In 1944 an incident eerily similar to the SS Struma sinking took place. In this instance 350 Jewish refugees bound for Palestine from Hitler’s Europe were lost at sea.

The Mefkure (sometimes known as Mefkura) sailed from the port of Constanta on August 5, 1944, accompanied by two other ships. Their destination was to be Istanbul, in neutral Turkey. The Jewish refugees would then attempt to enter Palestine by whatever means that could be devised.

After midnight the Mefkure was illuminated by flares from an unknown vessel, then fired upon, and finally torpedoed. The captain and 6 of the crew escaped the sinking ship in a lifeboat. Of the passengers – only 5 of a suspected total of 350 survived. After WWII it was revealed that the Mefkure, like the Struma three years earlier, had been torpedoed and sunk by a Soviet submarine – in this case the SC-215.

The first monument to the left shows the routes of the fateful final voyages of both the Struma and the Mefkure – the incidents were three years apart, but joined together forever in this monument. The second sculpture is a memorial to the motor schooner Mefkure and to all her lost souls resting on the bottom of the Black Sea…