Hamburg (Sep. 9)
In a wild battle during which many Jews were knocked unconscious and others suffered serious injuries from steel-tipped rubber truncheons, British troops today completed the foreible debarkation of the last of the 4,400 Exodus refugees to be returned to Germany.
An announcement by the military authorities gave 2:35 P.M. local time as the (##) the last deportee was landed. The disenbarkation began early today when the 1,428 refugees on the Empire Rival landed without any struggle. The violence started when the passengers on the Runnymede Park refused to leave the shop.
The explanation for the failure of the Empire Rival deportees to put up a fight apparently the fact that a time bomb had been planted in the hold. Some time after the last passenger had landed, a routine inspection by a petty officer turned up the bomb. It was rushed to Hamburg barracks, where it exploded before engineer troops could be summoned. Experts said that it would have blown a huge hole in the aide of the ship.
REFUGEES’ LEADER BLOODY AND UNCONSCIOUS WHEN TAKEN OFF SHIP
The bloody battle on the Runnymode Park began when troops attempted to remove several men described by British authorities as the "ringleaders" of the resistance. Among them was Mordechai Roaman, the acknowledged leader of the deportees on the vessel who was dragged off the ship unconscious, with blood streaming from several head wounds. Eye-witness reports said that he fought off six British soldiers until he was subdued by several blows on the head from wooden clubs.
A casualty list released by the British tonight reported 17 Jewish men injured, seven Jewish women hurt and four women sent to hospitals suffering from shock and systeria. Three soldiers also suffered injuries. A Jew and a soldier suffering from head wounds, and a Jewish man, Jewish woman and a soldier with broken wrists were reported to be the worst casualties.
Meanwhile, a JTA correspondent at the Poppendorf Camp, near Lubeck, where most of the deportees were taken, reported tonight that several have escaped and British troops are scouring the neighboring woods for them. Earlier, the British called on ## German police in Hamburg to assist them when more than 1,000 local Jews sought to enter the port area to protest the debarkations. An observer said the police had manhandled" the demonstrators.
The battle on the Runnymede Park made yesterday’s landing from the Ocean Vigor assemble a Sunday School picnic. Few came off the ship voluntarily. Kicking, screaming, biting men and women, some wielding improvised clubs, fought steel-helmeted troops until knocked unconscious, or dragged — four soldiers to a refugee — up on deck and down the gangplank. A weird accompaniment to the struggle were hundreds of voices chanting Zionist songs. The shrieks and singing continued without a pause, accept for the intervals when troops turned high pressure water hoses on the occupants of the fetid hold.
The Jews did not stop resisting even after they had been dragged into the landing shed. A group of 50 to 60 broke down flimsy partitions and attempted to clamber over walls, but was prevented from escaping by military police. Later, other Jews broke windows in the trains and spat at the soldiers stationed as guards. Forty-nine of the Jews were being-held tonight in Hamburg jails.
It was announced tonight that all of the refugees had already arrived at the Poppendorf and Amstau Camps.