The British government had deported 52,000 illegal Jewish immigrants, including numerous Holocaust survivors, to detention camps in Cyprus following World War II.

The Jewish people, held for illegally trying to enter the British-ruled Palestine, were placed at internment camps set up in Cyprus.

The thousands that flowed to the camps were mainly from Romania and were sent to Cyprus on 39 ships. In the camps, 2,200 babies were born to families held at the camps run jointly by the British Foreign Office, the Colonial Office, the Mandatory Government and the British Army.

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The Israeli Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum in Atit, north of the country, is trying to contact immigrants from the camps and is posting photographs on social media in the hope that family members recognise some of the faces.

“There are very few photographs from the camps in existence today,” Mr Nir Maor, director of the museum, told Ynet News. “Some came to us from the daughter of a social worker who was sent there to help the immigrants. And others we believe were smuggled out by two photographers who were among those being held by the British.”

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Though the camps were contained by barbed wires, the inmates had food and played football with their British captors. Occasional visits to the beach were allowed.