By the end of the 1930s, the Nazis, one of the most brutal political structures the world had ever seen, had grown stronger in Germany. The events that continued for two days in Germany in November 1938 were a precursor to the genocide that would begin against the Jews. Unfortunately, the Jews in Germany had no choice but to leave the country. For this reason, 937 people who wanted to survive and survive the anti-Semitic attacks that started in the country decided to take a long journey to reach the United States and seek refuge in the country. Carrying 937 Jewish refugees, however, St. The voyage of the ship named Louis, full of tragic events, would take much longer than usual…
About 100 Jews were killed in Germany in November 1938 for antisemitism.
Consolidating their power in power, the Nazis openly declared anti-Semitism. Jewish synagogues, homes and businesses were attacked. The events that took place on 9 and 10 November 1938 were called the “Night of Broken Glass”. These events marked the beginning of the anti-Semitism that would cause millions of deaths in the future.
Anti-Semitism in the country forced Jews living in Germany to emigrate
The first route determined was the United States. Because at that time, the USA was far from the ideological tension and violence in Europe. Thus, a group of Jews in Germany began to prepare to leave the country.
st. The luxury cruise ship Louis sailed from the Port of Hamburg on May 13, 1939, with 937 passengers and crew.
st. Louis docked in Havana, Cuba, on May 27, 1939. Passengers were waiting for the completion of bureaucratic procedures in order to take refuge in the USA. But there was something they didn’t know! The United States’ immigration procedures took a long time. Moreover, the process was quite tedious. In addition, the quota of 27,370 people announced by the USA for immigrants from Austria and Germany at that time had already been filled. The USA, on the other hand, is already in St. Louis was not too eager to receive the passengers of his ship. Thus, it became clear that the passengers would not be able to settle in the USA. Thereupon, the passengers applied for asylum in Cuba. However, Louis’ journey would not end there, either.
The worldwide economic crisis had a negative impact on Cuba as well. Moreover, around 2,000 Jewish immigrants had previously been accepted into the country. Cubans did not want new immigrants to settle in their country
st. Before Louis reached Havana, some groups in the country had campaigned to not accept immigrants. The participation of former president Grau San Martin in these campaigns led to widespread adoption of the anti-immigrant rhetoric. st. Louis passengers, only 28 passengers were allowed to enter Cuba. Among the passengers admitted to Cuba were two Cuban citizens and a Jew who was “forced” to be hospitalized after a suicide attempt.
Unable to find what he hoped for in Cuba, St. Louis turned his course back to the United States.
Under Captain Gustav Schroeder, St. Louis was watching closely enough to see the lights of Miami. But even then, US officials were not enthusiastic about allowing passengers on board to enter the country. So much so that some Jewish communities in the USA were unable to persuade the President of the time, Franklin D. Roosevelt, even though they reached out. The majority of the public in the USA did not want the passengers who had been waiting in the open sea for days to be taken into the country. Finally St. Louis passengers received an official document sent by the US State Department. Accordingly, those on the ship had to wait for their turn on the immigrant list, like everyone else, and qualify for an immigration visa. In fact, this document is St. It was nothing more than an official declaration that Louis passengers could not enter the country. On top of that, Captain Schroeder even considered grounding the ship in Florida! However, the ships belonging to the US navy did not allow this either…
st. The relatively good facilities on board the St. Louis made the unending sad voyage somewhat bearable.
Captain Schroeder had warned his crew to be as courteous as possible to passengers. There was also a show group and a movie theater on board. Thus, it was tried to keep the morale of the passengers who did not end their journeys for survival.
Not admitted to both Cuba and the United States, St. Louis passengers had no choice but to return to Europe.
st. Louis reached Europe in June 1939. Of course, returning to Germany was not an option. For this reason, the Jewish communities in the United States and the states in Europe St. Louis began negotiating for the passengers on his ship. For example, the government was guaranteed $500 per passenger for the ship to be accepted into Belgium. In the end, negotiations with European countries resulted in positive results. Britain accepted 228, France 224, Belgium 214 and the Netherlands 181 immigrants. st. Louis passengers managed to reach the USA before the Nazi occupation in Europe began.
European countries did not allow all passengers to live in their countries, although initially agreed
As a result, 532 Jews were stranded in Germany or areas occupied by the Nazis. Out of 532 people who were not accepted by any country they went to, 278 managed to survive the massacre of the Nazis. However, Among Louis’ most unfortunate passengers, 254 were killed by the Nazis. Thus, Louis’ long and tragic journey has come to an end…