes, from which they had been expelled during the war. Amongst those millions of refugees were tens of thousands of Jews who survived the horrors of the concentration camps. These refugees returned to the towns and the villages from which they had been expelled to find out that no one was waiting for them or wanted them.

The “Escape” movement was organized by the survivors of the war, most of whom were members of the Zionist youth movements to help Jewish survivors immigrate to Palestine by ships through the Mediterranean Sea.   

While the holocaust survivors were desperately searching for ways to immigrate to Palestine, from 1945 on, the British government decided to make Jewish immigration illegal. To avert the British blockade, the Escape movement established an illegal immigration route for these Jews.

Mordechai Rozman was one of the leaders of the Escape movement and helped establish the escape routes for the illegal Jewish immigration. By June 1947, he decided that it was the right time for him to go to Palestine himself. He was given an airplane ticket but refused to receive this special perk and announced that he would board an immigrants’ ship like the rest of the refugees.

By July 1947, 4000 immigrants, Mordechai among them, boarded the Exodus / Europe Exit 1947 ship in France. The ship had sailed all the way to the shores of Palestine only to be returned to Europe by the Brits and arrived at the shores of Hamburg, Germany after two months at sea. Mordechai Rozman had boarded the ship as one of the refugees and came off the boat in Hamburg as the ship leader. Later he joined Kibbutz Ha’ogen, and raised a family with Rachel Orlinski. Together they had 3 boys, 6 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

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Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784