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The “Struma” Tragedy

by dr Bartek Borys

The 24th of February is the 77th anniversary of the ship “Struma” sinking in the Black Sea. Almost 800 Jews escaping Romania died on the ship. It is one of the most tragic, though today almost forgotten, episodes in the history of Jewish attempts to escape the Holocaust. 

Around 800 000 Jews lived in Romania, which at the time of the Second World War was a satellite country of the Third Reich. The countries authorise attempted to get remove them through many means. Between 1941 and 1942, dozens of antisemitic bills and decrees were published. The culmination of the anti-jewish policies was the pogrom in Iași, which took place between the 27th and 29th of June 1941, when at least 13 266 Jews were murdered on the urging of dictatorial Prime Minister Ion Antonescu.

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