One of the major dramas in history of the Jewish nation is the "Ha'apala", an operation that took place between 1937 and 1948, focusing on the efforts to save as many Jews as possible from the ravages of war, especially in Europe, and to bring them to their homeland in Palestine.
The demand for immigration increased dramatically when the Nazis came into power in Europe, reaching its peak at the end of World War II. At the same time, the authorities of the British Mandate in Palestine placed a quota on the amount of Jewish immigrants they would allow to enter the country, limiting their numbers significantly.
The Ha'apala operation totaled 168 voyages of ships carrying over 70,000 Holocaust survivors to the shores of the growing Jewish State. The British authorities caught most of these ships, and their passengers were exiled and placed in detention camps. During these high-risk voyages, some ships sunk, claiming the lives of more than 3,000 passengers. Gan London is a memorial site in commemoration of that operation and of the voyages of the ships that held the unfortunate passengers who never reached the shores of their homeland. The project is located on the coast line of Tel Aviv, between Herbert Samuel promenade on the west and Hayarkon St. on the east. And is one of the few open windows to the beach since the street is mostly blocked by tall hotel buildings. The park bridges the levels difference between these two streets and streams down from Hayarkon St. to the promenade. This situation creates height differences which are used to enhance the drama of the ships "silhouettes" so they can be seen from the beach but do not block the view from Hayarkon St.
The memorial site is composed of three elements: 1. Sculpted silhouettes of immigrant ships implanted in the park. The "ships" are constructed of concrete and are covered with special artistic aluminum sheet. 2. A memorial wall in the shape of a wave composed of six cast-aluminum segments. The surface of the wave is engraved with the names of the ships, the dates of the 168 voyages, and the number of passengers in each. 3. Historical pictures, which will be incorporated into the permanent exhibition, are affixed to the surface of the silhouetted ships.