The Jewish film that history overlooked – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

In July 1947, journalist and author Meyer Levin followed from afar the affair of the Exodus, the ship that illegally ferried Jewish refugees to pre-state Israel. Levin, an American Jew who was one of the first journalists to set foot in Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau, was living in New York at the time. He was glued to the reports about the ship and its 4,500 passengers. These people, after the months-long exhausting journey that followed years of indescribable suffering, were not allowed to enter British Mandatory Palestine and were forcibly returned to Germany.

Levin decided to create a film documenting the journeys of displaced Jews. Levin had never directed a film, but that didn’t stop him. He set out for Europe and created a cinematic document of historical importance and impressive quality. The filming of “The Illegals,” which Levin wrote, directed and produced, began toward the end of 1947.

The rest of the article here.

‘The Illegals’ (1948), How Displaced Jews Get to Palestine, a review of Levin’s film that appeared in the New York Times on July 15, 1948, can be found here. (Link courtesy of my friend and colleague, Assaf Shelleg, University of Virginia).

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