HAMBURG (Oct. 2)
The new Israeli liner. “Theodor Herzl,” built under the Israel-German reparations agreement and launched here yesterday, was sent to dry dock today for completion of her interior fittings. The vessel will not be turned over to Israel until February. Meanwhile, all decorating is under the direction of Israeli interior decorators who plan to make liberal use of Israeli art works.
Five thousand persons were present at the launching yesterday to cheer as the 9,000 ton liner, the first major passenger vessel built in Germany in the last 15 years slid down the ways. Several thousand shipyard workers took time off to watch the ceremonies and hundreds of Hamburg school children, accompanied by their teachers, came down to view the Israeli ship. Also present were officers of Zim-Shoham Lines, for whom the “Theodor Herzl was built, and Israeli and German diplomats. German press, radio and television covered the event.
The star of the ceremony was Mrs. F. E. Shinnar, wife of the head of Israel’s purchasing mission in Germany, who broke a bottle of Israeli champagne across the bow Dr. Shinnar, in a brief address, spoke of the vessel as a symbol of Israel’s peaceful intentions and desire for an amicable settlement with its neighbors. At a post-launching reception, Mrs. Shinnar was presented with a sum of money to be used for welfare purposes in Israel instead of the customary gift for her.