MAURITIUS


MAURITIUS
MAURITIUS, island in the Indian Ocean about 500 mi. E. of Madagascar, where Jewish refugees from Central Europe – passengers of the Atlantic – were put into detention during World War II after being forcibly deported from Palestine by the British as "illegal" immigrants (see patria ). On their arrival in Mauritius (Dec. 26, 1940), they numbered 1,580 persons: 1,320 landed in Haifa on Aug. 26, 1945, after the ban on their return was rescinded; 128 died while in Mauritius; 212 men joined the Allied forces, 56 of whom entered the jewish brigade . About 60 children were born after the original strict regulation on separation of the sexes in the camp was abolished. The detainees consisted of a Maccabi-He-Ḥalutz transport from Czechoslovakia, remnants of the Jewish community of Danzig, and a transport launched from Vienna. They were interned in the town of Beau Bassin, the men in a former prison, the women in adjacent huts of corrugated iron. They were not brutally treated, but were afflicted by tropical diseases, such as malaria, and by a lack of suitable clothing; food was often inadequate. Considerable moral and material assistance was given by Jewish organizations, particularly the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, the South African Zionist Federation, and the Jewish Agency. The detainees conducted manifold communal and cultural activities; they struggled for release and retransfer to Palestine through the   Zionist Association of Mauritius, to which about 70% of the detainees belonged. Their struggle was supported by official Jewish institutions which regarded the "Exile in Mauritius" as a political challenge and an infliction of needless suffering upon refugees from the Holocaust through the implementation of the anti-Jewish Palestine White Paper of May 1939. The ultimate liberation of the detainees was hailed as a moral and political success for the Zionist movement. (Aharon Zwergbaum) In 1946 the St. Martins Jewish Cemetery, where Jewish detainees who died on the island during the war are buried, was entrusted to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Since that date the SAJBD, in cooperation with local benefactors (both Jewish and non-Jewish) and in recent years in partnership with the African Jewish Congress, has overseen its maintenance, including an extensive restoration project in 2001. Towards the end of the 20th century, a steady trickle of Jews began settling in Mauritius. In 2004, there were an estimated 60 Jews living permanently there. These were primarily engaged in tourism (three leading hotels were under Jewish management), agriculture, and the diamond and burgeoning textile industries. Plans were afoot for the opening of a Jewish community center, incorporating a synagogue, in the first half of 2005. (David Saks (2nd ed.) -Relations with Israel In 1960, while Mauritius was still a British colony, Israel, represented by a consul general, extended it technical aid particularly through scholarships for young Mauritians to study medicine in Jerusalem and technical assistance on the spot. Mauritius became independent in 1968 and joined the United Nations. An Israel delegation attended the celebration, and full diplomatic relations were established between the two countries, Israel's ambassador in Tananarive (Malagasy) serving as non-resident ambassador to Mauritius. Offers for new scholarships in Israel, as well as Israel assistance by experts in agriculture and other fields, were accepted by Mauritius. Mauritian professionals trained in Israel founded a Mauritius-Israel Friendship Society. Strong Indian influence in Mauritius, as well as Muslims of Pakistani origin who constitute 20% of its population, make themselves felt in Mauritius' attitude and policy toward Israel. The general attitude to Israel, however, is basically friendly, with the elder generation still remembering with sympathy the Jewish refugees from Europe exiled there in 1940, and the mutual relations between the countries remained fruitful. (Zvi Loker) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Zwergbaum, in: Yad Vashem Studies, 4 (1960); 191–257; idem, in Gesher, 66 (March 1971), 92–104; D. Trevor, Underthe White Paper (1948), index; M. Basok (ed.), Sefer ha-Ma'pilim (1947), passim; Yad Vashem, Ha-Sho'ah ve-ha-Gevurah be-Aspaklaryah shel ha-Ittonut ha-IvritBibliografyah, 2 (1966), 12871–970.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mauritius — Mauritius …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Mauritius [1] — Mauritius (früher Isle de France), engl. Insel im Indischen Ozean, eine der Maskarenen (s. d.), 880 km östlich von Madagaskar, 19°58 –20°32 südl. Br. u. 57°17 –57°46 östl. L., 1914 qkm groß, wird mit Ausnahme von zwei bis drei steilen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mauritius — Mauritius. Die Insel Mauritius (Französ. Isle de France) im Indischen Ozean, 880 km östlich Madagaskar, 130 km nordöstlich Réunion gelegen, seit 1815 britisch, 1847 km2 umfassend mit rd. 371.000 Einwohnern, hat in den Jahren 1862–1865 eine… …   Enzyklopädie des Eisenbahnwesens

  • Mauritius — prop. n. 1. A country on the island of Mauritius. [WordNet 1.5] 2. An island in the Indian Ocean. Syn: Ile de France. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mauritius [1] — Mauritius, britische Insel aus der Gruppe Maskarenhas (Ostafrika); 32 QM., wegen Korallenriffen wenig zugänglich, hat in der Mitte ein Hochplateau (1400 Fuß) mit steilem Gipfel (Piter Boot, Pieterbot, 3000 Fuß) u. den (sumpfigen) Quellen der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Mauritius [2] — Mauritius, 1) geb. 539, von römischen Eltern aus Arabissos in Kappadocien stammend; wurde Soldat, unter dem orientalischen Kaiser Tiberius Befehlshaber einer Legion, zeichnete sich im Persischen Kriege aus u. wurde 582 als Flavius Tiberius M.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Mauritius [2] — Mauritius, Heiliger, Anführer der Thebaischen Legion (s. d.), Patron des Erzstiftes Magdeburg, von Koburg, Lauenburg, auch von Savoyen und Mantua sowie der Infanterie, hilft gegen Podagra. Dargestellt wird er als Mohr oder als Ritter mit der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mauritius — Mauritĭus, frz. Isle de France, brit. Maskareneninsel, im Ind. Ozean, 880 km östl. von Madagaskar, 1826 qkm, (1901) 373.336 E., mit Dependenzen (Rodriguez, Nazarethinseln, Tschagosinseln u.a.) 2121 qkm, 378.195 E.; gebirgig (in der Montagne de la …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mauritius [2] — Mauritĭus, oström. Kaiser (582 602), geb. 539 in Kappadozien, Schwiegersohn und Nachfolger Tiberius II., 23 Nov. 602 durch Phokas gestürzt und 27. Nov. ermordet …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mauritius [3] — Mauritĭus, Heiliger, s. Thebäische Legion …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon


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