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BRICHA (Hebrew : בריחה‎, translit. Briẖa, "escape" or "flight") was the underground organized effort that helped Jewish Holocaust survivors escape post– World War II
World War II
Europe to the British Mandate for Palestine in violation of the White Paper of 1939
White Paper of 1939
. It ended when Israel
Israel
declared independence and annulled the White Paper. July 15, 1945. Buchenwald
Buchenwald
survivors arrive in Haifa
Haifa
to be arrested by the British.

The movement of Jewish refugees from the Displaced Persons camp in which they were held (one million persons classified as "not repatriable" remained in Germany
Germany
and Austria
Austria
) to Palestine was illegal on both sides, as Jews
Jews
were not officially allowed to leave the countries of Central and Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and its allies, nor were they permitted to settle in Palestine by the British.

In late 1944 and early 1945, Jewish members of the Polish resistance met up with Warsaw ghetto fighters in Lubin to form Bricha
Bricha
as a way of escaping the antisemitism of Europe, where they were convinced that another Holocaust would occur. After the liberation of Rivne
Rivne
, Eliezer and Abraham Lidovsky, and Pasha (Isaac) Rajchmann, concluded that there was no future for Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
. They formed an artisan guild to cover their covert activities, and they sent a group to Cernăuţi , Romania
Romania
to seek out escape routes. It was only after Abba Kovner , and his group from Vilna
Vilna
joined, along with Icchak Cukierman , who had headed the Jewish Combat Organization of the Polish uprising of August 1944, in January 1945, that the organization took shape. They soon joined up with a similar effort led by the Jewish Brigade
Jewish Brigade
and eventually the Haganah
Haganah
(the Jewish clandestine army in Palestine).

Officers of the Jewish Brigade
Jewish Brigade
of the British army assumed control of the operation, along with operatives from the Haganah
Haganah
who hoped to smuggle as many displaced persons as possible into Palestine through Italy. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee funded the operation.

Almost immediately, the explicitly Zionist
Zionist
Berihah became the main conduit for Jews
Jews
coming to Palestine, especially from the displaced person camps, and it initially had to turn people away due to too much demand.

After the Kielce pogrom of 1946, the flight of Jews
Jews
accelerated, with 100,000 Jews
Jews
leaving Eastern Europe in three months. Operating in Poland
Poland
, Romania
Romania
, Hungary
Hungary
, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
, and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
through 1948, Berihah transferred approximately 250,000 survivors into Austria, Germany, and Italy
Italy
through elaborate smuggling networks. Using ships supplied at great cost by the Mossad Le\'aliyah Bet , then the immigration arm of the Yishuv , these refugees were then smuggled through the British cordon around Palestine. Bricha
Bricha
was part of the larger operation known as Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet , and ended with the establishment of Israel
Israel
, after which immigration to the Jewish state was legal, although emigration was still sometimes prohibited, as happened in both the