Turkey,Black Sea

Xantha was laid down by Palmer's Shipbuilding & Iron Company in England and was launched 1867 for Lord ALfred Pget in London. She changed both name and owners during her career, before she ended up in Romania and sailed under the name Struma. In 1941 she was chartered to carry Jewish refugees from Romania to the British controlled Palestine. She departed from Constanta 12. December 1941 carrying more than 700 refugees but due to engine problems she was eventually towed to Istanbul. Attempts to repiar her engine were made, but to no avail. Britih and Turkey officials quarreled over the refugees fate, which ended in Struma bein forced out from harbor. She was towed out from the harbor 23. December and left adrift outside Bosperus about ten nautical miles north of Istanbul. The following day she was spotted by the Soviet submarine SC-113 and torpedoed outside Bosperus 24. December 1941. Only one man survived the sinking. A wreck has been found that might be Struma, even tho no definite proof of her identity has been found. The wreck rest today on a depth of approximately 65 to 70 meter.

Former names:
Xantha,Sölyst,Sea Maid, Kafireus, Esporos, Makedoniya
44,7 x 5,7 x3,0 m
Tons: Built: Home Port:
226 grt
Newcastle Upon Tyne ( UK ) 1867
Constanta ( RO )

Picture: Struma in Istanbul Harbor, December 1941
Courtesy of
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

It is understood that the Turkish Government notified British officials at noon February 23 that the Struma would be towed out into the Black Sea that afternoon.  Hurried action on the part of British officials to obtain a list of children, who might be sent to Palestine, met with no reply from Turkish officials"
Allan Guggenheim, 2018

Last updated: July 2019