Printer Friendly

Famagusta's historic detention and refugee camps *.


This is an exploratory qualitative documentation about the camps in Famagusta, Cyprus, erected and run by the British Government, 1915-1949. There were at least five different groups to be interned in the camps, for various reasons and circumstances. This documentation maps the locations of the camps, outlines the circumstances which brought about their existence, describes some aspects of life in the camps, and relations between the camps' residents and the local population. The paper concludes that very little of the camps has survived, except for graves of some internees. Some of the British structures still exist in Karaolos and Xylotimbou; and perhaps some of the escape tunnels in the Gulseren Camp. Another possible finding is that the presence of the Germans on the island was kept secret from the locals for various reasons. It is hoped that further research will be carried out on some of the camps, especially the Russian, the German POWs, and the Turkish POWs.

Keywords: Cyprus, refugee camps, detention camps, Famagusta, 1915-49.



Bu calisma, Ingiliz hukumeti tarafindan 1915-1949 yillari arasinda insa edilmis olan Magusa'daki kamplarin nitelikleriyle ilgili bir dokumantasyondur. Bu kamplara en az bes milliyete mensup insan cesitli nedenlerden dolayi kapatilmislardir. Mevcut haritalar ve kamplarin yer secimleri kendilerini ortaya cikaran nedenleri aciklamakta; kamplardaki yasami ve kamp sakinleriyle yerli nufus arasindaki iliskiyi bir anlamda ortaya koyabilmektedir.

Calisma, bazi kamp sakinlerine ait mezarlar disinda kamplara ait yeterli sayida, belge olmadigini ortaya koymakla beraber, Gazimagusa Karakol ve Larnakaya yakin Xylotimbou bolgesinde ingilizler tarafindan yapilmis bazi kamp kalintilari oldugunu ve hatta Gazimagusa'daki Gulseren kampindan kacmak amaciyla kazildigi dusunulen tunellerin varligini ortaya cikarmistir. Diger bir olasi bulgu da adadaki Alman kampinin yerlilerden bircok nedenden dolayi saklandigidir. Son olarak ise ileride yapilacak calismalarin diger, ozellikle Rus, Alman ve Turk savas esirlerinin kapatildiklari kamplari konu almasi umulmaktadir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Kibris, tevkif kamplari, multeci kamplari, Magosa, 1915-49.

Alcatraz, Devil's Island, Sydney's Harbor Island, just a few locations where islands were used for detention, for political and criminal prisoners alike. The island of Cyprus was no exception; after British takeover in 1878, they used the island as a detention and refugee location, for at least five different groups: Turkish POWs during WWI, German POWs in WWII, and illegal Jewish immigrants (to Palestine) between August 1946 and February 1949. The fourth and fifth groups were hosted in Cyprus as a courtesy and not as detainees: these were the remaining troops of General Baron Ptoyer Wrangel, of the 'White Army', defeated in 1920 in Russia by the Bolsheviks, (1) and German nationals (Templers), (2) evacuated from Palestine in April 1948. All these groups were in the custody of the British in Famagusta.

This paper describes the camps in Famagusta, the circumstances which brought camp residents to Cyprus, aspects of life in the camps, relations between the local population and the detainees and attempts to locate relics of the camps. It is a story that must be told, as the relics of the camps are disappearing and ex-internees are growing old.

The British took over Cyprus in 1878. In that year the Porte and the British signed an agreement (the 'Convention of Defensive Alliance' or the Berlin Agreement), whereby the sovereignty of Cyprus would remain Ottoman, while the British would assume responsibility for administrating the island. This marked a beginning of an eighty two-year British presence and de-facto rule of Cyprus, exactly the same length of time Cyprus was ruled by the Venetians--(1489-1571). The British received Cyprus from Sultan Abdul Hamid II, "to be occupied and administered by England." (3) The official reasoning behind this arrangement was the provision of an area for military staging, and in case of Russian aggression toward the Ottoman Empire, possible British intervention. The real British interest, however, was to obtain a strategic outpost in the region which was becoming increasingly significant for them. From Cyprus they could monitor military and economical movements in the Levant and the Caucasus. (4) They could also use the island as a military post in case of trouble in the Suez Canal (opened 1869), where they had extensive interests. The involvement of the British in Cyprus only deepened with time and, by 1925, Cyprus was declared Crown Colony and the position of High Commissioner was replaced by that of a Governor. (5)

As the British grip on Cyprus tightened, they began to make use of the territory for purposes other than the military. Taking advantage of the isolated position of the island, they shipped into Cyprus certain 'problematic' groups. The first group was Turkish POWs detained during World War One, of which at least 2000 were held in Famagusta. Keser (2005) provides even greater numbers. (6) These were captured by the British in war operations in the Hejaz, the Suez Canal area, and the Dardanelles, and on September 1916 were sent to Famagusta aboard two ships, escorted by British warships. Many of them died. (7)

The Turkish POW camp was located at Karaolos, today renamed Karakol Mahallesi, about two kilometers northwest of the Old City of Famagusta. There is some (unsupported) suggestion that the camp was located on the site of today's UNFICYP camp, (8) on the west side of Salamis Road (also called Ismet Inonu Bulvari). Other sources have suggested the site to be today's Gulseren Education Battalion military camp. (9)

It is known that some 217 Turkish POWs died while in detention, some from inadequate conditions in camp and some shot by the British while attempting escape. Apparently there was some attempted cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots: they planned a rescue raid into the camp, but the planned operation was cancelled as it was exposed by the British, probably with help from local informants. (10) In the cemetery of Famagusta there are 33 graves of these Turkish soldiers; these are individual burials, in addition to one mass grave of 184. They are known as 'Canakkale Martyrs' for they were captured in the Canakkale Campaign. (11) The surviving POWs were released after the War. Some elected to stay in Cyprus; others were repatriated to Turkey in two groups on February 1920.

Life conditions for the Turkish POWs were very harsh: food was very poor and the diet consisted of mashed and boiled marrow, bread made from barely flour, carob and olives. Eye-witnesses described the POWs as going barefoot with torn cloths, but comforting each other when any of the prisoners were breaking down in tears. Some tried to occupy themselves by making artistic artifacts with whatever materials and tools they could find or improvise, like wooden cigarette boxes, trays, wooden spoons, prayer beads made of olive seeds, decorated with patriotic texts. Some were forced to work for the British and used as laborers to load building materials onto British ships bound for the Suez Canal. (12)

The camp also created problems for the local Cypriots, Greeks and Turks alike; the land for erecting the camp was expropriated from farmers, who lost revenues and filed requests for compensation, which were rejected by the British.

Then came the Russians, what remained of the so-named White Army and their dependents, commanded by General Pyoter Nikolayevich Wrangel. The 'Whites', who supported the Czarist Romanov Dynasty, had been defeated in the conflict with the Bolsheviks. In 1920, the Red Army attacked whatever was left of the White Army, which had been pushed onto the Crimean peninsula. The Red Army was then able to concentrate forces in southern Russia (as the Polish-Soviet War was over), to deal with those under the command of General Wrangel. The White Russians withdrew to their last stronghold in Crimea by November 1st. Mounting a major offensive, the Red Army overwhelmed the White Russian defenses. By November 14th, General Wrangel was compelled to evacuate his army to Istanbul. This was the end of the Czarist military presence in southern Russia and the Ukraine, and the beginning of a chaotic and unstable time in Russia, graphically described in Wrangel's memoirs. (13)

The White Army and their dependents became refugees and, like the Turkish POWs in Worl War I, they were also accommodated in Karaolos, next to the Old City of Famagusta. The British gave them some 20 permanent structures for their use, (14) some of which still exist in the vicinity of Gulseren Camp.

The White Army refugees were a strange mix of civilians and a few hundred military personnel with their families, who were evacuated from Crimea. They remained in the camp for more than a year. Finally the camp population dispersed: some settled on the island, but most of them regarded Cyprus only as a stop-over, en route to other countries, willing to accept them.

One of the least known groups to be hosted in the camps of Famagusta were the Templers, who were Christian German colonists from Palestine, evacuated by the still-in-control British in April 1948, when hostilities between Jews and Palestinian Arabs were already in progress, preceding the war of 1948. The Empire Comfort arrived in Famagusta on April 22 with the Templers on board, who were taken to a camp located next to the harbor, known (at that time) as 'Golden Sands'. Today this is where the strip of hotels is located south of the Old City of Famagusta, now a closed military zone pending a solution of the current Cyprus conflict.

The relocation of the Templers to Famagusta was the outcome of a swiftly-taken decision of the British administration in Palestine on April 18th, 1948. The trigger was a military operation of Jewish armed forces, resulting in taking over the two northern Templer colonies in Palestine--Waldheim and Betlehem [sic], (15) near Nazareth, on the night of April 16th. (16) The events of the operation were violent and traumatic, with German civilian casualties. The next morning the British realized they could no longer guarantee the safety of the Templers, (17) and shipped them out of Palestine as fast as they could, in a complex operation. This was also the time of beginning of hostilities between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, actually the first days of the 1948 war. Templer sources mention the "whizzing bullets" in Haifa harbor as the Empire Comfort was boarding the evacuated Germans. (18)

The German Templers were caught between a weakening British administration, which was about to leave Palestine on May 15th, 1948, and the two main populations, the Jewish and the Palestinian-Arab. In the years immediately after World War II and the Holocaust, there were strong anti-German feelings in the Jewish community of Palestine, and there were hostilities generated by local Jews, directed against the Templers, culminating in the violent taking over of the two northern colonies.

The Templers came to Cyprus as refugees on April 22nd, 1948 and were accommodated there until October of that year. (19) The British felt they were doing the Templers a service, saving them from possible further hostilities in Palestine. The acting governor of Cyprus reluctantly accepted the German civilians, notifying all parties concerned that he expected the Germans eventually to be shipped out to Australia. (20) Templer sources mention the feeling of relief shared by the evacuees on being brought to Cyprus. It was the first time in years that they were not confined to 'perimeters' (as the British termed it), since in the Palestine of 1948 they were concentrated in their own colonies behind barbed wire under guard. In Cyprus, the British did not consider them prisoners, and allowed individuals to come and go without limitation. (21) Altogether there were 378 Templers in 'Golden Sands', (22) but there is no information on how many births, if any, took place in camp. Four died in Cyprus, and three were buried in the Anglican cemetery, located in the neighborhood of Maras, not far from 'Golden Sands'.

The 'Golden Sands' site contained two separate camps in the one location, with the Templers in one camp, with small tents, and next to it, German POWs, mainly from Rommel's Army, captured by British forces in the battles of the Western Desert in late 1942.

The 'Golden Sands' camp that accommodated the Templers was built by the German POWs from the adjacent camp, located on the inland side of the road that ran parallel to the beach. The Templer camp, located on the seaward side of that road, accommodated 378 Templers (and about 50 other non-Templer Germans). (23) The same group of German POWs who built the Templers' accommodation also built the Jewish refugee camps at Dekelia. (24)

The German POWs were repatriated to Germany on September 1948. The Templers, from the camp next door, were left behind, to be released one month later. They stood on the beach of 'Golden Sands' and waved good-bye with bed sheets to the departing ship of German POWs. (25)

As for the exact location of the Templer camp, there exists only one accurate description. R. O. Eppinger, a Templer who was elected Camp Leader wrote in his diary: (26)</p> <pre> 22.4.: Arrival in Famagusta in the morning, conveyed by the English military to 'Golden Sands' camp, situated about 5 km south of Famagusta. The sick and infirm

were conveyed by Army Red Cross vehicles and buses to Cantara [sic] in the mountains north of Famagusta. </pre> <p>It states clearly that the camp was located on a site where today there is a strip of hotels, stretching a few kilometers south of the Old City (see above for map and photos). As soon as the Templers understood that this was going to be a long stay, they opted to create a functional order, normalizing as much as possible their lives in the camp. Following their tradition of democratic community culture, as was practiced in Palestine as well, they elected individuals to positions of camp leader, postmaster, treasurer, spiritual leader--assisted by religious services leaders, as well as establishing medical and educational services.

Moreover, the historical break between Templers and Evangelists (also called Kirchlers--literally, 'Church-goers' in German) that occurred in Palestine in 1874, seemed to have healed, at least while the group remained in Cyprus. They were detained together in the same camp, Sauer reporting that "Sunday services were conducted in part by the Templers and in part by the Evangelical church members." (27) Each group, however, did have its own spiritual leading figure.

The Largest group, by far, to be hosted in Famagusta were the Jewish refugees, held in a cluster of camps, some of which were also in Karaolos. At some point the British realized that they needed more space for more Jewish refugees who kept being brought in. There being not enough space in Famagusta, they built another camp cluster in Dekelia. Altogether there were about 52,000 Jewish refugees, out of which about 30,000 were detained in Famagusta. The Jewish refugees began arriving in Cyprus during August 1946, with 1290 on board the two ships, Empire Rival and Empire Haywood. (28)

These were the days of the aftermath of World War II in Europe. Many Jews were left homeless and had lost their families, including those who had come out of the liberated death camps. Many of them wanted to immigrate to Palestine to start a new life. However, the situation in Palestine was not very promising, as the British Administration had just issued new regulations, limiting the number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine.

There were a number of reasons for this new policy, the most crucial being the attack on King David Hotel in Jerusalem, carried out by IZL (abbr. lit. Heb. 'National Military Organization', a Jewish underground movement), on July 22, 1946. The outcome of the attack was devastating: dozens were killed, including British officials and occupants of the building. In addition, the British preferred to limit or stop altogether Jewish immigration for fear of violent Palestinian-Arab reaction, possibly creating a situation of chaos and instability in Palestine. The British High Commissioner of Palestine reported to the Secretary of State for the Colonies that some Jewish immigrants were potential recruits for radical Jewish underground movements. The British no longer felt committed to a public opinion sympathetic to the Jewish cause, especially strong in the United States. Moreover, there was disagreement between the Americans and the British on basic issues regarding a feasible solution to the Palestine problem. Stopping Jewish immigration was therefore, in the eyes of the British, a reprisal for the King David Hotel attack, (29) and a measure of stabilization for the region, ending the moderate attitude towards illegal Jewish immigration. (30)

The anchoring of the Empire Rival and Empire Haywood in Famagusta harbor on August 14, 1946, marked the beginning of the Jewish refugee camps in Cyprus. During the first deportation period, between August 1946 and October 1947, the British created 12 camps. The first was 'Camp 55' in Karaolos, and a few days later the British opened 'Camp 60', next to Camp 55. Altogether in Karaolos there were five camps: 55, 60, 61, 62 and Camp 63. They were all built near the beach area during August and September and designed to contain 2000 souls each. The next group of camps--64, 65, 66, 67 and 68--was built between September 1946 and March 1947, and was located between Dekelia and Xylotimbou. These too were designed for 2000 souls each. In March 1947 two more camps were built in the Dekelia, numbered 69 and 70. Altogether, therefore, there were 12 camps, five in Famagusta and seven near Larnaka. (31)

The architecture of the camps near Larnaka was different to that of the Famagusta camps. Housing at the Larnaka camps was of the 'Nissen Hut' variety, while that of that of the Famagusta camps was mainly made up of army tents, with only few Nissen Huts. Camps veterans describe the camps layout as "surrounded by a double electric wire fence with spotlights and an observation point every 100 meters. British soldiers kept watch with Tommy guns with orders to shoot anyone who tried to escape." (32)

As did the Turkish POWs in WWI, so some of the Jewish refugees attempted to escape. Some were successful, mainly due to assistance from local Cypriots, and because the Jewish underground had succeeded in infiltrating the camps and assisting from within. (33) Bogner (1991) quantifies the escapes as follows: 883 escaped after June 1948; out of these, 407 were smuggled to Israel in a specially designated ship, 45 were shipped away as unregistered passengers in other ships; 320 were caught and taken back to camp. (34)

Escapes were made through tunnels and by breaking the fences. (35) At least one tunnel in Karaolos probably exists today; it was observed in the 1980s by a local Cypriot who happened to work in the Gulseren military camp where the Famagusta Camps were located, an area inaccessible today for civilians. (36)

As expected, the British authorities tried to counter the escapes and demonstrations that the Jewish refugees initiated. They issued warnings towards that end, and posted notices around the camps; one of these survived and made its way to the Atlit Database.

There were 134 deaths in the camps, and about 2200 babies were born. (37) The dead were buried with the British authorities' assistance in the only Jewish cemetery in Cyprus--Margo, today renamed Gaziler, halfway between Larnaka and Nicosia. (38) The Cemetery today is considered a military zone, out of bounds for civilians. However, in 2001 an Israeli writer visited and documented the cemetery with special permission from the Northern Cyprus authorities. (39) In 1969, the remains of the refugees from the camps buried in the Jewish cemetery were reinterred to the Haifa military cemetery, on initiative of Rabbi General Y. Goren, then IDF's chief Rabbi. (40)

Both the Jewish refugees and the German Templers were resident in the Famagusta and Larnaka camps at the same time. The same British functionary, Sir Godfrey Collins, who was responsible for the Jewish refugees in Cyprus, was appointed also commissioner for the German Templers. (41) The British decided not to create a separate administration for the two groups, but kept the Jews and the Germans apart in separate and dedicated camps, the German presence kept as a secret. The Jews were north of town, and the Germans were south of town. It appears that this was a thought-out British policy. Local Cypriots were not made aware of the German presence in their own town, perhaps because the British feared possible hostilities between Jews and Germans, or even between Cypriots and Germans, as they too had strong anti-German feelings even three years after the war was over.42 The Templers too were an angry group, having been expelled from their colonies--which they regarded as their homeland, suffered the expropriation of their property and lost generations of hard labor and lifetime ventures, thus leaving them antagonistic toward the Jews and the British.

The Templers and the Jews recorded positive relationships with Cypriots. The Templers recall walking the neighboring Greek village, being greeted by friendly Cypriots, and listening to their music. Lobert recalls how they "would go to a local cinema and when the obligatory 'God save the King' was played, the locals would whistle, stamp their feet and 'jeer' loudly in protest. The Cypriots' feeling was that now is their turn to be rid of the British. (43)

The German Templers had some 'informal' trade relation with the locals. Hornung recalls how a German POW who was working in 'Golden Sands' for the British, created a little business by selling cement to locals:</p>

<pre> [He] made sure during the day that some unused bags of

cement remained on the job, and at night he came back with his 'armored cruiser' [makeshift boat the POW made] to pick them up, [...] and pushed them through the knee deep water for half a mile or so to a secluded spot well beyond the tents, where he sold the cement to the local Greeks. (44) </pre> <p>Some Templers found employment in Cyprus while in camp. Blaich describes how she applied and accepted a position with a British family who lived in Famagusta, as a housekeeper. (45)

The Jewish camp residents, on the other hand, had a much more complex and operational relationship with the Cypriots. The first move they made upon arrival was to issue a written statement (with the help of the Jewish underground operatives who infiltrated the camps) (46) to all Cypriots, describing their own sufferings, saying that they shared with the locals the same struggle against the British. They also made it known that they had no intention of settling in Cyprus, or depriving any Cypriots of their resources. The statement was distributed amongst the Cypriot intelligentsia. (47)

The most intensive interface of cooperation between Jewish camp internees and locals was in matters of escapes. Members of the Jewish underground met in Larnaka with members of the underground wing of the leftist Greek Cypriot Party, AKEL, and explained to them the interests they shared; namely, a national struggle, aimed at liberating the two peoples from the British. The Jews needed a local infrastructure to support their escape operations: safe-houses for escapees, vehicles with loyal local drivers to take them to boat-boarding points, and boats able to approach the shoreline without arousing suspicion. In turn, the Greeks wanted from their Jewish counterparts assistance in organizing and structuring an anti-British underground in Cyprus. This planned cooperation did eventuate, at least in part, when the escapes began. There were about 15 Cypriots who operated on a regular basis, gainfully, but with sincere intentions in assisting the escapees, amongst them drivers, informants, guides, and those involved in the provision of safe-houses. (48)

Both Templer and Jewish sources documented the British attitude as mostly fair. Templer sources describe the camp commandant as a person who "had, in a way, undergone a metamorphosis, from camp boss to supervisor to friend, who even spoke German." (49) In the Jewish camps, the fact that so few (relative to 52,000 total population) died, may be attributed to the humane attitude of the British, (50) and the involvement of Jewish care agencies who were allowed to send in medical assistance, educational personnel, equipment, etc. There were social tensions in the Jewish camps described in detail by Bogner, (51) resulting from the traumatic background of the camp's population. The Templers' camp was small and more humanly homogenous; there is no documented evidence of social tensions or frictions; on the contrary, in their memoirs Templer camp veterans repeatedly mention the sense of togetherness and camaraderie. The only four deaths in the Templer camp may also be associated with the fair British attitude and the fact that the Germans succeeded in managing their lives in the best way they could, volunteering for community work, and giving much attention to the spiritual aspect of their being.

The British granted independence to Cyprus in August 1960. The British are gone now, except for limited presence on the 'Sovereign Bases'. But relics of the British period are to be found everywhere in Famagusta from their public structures, the 'GR' plaques and mailboxes. And hidden away in the shade of the old trees in the quiet cemeteries of Famagusta, there are the graves of the war refugees and POWs from the camps, the only remaining mute relics of this eventful period. These stand in Famagusta as a marker of human suffering and a bitter-sweet reminder to old camp survivors and their descendants of the friendly Cypriots and their welcoming island.

* The author wishes to thank those who contributed information and personal experiences for this documentation. Among these, in random order, are: Martin Higgins, U.K.; Manfred Lobert, Melbourne; Dubbi Meyer, Israel; Raanan Reshef, Israel; Prof. Uri Yinon, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Sara Ben-Zeev, Haifa; Horst Blaich and the Albert Blaich Family Archive, Melbourne; Peter-Klaus Hoffmann, Sydney; Neomi Izhar, Atlit Detention Camp Memorial Site archive; CZA; Dr. Nahum Bogner, Yad Vashem Institute, Jerusalem; Mr. Mustafa Demirel, EMU, Famagusta; Dr. Jan Asmussen, EMU, Famagusta; Prodromos Ch. Papavassiliou, Limassol; Dr. Turkan Uraz, EMU, Famagusta; Selin Oktay, Izmir, Turkey; Esin Sezer, Nicosia; Dr. Huseyin M. Atesin, EMU, Famagusta; Orhan Ozcihan, Nicosia; Ephraim Gilan, Israel.


(1) Baron General P. N. von Wrangel, (* 1878 +1928), the Last Commander-in-Chief of the Russian National Army. He originated from an old German baronial family, served in the Russian Imperial Guards and became commander of a Cossack division during World War I; joined the White forces of General Anton I. Denikin and was given command of an army and succeeded Denikin as commander of the White armies in April 1920. After the defeat in the Crimea and leaving Russia, Wrangel lived in exile in Brussels and wrote his memoirs, which appeared in English translation in 1930. P. N. Wrangel (Vrangel), The Memoirs of General Wrangel, the Last Commander-in-Chief of the Russian National Army, Sophie Goulston (trans.) (New York: Duffield and Co., 1930); Idem, From Serfdom to Bolshevism, the Memoirs of Baron N. Wrangel, 1847-1920, Brian and Beatrix Lunn (trans.) (New York: Haskell House 1971).

(2) The Templers are Christian members of the Temple Society, the Tempelgesellschaft, originating in the Wurttemberg Region in Southwestern Germany, who emigrated to (Ottoman) Palestine during the late 1860s. (Commonly confused with the Templars, an order of crusader warriors, originated in various locations in Europe, who were active in Palestine in the 1100s--and later in Cyprus--and were also called 'Order of the Knights on the Solomon Temple'. There is no connection between the Templers and the Templars.) See for example Paul Sauer, The Holy Land Called, the Story of the Temple Society, G. Henley (trans.) (Melbourne: The Temple Society, 1991); Alex Carmel, The German Settlement in the Holy Land by the End of the Ottoman Era, its Political, Local and International Problems (Haifa: Haifa University and the Gottlieb Schumacher Institute for Research of the Christian World Activity in the Holy Land During the 19th Century, and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), 1990). (First published 1973) [Hebrew.]; Y. Ben-Artzi, From Germany to the Holy Land. (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi 1996) [Hebrew.]

(3) See Harry Luke, A Portrait and Appreciation, Cyprus (London: Harap, in association with K. Rustem & Bro., Nicosia, 1957), 86, quoting the 'Convention of Defensive Alliance' between Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire. Luke describes in detail the increasing involvement of Great Britain in Cyprus, 85-97.

(4) Which is still done at the time of writing, in a number of 'Sovereign Bases' in Cyprus, considered British territory and operated mostly for intelligence purposes.

(5) Rupert Gunnis, Historic Cyprus, a Guide to its Towns & Villages Monasteries & Castles (Nicosia: K. Rustum & Bro. 1936), 22.

(6) U. Keser, "Kibrista Bir Esir Kampi", Toplumsal Tarih 135 (2005): 76-82, 77. Here he quantifies the number of Turkish prisoners as at least 2500, the number increasing to 10,000 until the camps closed. Keser does not specify the distribution of the prisoners in all the camps in Cyprus.

(7) Northern Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense website, History Section, (accessed Feb. 2005). Official Website of Northern Cyprus by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Defense, [On-Line] []

(8) United Nations (multinational) Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus sometimes abbreviated UNFICYP.

(9) Keser, "Esir Kampi": 79; Official plaque in the military memorial at the Famagusta modern cemetery.

(10) Ibid.: 81.

(11) Province of Canakkale lies on both sides of the Dardanelles. The Battle of Canakkale (also known as the 'Battle of Gallipoli') took place during World War I, 1915, when Turkish troops partly commanded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk maintained the defense of the region. Canakkale has been marked in Turkish history as 'Canakkale impassable'. To honor the Turkish soldiers who gave their lives at Gelibolu (Gallipoli), this peninsula has been made a national park of remembrance. Turkish Cypriots commemorate the day every March 18th.

(12) Keser, "Esir Kampi": 78.

(13) Wrangel, From Serfdom to Bolshevism, 291-324. Wrangel describes a situation of chaos, mass killings, torture and poverty, persecution of the White Regime loyalists, expropriation of property and assassinations.

(14) N. Bogner, The Deportation Island, Jewish Illegal Immigrant Camps on Cyprus, 1946-1948 (Tel-Aviv: Am Oved Publishers, Tel-Aviv University, and the Shaul Avigur Association for Research of the Immigration Struggle, 1991), 200. Bogner notes 1919 as the year they arrived in Famagusta.

(15) Not to be confused with historic Bethlehem in the Judean Mountains.

(16) Detailed description of the events of the operation in Paul Sauer, The Holy Land Called, the Story of the Temple Society, G. Henley (trans.) (Melbourne: The Temple Society, 1991) (First published in German by Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart, under the title Uns rief das Heilige Land, Die Tempelgesellschaft im Wandel der Zeit, 1985), 268-270; Wassermann-Deininger G. Here We Have No Lasting City, C. P. and Ruth Sydler, (trans.) (Schorndorf: Author, 1995) (Originally published (1981) in German, under the title Wir haben hier keine bleibende Stadt.), 68-74; Y. Ben-Artzi, From Germany to the Holy Land (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi 1996) [Hebrew.], 12-13; H. Kanaan, The Nazi Fifth Column in Palestine 1933-1948 (Lochmei Hagetaot, Israel: Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1968), 119.

(17) H. Glenk, H. Blaich and M. Haering, From Desert Sands to Golden Oranges: the History of the German Templer Settlement of Sarona in Palestine, 1871-1947 (Victoria, BC, Canada: Trafford, 2005), 22; Cunningham explains that "[the Germans] believe their lives to be in danger. In some cases this is undoubtedly so." This was already after the evacuation of the main group of Germans on April 22. Gen. Sir A. Cunningham to the Secretary of State, telegram no. 5284 30 31, May 1st 1948, PRO file FO371/68626, Correspondence between British administration in Palestine and the Secretary of State for the Colonies. (Many thanks to M. Higgins).

(18) Sauer, Holy Land Called, 270; P. Hornung, From Palestine to Cyprus (unpublished article, 2003), 1; Glenk, From Desert Sands, 225. On that day there was already street fighting in Haifa between Jews and Arabs [DG].

(19) Sauer, Holy Land Called, 272-273. This was the first group to leave camp. Other groups followed in December 1948 and January and March 1949.

(20) Acting Governor of Cyprus to High Commissioner of Palestine, Telegram no. 262, April 29, 1948, PRO file FO371/68626, insisting that "My agreement to receive these refugees was, of course, only given in view of your assurance [...] that the arrangements were being made for onward journey to Australia".

(21) I. Blaich, Beyond the Plain of Sharon, the Wennagel Family Story, (in press, Melbourne), 44.

(22) Counting the numbers of persons in each departing group (see note 19 above).

(23) Hornung, From Palestine to Cyprus, 2; Sauer, Holy Land Called, 271.

(24) Bogner, Deportation Island, 201. Bogner indicates a group of 1000 German POWs. Dekelia is sometimes spelled Dehkelia or Dikelya; the actual location was Xylotimvou or Xylotimbou, about five miles northwest of Larnaka.

(25) M. Lobert, "Templers' Stay on Cyprus" in 1948, paper presented at a meeting of the 60th reunion of the Tatura camp internees, Echuca, Australia, March 1998, 3-4.

(26) R. Q. Eppinger, "Cyprus Diary" in Die Warte Des Tempels 267 and 268, (May 1969) and (June 1969). (Many thanks to M. Higgins).

(27) Sauer, Holy Land Called, 273.

(28) Bogner, Deportation Island, 47.

(29) I. A. Lussin, Column of Fire, Chapters in the History of Zionism (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House, Shikmona, in cooperation with Israel Broadcasting Authority, 1982), 444-445.

(30) Bogner, Deportation Island, 29-39.

(31) Central Zionist Archive (CZA), Jerusalem, Photographs 1081330 and 1081331, J21, 2-3.

(32) M. Schulman, Larchmont Ex-Prisoner Returns to Famagusta, in Larchmont Gazette [] (Accessed March 2005), 3.

(33) P. Ch. Papavassiliou, personal communication, March 2005; Bogner 1991, 307-313.

(34) Bogner, Deportation Island, 311.

(35) There were five completed tunnels and seven more which were not completed because they were found by British surveillance. Out of the five, two were in Karaolos and three in the camps near Larnaka. Bogner 1991, 309.

(36) Interview with M. D., February 2005.

(37) Bogner, Deportation Island, 222. Somewhat different figures were given by CNA (Cyprus News Agency, broadcasted June 6 1988, documentation, in [] (Accessed January 2005).

(38) Z. Vilnay, Encyclopedia for Land of Israel Studies (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1976), 7031.

(39) Y. Roman, "The Forgotten Jews of Cyprus," Eretz July-August (2001): 26-38. Margo (today Gaziler) was in the past a Jewish colony in Cyprus started on 1897 but disbanded a few years later. There were two more Jewish colonies in Cyprus: Cumlcuk (today Comlekci), and Kouklia (today Koprulu).

(40) P. Ch. Papavassiliou, personal communication, March 2005; E. Gilan, From a Land of Exile to the Chosen Land, the Story of a Commander in 'Shurot Hameginim', the Hagana in Cyprus Deportation Camps (Tel Aviv: Tirosh, 2005), 109-131.

(41) Sauer, Holy Land Called, 271.

(42) P. Ch. Papavassiliou, personal communication, March 2005. Papavassiliou was in a senior position in Famagusta at the time, with daily contact with the British authorities, and maintains no knowledge of the presence of the Germans.

(43) Lobert, "Templers," 3.

(44) Hornung, From Palestine to Cyprus, 3. The British intended to develop 'Golden Sands' into a resort spot for British military personnel and named the area 'Golden Sands Holiday Resort'. The German POWs were offered a pay for this project.

(45) Blaich, Wennagel Family, 51.

(46) Gilan, 'Shurot Hameginim', 43-61 describes in detail the involvement of the Jewish underground in the camps.

(47) Bogner, Deportation Island, 49.

(48) Ibid., 310, citing the report of the "special ship", August 1948--January 1949, IDF Archive document 1046/70/110/ZA.

(49) Hornung, From Palestine to Cyprus, 2.

(50) Bogner, Deportation Island, 218. citing M. Laub, Last Barrier to Freedom: Internment of Jewish Holocaust Survivors on Cyprus, 1946-1949 (Berkeley: J. L. Magnes Museum, 1985) and M. Oren, You Shall See the Land From Afar: Education of Youth in Cyprus (Tel-Aviv: Lochamei Hagetaot and the United Kibbutz Movement, 1985) [Hebrew], describing Major Maitland, the commandant of camp 65, where all the children were housed, as a 'friend of the children', a person who despised the situation of having to detain children in a camp Maitland is also mentioned in connection with cooperating with Jewish factors in Cyprus, covering up voluntarily for illegal activities [DG].

(51) Bogner, Deportation Island, 219-235.

Danny Goldman

Eastern Mediterranean University
COPYRIGHT 2005 Eastern Mediterranean University Press
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Goldman, Danny
Publication:Journal of Cyprus Studies
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Previous Article:Was Cyprus a Mamluk protectorate? Mamluk policies toward Cyprus between 1426 and 1517.
Next Article:Kamu Yonetimi Reformu: KKTC Ornegi.

Related Articles
An environmental health evaluation tool for locating and assessing disaster relief and refugee camps.
ARABS-ISRAEL - Feb. 28 - Refugee Camps Raided.
40 unnamed agencies cited in report on sexual abuse of refugee children.
UNHRC Nepal camp abuse reviewed. (General).
Covert study finds mental illness among kids in Australia's asylum camps. (General).
In the shadow of the volcanoes: the impact of intervention on the nutrition and health status of Rwandan refugee children in Zaire two years on from...

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters