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Kibbutz Safiach red banner with a Star of David and fleur-de-lis acquired by a British officer

Object | Accession Number: 2003.465.8

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    Brief Narrative
    Kibbutz Safiach banner with a Hashomer Hatzair logo acquired by Lt. D.P. Grehan, Royal Irish Fusilier, British Army, an officer in Karaolus detention camp on Cyprus from March 1947 to June 1948. The Ha-shomer Ha-tsa'ir Workers Party of Palestine, a Marxist-Zionist political party allied to Kibbutz and socialist youth movements, was founded in 1946. Banners like these were used by internees at their tents and in parades and ceremonies. The internees were Ma'apilim, illegal immigrants, most Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, captured while trying to reach Eretz Israel without permission from the British. Great Britain controlled Palestine under a United Nations mandate and enforced very restrictive immigration policies. The huge number of postwar displaced persons led the British to set up the camps in 1946 as a deterrent. Ships attempting to bring unauthorized refugees were stopped by the British Navy and the passengers were interned on Cyprus. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was established. Within six months, most of the refugees interned on Cyprus were welcomed into the Jewish homeland.
    received:  after 1947 March-1948
    creation: Karaolos, British Army and detention camp; Famagusta (Cyprus)
    received: Karaolos, British Army and detention camp; Famagusta (Cyprus)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, center, outlined, white paint : Hebrew Text [Kibbutz Safiach]
    front, center, below wreath, outlined by white paint : Hebrew Text [Be strong and of good courage]
    Original owner: D. P. Grehan
    D.P. Grehan was born in Ireland. As an adult, he joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers, one of three Irish units in the British Army, and served in World War II (1939-1945). In March 1947, Lieutenant Grehan was stationed on the island of Cyprus, which was ruled by the British under a United Nations mandate. He served as a commanding officer at H.Q. 1, overseeing internees at the British detention camp at Caraolos. The majority of the internees held at the camp were Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, many of whom were captured while trying to immigrate to Palestine illegally. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was established and, within six months, all of the internees on Cyprus were transported to the Jewish homeland. Lt. Grehan’s service in Cyprus concluded when the camp was closed in 1948.

    Physical Details

    Identifying Artifacts
    Object Type
    Banners (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular, red cloth banner with a design in thick white paint outlined with black ink. At the center is a wreath, laurel leaves on the left and scalloped, possibly olive, leaves on the right, surrounding a Star of David enclosing a fleur-de-lis. At the bottom of the wreath is a stylized bow flanked by two small angled rectangles with Hebrew text. To either side of the wreath is Hebrew text in large, block print. A red yarn tassel is tied to the upper and lower left corners. The edges are hemmed with red thread, with small holes and repairs throughout.
    overall: Height: 26.875 inches (68.263 cm) | Width: 46.375 inches (117.793 cm)
    overall : cloth, paint, yarn, ink, thread

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Corporate Name
    World Hashomer Hatzair

    Administrative Notes

    The banner was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-02 08:53:25
    This page:

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