WORK on the documentary “Memories in Cypriot Soil” which details the history of Jewish internment camps in Cyprus is nearing completion according to the producers.
The film focuses on the four-year lifespan of a handful of camps which were located at north of occupied Famagusta and near the British base at Dhekelia.
BETWEEN 1946 and 1949, 12 Jewish internment camps on the east coast held the equivalent of almost ten per cent of the population of Cyprus at that time.
Some 62 years after their gates were shut and their inmates left for Israel, virtually all evidence of the camps existence seems to have disappeared with very little trace.
These miserable camps, now mainly existing in the memories of those who were forced into them, were specially commissioned by the British detaining thousands of Jews who were caught trying to enter Palestine directly after the Second World War.
Their inhabitants had witnessed first hand the horror of the Holocaust and were again imprisoned behind barbed wire, but this time by the British who had set out immigration quotas for Jews allowed to settle in Palestine.
A total of 39 ships trying to reach the Holy Land were captured then diverted to Famagusta. The detainees were herded onto the back of trucks and taken to camps, without any knowledge of how long they would remain there.
You would expect at least that the location of these places, holding such historical significance, would be clearly marked. After all, 52,000 people were forced to live there and over 2,000 babies were born in them. Sadly, that does not appear to be the case at all…..
The project, which has been in production for several years, is headed by Gary Gumpert and Susan Drucker who have been researching the subject for the past fifteen years.