History of the Museum of the Underground Prisoners
The Museum of the Underground Prisoners in Akko tells the story of the underground fighters who fought for the independence of the State of Israel. The years leading to the establishment of the State of Israel were fraught by a bitter conflict between the Jewish and Arab populations.
When the British captured Palestine from the Ottomans in 1917, they converted the Russian Compound in downtown Jerusalem into an administrative headquarters and main prison. During these years of British occupation, many prisoners were incarcerated here. During the War of Independence in 1948, the prison was seized by Jewish fighters in a military campaign known as Operation Pitchfork.
About The Museum of the Underground Prisoners
The prison was restored by the Ministry of Defense in 1991 and turned into a museum. The museum’s exhibitions include the prison cells, the synagogue, a cell that housed Jewish prisoners, an exercise yard, and the solitary confinement room. The walls and spaces of the Museum are filled with memories and stories from the pre-state days.
The adjacent Jewish Resistance Fighters Museum features an innovative display run by the Ministry of Defense. It describes the circumstances surrounding the resistance, life in prison, and the story of the final prison break.
A tour of the premises is a solemn and sobering, but nonetheless worthwhile experience.