MY CONNECTION TO THE REFUGEE SHIP STRUMA
My quest to identify the guest of honor in a photograph of a family gathering taken in 1924 in Harlem, NY led to an expedition to Istanbul, Turkey seeking the answer to a Holocaust mystery. On February 24, 1942 a ship with 769 Romanian Jewish refugees was sailing to Palestine on a decrepit former cattle barge and was blown up in Black Sea. About 70 years later, this largest maritime loss of civilians in the Black Sea in WWII was a forgotten event. A gathering in Washington DC of relatives of those aboard the Struma in 1999 was followed by an event in Turkey and, an underwater search for the remains of the ship in 2000. This led to a book, “Death on the Black Sea” written by Douglas Frantz, a New York Times reporter and an HBO Documentary. Each year since, there has been renewed interest in this tragedy.
I am a practicing architect in Fair Lawn, New Jersey and graduated from CCNY School of Architecture. I have a passion for tracing my family roots since the 1970’s and have identified more than 4000 people to whom I am related.
Program at Institute of New Dimensions
Central Unitarian Church
156 Forest Avenue, Paramus