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I note some friends are visiting the National Archives from time to time and wonder if somebody can help with the following matter. I am researching the schooner "Emanuel" that was lost without trace in the Bay of Biscay in early February 1934. Her particulars are as per excerpt of LRS 1934, attached. Purchased at Sonderborg by Palestinian owners in August-September 1933, that vessel left Aarhus on 29-09-1933 en route to Piraeus via Antwerp, London, Southampton and Poole. In fact I think I know all about her except for flag and port of registry on her final voyage. Contemporary press reports hint that she was given a single voyage permit for a trip from Denmark to Palestine by the British Consul in Copenhagen, "provided she would not fly the red ensign".

Different sources (press and shipping records) indicate she sailed under Danish, Latvian, Syrian, Palestinian and “Jewish” flags. There's nothing in the literature about port of registry.

The answer may lie in files of the British Consulate in Copenhagen for the period 1st August to 15 October 1933 and I wonder if any friend who visits the National Archives can try helping me with any information available on that unfortunate vessel.

Many thanks!
 

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Hi Avraham - I'm new to this site but came across your posts. I was born in Southampton UK and my father worked on the great liners. I'm a retired BBC TV News Editor and was a journalist of 41 years . Ships are big with me - but I specialise in the Titanic and Olympic White Star liners .
You raised the question of which flag Emanuel sailed under which reminded me of the story that her flag was stolen in 1933 while she was at Southampton. This attracted national publicity. There was of course some anti-semitism in the UK via the British Union of Fascists ....but there was also strong anti-Nazi protests by British Jewish groups about the attacks on Jews in Germany. See "Anti Nazi protests in London 1933" film on You Tube.

If you know all about this then forgive me for duplication - national newspaper The Daily Mirror even had a picture of the Emanuel flag and its crew.(attached) on Dec 9 1933 😊. Somebody clearly didn't like seeing that flag flying in a British national newspaper ....and a few days came the reports it had been taken.
Southampton was a hugely busy port in 1933 and of course that included regular visits by German liners SS Bremen and Europa . There was also a German consul in the port. If she was the first vessel to sail under the "Palestine" flag for over 2,000 years ( as the newspaper says ) I'm surprised it hasn't come up as search returns on Israeli media. The local police must have been aware what was happening in Germany when they investigated the flag theft from an all Jewish crewed vessel. Nobody was caught.
i assume foul play / sabotage couldn't be ruled out in her loss in the Bay of Biscay in 1934 ?
Best regards
Lee
 

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