The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), in conjunction with several groups in Israel, is working on a project to find surviving passengers and crew members of the Exodus 1947. There never was an official passenger manifest, and so much time has passed that this is not an easy task, says Genya Markon, the museum’s curator of collections. The museum has the names of about 2,300 people who were on the ship and has made contact with 270 passengers and four crew members. Most of the known survivors live in the United States or Israel. Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, says lessons of the Exodus 1947 still ring true today. “The important role of American volunteers on the Exodus is a reminder that the struggle to establish Israel was supported by a broad coalition of Americans of all faiths – and that support for Jewish statehood continues among Americans to this day,” he says. “It is no surprise that many Americans sympathized with the Jewish immigration struggle, given its strong parallels to American history. Refugees from persecution were trying to build a country based on liberty and equality, only to be blocked.”
For more information on the voyage, you can go to www.exodus1947.com to purchase a DVD documentary, “Exodus 1947,” narrated by Morley Safer and broadcast on PBS.