Cyprus to commemorate Jewish refugees

A garden of peace to commemorate the plight of thousands Jewish refugees forcibly imprisoned in British-run camps on Cyprus after World War Two is to be opened next month on the island.

The opening of the garden in Xylotymbou on the east coast will be conducted by President Anastasiades. This year marks the sixty-fifth anniversary since the camps closed their barbed wire gates.

They were run by the British government for internment of those who had immigrated or attempted to immigrate to Palestine in violation of British policy.

The camps, which were at the location of the present day Dhekelia base and Famagusta, operated from August 1946 to January 1949 and in total held about 51,000 people.

Would-be immigrants were forcefully transported to Cyprus and placed into detention camps behind barbed wire.

At its peak there were nine camps in Cyprus. The 1960 film Exodus, adapted from the book of the same name by Leon Uris, starts with the arrival of Jews in such a camp.

No indication of the camps existence survives at any of the locations.

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