From news article:
Exactly 70 years ago – on February 24, 1942 – 19-year-old David Stoliar terrifyingly clung to bobbing debris in the Black Sea. At first he heard screams in the frigid waters but the voices died down. It eventually emerged that Stoliar was the sole survivor of the Struma, an un-seaworthy vessel chuck-full of frantic Jewish refugees.
World War II was already in fever pitch. Against the enormity of the then-unfolding Holocaust, the loss at sea of 768 Jewish lives (103 of them babies and children) was at most blithely overlooked as a marginal annotation.
Moreover, although these Jews fled the Nazis, in the pedantic literal sense they weren’t executed by Third Reich henchmen.
This atrocity was the coldblooded handiwork of Great Britain (committed while it combated the Germans but remarkably without compassion for their Jewish victims), supposedly neutral Turkey (whose so-called nonalignment didn’t extend to outcast Jewish refugees), by the Arabs (who were openly and unreservedly Nazism’s avid collaborators and who pressured London into denying endangered Jews asylum in the Jewish homeland) and, finally, by the Russians (who targeted the immobilized sardine can that carried Jews to whom nobody would allow a toehold on terra firma).
The entire world seemed united in signaling Jews how utterly unwanted they were anywhere.
Such apathy-cum-enmity hasn’t disappeared.
Only its form and context had mutated but the essence is still ultra-relevant to the Jewish state.
And, in some more context
But the way Turkey _ neutral in World War II _ handled the Struma undercuts claims of favorable treatment that Jews and other minorities purportedly received in that era. Even today, deficits in equal rights and religious freedoms mar democratic advances in Turkey."This is a tragedy which is treated as something that has nothing to do with Turkey," said author Rifat Bali, who has written about non-Muslim minorities in Turkey. He said blame is assigned to Britain or the Soviet Union, with some justification, but described the refugee deaths as a "black spot" on Turkey's "rosy rhetoric" about benevolent policies.A rare commemoration was held at Sarayburnu, a promontory near the Golden Horn inlet in Istanbul. Organizer Cem Murat Sofuoglu said the Turkish establishment was not interested."They don't want to shake the cage," said Sofuoglu, a lawyer who wants Turkey and Britain to apologize.Turkey's Jewish community of just over 20,000 has traditionally kept a low profile to avoid controversy or worse, especially at a time when political ties between Turkey and Israel, a former ally, are frozen. The low point came in 2010 when nine people died during an Israeli raid on a Turkish ship intending to deliver aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.In 2003, two Istanbul synagogues were targeted in deadly bombings by militants tied to al-Qaida, and Turkey cracked down on radical Islamists.Many Turkish Jews had to speak Turkish and drop Ladino, a language that mixes Hebrew and Spanish and is dying out, in the early years of the modern republic. During World War II, Jews, as well as ethnic Armenians and Greeks, were subject to an arbitrary lump-sum tax, and mobs attacked non-Muslim properties in Istanbul in 1955.Anti-Semitism has risen in Turkey's ultraconservative media over the past five years, said Murat Onur, an Istanbul-based commentator who has studied the issue. Activists want the government to incorporate "hate speech" legislation in plans for a new constitution.
Read more: http://tdn.com/news/world/europe/tur...#ixzz1nRZpX1bN