The refugee ship "Pentcho," carrying 510 passengers bound for Palestine, in the Aegean Sea. [LCID: 78880]

The refugee ship Pentcho

This photograph shows the refugee ship Pentcho, carrying over 500 passengers bound for Palestine, sailing in the Aegean Sea. It had departed from Bratislava on May 18, 1940.

In October 1940, while the Pentcho was sailing in Italian territory, its boiler exploded.  The passengers and crew were able to get ashore and offload their supplies before the ship finally sank. On October 18 and 19, Italian authorities picked up the refugees and took them to Rhodes. They stayed there for over a year in a hastily constructed camp in the soccer stadium of Rhodes. In January 1942, the refugees were transferred to the Ferramonti internment camp in southern Italy, where they remained until the Allies captured Italy.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Karl Akiva Schwarz

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