Sunday, April 21, 2013

Immigrants to Israel, 1948-1952

File ג-3101/12 contains hundreds of pages of letters, reports and statistics about immigration to Israel between May 15, 1948 and the end of December 1952, as filed by someone in David Ben Gurion's office. Our previous post, about the tragic chaos in the immigrant camps, comes from this file; since it has lots of interesting things in it, we'll return to it in a future post or three. Now, however, we'd like to present the last document in the file, a list which was apparently drawn up in July 1953, summing up the statistics of the immigration.

Bear in mind that in May 1948 when Israel became independent, there were some 600,000 Jews in the country. By the time the battles subsided, towards the end of that year, 110,000 immigrants had arrived, 6,000 Jews had been killed in the war, and the stabilizing borders contained 100,000 Arabs or perhaps a bit more. 800-850,000 people all in all.

By the end of 1952, 738,891 immigrants had arrived (this includes the 110,000 who arrived in the second half of 1948). Of course, the immigration didn't end in December 1952, but that's beyond the scope of our file.

Muslim countries:
Turkey                                       35,025
Syria and Lebanon                    34,608
Iraq                                          124,226
Yemen and Aden                       48,375
Other Asian countries                 7,579
Tunesia, Marroco, Algeria        52,584
Lybia                                         32,129
Egypt                                         17,114
Total Muslim countries:           377,251 of  889,700

Communist satelite states:
Poland                                      106,751
Romania                                  121,537
Bulgaria                                     37,703
Czechoslovakia                         18,815
Hungary                                    14,519
Yugoslavia                                  7,757
Total Comunist states:            307,082 of   729,000

Western states:
South Africa                                   538
Other Africa                                   576
Germany & Austria                   11,013
Other Europe                             19,605
Latin America                             2,025
Total Western states:                 33,706 of  1,746,230

USA & Canada                           1,809 of  5,200,000

Unidentified                              18,989

Grand total                              738,891 of  8,564,930

The USSR is not on the list.