Source Information

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Palestine, Illegal Immigration from German-Occupied Europe, 1938-1945 (USHMM) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

This collection was indexed by World Memory Project contributors from the digitized holdings of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, RG-68.067M: Illegal immigration to Palestine (RG 17). For more information about this collection, click on the collection title above to access the USHMM’s catalog record, or email

The World Memory Project is part of the World Archives Project - a community collaborative effort that allows thousands of people around the world to help preserve history that would otherwise be lost. Click here to see additional World Memory Project collections.

About Palestine, Illegal Immigration from German-Occupied Europe, 1938-1945 (USHMM)

This database contain an index of details extracted from deportation orders of illegal immigrants to Palestine from Nazi-occupied Europe and postwar Europe from 1938–1947. During this time, Great Britain exercised a mandate over Palestine and enforced strict immigration quotas. Jewish refugees who entered Palestine without valid entry permits were considered illegal immigrants. The information in this database is from Palestine Mandate Authority Police Force questionnaires and other documentation. Some of the information pertains to Jews from Vienna and Bratislava whom British authorities subsequently deported to a holding camp on Mauritius. The original documents are held by the Israel State Archives.

What's in the Records

Records in this database have been extracted from several different document types, primarily:

  • application for an order of deportation
  • memorandum of personal data
  • particulars of an illegal immigrant
  • order of deportation
  • bond for appearance

While this database does not include images of these documents, indexed records for individuals may include details such as:

  • name
  • gender
  • age
  • birth date
  • birthplace
  • father’s name
  • mother’s name
  • residence
  • occupation
  • employer
  • languages spoken
  • address in country of origin
  • religion
  • marital status
  • spouse’s name
  • present nationality
  • party affiliation
  • dependents
  • previous residence
  • present circumstances
  • last departure date
  • entry date
  • entry location
  • entry ship
  • route followed
  • passport details
  • document details
  • height
  • arrest date
  • offence
  • offence date
  • dependents
  • document location
  • document date
  • document number

Ordering Records

Additional details about these victims may be included in the original records. While the index is freely accessible from, the images of these records are not available in this database. Copies of the images can be ordered at no cost from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Click here for ordering information.

Historical Background

More information about Jewish immigration to Palestine during World War II is available in the online Holocaust Encyclopedia.

Click here to watch historical footage of a ship carrying more than 500 Jewish illegal immigrants from Greece to Palestine, which arrived in Haifa in August 1946.