On 17th July 1947, a rickety old steamer named The President Warfield was renamed Exodus 1947. In an open sea ceremony, as the steamship was being attacked by the British navy, the Zionist blue-white flag with the Star of David was hoisted and “Hatikvah, (the Hope)” which eventually became the Israeli national anthem, was sung over and over. The Exodus 1947 became Israel’s first ship of state.
Forget what you saw in the movie “Exodus” Paul Newman wasn’t there and the British were much more brutal than portrayed in the movie, they clubbed the Jewish refugees when trying to take them back to Germany.
With the White Paper of 1939, the British caved into Arab pressure (as they have done before and as they still do today). The Paper severely limited the number of Jews that could enter what was then called Palestine. The White Paper meant that Great Britain was sentencing thousands of Jews who could have escaped the Holocaust to death. The US refused to take them onto American soil FDR believed there werealready too many Jews in the U.S. and Churchill refused to take them on English soil or the Jews own homeland. So the Jews began to find ways to sneak Jews into the holy land. The most famous of those missions was The Exodus 1947.
Ironically The President Warfield was named after Solomon Davies Warfield president of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company a steamship line that owned the ship. Warfield was the uncle of Wallis Warfield Simpson the woman for whom King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, abdicated his throne in 1937. The British would get their revenge when The President Warfield became the Exodus 1947.
Decommissioned in 1946, the ship The President Warfield was bought for $8,000 as scrap by the Western Trading Company (a front for the Haganah, which later became the Israel Defense Forces). Jewish-American Sam (the Banana Man) Zemurray was instrumental in obtaining the ship for the Haganah, which would explain its Honduran registration. It was said that Mr. Zemurray’s United Fruit Company, pretty much owned Honduras. The President Warfield was refitted in Baltimore and sailed for France on 25th February 1947 where it picked up over 4,500 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany…