St. Louis


St. Louis
   In May 1939, more than 900 German Jewish refugees boarded at the port of Hamburg on the passenger ship SS St. Louis, in the hope of finding refuge abroad. However, on arriving at the port of Havana, they were refused entry into Cuba. Fearing the rising antiSemitic sentiment sweeping his country, Cuban president Laredo Bru declared the permits held by the refugees invalid. Jewish-American organizations appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and other American officials to allow them haven in the United States. Over 700 of the passengers were on the American immigration waiting list, and they pleaded that they be permitted to wait their turn in America, but to no avail. The passengers were returned to Europe, where they were admitted to Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Many of the refugees would eventually be sent to concentration camps as a result of the German occupation of most of Europe.
   See also Evian Conference.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.

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