Scrapbookpages Blog

June 26, 2017

The voyage of the ship called “The St. Louis” is back in the news

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:16 am

The passengers on the ship called “The Saint Louis” wave “goodbye” as the ship leaves — Image copyright Getty Images

You can read about the ship called “The St. Louis” in this news article: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27373131

What does this have to do with the price of eggs in China, you ask. It relates to Trump’s current rules on who can enter America.

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

On 13 May 1939, more than 900 Jews fled Germany aboard a luxury cruise liner, the SS St Louis. They hoped to reach Cuba and then travel to the US – but were turned away in Havana and forced to return to Europe, where more than 250 were killed by the Nazis.

“It was really something to be going on a luxury liner,” says Gisela Feldman. “We didn’t really know where we were heading, or how we would cope when we got there.”

At the age of 90, Feldman still clearly remembers the raw and mixed emotions she felt as a 15-year-old girl boarding the St Louis at Hamburg docks with her mother and younger sister.

“I was always aware of how anxious my mother looked, embarking on such a long journey, on her own with two teenage daughters,” she says.

[..]

By early 1939, the Nazis had closed most of Germany’s borders and many countries had imposed quotas limiting the number of Jewish refugees they would allow in.

Cuba was seen as a temporary transit point to get to America and officials at the Cuban embassy in Berlin were offering visas for about $200 or $300 each – $3,000 to $5,000 (£1,800 to £3,000) at today’s prices.

When six-year-old Gerald Granston was told by his father that they were leaving their small town in southern Germany to take a ship to the other side of the world, he struggled to understand what that meant.

“I’d never heard of Cuba and I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen. I remember being scared all the time,” he says, now aged 81.

For many of the young passengers and their parents however, the trepidation and anxiety soon faded as the St Louis began its two-week transatlantic voyage.

Feldman, who shared a cabin in the lower part of the ship with her sister Sonja, spent her time walking around the deck chatting with boys of her own age, or swimming in the ship’s pool.

On board, there was a dance band in the evenings and even a cinema. There were regular meals with a variety of food that the passengers rarely saw back home.

Under orders from the ship’s captain, Gustav Schroder, the waiters and crew members treated the passengers politely, in stark contrast to the open hostility Jewish families had become accustomed to under the Nazis.

The captain allowed traditional Friday night prayers to be held, during which he gave permission for the portrait of Adolf Hitler hanging in the main dining room to be taken down.

Six-year-old Sol Messinger, who was traveling with his father and mother, recalls how happy everyone seemed. In fact, he says, the youngsters were constantly being told by the adults that they were now safe from harm: “We’re going away,” he heard people say again and again on that outward journey. “We don’t have to look over our shoulders any more.”

But as the luxury liner reached the coast of Havana on 27 May, that sense of optimism disappeared to be replaced by fear, then dread.

Granston was up on deck with his father and dozens of other families, their suitcases packed and ready to disembark, when the Cuban officials, all smiles, first came aboard.

It quickly became clear that the ship was not going to dock and that no-one was being allowed off. He kept hearing the words “manana, manana” – tomorrow, tomorrow. When the Cubans left and the ship’s captain announced that people would have to wait, he could feel, even as a little boy, that something was wrong.

For the next seven days, Captain Schroder tried in vain to persuade the Cuban authorities to allow them in. In fact, the Cubans had already decided to revoke all but a handful of the visas – probably out of fear of being inundated with more refugees fleeing Europe.

The captain then steered the St Louis towards the Florida coast, but the US authorities also refused it the right to dock, despite direct appeals to President Franklin Roosevelt. Granston thinks he too was worried about the potential flood of migrants.

By early June, Captain Schroder had no option but to turn the giant liner back towards Europe. “The joy had gone out of everything,” Feldman recalls. “No-one was talking about what would happen now.”

As the ship headed back across the Atlantic, six-year-old Granston kept asking his father whether they were going back to see their grandparents. His father just shook his head in silent despair.

By then, people were openly crying as they wandered the ship – one passenger even slit his wrists and threw himself overboard out of sheer desperation. “If I close my eyes, I can still hear his shrieks and see the blood,” Granston says quietly.

In the end, the ship’s passengers did not have to go back to Nazi Germany. Instead, Belgium, France, Holland and the UK agreed to take the refugees. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) posted a cash guarantee of $500,000 – or $8 million (£4.7m) in today’s money – as part of an agreement to cover any associated costs.

On 17 June, the liner docked at the Belgian port of Antwerp, more than a month after it had set sail from Hamburg. Feldman, her mother and sisters all went on to England, as did Granston and his father.

They both survived the war but between them they lost scores of relatives in the Holocaust, including Feldman’s father who never managed to get out of Poland.

Two-hundred-and-fifty-four other passengers from the St Louis were not so fortunate and were killed as the Nazis swept across Western Europe.

End quote

 

4 Comments »

  1. The MS St. Louis affair can be fully understood only in relation to the British White Paper of 1939. After the doors of Palestine had been closed on the Jewish migrants & settlers, the Zionists of that time couldn’t afford to leave a large U.S. refuge open to the Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. Symbolically, the dismissal of the passengers of the MS St. Louis was a clear message to the Jews of Europe. And since Cuba was more an amusement park for the United States than a real independent state in those days, the closure of Cuban doors was no surprise. The brand of the influential U.S. Zionists was on these border closures. It was a refuge in Palestine for millions of Jews or nothing. The rejection of the MS St. Louis made that clear…

    Comment by hermie — June 26, 2017 @ 4:23 pm

    • I’m not able to post on CODOH hermie, but your latest post there about Goering doesn’t notice that Goering was nitpicking on the particular sentence using the term “Gesamtlösung” – not the last sentence which does indeed have “Endlösung” in it. His nitpicking is confusing because the court records have Justice Jackson using the term “complete solution” – neither “total solution” nor “final solution”. But that is all Goering is doing in this particular instance.

      Comment by blake121666 — June 26, 2017 @ 9:22 pm

  2. “Two-hundred-and-fifty-four other passengers from the St Louis were not so fortunate and were killed as the Nazis swept across Western Europe”

    How do they know they were “killed” by the “Nazis”…..was there an accounting for them somewhere being killed?
    Maybe they died in allied air raids. Apparently all deaths to Jews were blamed on the Germans.

    JR

    Comment by Jim Rizoli — June 26, 2017 @ 4:02 pm

  3. the US authorities also refused it the right to dock

    A disgraceful episode, I will give the Jews that — and how times have changed: nowadays the US admits tens of thousands of unsuitable low IQ “refugees” from any and every third world shithole, and makes taxpayers pay for it.

    Comment by eah — June 26, 2017 @ 2:04 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: