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Purity of Arms

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Reverend John Stanley Grauel  E-mail

john granuel1

1939 … It is becoming increasingly urgent to completely halt all Jewish immigration to Palestine. But his
Majesty’s government cannot be resolved to make such a decision that would endanger the entire
economic and financial system in Palestine and would at the same time affect the interests of the Jews
and of the Arabs. ...Taking into consideration the natural growth rate of the Jewish and Arab populations
and the number of immigrants who illegally entered the country, that authorizes the admission of
approximately 75,000 (Jewish) immigrants during the next five years beginning in April of this year…

1945 After the war, the British would not change their policy in spite of the protest and the intervention
of foreign powers that were discovering to their horror the monstrous dimensions of the Shoah.2

Dozens of times during my numerous trips to Israel I have walked down Emek Refaim in
Jerusalem. Dozens of times I have seen the sign on the high stone walls, American Christian
Missionary Alliance Cemetery, the heavy solid white sheet metal gates locked so tightly you
could not even peer inside through a key hole. I often wondered what was behind those heavy
high walls. Year after year I had passed the white gates and they never were open. Today they
were slightly ajar – they were open. Perhaps I should not enter but it is easier to ask
forgiveness, after all I am only a dumb tourist, than it is to get permission. I pushed the gate
open and went inside. The cemetery was crowded with stones, none very prominent, gray and
low with the residents’ plot outlined in gray concrete stone. I walked around. No one bothered
me. I walked among the stones and read names in Hebrew, English, German, Arabic, and
Japanese. The middle row, straight back from the gate had a very unusual large vertical white
gravestone. Curiosity being what it is, I was drawn to the stone. I stood before the grave stone
perplexed, confused. It was clear that this person’s stone was different. The grave was more
prominent than anything around it.

The gravestone had two large stars of David carved at the top with the symbol of the Israel
Defense Forces in the middle of one stone and a Menorah in the middle of the other Star of David. At the bottom, on either side were to two naval anchors. The text at the top read in
English and Hebrew the famous Talmudic dictum- He who saves a single life is as if he has saved
the entire world. A large cross was carved in the middle below the dictum. The name read,
Reverend John Stanley Grauel, in Hebrew below the name, a special designation – Yohanan the
Priest, 1917-1986; further down in English, Exodus 47, in Hebrew Exodus and the words at the
bottom in Memoriam.

I had no idea who Reverend John Stanley Grauel was. What had he to do with the famous
Jewish refugee ship Exodus made so well known by the Leon Uris’s novel by the same name in
1958 (even though the novel is a fiction that doesn’t tell the story of the real Exodus voyage). I
had seen the major movie that stirred the sympathy of the world, Exodus by Otto Preminger, at
least five times. The movie’s theme music by Ernest Gold still haunts me. It was hard to forget
Paul Newman in the leading role or his non-Jewish love, Eva Marie Saint, who committed
herself to the struggle for Israel. Few knew that in reality the blond blue eyed heartthrob of
millions of women, Paul Newman, was, in reality, Jewish.
Why were symbols of the Israel Defense Forces carved on Grauel’s gravestone? I did not know
but I had to find out. Walking back out along Emek Refaim past the Templar Cemetery I did not
even bother looking to see if their gate was also open. At the hotel I looked up Reverend John
Stanley Grauel on the internet. There was remarkably little about him. A couple of thin sources
listed him as a member of the crew of the Exodus. Some said he was a volunteer, preacher in
training who signed on as a cook. Few had more than a few vague lines about him. It was a
mystery. It was something I had to know.

John Stanley Grauel was born December 12, 1917, in Worchester, Mass. His mother was a
deeply religious woman, a teetotaler. Grauel remembered her as a “strong advocate of the
brotherhood of man…Back in the thirties when a black man and white woman raised a storm in
the church by announcing their intentions to marry, my mother offered our home for the
wedding. She also had a very mystical feeling about the Jewish community. As I was growing up, she frequently observed that anyone on the side of the Jews would survive any of life’s
vicissitudes because the Jews were God’s Chosen People. She was convinced Judaism must
survive because it was the root of her own faith. It is my own deep conviction that the death of
Israel would be the death knell of Western Civilization.”3

With the great depression, Grauel’s family lost their jobs, their home. They became migrant
workers until his father secured employment with the Civil Conservation Corp in Virginia. His
parents scraped by helping John enroll in Randolph Macon College as a pre-theological student,
a continuation of the educational system of the Methodist church. Not long afterwards his
father was diagnosed with a melanoma. Though operated on, the cancer spread. His father
died, Thanksgiving day, 1936. John was nineteen years old. He entered into different fields of
endeavor shaped by his friendship with the Kennedy family of Hyannis port with low level
positions in the Democratic Party and even a stint as a deputy sheriff. In 1941, he agreed to his
mother’s guidance and the influence of his family pastor to enroll in the Methodist Bangor
Theological Seminary. He married during his final seminary year only to lose his wife and son in
childbirth. He never remarried.

Assigned as Pastor to a small poor group of communities he worked to salve the hearts and
souls of his community. The war raged on. “All during this time I was following the news from
Germany and was very distressed by pictures on the papers of Nazi thugs standing over old
Jews scrubbing the streets of Berlin. While suffering this abuse and other indignities, the Jews
were wearing their Iron Crosses won in defense of Germany during World War I…..Perhaps I
was more sensitive to what was happening to the Jewish community because of my friendship
with Judge Joseph Goldberg of Worcester. He was of Russian–Jewish background and vice
president of a national Zionist organization. In answer to my questions he gave me books to
read on Zionism and awakened my interest in the search for a Jewish homeland.”4

Grauel as a Pastor was automatically given an exemption from military service but he
personally felt a need to do more especially as the stories poured out of Europe of the Nazi
atrocities and the Jews. He approached Judge Goldberg what could he do. “He sent me to see
Dr. Carl Herman Voss, of the American–Christian Palestine Committee. Created in 1943, this
was a national organization tied in with the Zionist Emergency Council to help create a Jewish
State”5
, Grauel recalled that Voss offered him a job as executive director of the Philadelphia
office. “Never in my wildest, most unrealistic projections into the future, could I have divined
the direction my life would take.” 6

“One day, somewhere late in 1944 or early ’45, I had the opportunity to attend my first Zionist
conference, which was held in Princeton, N.J. The conference had a profound impact on me….A
distinguished rabbi, Stephen Wise, reported that at least seven hundred thousand Jews had
been murdered by Hitler. Had he reported that figure anywhere near six million, he would have
been carted away as dement…..for me the most electrifying portion of that conference was
when David Ben Gurion7
spoke….later on I was introduced to Ben Gurion and sat around among
others just listening to him. I caught an occasional reference to the Haganah, but it had no
particular significance for me at the time…. Perhaps it was my discontent that made me notice
the activities of others. When I returned to Philadelphia, I began to be aware of the stream of
young men going in and out of the next office….I went into the office and asked the man there,
who introduced himself as Bucky Karmatz, what business he was in. He said he was
interviewing counselors, for a camp. ‘If those tough looking guys were counselors, I’d like to
meet the campers,” was my response. Bucky invited me for lunch which in this case meant
sandwiches at his desk, and we talked. I found he had been informed about my work next
door, even if I had not been told about his. He was running a recruiting office for the Haganah here in the States.”8

“Talking to Bucky, I knew I had found my niche. I would join the Haganah, the underground, to
become a part of that organization to rescue those who could be helped to leave Europe. I
liked that affirmation of life after the war.”9

“During my association with the Haganah in New York, we used to meet every Friday night at a
hotel run by a fellow named Barnett. If the Arabs who are so strongly committed to destroying
Israel today were organized then, they could have destroyed a good part of the future Israeli
leadership by blowing up the Hotel Fourteen dining room every Friday night. One bomb would
have killed David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir10, Teddy Kollek11, Nachum Goldman12, Meyer Weisgal
13 and many others who joined us from time to time.

….I discovered that with discretion I could continue to function as executive director of the
American –Christian Palestine Committee in public, while in private I was moving around
meeting people on Zionist business as discreetly as possible. I was helping to raise funds to buy
guns, bullets and ships needed for the creation of a new state. Bucky called me in one day and
told me that they had rounded up a great liner called the President Garfield. This was the ship
the Haganah would take to Europe to pick up refugees for Palestine. With the understanding
that every step of this operation from the loading of the refugees to the landing in Palestine
would be opposed by the British and would have to be accomplished with as much secrecy as
possible, I made my decision to join the crew. It would be a matter of some months before I
would discover the ship was not the Garfield but the Warfield, a ship named after the owner of the Baltimore Bay Line and the uncle of Wallace Warfield Simpson, wife of the Duke of
Windsor. This was the ship that would be known historically as the Exodus- 1947.”14

One of the great ironies of the story of the Exodus was that she was named the President
Warfield originally. Wallace Simpson, a divorced American, caught the heart of the Edward the
VIII, the unmarried king of England, in the 1930’s. He stepped down as King to marry Simpson,
the woman he loved. They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The irony was that the
President Warfield, the ship that one day would “launch the State of Israel” and help bring
down the British mandate, was part of her family’s legacy and hence the once King of England‘s
legacy as well. Edward the VIII, as king of England, was decidedly an admirer of Adolph Hitler
and no friend of Zionism.

Bucky Karmatz did not randomly call in Reverend Grauel for an exciting opportunity to sail on
the President Warfield. Grauel’s work, as the public face of the American-Christian Palestine
Committee and his secret double life as a fund raising agent and Christian voice of the Haganah,
was very important. Grauel notes “From 1946 on, I was involved with many of the ships, (of the
Aliyah Bet15) but the Exodus - ’47 changed the direction and focus of my life.”16
Secrecy was the order of the day, the week, the month and always. “We were presumed to be
a group of people working on some sort of project, but in reality, no one individual really knew
what the other was doing specifically. We knew that all the pieces would fit into one pattern
ultimately. Much of what really went on in those days was never really revealed even in the
books that claimed to tell all.”17

In April, 1946 an Anglo- American committee on the Jewish refugee problem in Europe
prepared a report recommending the immediate granting by the British of 100,000 visas to
Palestine. The British refused. The war over, British naval resources were strongly reinforced
along the Palestinian Coast to enforce the White Paper, to blockade the Jews. All but few Aliya
Bet ships were intercepted by the British Navy.
“With diminishing chances of successfully running the blockade the Mossad for Aliyah Bet
decided to massively flood refugee camps both in Palestine and Cyprus, and thus hopefully
forcing the Mandatory authorities to release the refugees and allow them to settle in
Palestine.” 18

“Although the volunteers’ activity was clandestine, it was not illegal under United States law. In
full legality, the American vessels obtained Panamanian or Honduran registry and sailed from
the United States for Europe under their foreign flags. The sailors were duly signed on as crew
members. In this regard, the voyages were no different from the large volume of American
maritime activity conducted under foreign flags of convenience. The British term ‘illegal
immigration’ did not imply that the American volunteers were violating the laws of their own
country. When the British labeled Aliyah Bet as ‘illegal immigration,’ they referred to their
refusal to permit Jewish immigrants from Europe to enter Palestine legally. Canadian
volunteers among the American crews had a special status; as British subjects, they could enter
Palestine legally. In the later stages of Aliyah Bet, the British persuaded the United States
government to use its law-enforcement apparatus in investigating the American volunteer
effort. But this was an empty threat: no volunteer was ever prosecuted under United States law
for his Aliyah Bet activities.”19

“American-manned ships were involved in episodes that helped discredit British policy and
eventually broke the British hold on Palestine. The story of the Exodus-1947 and particularly the deportation of its refugee passengers back to Germany, rallied world public opinion in favor
of a Jewish state.”20

“Each Aliyah Bet vessel [originating from the USA] had Palestinians aboard, serving alongside
the Americans.”21 They earned the nick name Shu Shu Boys. They were forever admonishing
the American volunteers on the importance of secrecy and silence. In Yiddish, a person,
warning another to be silent or secret, would put an index finger to their lips and blow onto it
with a word, Shu, which probably came from the Yiddish Sha – or even the German Schtil –
quiet. Normal seagoing activities were the responsibility of the captain, who was a professional
sailor, usually recruited in the United States. In addition to the captain, a Haganah
representative from Palestine was aboard each vessel as its commander. ”22

“As with buying the ships, the recruiting of crews was complicated by the need for
subterfuge….. But the underground was in no position to publicize the needs for Aliyah Bet.
Moreover, recruiters had to be highly selective in whom they approached: Aliyah Bet needed
crewmen who could be depended upon not only to do their ship board jobs under difficult
conditions but to keep secrets. Aliyah Bet had to take care to avoid hiring anyone who might
be an informant for the British. The volunteers chosen for Aliyah Bet would work without pay
and face a strong possibility of going to jail in Europe or Palestine. “23

“Veterans of the recruiting effort say that for each volunteer who was accepted, as many as
nine or ten were turned down.”24

“I arrived in Baltimore after having spent a few days in New York City in Harold Jaffer’s
apartment…. I went immediately to see the beautiful ocean liner, the President Garfield. What I
saw was an old Bay Line steamer, the President Warfield, so far past her prime, that the
thought of crossing the Atlantic on her seemed unthinkable. I had committed myself, however,
so by the Grace of God and a touch of insanity, I passed from the world of Reverend John
Stanley Grauel to John Grauel, ordinary seaman.

The Warfield was in disreputable condition as I soon found out. Boarded up on all sides, no
heat, and infested with rot and rats, I had had been told it had been sold as junk, and from the
time the decision had been made to junk it, no one gave it even the most cursory of care.
There were thousands of leaks and what the rats found to eat to keep them so fat and sassy
was beyond me. It took the crew days of scrubbing, sanding, polishing, and mending just to
make some order out of chaos. Most of the crew was staying at the Lord Baltimore Hotel,
which was the ultimate in luxury compared to staying on board the Warfield. Unfortunately,
for the most part I was confined to the ship because I had been lecturing nationally for the last
four years, and there was too much of a chance that someone would recognize me and create
some curiosity about the ship.”25

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“The ship was built in 1928 by Pusey and Jones Corp., Wilmington, Delaware, for the Baltimore
Steam Packet Company. Initially named President Warfield, for Baltimore Steam Packet
Company president S. Davies Warfield (the uncle of the Duchess of Windsor), it carried
passengers and freight on the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore, Maryland and Norfolk,
Virginia from 1928 until July 12, 1942, when the ship was acquired by the War Shipping
Administration (WSA) and converted to a transport craft for the British Ministry of War
Transport.

Manned by a British merchant crew led by Capt. J. R. Williams, it departed St. John’s,
Newfoundland, in Canada on September 21, 1942, along with other small passenger steamers
bound for the United Kingdom. Attacked by a German submarine 800 nautical miles (1,500 km)
west of Ireland on September 25, the ship evaded one torpedo, and, after the scattering of its
convoy, reached Belfast, Northern Ireland. In Britain, it served as a barracks and training ship on
the River Torridge at Instow.

Returned by Britain, it joined the U.S. Navy as President Warfield on May 21, 1944. In July it
served as a station and accommodations ship at Omaha Beach at Normandy. Following duty in
England and on the Seine River, it arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, July 25, 1945, and left active Navy
service September 13. President Warfield was struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register on
October 11 and returned to the War Shipping Administration on November 14.

On November 9, 1946 the WSA sold President Warfield to the Potomac Shipwrecking Co. of
Washington, D.C., who were acting as an agent of the Jewish political group Haganah.
[2] The
ship eventually ended up with the underground Jewish organization in Palestine intent on
helping underground Jewish immigrants enter Palestine.”26

The Aliyah Bet created a series of dummy corporations to hide their operations. The President
Warfield was eventually sold to the Weston Trading Company, December 17, 1946. The
Weston Trading company was a Panamanian shell corporation created by Danny Schind and
Captain William C. Ash.

“One of the new faces at Hotel Fourteen in 1946 was Ze’ev Schind. A congenial redhead from
Kibbutz Ayelet Hashahar, came to New York to take charge of the Aliyah Bet section. Known as
‘Danny’ the 36 year old Schind had an Aliyah Bet background that went back to 1937 in
Europe….the first time he showed up to purchase a ship; Schind was asked whom he
represented. His reply: ‘the Jewish people.’….Years later, co-workers would recall him with
affection and admiration bordering on awe; they remembered his sense of humor, and his
determination to let nothing stand in the way of Aliyah Bet.” 27

“Another American Jew who played an important role almost from the beginning of the United
States operation was a professional sailor, William C. Ash. Born in Poland, Ash had become a
sea captain, a wartime officer in the U.S. Maritime Service.”28

A new Panamanian company, hardly more than a mailing address, came into existence under
the name of Arias and Arias. Schind and Ash also set up an American corporation, the Weston
Trading Company, and put its name on the door of Captain Ash’s office at 24 Stone Street.
(N.Y.). Captain Ash was the company president. American Jews who had come into the Aliyah
Bet orbit were listed as the directors of the company. Nowhere did Schind’s name appear on
company papers.

The sole stockholder listed on the Weston Trading company’s incorporation papers was Dewey
Stone, of Brockton, Mass. A friend of Chaim Weizmann29 and a future national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, Stone provided the clandestine Aliyah Bet mission with another
respectable means of access to the above board world. As a prominent businessman,
philanthropist, and community leader, Stone was in a position to write checks for large sums
without causing inconvenient questions to be asked. When agents of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation came to see Stone about one of the American ships being fitted out for Haganah service,
Stone’s involvement in a bona fide textile company gave plausibility to his response that the ship was
being readied to transport clothing to refugees in Europe.”30

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“During this period I was able to get acquainted with the crew. There were 43 men, about a
third of whom were seamen and others like myself, who had some measure of boating
experience and a healthy respect for the sea. The rest were totally inexperienced but made up
for it with dedication to a cause and abundant enthusiasm.”31
“First there was Itzak (Ike) Aronowitz who became a close friend. He was a Palestinian, a
seaman who had served in the British Merchant Marine. As chief mate of the ship, he would
one day become its skipper. When the American captain delivered the ship to Marseille, he
would return home leaving Ike to resume command from Marseille to Palestine, that part of
the trip being in the hands of the Haganah exclusively. At twenty-three he looked about
seventeen. Of all the men I have ever known, he was the most fearless, and through the
months when there was a tough, dangerous job to do, he elected to do it.”32
“The chief mate was Bernie Marks of Cincinnati, Ohio, who had been an officer in the United
States Merchant Marine and had Master’s papers. His knowledge of the sea for all of his twenty-four years could match that of a Master of four years service.” 33

“Next in command was Bill Bernstein, 23, from San Francisco, a graduate of the United States
Merchant Marine Academy at Sandpoint, and second mate on the Warfield. As a Marine officer
he was in the Normandy invasion in WWII. Not especially committed to his Judaism, when the
concentration camps were opened he was at Dachau and could not forget the obscenities he
saw there. When he came home after the war he joined the operation to help bring the
survivors of the concentration camps to Palestine. He did not regard it as a religious awakening
so much as a blow for humanity.”34

There were others … Bill Millman from Chelsea, Massachusetts, CY Weinstein, Harry Leidner
and Grauel’s closest friend, Eli Kalm – the chief steward.

“About a week before we did sail, a ceremony took place on board. The crew and some
important guests gathered as the crew took the Haganah oath. We were each given a sweater
and a bible, Old Testament for everyone else, New Testament for me, which I regarded as very
thoughtful.”35
The Haganah oath ceremony took place on Sunday, February 16. “Danny Schind presented Itzak
Aronowitz with the Haganah flag, the familiar blue Mogen David of Israel. A bottle of
champagne appeared – not for consumption at the moment, but for the day in the
Mediterranean when the ship would be rechristened, according to custom, with a name
appropriate to her mission…. Danny Schind introduced Captain Ash as the man who brought
about the culmination of their efforts and desires.” Captain Ash said, “I envy you your
opportunity. You are the twentieth- century Maccabees, doing today what they did in the days of the Hasmonaeons. I wish you God-speed and good sailing.” 36

Grauel had volunteered for the Haganah years before and no doubt had taken the oath at that
time. He took the oath again in front of his shipmates. Before the others, and to those that
knew otherwise, he was on board as a first time Haganah volunteer.

“A few people were asked to say a few words and I thought, when asked, that this was the time
to explain my own membership in the crew, which I did in terms of an incident during WWII.
‘Some soldiers were bivouacked somewhere in Italy, near a monastery. One Friday night they
decided to hold Sabbath services in the monastery garden. To hold religious services Jews must
have a minyan, that is, ten Jewish men. Having only nine, they looked around and spied a
statue of Jesus and remembering He was Jewish, they held their services.”37

February 27, 1947, the President Warfield pulled up anchor and sailed. A few hours out of
Baltimore, just past the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, a vicious Atlantic storm blew up. The
ship began taking on water badly. The hawse pipes, the openings through which the anchor
chain runs had never been cemented closed. Tons of water continued crashing into the ship
and filling the holds. The watertight doors were ordered closed, the pumps failed. The ship,
just out on its mission of mercy, was in serious danger of sinking. The Captain issued an S.O.S...

The U.S. Coast Guard arrived just in time to save the President Warfield from disaster. Two
days later she was towed into Norfolk, Va. for repairs and refitting. That same night, the night
of the terrible storm, nine ships were in danger. One did sink with the loss of many lives.

“The damage to our ship was repairable but it would take time and that commodity was in
short supply for us. We had received word before we left that the displaced persons we were
to take on to Palestine had already started to move toward our rendezvous point and en route
thirty-nine had frozen to death in a freight car. With this bad news, we were prodded into working as hard as we humanly could.”38

While in Norfolk for repairs, “John Grauel attended secret parlor meetings in Norfolk to raise
money for repairs and expenses for the voyage.”39

March 29, 1947 the President Warfield left for Marseille. All aboard were deeply concerned.
What sort of reception awaited them by the British?
Friday, April 5, Passover was celebrated on board. “Prayers were said, the traditional questions
of the seder were asked and answered, and suddenly I found myself close to tears. The reader
has recited the traditional words, ‘Next year in Jerusalem.’ Here I was a, country preacher, a
Methodist seated aboard a rolling ship in the mid-Atlantic with a group of Jewish chaverim
(friends) in celebration of the self-same festival Jesus celebrated so many years before. What
made the moment even more moving for me was that we were on our way as instruments of
deliverance in assisting those of the second Exodus to return to their land, Eretz Israel.” 40

The President Warfield slipped into the Azores to refuel. The British refused to permit the ship
to refuel. A Norwegian Captain in the port asked the crew members if they were from the “Jew
Ship.” Grauel resisted an effort to punch the guy in the nose and fortunately so. The Captain
told him of a large oil bunker next to the pier they were tied up at. A dispute over ownership of
the full oil bunker between Portuguese Premier Salazar and the British meant they were
unguarded. The Warfield refueled and left before anyone was the wiser heading for Marseille
to be cleaned up and restocked.

All the crew aboard the Warfield was very aware that the ship could be taken by the British.
Each one of them could be subject to possible severe punishment and prison. If the ship was
taken some of the crew would hide in secret compartments on board. Others would lose all their identity papers, blending in with the refugees before being taken to British detention
camps in Cyprus. Reverend Grauel, before he had left the States obtained a special cover, a
cover that no Jew on board could obtain – legal permission to go to Palestine.

“One of the members of the Board of Directors of the American –Christian Palestine Committee
was Guy Emory Shipler, editor of the Churchman, an independent Episcopal magazine. My
good friend Dr. Carl Voss, Executive Director of the committee, contacted Shipler before I left
home, and they created a job for me as foreign correspondent for The Churchman with the
appropriate credentials. With that in hand, I left Marseille and flew to Paris to get a visa from
the British Consulate to enter Palestine legally. That would make it possible for me to go
ashore, should the crew of the Warfield-Exodus be caught and interned, which was always a
possibility with Haganah ships. I would simply be regarded as having been aboard the ship as an
observer and as such, not likely to be held with the others. Once on shore I would be available
to make a full eyewitness report of the voyage.”41

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Grauel’s preparations for the voyage involved high level contact, support and collusion from the
American-Christian Palestine Committee. They had a very high level of expectation that the
ship would be stopped. His role was to get the story out to the world. The President Warfield/
Exodus was the largest ship, to date, with the largest cargo of desperate Holocaust survivors
trying to get to Palestine in the history of the Aliyah Bet.

“What had stirred the British from the beginning and now alarmed them even more was the
size of Warfield in comparison to the little tubs that had previously served Aliyah Beth.
Obviously, this ship, as a former passenger vessel, could be crammed, Mossad-style, with many
thousands of immigrants. Moreover from a study of her times of departure and arrival at
various ports and from known data from her days in the British merchant marine, a naval intelligence analyst could conclude that she was relatively fast. All of these factors boded ill.
They seemed to bear out the conclusions of Whitehall that the Zionists were bent on breaking
the British back in Palestine with a deluge of immigrants. Instructions went out to all British
military units, intelligence services, and diplomatic missions in Europe: Warfield must be kept
from sailing at all cost.”42

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Once in Paris I reported to the Haganah leadership that I would be available to them….While in
Paris I worked with a truly exceptional woman, Shulamit , daughter of Chaim Arlossoroff43….I
also learned to rely on my memory. A good memory can be acquired by frequently exercising
those faculties of your brain, and to this day I have almost total recall. I was with the Jewish
Defense Ministry in Exile, which is about the only way to describe that facet of leadership, and I
carried messages that could not be trusted to ordinary means of communication.44

Reverend Grauel was uniquely capable of moving between two worlds. “Before he left, Grauel
had to obtain a visa for Palestine. This was one of the initial reasons for his trip to Paris. It
required a visit to the British Embassy. When he discovered that the British Embassy and the
adjacent streets were surrounded by gendarmes and plainclothesmen, he dressed in his clerical
garb as a Methodist minister. Then he walked past the lion-guarded gate of the Embassy,
accepting the salutes of the guards and the greetings of the British secret service.” 45

Grauel and Shulamit Arlosoroff arranged for the transport and rescue of 1,200 children to Palestine; some would sail on the Exodus. In spite of every effort at secrecy Grauel and
Arlosoroff were under constant British surveillance. In spite of the shadowing British agents,
“During 1947, I made many trips to Marseille to help move refugees.”46

“While still in Paris, I got a hurried call from Shula to meet her at the Place de la Concorde
because there was some trouble brewing…. The British, with French help, decided to root out
all the Jewish underground operators in Paris. Shula had received word that they were looking
for us, and while the police were shaking down every likely corner of Paris, nine of us were
sitting all in one row at the Paris Opera listen to Thais. After the performance, we scattered
and decided to go back to Marseille and rejoin the Warfield.”47

Grauel was no ordinary volunteer seaman on the President Warfield. He was integrally
connected to the Haganah at the operational level.
“I arrived in Marseille to be told that the Warfield had already sailed, having had to make a
quick getaway. The British had three destroyers off shore and were aware of everything we
were doing on or off the ship. We had every reason to believe that they would do anything
possible to prevent our reaching Palestine.”48

It was imperative, for the Haganah, Grauel must be on board the Warfield. Another Haganah
ship was near Marseilles, at Port de Bouc.

“Grauel was literally dumped aboard Hatikvah (the Hope) by the Haganah agents in
Marseilles.“49 The ship weighed anchor within the hour and rendezvoused with the Warfield in
Portovenere, Italy. Bernie Marks rowed over in a dinghy and brought him back to the Warfield.

The British put enormous pressure on the Italian government to prevent the Warfield from
escaping yet again. An Italian gunboat, with machine guns trained on the Warfield, suddenly
appeared blocking her way out of the port. “The British authorities in Rome had taken steps in
cooperation with the Italian authorities to prevent the sailing of an unnamed vessel, which was
to be used to transport ‘escaping criminals and fascists,” 50the newspaper reports ran. “I was
enraged to the point of tears many times by the lying statements of British officialdom in their
undeclared war against the world’s dispossessed.”51

For seven weeks the Warfield lay trapped in the port, the gunboat sitting on the Warfield’s
anchors. Heaven and earth were moved to try and free her, to no avail. A modern day Judith
rose and answered the call from the Sea.

“In charge of Italian operations was a legendary woman, Ada Sereni, widow of Enzo Sereni who
had been tortured to death by the Nazi when he made a parachute jump behind enemy lines in
Czechoslovakia during the war. Enzo’s father had been a physician to King Victor Emmanuel III.
Ada’s first cousin was an admiral in the Italian navy, a Jewish rarity. Between Enzo’s
background and hers, Ada had some excellent contacts in high places when needed.”52

“Suddenly, without prior notice or explanation, the gunboat withdrew, and we immediately
made a dash for it…. It was not until many weeks later that we were told Ada Sereni took
advantage of her admiralty connections and forged a letter of release on our behalf. Today,
Ada is living at Giv’at Brenner in an Israel to which she helped give life.”53

The Warfield escaped again.

July 9, 1947, in the very early hours of the morning, two tugs and a harbor pilot guided the
Warfield into Port du Bouc. One hundred and seventy two trucks were awaiting their arrival.
They were loaded to capacity with Holocaust survivors anxiously peering out for a first glimpse
of their rescue ship.

“We had moored a large barge alongside the ship so that it would be possible for them to climb
the side ladder to board. They moved forward gradually, looking up at the ship, some of them
somewhat mystified… A little girl started up the ladder on to the side of the ship, and as she
clambered over the top, I reached down to assist her. Under normal circumstances it would
have been hard to distinguish her from any other girl her age, but I reached for her left elbow,
there on her arm I could see the number, the mark of the concentration camp. She smiled her
thanks for my aid and walked on as I stood there, chilled by what I had seen on that child’s
arm.” 54

The refugees filled the old ship from top to bottom. The Warfield had been designed to
transport 650 people. She had on board over 4,500 people. Just as preparations were
complete, to pull up the anchor and get underway, word arrived from the French authorities.
The Warfield would have to move behind the breakwater and wait. There was a problem.

A committee headed by Yossi Harel55, the Haganah commander of the ship, and Captain Ike
Aronowitz prepared to go ashore and appeal to the French. The French had not initiated the
delay. It was engineered by the British. July 10, British intelligence had informed British
Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin meeting Paris with Prime Minister Georges Bidault about the
Warfield. Bevin, livid with rage, demanded that Bidault and the French stop the ship from
sailing. Neither of the men knew that a Haganah sympathizer was at the closed meeting.
Immediately he sent word to the Warfield. It was too late, French guards were placed on the
quay to keep the ship from escaping during the night.

A decision had to be made, surrender and return the refugees to Displaced Persons Camps, a
horrible alternative, or do something else. The commanders of the Warfield decided to do so
something else.

A French speaking crew member went ashore and invited the French guards and police to come
on board for a party. It was night. The ship could not go anywhere; spring lines had been set
securing the Warfield fast to her moorings, fore and aft. Grauel was placed in charge of the
“Party.” Lavish amounts of brandy appeared, cigarettes exchanged hands, pillow cases of
American goodies, such as the guards had not seen since before the war were given as gifts.
Grauel made sure that the guards were thoroughly liquored up and at ease. Bill Bernstein
slipped ashore and cut the spring lines holding the Warfield prisoner. The guards, drunk and
ashore with their “gifts”, the Warfield’s engines came to life. A dash was made for freedom, for
the open sea.

Unexpectedly, the propellers of the Warfield fouled on the spring lines. It was a desperate
situation. The engineer threw the Warfield’s powerful engines forward and backward until the
spring lines severed. The Warfield lurched forward. She rammed into the quay and careened
into a sand bar getting stuck. The heavily bribed French harbor pilot had taken their money but
had not shown up. The crew did not have any local knowledge of the waters in the harbor.
Another hour of churning props and horrifically anxious minutes punctuated by almost
universal prayers, the Warfield broke free.

July 11, 1947

“We were not out more than a few hours when we sighted a British Man-O’-War. To have
arrived so quickly at the scene she must have been waiting for us. When we finally arrived in
Palestine, we were being escorted by a British task force of six ships including the highly prized
World War II heroine, the Ajax.56 Obviously someone in the British government or the admiralty was deathly afraid of an aging river boat overloaded with homeless, unarmed men,
women and children.”57

“We reached the open sea: it was the first time that a ship succeeded in leaving that small
harbor without a pilot. We began to run all over the deck like madmen congratulating each other. As for
me, I took the time to mumble a small prayer. We were sailing…… The spirit of these people was
marvelous to witness. The mere thought of reaching their beloved land seemed to make them
withstand everything.”58

Conditions on board were terrible. The seas swelled, severe sea sickness, heat, food and water
problems, diarrhea, health concerns, soon overloaded the sanitary facilities. More than 400
pregnant women were on board.

“At dawn of the second morning, the loud-speaker announced: "Our first child was born.
Mother and child are in excellent health. In the heat of the third day, the ship's first sorrow
followed. A couple had been warned in France that the expectant mother was not in a
condition to travel by sea. They insisted upon going, never- the less. Now, the mother died in
childbirth, though the child lived. In a moonlight ceremony, the body was wrapped in a
handmade flag of Zion and the Scriptures were intoned as it was lowered into the sea.”59

A British destroyer drew up close to observe and photograph the tragedy. The white helmets,
the young faces of the naval personnel, waiting, watching, were visible to all on the Warfield.

Complaints, overcrowding, difficult circumstances, were not the focus for the refugees. They
were going home. “By that time, passengers and crew had been welded into one big family.
Grauel, the American minister, was looked upon as an omen of good luck. The American crew was dubbed, con amore, the Chocoladniks.”60

July 17, 1947

Radio confirmations were received in the evening, sealed instructions were opened– the
Warfield officially was given her new name as she sailed well off the Sinai Peninsula coast. She
was no longer the President Warfield but the Exodus. The Exodus 1947 from Europe, a ship of
the Haganah, was carrying home the people of Israel to their land and freedom. The blue and
white flag with the Star of David prominently and proudly stitched in the middle, that was given
Captain Ike Aronowitz in Baltimore, was taken and out and elevated to the mast of the Exodus.
Her new name was painted in huge letters on the port and starboard of her upper deck for the
entire world to see.

Joy, pride, hope, tears, and anxiety filled the ship.

The British battle fleet circled.
“Jossi [Yossi Harel, together with the Haganah radio operators on board headed by Azriel Einav]
made arrangements for a broadcast to be made from the ship through the Haganah illegal radio
facilities to the entire countryside. By now all of Palestine knew of our coming and our dubious
race for safety or possible confrontation ahead with a formidable representation of the British
fleet. “61

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Reverend John Stanley Grauel’s importance and vital presence on the Exodus was coming out.
He was a Christian minister, an eye witness to the world. He was not a Jew.
“It was the Mosad's intention to mount a huge illegal immigration operation that would draw the attention of the international media and influence the members of the United Nations
Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), who would then be visiting Palestine on a factfinding
mission.”62

UNSCOP had refused to meet with refugees in the camps in Europe. The structure and
membership of the committee was already unsympathetically packed against the Jews. Their
fact finding trip to Palestine would bring back a crucial recommendation that would weigh
heavily on the upcoming Partition Resolution that would determine the fate of Palestine and
the Jews.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At 10:00pm a special broadcast, relayed from the Exodus to Kol Yisrael, the Voice of Israel, was
carried to the world. Harel arranged a presentation of short speeches of greetings from some of
the passengers and a choir of children singing Hebrew songs.

“For the final portion of the program Jossi asked me to add a short appeal directed to the
United Nations Committee on Palestine, meeting in Kadimah House, Jerusalem. I gave the
following statement:

Gentlemen, at this time we request you, in assembly in Eretz Israel, that you appear to gather
testimony from the forty-five hundred Jews who are coming to Palestine in a few hours aboard
the Exodus 1947. We remind you that no committee was called to witness the death of six
million Jews in Europe. This is your opportunity to fulfill the requirements of your declared
justice in these matters. Witness if you will the heartache, the sorrow, and the suffering and
the utter brutality inflicted on our people by the British. They have acted as the Nazis have
acted. They clubbed and shot down in cold blood our women and children. These British are
imprisoning our people in the same types of camps on Cyprus as they suffered in Hitler’s Europe.

You have declared yourselves to guarantee equal opportunity to all who seek freedom. Bear
witness in truth to that declaration and hear our case now. We urge you to come and see our
ship and to sit in judgment upon the British who we believe are doing the very thing that the
United Nations has pledged itself to destroy.”63

“I must have dropped off into a deep sleep after all, because at 2:30 a.m. the ship’s whistle
screamed a signal of distress, and I was jarred awake, slightly befuddled, as I groped for my
shoes. I rushed out, snaking my path through the refugees who were beginning to pour on
deck, to peer through the darkness beyond the edge of the ship. I had just reached the door to
the bridge, when suddenly the night turned to day under the searchlights from the destroyers.
A fleet of ships seemed to be running abreast of us as if they planned to converge on us at one
point. My eyes were drawn upwards by the lights to see a mammoth poster which someone
during the night had secured to the single smoke stack. On it was a picture of a woman holding
a baby in her arms, a small child at her side, and an inscription which read, “England, this is your
enemy.” Through the blasting whistles I could hear a destroyer addressing us, “We are going to
arrest your ship. You are in territorial waters.” The doors of the bridge flew open and Ike,
thoroughly enraged his face pale, screamed through a megaphone, ‘you’re a god damned liar,’
and followed that up with a stream of choice abuse.

I looked toward the upper deck ahead of me and there stood a group of boys and girls between
the ages of about thirteen to sixteen. They were standing at attention, their chins thrust
forward defiantly, one fist tightly clenched, the other holding a potato someone must have
filched from the galley. They were prepared to defend themselves with the only weapons they
could lay their hands on.… I was born and nurtured with the precious milk of freedom. Not yet
grown old or cynical, as I watched those youngsters I was momentarily bathed in the aura of
Concord and Lexington, and all the words I had ever read about the birth of America and her fight for freedom took shape on board that ship. I knew, I just knew I was watching the rebirth
of a nation.”64

I ran through a passageway and climbed the ladder on the port side of the hurricane deck to
take a position directly amidships. At that moment the destroyer rammed the ship, and we
were all thrown to the deck. Tear gas grenades were flying and exploding around me, and the
acrid stench filled my lungs, and made my eyes sting and tear.” 65

Grappling hooks flew from the destroyer unto the Exodus drawing it closer. Boarding ramps
slammed into the upper deck, the British boarded the Exodus armed and prepared for the
attack. “Four marines had ripped open the door of the bridge, one with pistol firing, then
together they clubbed our officers and drove them out. Bill Bernstein dropped with a crushed
skull outside the companion way. I went into the chart room aft of the bridge where I was
confronted by a British sailor wearing a gas mask. I yelled, “I’m an American correspondent. I
must get into the captain’s cabin. There’s a man seriously injured in there.” I heard a muffled
response, “Get out or I’ll kill you.” He swung at me with his club, and I ducked falling backward
through the port. The last time he threatened me with his pistol so I withdrew, just as the ship
rocked again under a second ramming. ….. As I went forward the ship was rammed again and
there was a shower of glass…. I heard the chatter of machine guns….66

The Exodus was attacked 17 miles offshore of Palestine, opposite Gaza in international waters.
The British, under maritime law, had committed an attack of piracy. The battle lasted two
hours. Casualties were heavy: over two hundred wounded and three dead. William Bernstein of
Los Angles, Zwi Jakubovicz of Indersdorf and Mordecai Baumstein of Bad Reichenall….
67. Bill Bernstein had been clubbed to death. Zwi Jakubovicz was shot in the head. He was fifteen. He was hiding behind a life raft. Mordecai Baumstein bled to death from a gunshot wound to the stomach. The British did not transfer him to one of their ships for a blood transfusion.

Water began to pour in the holes in the walls, and the entire wooden structure was in jeopardy:
the lives of hundreds were threatened. It was a grave moment. Yossi Harel had the choice of
asking for cease- fire and surrendering or continuing the struggle and reaching shore with the
dead and wounded. In concern for the wounded, several of them facing mortal danger, Yossi
decided in favor of a cease-fire.

“The old, disabled ship steamed slowly into Haifa, nosed into place by several tugs. The young
people, those still capable of standing, lined up on deck and sang Hatikvah (Hymn of Hope) with
abundant emotion. Hundreds of British police and soldiers crowded the area. Cameramen
took pictures while clinging to an overhead crane. Very much in evidence and obviously people
of importance were two men, later identified as Judge Carl Sandstrom of Sweden, Chairman of
the United nations Special committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) and the Committee
representative from Czechoslovakia, Dr. Karel Lisicky.”68

The docks were filled with people, soldiers and the press. The name Exodus was known around
the world. The Exodus was big news.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“In early 1947 the British announced their intention to abandon the Mandate, and turn the
question of the future of Palestine over to the United Nations. At Great Britain’s insistence, the
United Nations considered the Palestine question. The General Assembly decided to set up the
United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) to investigate the cause of the
conflict in Palestine, and, if possible, devise a solution. The UNSCOP, composed of representatives of eleven nations,69 visited Palestine and heard testimony from the Zionists in
Palestine and in the US and took evidence. They were given a ready-made partition program by
the well-prepared Zionist representatives, while the Palestinian and other side failed to prepare
any coherent alternative. Despite this, the Palestinians’ consensual rejection of partition was
fully known to the UNSCOP. The strong Palestinian objection prevented a unanimous decision
on partition but it was not strong enough to avert a majority one (achieved to a certain extent
by American and Russian pressure). The Arab Higher Committee boycotted the Commission but
demanded that the UN immediately grant Palestine its independence.”70

UNSCOP was officially created, May 15, 1947. Much of the committee structure and
membership had been negotiated long before its formal creation. There was a clear anti-Zionist
bias amongst a significant numbers of its member, especially from India. The commission had
until August 31, 1947, to come up with recommendations, at which time the commission’s
authority expired. UNSCOP had determined not to interview the Holocaust Refugees in the
Displaced Persons camps in Europe who were trying to go Palestine. In essence they
deliberately were not speaking with the very people who were desperately trying to come to
Palestine and around whom the crux of the problem and potential solution laid. Crucial
evidence would be deliberately withheld from the decision process.

Mandate Palestine had already been partitioned once by the British in 1922. Approximately
60% of Palestine was separated creating Trans-Jordan as a purely Arab state free of Jewish
population and under Hashemite rule. UNSCOP was being asked to further consider dividing the
remaining land, approximately 40% either into an independent Arab State of Palestine and a
corresponding Jewish State or recommending a federation of the two.

The committee did have members whose minds were not made up. Evidence could be presented that would influence their recommendations. The Haganah understood the challenge. They understood that only hard evidence of the necessity of a two state solution,one Jewish, one again Arab, on the remaining land, had to be brought before the commission.
UNSCOP’s recommendations to the United Nations in September would largely shape the
outcome of the Partition Resolution of November 1947 and the fate of a Jewish State.

The Haganah was well aware of the timing of the Exodus effort. The sheer audacity and size of
the Exodus’s movement of Holocaust Refugees would demonstrate to the world the focus and
irreversibility of Jewish determination to go to Palestine. The 4,554 people on the board the
Exodus would clearly state that the British White Paper policy was a failure. The Jews wanted
what was promised to them in the Balfour Declaration - a homeland.71 If a Jew made the
demand, the world had a hard time hearing it, even after the Holocaust. It was imperative that
Grauel be onboard the Exodus.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“As I came out on the flying bridge, I noticed a stretcher being carried toward a tent at the end
of the wharf. On it was the body of the boy who had died at least six hours ago, Hirsch
Yacubovich72, with the blanket down around his waist so it would appear as though he were still
alive. I yelled, “That is the most goddammed despicable trick I have ever seen pulled.” 73

Grauel, excited, angry, only succeeded in drawing British attention to him. He was arrested and
after interrogation sent to Haifa’s Savoy hotel under guard to remain under house arrest. His
cover as an American correspondent had succeeded.

At the Savoy, the desk clerk informed Grauel that the bar was full of newspaper reporters.
Before the police escort could stop him he virtually dove through the door of the bar. The British had been keeping news about the Exodus as controlled and limited as possible. Grauel
would change that instantly.

“Here was my opportunity to give the newsmen my story. The room was full of people, some
of whom I knew, Gerold Frank of the “Overseas News Service,”… Homer Bigart of the HeraldTribune
...Clifton Daniels of the New York Times, Vic Bernstein of the New City P.M. and Art
Holtzman of the Radio Service.” Grauel knew them all. His connections to the American media
were proving invaluable. He knew them and they knew him. “I collapsed into the nearest chair
and announced I was from the Exodus and would answer all questions. Immediately flash bulbs
began to pop, and I was hemmed in all around by reporters.”74

“After awhile a reporter edged in closer to me on my right, whispered the Haganah code word
for the day, and advised me to make my way to the men’s rooms while the police were back at
the doorway….Waiting for me were Gerold Frank and Vic Bernstein who immediately rushed
me out the back door and into a waiting car that bore American Press signs. I crouched down in
the back of the press car as we made our way through police lines and checkpoints……I found
out later on that my escape from the British had been planned by Teddy Kollek and the
Haganah for the purpose of bringing my testimony before the Committee (UNSCOP). ”75

An all alerts to arrest John Grauel was put out by the British. A harrowing ride, past checkpoints
manned by tanks, the car with the American Press identification, climbed its way past the final
hills to Jerusalem.

“I was taken immediately to Kadimah House to the apartment of the Ambassador from
Guatemala, Jorge Garcia-Granados. I was introduced as a Haganah volunteer from the Exodus
and while I sat down to catch my breath, Sr. Garcia-Granados called Dr. Victor Hoo, assistant
Secretary General of the United Nations who was also in Kadimah House, and an appointment was made for me to tell my story the next morning…. I told the Guatemalan Ambassador about
the voyage rather briefly………I had been without sleep for sixty hours.”76

UNSCOP Ambassador Jorge Garcia-Granados described that first meeting with Grauel in his
book, The Birth of Israel, the Drama as I saw it.

“I was at home when the doorbell rang. Two American journalists stood at the entrance,
accompanied by a stranger, tall and blond, in his thirties, with blue eyes, who appeared to be
tense and anxious, wearing clothes that were obviously borrowed from someone else since
they were not his size: “I would like to introduce the Reverend John Grauel of Worcester,
Massachusetts”, said one of the journalists as he propelled the pastor inside and closed the
door behind him. “He was a volunteer on the Exodus”, continued the journalist, “and we have
rushed him here from Haifa - the British have been trying to jail him”. We would like you to
hear his account before he places himself under the protection of the American Consulate.”77

The next morning, after Grauel had managed to sleep awhile, “I kept my appointment to meet
with the U.N. Committee members in Dr. Sandstrom’s quarters in the presence of Dr. Hoo, Dr.
Ralph Bunche, Dr. Garcia Robles, all members of the U.N. Secretariat, and Committee members
Ivan Rand, Canada, Enrique Rodriquez Fabregat, Uruguay, and Nicolas Blom, Netherlands. They
questioned me close about my contention that we were not in territorial waters at the time the
British attacked, and I assured them that I had the ship’s log to verify my statement. I gave
them a full account of the battle emphasizing the fact that there was not a single weapon
aboard our ship.”78

“I made one closing statement, ‘I have watched these people. I know what they are. And I tell
you, the Jews in the European Displaced Persons camps insist on coming to Palestine, they will come to Palestine, and nothing short of open warfare and complete destruction will halt them.’
There was great gratification for me in knowing that my eyewitness report was now a matter of
record. Inherent in the nature of the relationship between Christians and Jews was the fact
that because I was a Christian, in this situation my testimony would be given greater credence
than that of a Jewish crew member.”79

The Haganah’s effort, deliberately placing Reverend John Stanley Grauel on the Exodus, was
wildly successful. They had cynically acknowledged reality – a Jew’s word was not as good as a
Christian’s. Sadly, they were correct.

“I was elated at having completed my mission”…. Gerry Frank had one more stop for Grauel.
“He took me to an apartment house, told me to go up to the second floor and push the button,
then left me. I did as I was told and Golda Meir80 answered the door. It was her apartment. A
meeting was being held there of the entire Jewish Agency, the leadership of the Palestinian
Jewish community, except for Ben Gurion who was seeing Dr. Chaim Weizman81 off to
Switzerland… They asked me for a full detailed report of the Exodus trip from beginning to end
and when I was finished, Golda was in tears. So was I… We all sat in silence for a few moments
and then Moshe Sharett82 led me out on the balcony where we talked for two hours and began
a close friendship that lasted until his death in 1965.”83

Reverend Grauel returned to the United States after only nine days in Palestine.

“In the port of Haifa the illegal immigrants were transferred by force to three British vessels--
the Ocean Vigour, Runnymede Park, and Empire Rival-- to be taken back to France. This marked a significant change in British policy from what had been the standard procedure since August
1946, namely, the deportation of all apprehended illegal immigrants to detention camps in
Cyprus. When the ships arrived in France on July 28, most of the passengers chose to remain on
board. The French refused to accede to the British demand to force them out. For a month the
three ships remained anchored near Port-de-Bouc. The refugee passengers suffered under
grueling conditions. Finally, after a hunger strike, the British decided to return the refugees to
DP camps in Germany. The ships arrived in Hamburg on September 8 and their passengers were
forcibly removed by British soldiers. From Hamburg, they were taken by prisoner trains with
barred windows to the Poppendorf and Amstau DP camps in the British zone. Most of the
Exodus refugees remained in the DP camps for over a year, reaching Israel only after the state
was established in May 1948. In 1951 the Mayor of Haifa announced that the Exodus 1947 was
to become "a floating museum, a symbol of the desperate attempts by Jewish refugees to find
asylum in the Holy Land." The project was put on hold while attention was focused on issues of
national security. However, on August 26, 1952, the ship caught fire and burned to the
waterline. It was towed out of the shipping area and abandoned on Shemen beach. On August
23, 1964, an attempt was made to salvage the Exodus 1947 for scrap, but during the process,
the hulk broke loose and sank. It remains on the bottom of Shemen beach near Haifa.”84

Golda Meir, a later Prime Minister of Israel, acknowledged the contribution of Reverend
Grauel's testimony and advocacy to the United Nations’ decision in favor of the creation of
Israel. Throughout his life he maintained close associations with Jewish concerns. In the 1950's
and 1960's, he led investigations into the terrible conditions of Jews living in Morocco and
Algeria. In 1975 he led one of the first Jewish youth tours of the Nazi Concentration camps in
Europe. Reverend Grauel was drawn to numerous humanitarian efforts including the American
Civil Rights and Native American struggles. The State of Israel recognized Rev. Grauel through
the Humanity Medal, the Fighter for Israel Medal and the Medal of Jerusalem. He died in Roosevelt, New Jersey in 1986. He was buried in the American Christian Missionary Alliance
Cemetery on Emek Refaim Street in Jerusalem, on September 16, 1986. The burial was not an
official State of Israel ceremony, yet an Israel Navy guard of honor was present, as well as
representatives of B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Committee, and many veterans of Aliya
Bet.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

1
“Golda Meir, in a speech to the Jewish Agency, referred to his testimony as the first appeal by a “priest, a
perfectly worthy gentile, a priori, no Jewish witness was to be believed,” and because of this, his graphic account
became a turning point in the attitudes of the U.N. representatives. …Incidentally, in Hebrew there is no distinction
between Catholic and Protestant clergymen. In Golda Meir’s speech she referred to John Grauel as the ‘Komer,”
the priest. Thus, he is known in Israel as Jochanan Ha Komer, John the Priest, and the title is uniquely his. Grauel,
An Autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbien, 1982, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. , forward by Teddy Kollek Mayor
of Jerusalem – 1977 Pg. x.
2
http://www.jafi.org.il/education/moriya/carmel/Theillegalmmigration.html
3
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 2
4
Ibid pg. 27
5
Ibid pg. 30
6
Ibid pg. 31
7
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ben-Gurion
8
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 38-39
9
Ibid pg. 44
10
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golda_Meir
11
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Kollek
12
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nachum_goldman
13
http://www.wisdom.weizmann.ac.il/~oded/weisgal.html
14
Ibid pgs. 45-46
15
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliyah_Bet
16
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 44
17
Ibid pg. 45
18
The Jews Secret Fleet, Joseph Hochstein, Gefen Press, Jerusalem 1987, Paul Schulman foreword xiv
19
Ibid pgs. 30-31
20
Ibid pg. 32
21
Ibid pg. 32
22
Ibid pg. 32
23
Ibid pgs. 38-39
24
Ibid pg. 42
25
Grauel, an autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pgs. 47-48
26
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exodus_(ship)
27
The Jews Secret Fleet, Joseph Hochstein, Gefen Press, Jerusalem 1987 pg. 36
28
Ibid pg. 38
29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaim_Weizmann
30
The Jews Secret Fleet, Joseph Hochstein, Gefen Press, Jerusalem 1987 pg. 38
31
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 48
32
Ibid pg. 49
33
Ibid pg. 50
34
Ibid pg. 51
35
Ibid pg. 53
36
Exodus 1947, by David C. Holly, Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1969 pg. 152
37
Ibid pg. 54
38
Ibid pg. 55
39
Exodus 1947, by David C. Holly, Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1969 pg. 164.
40
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 57
41
Ibid pg. 59
42
Exodus 1947, by David C. Holly, Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1969 pg. 179
43
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_ArlosoroffGrauel states that Arlosoroff was a Jewish underground operative
who committed everything to memory. Grauel further states that his murder forced the cancellation of a rescue
effort of 17,000 children. Arlosoroff had all the contacts memorized and not written down.
44
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pgs. 59-60
45
Exodus 1947, by David C. Holly, Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1969 pgs. 174-175
46
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 64
47
Ibid pg. 65
48
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pgs. 65-66
49
Exodus 1947, by David C. Holly, Little Brown and Co., Boston, 1969 175-176
50
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 69
51
Ibid pg. 69
52
Ibid pg. 71
53
Ibid pg. 73
54
Ibid pgs. 74-74
55
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yossi_Harel
56
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ajax_(22)November 18, 1949, now decommissioned, the Ajax famed for
her part in destroying the mighty German Battleship the Admiral Graf Spee, was broken up for scrap in Newport.
57
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 78
58
http://www.jafi.org.il/education/moriya/carmel/Theillegalmmigration.html
59
The Redeemers, A Saga of the Years 1945-1952, by Leo W. Schwarz, Farrar, Straus, New York, 1953 pg. 248
60
Ibid pg. 248
61
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 84
62
http://www.jafi.org.il/education/moriya/carmel/Theillegalmmigration.html
63
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 84
64
Ibid pgs 86-87
65
Ibid pg. 87
66
Ibid pg. 87
67
The Redeemers, A Saga of the Years 1945-1952, by Leo W. Schwarz, Farrar, Straus, New York, 1953 pgs. 251-2
68
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 92
69
The Committee members represented the following nations: Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala,
India, Iran, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia.
70
http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article27.html
71
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_declaration
72
Also identified as, Zwi Jakubovicz, by Aronowitz
73
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 Pgs. 92-93
74
ibid pgs. 93-94
75
ibid pg. 94
76
ibid pg. 97
77
http://www.jafi.org.il/education/moriya/CARMEL/Theillegalmmigration.html
78
Grauel, An autobiography as told to Eleanor Elfenbein, Ivory House, Freehold, N.J. 1982 pg. 97
79
Ibid pg. 98
80
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golda_Meir
81
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaim_Weizmann
82
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshe_Sharett
83
Ibid pg. 99
84
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum – "Poppendorf statt Palastina" (The Haganah Ship Exodus 1947), an online
exhibition by Henrik Jan Fahlbusch et al. (25 November 2002)]