Darien II

65. Darien II

Departed Constanta, Romania 19-Feb-1941, arrived 19-Mar-1941

ex-Sophia S., ex-Orphir, ex-Pole Star, built 1892, 459 gross tons, former salvage vessel

878 passengers

Organized by Mossad

Darien was obtained to rescue the Kladovo group (No. 54) but the Jewish Agency agreed to turn it over to British intelligence to sink her in the Danube. Mossad agents in Istanbul refused to carry out these orders. The ship was already loaded with 380 refugees at Constanta, then embarked 370 in Varna and sailed on 19 Feb 1941, picking up the remaining survivors of the Salvador at Istanbul. Arriving at Haifa, the passengers were supposed to be deported to Mauritius (see Atlantic No. 61) but no ship was available and they were interned at Athlit.


64. Salvador

Departed Burgas, Bulgaria 3 Dec 1940, wrecked 12 Dec 1940

ex-Tzar Krum, ex-Sviatoi Nikolai, built 1912, 65 gross tons, wood schooner with auxiliary motor

327 passengers

Organized by Konfino

The refugees boarded the small Bulgarian schooner Car Krum, renamed Salvador. Bulgar authorities insisted the ship depart and forced a change in registry as unseaworthy. On 12 Dec 1940 the boat was dismasted and wrecked in a violent storm at Silivri in the Sea of Marmora with the loss of 223 persons including 66 children. The survivors were taken back to Istanbul but 125 were deported to Bulgaria. The remaining 70 left on the Darien (No. 65).

Film: Their story is seen in the documentary film “”Salvador: the Ship of Shattered Hopes”” (2006).

Photograph source: Haganah Archives


63. Milos

Departed Tulcea, Romania 19-Oct-1940, arrived 3-Nov-1940

ex-Canisbay, ex-Maria L., ex-Argolis, ex-Vine, built 1878, 572 gross tons, iron passenger steamer

880 passengers

Organized by Mossad

A second group from the Storfer transport (see Pacific No.61). The passengers from the Melk boarded the Milos. Some of her passengers were put on the Patria, but most were deported to Mauritius. (see Atlantic No.61)

Photograph source: Aris Bilalis


62. Pacific

Departed Sulina, Romania 11-Oct-1940, arrived 1-Nov-1940

ex-Betty, ex-Epiros, ex-Popi, ex-Refalonia, ex-Sayonara, ex-Goize Ko-Izarra, ex-Romola, ex-Sans Peur, ex-Catarina, built 1880, 563 gross tons, passenger steamer.

1000 passengers

Organized by Mossad

A large group of refugees was permitted to leave Vienna, organized by Berthold Storfer, a Jewish businessman working under Adolf Eichmann. 1,771 came down the Danube on the river steamers Sch�nbrunn and Helios, and 1,880 on Uranus, and Melk, arriving in Romania. They passed the people marooned at Kladovo and the Pentcho halted between Romania and Bulgaria. The Uranus passengers, numbering about 1,000, boarded the Pacific. Pacific arrived at Haifa followed by the Milos. Their passengers were transferred to the French liner Patria (1) for removal to the island of Mauritius. The Haganah smuggled a bomb on board to prevent the liner from sailing, but too big, it blew a hole in the side of the ship, Nov 25th , which capsized. 254 persons died. The survivors were permitted to remain in Palestine by order of Winston Churchill.

Book: “”The Story of the Patria”” by Dr. Erich Gershon Steiner (1982)

(1) Patria, 11885 tons, built 1913.

Photograph source: Aris Bilalis


61. Atlantic

Departed Tulcea 7-Oct-1940, arrived 24-Nov-1940

ex-Emilie, ex-Syros, ex-Adriaticos, ex-Caloric, built 1885, 1003 gross tons, steamer,

1771 passengers

Organized by Storfer

The third ship carrying Storfer’s transport, the Atlantic, took the Danube refugees from the Sch�nbrunn and Helios. (See Pacific No. 62) Although they sailed first they arrived in Haifa last. The ship was described as grossly overcrowded, standing room only on deck, below lack of ventilation and light; no ablution or laundry facilities; no proper cooking facilities. The Atlantic passengers were taken to Athlit Camp. The British government had announced that any Jews arriving without papers would be deported, and 1584 were forcibly removed from the camp and were taken to Mauritius where they spent the war.

Photograph source: 75 Years of Hebrew Shipping


60. Pentcho

Departed Sulina, Romania 21-Sep-1940, wrecked 9 Oct 1940

ex-Stefano, built 1907, 243 gross tons. paddle steamer

514 passengers

The old Italian paddle steamer Pentcho (also Pencho) was chartered to sail from Bratislava down the Danube. She sailed May 20th with 514 passengers mostly Betar members. The voyage was greatly delayed by the various governments en route. She finally sailed from Sulina, Romania, on 21 Sep 1940 but on October 9th her single boiler stopped working and the ship was wrecked north of Crete on Chamilonesi Island (now called Nisos Khamili). Everyone was rescued by the Italians and taken to Rhodes. All but two were then interned at Ferramonti Camp in southern Italy where they were still when the Allied forces liberated the area in September 1943. In June 1944 they traveled on the Polish liner Batory to Alexandria and then by train to Palestine.

Book: The story of the Pentcho has been published as Odyssey by John Bierman.

Photograph source: Jabotinsky Archives


59. Libertad

Departed Varna, Bulgaria May 1940, arrived 18-Jul-1940

ex- Chipka, 90 tons, 3-mast schooner.

381 passengers

Three-mast schooner flying flag of Uruguay was captured off Zichron Yaakov and brought into Haifa harbor with 380 refugees on board.


58. Sakarya

Departed Sulina, Bulgaria 1-Feb-1940, arrived 13-Feb-1940

ex- Sacaria, ex- Africshore, ex -Lome, ex- Helene Woermann, ex- Montevideo, built 1888, 2612 gross tons, passenger steamer.

2175 passengers

Under the auspices of Adolf Eichmann, the refugees left Vienna on Danube river boats. Saturnus left on 16 Nov 1939 and picked up 600 at Bratislava. Grein left 17 Dec 1939 with 530 refugees. Barge Spyroula brought the Paltin group from Bratislava. All these refugees were kept on the boats at Sulina in frigid conditions until their ship arrived. Saturnus and Grein were ordered to return before the river froze. Sakarya was intercepted at sea off Tenedos Island by HMS Fiona. 9 Feb and taken to Haifa with a guard on board. The Turkish-flag Sakarya brought the largest group to arrive to date; the men were interned at Athlit. Eri Jabotinsky was on board and arrested.

Photograph source: Silverstone Collection


57. Hilda (Orion)

Departed Sulina, Romania 8 Jan 1940, arrived 24-Jan-1940

ex- Aghios Nicolaos, ex- Sophia Costala, ex-Centavros, ex- Centauro, built 1884, 792 gross tons, steamer.

729 passengers

Also named Orion. Group from Bratislava came down the Danube, holding a collective Paraguayan visa. The ship was supposed to pick up the Kladovo group (No.54), icebound. Hilda took on the refugees at Sulina, but departure was delayed for over a month because of difficulties getting a crew, and then the ship was damaged in a storm. Interned at Atlit.

Photograph source: Dan Exner


56. Rudnitchar 4

Departed Varna 26 Dec 1939, arrived 8 Jan 1940.

ex- Aghios Nicolaos, ex- Demosthenes, ex- Serla, ex- Siri, built 1872, 269 gross tons, iron steamer

535 passengers

Refugees left Bratislava 10 Dec 1939, ship embarked 320 at Rustchuk. Sailed with motorboat Orlik in tow for the landing.


55. Rudnitchar 3

Departed Sulina, Bulgaria 27-Oct-1939, arrived 14-Nov-1939

ex- Aghios Nicolaos, ex- Demosthenes, ex- Serla, ex- Siri, built 1872, 269 gross tons, iron steamer

457 passengers

Ship was damaged in a storm. Refugees landed by schooner Kooperator and small boats undetected at Sydne Ali.