Previous posts in this discussion:
PostHolocaust: Voyage of SS St Louis (Bienvenido Macario, Philippines) (John Eipper, USA, 10/21/06 9:08 am)
Bienvenido Macario sends us this summary of the ill-fated voyage of the
*SS St Louis* in 1939:
Zindel Grynspzpan was a Polish Jew living in Hannover Germany, whose
store and possessions were confiscated by the Third Reich. Zindel and his
family were forcibly moved over the Polish Border. Herschel, who then
living in Paris, heard the news, went over to the German Embassy in Paris
to kill the German Ambassador to France, but instead killed the Third
Secretary Ernst Von Rath.
Von Rath died on Nov. 9, 1938. This gave the Nazis the excuse needed
to initiate a pogrom which was to become the "the Night of Broken Glass"
The Ill-fated Voyage of SS St. Louis
In the aftermath and horror of Kristallnacht and on the eve of World War
II in Europe, 937 Jewish refugees aboard the *SS St. Louis* left Hamburg
on May 13, 1939, having been granted temporary visas to enter Cuba.
However upon reaching Havana harbor, the SS St. Louis was denied entry by
the Cuban government and the refugees' visas were declared invalid. (It is
not known if the fees the refugees paid to secure their visas were
Forced back to Europe, appeals were made to find temporary asylum for the
refugees. Later, the King of Belgium and its Prime Minister took in 200
passengers of the St. Louis. Dutch, French and British governments took in
more of the passengers. But with the Nazi occupation of Western Europe,
many former passengers of the St. Louis ended up in the concentration
camps, where they died.
Oskar Blechner was one of the passengers of SS St. Louis who was fortunate
enough to be granted refuge in Great Britain.
JE comments: Over the course of such a long, two-way voyage through the
tropics, the conditions aboard the SS St Louis must have become appalling.
Can anyone fill us in on why the Cuban authorities revoked the
For information about the World Association of International Studies
(WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its
homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/
John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA