MIAMI (Jun. 15)
A well-known Miami Beach hotel has donated up to $10,000 to prevent a bungled ceremony commemorating the 1939 “Voyage of the Damned” from creating further waves.
The Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel will contribute the sum to hoist and re-sink the S.S. Ostwind, Adolf Hitler’s private yacht, which was ceremonially sunk in the wrong place during a June 4 ceremony here.
The sinking of the dilapidated craft was part of a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the S.S. St. Louis, which was denied entry into Cuba and the United States in 1939. Because no country accepted the boatload of 937 Jewish refugees, 75 percent of the passengers died in concentration camps.
The event’s organizing committee intended to dump the yacht’s hull in 250 feet of water, where it would become an artificial reef. But the yacht was accidentally sunk in 30 feet of water. It is damaging a living reef and endangering ships.
The Army Corps of Engineers has ordered the shell, which is still in one shabby piece, to be removed by June 22.
That is expected to cost at least $7,500.