From the Stars and Stripes archives

Empire Rival carried powerful bomb

Refugees peer out from behind barbed wire at the Poppendorf camp.


By JOE FLEMING | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 11, 1947

HAMBURG, Sept. 10 — The disembarkation of the Empire Rival was accomplished without the violence which marked the clearing of the other two ships carrying Exodus 1947 Jews back to Germany from Palestine because every refugee on board knew a bomb had been planted, it was disclosed today.

Jews at the Am Stau camp occupied only by Empire Rival passengers said the bomb had been timed to go oft 10 hours after the ship had been vacated. The powerful cannister bomb was found by British navy personnel in a search of the ship around noon yesterday, about six hours after evacuation began and four and a half hours after the ship was cleared of its 1,420 passengers. The British rushed the bomb to a field where it exploded about 10 hours after the Jews began leaving the ship. The British said it could have blown a six-foot hole in the ship's bottom.

A middle-aged, English-speaking Jew who said his name was Anselm and who appeared to be a leader refused to reveal how the materials to fabricate the bomb had been sneaked past British security.

Anselm said there were enough explosives in the bomb to "blow the Empire Rival to hell."

He said he wanted to "make a noise to be heard round the world and destroy the ship that brought us back to this hated land."

An American citizen, Sam Baer, Do N. Y., an original crew member of the Exodus, said he had been told a bomb had been planted on the ship. He said he did not know it was smuggled in.

Young Jewish refugees dance the Hora.