Turkey officially remembers Struma disaster for the first time
Struma disaster, remembered by the Turkish Government first time 73 years later.
Commemoration will be held on February 24th, 12 PM at Sarayburnu Sepetçiler Kasrı.
MV Struma, had been trying to take several hundred Jewish refugees from Romania to Palestine. The ship arrived to İstanbul on December 15th , 1941. The Turkish authorities towed Struma to the coast of Sile, when it’s engine broke down in the morning of February 24th, a Soviet submarine torpedoed the ship , killing everyone on board, except one person, 19 years old David Stolier.
Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a press release about the tragic chain of events happened right few miles off the coast of Sile.
The following is the Foreign Ministry’s press release:
“Seventy-three years ago, on February 24th, 1942, the Struma a vessel carrying Jewish refugees, outbound from the port of Constanza, sank after it was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine off the cost of Şile, in the international waters of the Black Sea, 768 people perished, including 103 children and the entire crew. Only one refugee survived.
Seven hundred and sixty-eight people who were forced to leave their villages, cities and countries as a result of the rise of Nazism and Anti-Semitism in Europe, died tragically 73 years ago. The victims included women, children, babies, the sick and the elderly.
With this understanding, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, we respectfully commemorate all those who have lost their lives on the Struma. We also extend our condolences to their relatives and to our Turkish-Jewish citizens, who remain sensitive to and saddened by this tragedy, as it happened right before their eyes. We share the deep sense of loss of those people, as we made efforts for them to survive.
This incident, regardless of the religious or ethnic background of the victims, is a tragedy that has taken its place in human history and must be commemorated as such.
Turkey always, adopting a humane approach with respect to humanitarian tragedies that occur in its vicinity, feels the responsibility of passing along the memory of this tragedy to future generations."