Germans Complete First Vessel Built for Israel Reparations

With Israel’s flag fluttering in the breeze, and her name, “Dagan,” emblazoned on her sides in both Hebrew and Latin lettering, the first vessel to be completed under the German-Israel reparations treaty slid down the ways today in the Stuelcken Shipyards here.

The “Dagan” is a spruce, 7,000-ton ship, 385 feet in length, 56 feet wide, with a height of 31 feet at the main deck. She has a draft of 25 feet, and can make over 14 knots an hour. This latest addition to Israel’s merchant marine has four cargo holds, and a refrigeration store-room with a capacity of 20,000 cubic feet, in addition to accommodation for 12 passengers. The Zim Sholah Line, new owner of the “Dagan,” plans to use here as a fruit carrier between Haifa and European ports.

The ship was dedicated by Mrs. Franz Boehm, wife of Prof. Boehm, who headed the German delegation at the negotiations at The Hague where the reparations treaty was drawn between West Germany and Israel. Thousands cheered as Mrs. Boehm broke a bottle of Israeli champagne on the bow of the “Dagan. ” She made an impassioned address, praising the “peaceful upbuilding of the Jewish State.”

Dr. F.E. Shinnar, head of the Israel Purchasing Mission in Germany, described the vessel as “a very special link in the widespread network of trade relations woven by Israel’s economy in the last six years.” “The frightful events against which the Reparations Treaty is silhoutted, ” he said, “and the spiritual message of this ship must not be forgotten. If we should forget that spiritual message -the call to all people of goodwill to preclude any possible repetition of the tragic chapter in the history of humanity that led up to reparations from Germany to Israel – all of this would be in vain.”

An Israeli crew will take over the “Dagan” at the end of next month, and sail her to Haifa with reparations goods. On her return trip, the ship will carry one of the season’s first boatloads of this year’s crop of Jaffa oranges.

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