Thanks to Hedi Enghelberg that donated three books to Leolam Foundation.
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"The Last Witness" was a Category Finalist in the 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Awards. The Eric Hoffer Book Award was created to promote writers, authors, and independent presses.
NYC, MAY 3-4, 2014 | I am sad to announce, that Mr. David Stoliar (Z"L), the only sea Survivor of the Jewish refugees ship MV Struma, torpedoed Feb 24, 1942, in the South Black Sea, passed, at age 92, in his sleep, in Bend, Oregon, Saturday, May 03rd, 0:31 AM. He is survived by his wife, Marda Stoliar, and a son. The burial was at the Historic Cemetery in Prineville Oregon, at Noon, May 6, 2014, Pacific Time. Prineville is situated at about 40 miles from Bend and the Historic Cemetery is dedicated to the West pioneers. David Stoliar will be the first Jewish person buried there. The ceremony will be conducted by a Rabbi and about 100 persons will attend.
David Stoliar was born in Chishinev (Kishinev, actual Republic of Moldova/See Jewish pogroms and WWII killing of 10,000+ Jews by Einsatzgruppen), in 1922. The family moved to France, where his mother has family, and resided there until 1930, when they returned to Bucharest. He studied in France and Bucharest. Due to increased anti-Semitism, after the failed putsch by the Garda de Fier (Iron Guard), a pro-fascist paramilitary group, against Gen. Antonescu government, his father decided to send the only son, away, via MV Struma, to Palestine. MV (motor vessel) Struma left the Romanian port of Constanza on December 15, 1941 with 760-800 Romanian and European Jewish refuges trying to repatriate to Eretz Israel (ACTUAL ISRAEL), then Palestine, under a British Administrative Mandate. Due to a engine problem, the ship was intercepted close to the Istanbul harbor. It remaining at anchor in Istanbul, for more than 70 days, being refused entry in Palestine by the British High Commissioner, until it was forced towed by the Turkish military tugboat Aldemar into the south-east Black Sea and cut adrift.
MV Struma, at the time, lacked any independent propulsion meanings, it's onboard Mercedes-Benz maritime engine was not functioning. Next day, Feb. 24, 1942, against all maritime international conventions and treaties, the ship was torpedoed, without warning, by the Soviet submarine SC-213, of the USSR Black Sea Fleet. In October 1942, SC-213, on his turn, was torpedoed and sunk with all hand on deck, by costal German U-boat close to the Constanza harbor. Until today, MV Struma disaster, has earned the sad title as the largest civilian loss of life in Black Sea maritime recorded history. All the refugees on board died, except the young David Stoliar, rescued more than 24 hours later.
FROM HEDI ENGHELBERG_______________
Subject: WAS READ AT BURIAL BY MARDA STOLIAR.
David Stolear is not with us, anymore. ( Per su leyenda vivira con nosotros!) I had the pleasure and the honor to take the last interview with him , before his heart attack on 2013. He died in His home, in Bend, Oregon, with his caring wife, Marda, by his side, at 00:31 AM. But his legend will be living with us, and for many generations to come. We need people like David. His story was linking all the bad, the ugly and good in the WWII, like Nazi Germany, Romania, Soviet Union (USSR), England, Turkey, Israel and United States.
David is a survivor. We have so few, today.
David was a courageous person. We have so few today.
David endured the horrors of the Holocaust. We have so few witnesses today.
David was an example. We have so few raw models to follow, today.
David was strong. We have so few strong leaders.
Will be hard to imagine the world without David Stoliar, because he was the last witness to this great, great injustice represented by MV Struma and the Jewish refugees seeking repatriation.
COVER: the book cover is the picture of the David Stoliar, from the transport ticket issued by the travel company in Bucharest. The original boat ticket rests at the Yad-VaShem Museum in Jerusalem.
Hedi Enghelberg, Author
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