Refuge Denied

Refuge Denied

The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust

Book - 2006
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In May of 1939 the Cuban government turned away the Hamburg-America Line s MS St. Louis, which carried more than 900 hopeful Jewish refugees escaping Nazi Germany. The passengers subsequently sought safe haven in the United States, but were rejected once again, and the St. Louis had to embark on an uncertain return voyage to Europe. Finally, the St. Louis passengers found refuge in four western European countries, but only the 288 passengers sent to England evaded the Nazi grip that closed upon continental Europe a year later. Over the years, the fateful voyage of the St. Louis has come to symbolize U.S. indifference to the plight of European Jewry on the eve of World War II.
Although the episode of the St. Louis is well known, the actual fates of the passengers, once they disembarked, slipped into historical obscurity. Prompted by a former passenger s curiosity, Sarah Ogilvie and Scott Miller of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum set out in 1996 to discover what happened to each of the 937 passengers. Their investigation, spanning nine years and half the globe, took them to unexpected places and produced surprising results. "Refuge Denied" chronicles the unraveling of the mystery, from Los Angeles to Havana and from New York to Jerusalem.
Some of the most memorable stories include the fate of a young toolmaker who survived initial selection at Auschwitz because his glasses had gone flying moments before and a Jewish child whose apprenticeship with a baker in wartime France later translated into the establishment of a successful business in the United States. Unfolding like a compelling detective thriller, "Refuge Denied" is a must-read for anyone interested in the Holocaust and its impact on the lives of ordinary people."
Publisher: Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, c2006.
ISBN: 9780299219802
Characteristics: xx, 203 p. :,ill., maps ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Miller, Scott 1958-


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Jul 06, 2013

...I was a coward when I left that ship in Havana. I did not have the courage to turn around and look into the faces of those I was leaving behind... All they saw of me was my back as I walked away...

Jun 24, 2013

We were contacted after the war ... by the new German government, inviting us back to Germany ... but my parents had no interest. Germany was over for them, and for me.


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Jul 08, 2013

I initially expected this to be a dissection of the decisions and policies of the United States that sent 900 refugees back to the land they fled. Instead, it was their stories, revealing how their persecution was limited to neither the Nazis nor US indifference. Rejected by other countries, and even other Jews, those fortunate to survive were left with torments that some could not even speak of 60 years later. The authors did an incredible job tracking the fates of all of the St. Louis passengers.

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