Fascinating facts in the history of Mauritius: The Jewish graveyard
On December 26, 1940, the Atlantic docked in Port Louis with some 1,500 Jews on board. Among them were Austrians, Poles and Czechs who fled Nazism in the fall of 1939. All of them had one wish: to join Palestine, under British mandate. Unfortunately, as they reached the port of Haifa with no immigration papers, they were considered illegal immigrants. The Atlantic was sent back by the British Foreign Office and subsequently, the Jews were deported to Mauritius, then a British colony, where they were jailed at the Beau-Bassin prison until August 1945. During these years of exile, 60 children will be born while 127 detainees will die and be buried in the only Jewish graveyard in Mauritius found at Saint-Martin.
Each tomb holds Hebrew inscriptions carved into the stone, as well as a granite plaque. All the Jewish graves in the cemetery, except for two of them, are lined up facing Israel. Should you be interested to learn more, why not pay a short visit to the Beau-Bassin Jewish Detainees Memorial and Information Centre? You may also choose to take this opportunity and place a stone on a grave, as per the Jewish tradition as a tribute to those detainees and to all the victims of the Holocaust.
Main source: Beau-Bassin Jewish Detainees Memorial and Information Centre