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Purity of Arms

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Saul Yellin  E-mail

Saul Yellin

Saul Yellin (left) - Cyprus internment

Saul Yellin was born in Baltimore, Maryland. on June 18th, 1924. After serving for four years in the U.S. Navy, he was asked to "volunteer" on the illegal ship, "S.S. Hatikvah" which ran the British blockade to bring 1,500 Holocaust survivors to Palestine in 1947. He described it as the most meaningful experience of his life, because, as he put it, "I will never forget the thrill when one Jew was able to reach out and help another Jew, as they boarded our ship... they kissed our hands and said that we were sent by the Mashiach." The passengers and crew were interned in Cyprus by the British authorities to await their turn to enter Palestine under the quota system.

Saul was one of the group of American volunteers asked by the Haganah to carry explosives, taped to their backs, when they blew up the British ship "Empire Lifeguard" after its passengers had gotten off the ship in Haifa harbor. Saul, and his brother Sid, the captain of the "Hatikvah," were arrested with two other crew members and imprisoned in Acre prison. They were then deported, with strict orders never to set foot again on British soil.

Saul's lifelong love of Israel made him an active supporter of many Jewish and Zionist causes. Saul and his wife, Harriet (Honey) wrote a book about his experiences, “Hatikvah, Song of Hope,” and lectured on the time when he had helped to establish the State of Israel. On several occasions, survivors approached him and told him that they had been passengers on "Hatikvah."

 

Source: Excerpt from obituary in the AVI Newsletter 2011 by Saul’s daughter Sharon Yellin Winer