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Remembering Refugees Lost at Sea the Struma, the Wilhelm Gustloff and the Cap Anamur

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Chapter Summary

As a consequence of Holocaust, mainstream historiography has tended to picture Jewish and German traditions of commemoration in antithetical terms, as if the two were immutably fixed in their respective roles as victims and perpetrators. This chapter approaches the subject from the periphery by recalling the fate of two ships with refugees that were lost at sea during Second World War. The first is Struma, which was carrying Jewish refugees from Romania when it sank in the Black Sea in February 1942. The second is Wilhelm Gustloff, which was carrying German refugees fleeing before the advance of Red Army when it was sunk in the Baltic in January 1945. It provides a basis for reassessing the processes of public memory, while raising questions about refugees lost at sea that are still relevant in our own day. The chapter also discusses the controversies associated with another refugee ship, the Cap Anamur.

Keywords: Cap Anamur; German refugees; Holocaust; Jewish refugees; Second World War; Struma; Wilhelm Gustloff



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