Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jews in Finland and Jamaica during World War II

I have recently come across two interesting chapters in Jewish history from World War II.  The Jewish Quarterly has a story about Finnish Jewish soldiers who fought alongside Nazis against the Russians.  Marshal Mannerheim, the commander of the Finnish army, worked with the Germans to further Finnish aims but protected Jews in his army and elsewhere.

A file recently discovered at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee documents 260 Jews who were given permission by the British government to escape Europe and stay in Jamaica during the war.  After the war the refugee camp was dismantled and the residents scattered around the world.  Now the man who discovered the file wants to know if any of those residents are still alive and is looking for more testimonials about life at the camp.


  1. Hello Janice; I just want you to know that I can add some information to assist in the research. I am a Jamaican and I remember Gibraltar Camp and spent memorable times there as a child. Last November I was in Jamaica and many of the Jews who lived in Gibraltar Camp during the war returned to jamaica to give thanks to the Jamaican people who hosted them. You can contact me for more information. My emaili Tel: 867-445-8012 or Web Page: You can also see my Video Series on YOuTube. Look at No 8 in the series about the EXODUS. I live in Canada and I can fill you in with several names of the Jews that lived at Gibraltar Camp.My book "50 Jamaica History Stories" tells the history of Jews in Jamaica and about Gibraltar Camp. The Camp was named Gibraltar because the entire population of Women and Children from the Rock of Gibralter were transported to Jamaica in 1942 and were housed there for the duration of the war. The Jews from Poland, Germany, Holland and Belgium had escaped to Lisbon but could go no further to avoid the advancing Germans. An appeal was made to Churchill and he directed the Convoy carrying the Gibraltar Refugees to divert to Lisbon and pick up the 200 Jews and take them to Jamaica too. Through the war over 1500 Jews found save haven in Jamaica. Some remained after the war.

  2. Hello, Richard, and thank you for being willing to add to the information about Camp Gibraltar. While I appreciate the offer, I think it would be more usefully shared with JDC. The best contact I could find on their site is I hope you will contact them and let them know about the information you have.


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