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May 04, 1973 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-05-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Exodus Veteran Remembers

and cans of Spam, the unused
contribution of a generous
donor who was unaware of
the dietary requirements of
a shipload of Jews.
The passengers and most
of the crew (Ike and a few
others successfully hid in se-
cret tunnels of the ship) were
taken aboard three British
prison ships, once used to
hold Nazi prisoners of war.
Instead of the usual destin-
ation, Cyprus, they were
taken back to France, and
there they remained, refus-
ing to disembark. All along
the shore, Weinsaft recalls,
sympathetic French mounted
Stars of David atop burning
telephone poles, and planes
overhead dropped flowers
aboard the ship. There was a
general work stoppage.
Eventually, the refugees
were returned to Germany
and placed in two former
concentration camps. John
Grauel went on to submit a
graphic report on the British
naval attack to the UN Spe-
cial Committee on Palestine,
which ultimately agreed to
partition. Within a year, the
DPs were smuggled in to
Palestine.
Weinsaft was net among
them, however. Even as the
Exodus was anchored on the
coast of France, he had his
orders to escape.
He was involved in other
refugee missions, like the
15,000 placed aboard two Lib-
erty Ships out of Constantsa
(caught and unloaded in Cy-
prus) and other, smaller
ships. "After 1945, there were
close to 25 blockade runners
to Palestine. I would guess
half made it."
FOR BEGINNERS —
But now Weinsaft's work
took on a different kind of
INTERMEDIATE — ADVANCED
MON. — WED. — FRI. urgency. War was imminent.
Back in the U.S., he worked
CLASSES NOW FORMING
with the small but highly
For Further Info. Call
efficient smuggling organiza-
LI 6-8040
tion run by Teddy Kollek out
Hotel 14, next door to the
" METRO BRIDGE CLUB of
Copacabana nightclub. Every
23029 COOLIDGE
lead was followed; every
OAK PARK
dealer in army surplus was
approached. They called it
" rilimillirli.11.!T "Operation Jewish Trojan
Horse": arms and ammuni-
tion were hidden in big
hollowed-out electric trans-
TO ''''.- -..,
--Jr4
formers and shipped to Pal-
estine.
Weinsaft got some help in
Invites you to have the greatest
Detroit — from people like
experience during your visit in
Lou Berry, Arnold and Nor-
man Michlin and, particu-
larly, Sally Fields, he said.
We assure you that you will
An organization called Ma-
i have
a
spiritual
satisfaction.
terials for Palestine, operat-
ing out of the David Stott
PLAN TO GO TO
ISRAEL FOR SHAVUOTH Building, collected blankets,
first aid kits and many of
Exceptionally well organized
the other items that would
and Complete Tour —
Holiday in Jerusalem
be needed in the war.
But there were obstruction.
• Enjoy a week in Jerusalem.
ists too—. those who were
afraid that such efforts were
• 2 Sabbaths in Jerusalem.
counter to the laws of the
• Sight-seeing trips to Sharm
U.S. and might hurt the Jews.
Massada,
El Sheikh, Eilat,
0 n e Detroiter alerted the
Golan Heights, Tombs of
FBI to Weinsaft's secret op-
the Patriarchs, Mother
erations; but the FBI had its
Rachel and other Holy
own friends of Israel. Wein-

(Continued from Page 48)
Aboard was a volunteer
crew of 18 Americans includ-
ing two Gentiles — an engi-
neer and a minister. But the
minister saw his mission of
soul-saving as far different
from the usual interpretation.
John Stanley Grauel was a
Hagana volunteer who took
up the cause of the Jewish
survivors as his own. On the
Exodus, he served as cook.
"We called him Jesus,"
Weinsaft recalls.
Weinsaft, the security' of-
ficer, remembers the suffer-
ing of the passengers, many
of them bearing the scars of
the concentration camps. But
pne man, Capt. Isaac "Ike"
Aronowicz, a Hagana volun-
teer who came aboard in
Italy, kept his people together
through their desperate voy-
age from France across the
Mediterranean. "He was a
_little guy, of slight build —
around 24 or 25. But he was
a dynamo, and we idolized
him."
The Exodus never made it.
The British intercepted the
refugee ship — now bearing
the flag of a yet-to-be-born
Israeli nation, made from
hedsheets and scraps of blue
dresses — off the coast of
Palestine. They boarded like
pirates, with grappling hooks,
in the middle of the night.
But it wasn't without a fight,
said Weinsaft.
The passengers had mis-
siles of their own: potatoes

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saft got away with a warning.
"Most volunteers had no
affiliations, no religious back-
ground, not even a Zionist
background," Weinsaft says.
"They were ordinary Moshes
and Yaakovs.
"There were three of us
involved in .small arms and
ammunition. We hid things
in oil drums or marked them
as used machinery. In a
chicken factory, we fixed up
generators to make them
look new and filled them with
arms. Actually, the United
States should give us a medal
because we got thousands
and thousands of small arms
— hand guns — out of the
country. We used to clean
out all the hock shops in
Texas.
"I remember in Shreve-
port, La., there was a play-
ground factory owner doing
some of the packing. One of
the company drivers noticed
machinegun barrels sticking
out of the packing cases. We
told him we were using gun
barrels for playground mate-
rials, and he thought it was
a great idea."
For a year, Weinsaft en-
gaged in the smuggling op-
eration. The creation of the
state took place shortly be-
fore he landed in Israel,
carrying a load of heavy air-
craft on a ship from Mexico.
In 1949, one job completed,
he took on a different kind of
mission for Israel; raising
funds for the United Jewish
Appeal. In 1950, he settled in
Detroit and for the past 10
years has owned an art gal-
lery.
It's a comfortable life. With
a wife and two children,
Weinsaft has turned 50 with
a certain equanimity a n d
good humor. And so, when
Israel again faced her en-
emies in 1967, Weinsaft would
not have been first choice at
the front lines.
But there he was. Early in
1967, on a visit to his mother
and sister in Afikim, Wein-
saft could see it coming. He
decided to remain and join
the Israelis he had helped
two decades earlier in an-
other fight for life.
Now his old friends were
high-ranking army officials.
Weinsaft became an ambu-
lance driver. He was with a
tank outfit in the Golan
Heights when the Israelis
took that vital point.
, Weinsaft cabled home on
June 11: "We have it. They
had it."
Weinsaft says he isn't look-
ing for thanks. "The Israeli
Defense Force is a busy
army. Everybody is in-
volved."
At the same time, looking
back 25 years, he wishes that
the Israel government would
acknowledge the role of so
many foreign volunteers who
helped Israel. He estimates
that 350 volunteers died in
the War of Independence, 72
of them Americans and three

Fighters for Israel at ZOD `LeHayim'

The "Lehayim Israel" social and toasting evening of the
Zionist Organization of Detroit 8:30 p.m. Monday at the
Zionist Cultural Center, will be marked by salutes by the
former ZOD presidents and by members of Mahal, the
fighters for Israel's independence in 1948.
Non-Jews as well as Jews are members of Mahal.
Among the participants will be Charles Crudgington, pilot
in the War of Independence, and Harry Weinsaft, member
of the crew of the ill-fated Exodus.
. Dr. Sanford A. Bennett, chairman of the ZOD program
committee, announces that Israel wine and refreshments
will be served during the celebration. He states that the
celebrants will be led in toasts of L'Hayim and singing
by Cantor Jacob . H. Sonenklar:

of them Detroiters. He knows
of 15 Christians among the
Americans.
"The Israeli kid who mourns
the war dead should know
that others came from miles
away to fight for an unknown
country," said Weinsaft.
"Yet, the Israel government
has been silent. I guess you
could just say we're the lost
brigade."

Hebrew U. Cites
Golda Meir

JERUSALEM—Prime

Mini-
ster Golda Meir was honored
at the Hebrew University for
her contribution to "assuring
the Jewish nation a future in
freedom, dignity and peace."
She was one of five recipients
of the Morris J. Kaplun Prize,
an annual award made avail-
able by a donation from the
Morris and Betty Kaplun
Foundation in the United
States.
Also receiving the Kaplun
Prizes each worth $5,000,
were Prof. Albert Neuberger,
of the St. Mary's Hospital
Medical School, University
of London, a deputy chair-
man of the Hebrew Univer-
sity's board of governors;
Prof. Harry A. Wolfson of
Harvard University, Prof.
Aharon Barak, the Auqusto
Levi Associate Professor of
Commercial Law at the Uni-
versity's Law Faculty, and
Prof Zvi Lipkin, of the Weiz-
mann Institute of Science in
Rehovot.
Prof. Wolfson, who is 85,
was unable to attend the
ceremony and will receive
his award in the United
States.

18—Friday, May 4, 1973

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Ionesco Receives Jerusalem Prize

JERUSALEM (JTA)—Eu-
gene Ionesco, the Romanian-
born French playwright, ac-
cepted the Jerusalem Prize
at special ceremonies at the
Sixth Jerusalem International
Book Fair here.
Ile was given the $2,000
award for "contributing to
the concept of the freedom
of the individual in society."
The 61-year-old playwright,
'best known as the creator of
the "Theater of the Absurd,"
said he felt pride at receiv-
ing this "prize of liberty."
Boni Feinstein, director
general of the Jerusalem
Municipality and chairman of
the Book Fair permanent
committee told a press con-
ference earlier that this
year's turnout qualified the
fair for 'admission into the
International Fairs Associa-
tion.
About 100,000 persons were
expected to visit this year's
Jerusalem Book Fair, which

has 38,000 books' on display.
About 80 per cent of the 720
publishers whose books are
being shown here have sent
personal representatives to
the fair.

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JWB Gives
Book Awards

NEW YORK — Seven au-
thors of books of Jewish in-
terest published in 1972 are
winners of awards to be pre-
sented by the Jewish Book
Council of the National Jew-
ish Welfare Board (JWB) at
its annual meeting to be held
at the Park Avenue Syn-
gogue. The announcement
was made by Dr. Eugene B.
Borowitz, editor of Sh'ma and
president of JWB's Jewish
Book Council.
Elie Wiesel and Dr. Samuel
Sandmel will receive the
Frank Ethel S. Cohen Awards
in the field' of Jewish thought.
The Bernard H. Marks
Award will go to Dr. Arthur
J. Zuckerman.
The Leon Jolson Award
has been won by Dr. Aaron
Zeitlin.
Robert Kotlowitz has been
named winner of the William
and Janice Epstein Award
in the field of Jewish fiction.
Awards also were won by
Mrs. Johanna Reiss and Meir
Sticker.

Israel May Avoid
Cannes Film Festival

NEW YORK (JTA) — Is-
rael probably will not parti-
cipate at this year's Cannes
film festival according to
Variety, the American show
business weekly, "for rea-
son of caution and for rea-
sons that the host country
will insist upon."
France, explains Variety
made it known that Israeli
participation at the festival
would be possible only if
Israel supplied tight secur-
ity measures.

FRIDAY

12:25 p.m.—Periscope: The idea of catfish for food is discussed by
Newsweek Senior Editor Dwight Martin.

3:55 p.m.—Blue-Jay Baseball: The Southfield Blue-Jays play the
Ferndale Eagles at Southfield. Join the WSHJ sports team of Bob
Garber and Larry Hersh for all the baseball action.

6:30 p.m.—Wolfman Jack: Up tempo rock show with dj Wolfman
Jack presented by the Air Force.

MONDAY

12:25 p.m.—Periscope: Prospects for change in Mormon attitudes is
discussed by Newsweek Religious Editor Kenneth Woodward.

3:55 p.m.—Blue-Jay Baseball: WSHJ's sports team will have all the

action when the Blue-Jays take on the Kimball Knights at Southfield.

6:30 p.m.—Hear Tonight: Hosts Mike Gordon and Tim Downy in'
view channel 4 sportscaster Don Kramer.

TUESDAY

12:25 p.m.—Periscope: The Status of the American High School.

6:30 p.m.—Entertainment Plus: Esther Wein reviews the multi-Tony
award winning play "A Little Night Music" with music and lyrics by
Stephen Soundheim.

WEDNESDAY

12:25 p.m.—Periscope: Movie Critic Dwight MacDonald is the topic
of discussion.

6:30 p.m.—City Council Highlights: Howard Goldberg brings you
the highlights of the city council meetings.

THURSDAY

12:25 p.m.—Periscope: Newsweek Editors Dwight Martin and
Osborn Elliot report on The Creative Explosion on Madison Avenue.

6:15 p.m.—City Speaks: Steve Zenoni interviews Southfield city
officials.

6:30 p.m.—School Board Highlights: Bruce Buchsbaum brings you
the best from Southfield's Board of Education meetings.

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