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Jewish survivors mark 70th anniversary of SS St. Louis voyage

December 13, 2009 - UNITED STATES

Notables from around the world gather in Miami, Florida, to honor 32 suriviving passengers of the SS St. Louis on the 70th anniversary of its ill-fated voyage to Cuba. The ship, carrying some 900 passengers fleeing the Nazi, left Germany in May 1939. Arriving in Cuba in July, it was refused entry. The captain appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to let them enter the United States. The request was denied. The ship returned to Europe, where many of the refugees found asylum.

Notables from around the world gather in Miami Beach, Florida, to honor 32 suriviving passengers of the SS St. Louis on the 70th anniversary of its ill-fated voyage to Cuba. The ship, carrying some 900 passengers fleeing the Nazi, left Germany in May 1939. Arriving in Cuba in July, it was refused entry. The captain appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to let them enter the United States. The request was denied. The ship returned to Europe, where many of the refugees found asylum. More than 40 per cent of the 900 are still living, according to the organizers of the event, The National Foundation for Jewish Continuity, Inc. The official passenger-signing of United States Senate Resolution 111, passed by the US Senate on 19 May 2009, will be the main event at the commemoration ceremony. It acknowledges the ramifications of the US refusal to grant the refugees a safe haven. Though many German Jews had emigrated in the years preceding 1939, the Jews who remained had a more difficult time because emigration policies had toughened. Few countries were willing to accept Jewish refugees. The commemorative events include Robert Krakow's play, 'The Trial of Franklin D. Roosevelt.'; Set before the Eternal Court of Justice, it explores the historical and political forces influencing Roosevelt's policies regarding the Jewish refugees. The program concludes with a Hanukkah Menorah lighting with SS St. Louis passengers and a special beachfront dedication ceremony. Marking the 50th anniversary, St. Louis survivors watched Adolf Hitler's yacht sink at the spot off Florida's coast where America turned them away. Nov/09

The St. Louis Project

Voyage of the St. Louis (About.com)

Hitler's Yacht is sunk to celebrate anniversary of odyssey (Deseret News 5 Jun 1989)

Date written/update: 2009-12-13