John Grauel Buried in Jerusalem
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John Grauel Buried in Jerusalem

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The only non-Jewish volunteer on the illegal Jewish immigrant ship Exodus, the Rev. John Stanley Grauel, was buried in Jerusalem Tuesday.

Grauel, a Methodist Minister, became an ardent supporter of Zionism after meeting David Ben Gurion in the United States in 1945.

The 29-year-old minister volunteered to join the crew of the Exodus in 1947, to help smuggle Holocaust survivors from Europe into Palestine despite the blockade imposed by the British Mandatory authorities.

The ship was intercepted by British troops enroute to Haifa, and, after a battle, the 4,500 passengers were sent back to Marseilles where the French government refused to allow the refugees to be disembarked against their will.

Seven months after the start of their voyage, the refugees were finally taken to Hamburg in the British zone of Occupied Germany, where they were forced to disembark and were transferred to displaced persons camps.

TESTIFIED ABOUT THE EXODUS ORDEAL

Grauel testified about the ordeal of the Exodus at the United Nations hearing prior to the UN decision to establish the State of Israel.

Later he worked to raise money for arms for the fledgling State, and was received by such leaders as Ben Gurion, Chaim Weizmann and Golda Meir. He regularly lectured to Jewish and non-Jewish groups about his experiences.

Grauel, who died in New York on September 6 at the age of 68, had been promised that he would be buried in Jerusalem, although he never received official recognition for the role he played in helping to establish the State.

His funeral was attended by the seven surviving Exodus crew members living in Israel, with a guard of honor from the Israeli Navy.

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