The Struma (2002)
1h 32min · Documentary · 16 February 2002
In 1941, nearly 800 Romanian Jewish refugees, packed like sardines aboard the Struma, a 46-meter boat bound for Palestine, found themselves stranded when the boat's engine failed. Limping along the Struma manages to reach Istanbul Harbor, where it waits while Turkey, trying to stay "neutral" in the war, deliberates the passengers' fate. Britain, enforcing its policy of limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine, puts heavy pressure on the Turks not to let the ship pass through their territorial waters. On 23 February 1942 the Turks tow the disabled Struma out into the Black Sea. 12 hours later a Russian submarine locks on the boat and a single torpedo is fired. 24 hours later, Turkish fishermen go out to the site and find only one survivor. In 2000, using information provided by the sole survivor and the grandson of two Struma passengers, an international team of elite divers to find the watery grave of the Struma passengers. Immediately, a Turkish dive club claims to have found the wreck and with Turkish government support, attempts to obstruct the search for the Struma. Suddenly, contemporary politics mirror events of the early 1940's and the divers find themselves entangled in a 60-year-old cover-up.
- Written by
National Center for Jewish Film