The Struma | 2000
In December 1941, the Struma, a converted "gentleman's yacht" carrying 769 Romanian Jews, departed the Black Sea coastal city of Constanta destined for British-controlled Palestine. Sputtering toward the Bosphorus Straight, the Struma's tired engine failed only a few days into the journey. The boat was pulled into Istanbul harbour, where it would sit for the next two months. Fleeing Ion Antonescu's brutal Nazi-controlled regime, the refugees found themselves in a realpolitik minefield involving Britain, Germany, Turkey and the Soviet Union. On February 23, 1942, Turkish police took control of the Struma - its passengers haggard from the terrible conditions on board - and towed it into the Black Sea. Within 24 hours the ship was torpedoed. One person survived.