David Stoliar, Survivor of World War II Disaster, Dies at 91

Breaking News
tags: WWII, obituary, David Stoliar

(The death of David Stoliar, in 2014, received little attention outside Oregon, where he lived. The New York Times, which had prepared an obituary, learned of his death on Friday.)

For more than a half-century, David Stoliar remained a silent witness to the worst civilian maritime disaster of World War II, the only survivor among nearly 800 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Romania aboard a refugee ship that was barred from Palestine, interned by Turkey for months, set adrift without power and torpedoed by a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea in 1942.

The sinking of the overloaded ship, a 150-foot steamer called the Struma, was a calamity compounded by Britain’s refusal to admit the refugees into Palestine and by Turkey’s 71-day quarantine, ending with the vessel being towed out to sea. The coup de grâce was fired by the submarine as the ship lay dead in the water seven miles offshore.

comments powered by Disqus