1942 February 24, SINKING OF THE STRUMA (Turkey)
One of the "illegal" immigrant ships on which 768 of the 769 passengers perished. The Sturma was a former coal barge-turned-rescue ship, and although not seaworthy, loaded 769 passengers at Constanza, Romania on December 12, 1941. The ship reached Istanbul, Turkey, but the passengers were not permitted to land until the British would issue assurances that they would be allowed to proceed to Palestine. The British refused to allow them to land under the White Paper agreement of 1939. After two months of pressure, the British relented and agreed to allow children to leave the ship. Although they promised to notify the Turks, they delayed for 10 days. Giving up, the Turks had the boat towed out to the Black Sea where it was sunk, presumably by a Soviet submarine.