SS Navemar was a cargo steamship that was built in England in 1921, was Norwegian-owned until 1927 and then Spanish-owned for the rest of her career. An Italian submarine sank her in the Strait of Gibraltar in 1942.
Navemar is notable for a voyage in 1941 in which she carried about 1,120 European Jewish refugees to the United States in overcrowded and insanitary conditions.
In 1941, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (known as “The Joint”) were desperate to rescue Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia escaping Nazi persecution.
Many held US visas that were about to expire. The Joint’s agents directed them to Seville, where the Navemar had been privately chartered to make the transatlantic crossing. Tickets for the few passenger cabins sold at exorbitant prices. The captain vacated his cabin and charged $2,000 to all who could fit themselves into the small space.Bunks were fitted in the filthy cargo holds, which had previously carried coal.Although attempts were made to…
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