Auction of iconic Israeli flag cancelled

Flag from the SS Exodus, which tried to bring Holocaust survivors to British-mandate Palestine, bought by public institution.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

SS Exodus
SS Exodus
Wikimedia Commons

The auction of a flag from an iconic ship that tried to take Jewish Holocaust survivors to what would later become Israel was cancelled Wednesday, after it was bought by a public institution, AFP reports. 

The SS Exodus was the most famous of hundreds of ships that sought to transport European Jews to the land that later became the nation of Israel immediately after World War II.

The Israeli flag that flew from the ship was expected to be sold at a public auction in Jerusalem on Wednesday with a starting bid of $100,000 (94,650 euros), but it was pulled at the last minute.

Meron Eren, owner of the Kedem Auction House, announced that "the lot was withdrawn from the auction by the consignor... to ensure its placement in a public institution."

The auction house declined to provide more details about the institution or how much the flag was sold for, saying a public announcement would be made in the coming weeks.

The Exodus sailed to British-mandate Palestine in 1947 with 4,500 Jewish survivors of Nazi camps on board who had no legal immigration certificates.

British seamen boarded the ship shortly before it docked and the families were eventually deported back to British-controlled Germany, where they were held in camps.

The images of Holocaust survivors being held behind barbed wire fences caused uproar and helped increase support for Jewish emigration to Israel.

Their voyage inspired the 1958 book Exodus by Leon Uris and two years later a movie based on the book starring Paul Newman.