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General Federation of Jewish Labor in Palestine on the Struma

The General Federation of Jewish Labor in Palestine Hakibbutz Hameuhad, Secretariat:

Upon the Loss of the Struma

The loss of the Struma is still shrouded in mystery. Precisely as the report [of its sinking] shouted into the void of the world, the rulers here have decreed silence. “Lest it be told in Gath”—lest it be told within the earshot of the Jewish community here, that obtuse villainy and malice have joined forces in presuming to fight for the well-being and deliverance of those who groan under oppression; for the well-being and deliverance of the enslaved and oppressed peoples.

In the waters of the Bosporus, in the gulf where three maritime routes for the immiserated Jewish exiles intersect, a buffeted refugee vessel has slipped beneath the waves. These people, fugitives from evil and malice knew that in aiming for the shores of their homeland they would encounter the hard-heartedness and stupidity of the trustees of this country, the land of the Jewish “national home. It is they whose hearts treat the plundered, mauled people like the hearts of lions, and whose reckonings and schemes befit those of small-minded traders.

Did they know that the Zionist movement and the Jewish community in Palestine hadn't the political strength to reserve, from the miserable quota of certificates given, the seven hundred and sixty certificates needed to bring the clandestine immigrants aboard the Struma to the shores of Palestine?

These seven hundred Jewish souls have descended to the depths. May their souls join those of the victims of evil in this war, those of the clandestine immigrants, those who drowned when the Patria and the Salvador sank , and those victimized when the Atlantic was sent away. We accept no consolation for them. For us, they are a symbol, a memorial, and a sign.

As for us, we shall continue to fight the eternal villainy embodied in Nazism to the limits of our strength and ability. We will align ourselves with any fighting force, but we are fighting Nazism not because it is German. This war against Nazism will not perform its corrective function unless all of its manifestations, be they German-Teutonic or Anglo-Saxon, are eradicated.

We struggle in common cause with the peoples that Nazism purports to enslave and cleanse of their divine and human image. [We cast our lot] with the abused, enslaved, dispossessed, and shattered peoples, whose hearts stir with rebellion and whose hands clutch the banner of uprising against the oppressive National-Socialist regime.

It is this war that will pierce the black depths and pave the way for the redemption of Jewry in Zion.

Source: Tsror Mikhtavim —Internal Information Bulletin
Ein Harod, March 6, 1942, No. 115 (180)

Source: Yad Vashem.