Monday, February 3, 2014

The Voyage Back

Has your heart not yet been broken today?  

Read this account of a play about the ship of Jewish refugees that was turned away by Cuba, the United States, and Canada in June, 1939.  

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt chose to enforce strict immigration quotas rather than admit these 900 people.

The ship was sent back to Europe, where 254 of the passengers later died in the Holocaust.  

"The SS St. Louis left Hamburg, Germany, on May 13, 1939, with more than 900 Jewish refugees on board," reports Nita Lelyveld, who watched the play as well as the reactions of the seniors in Los Angeles Jewish Home in Reseda.

About 60 survivors of the Holocaust live in the Home, many of them weeping as they watched the play, titled The Trial of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and written by Robert Krakow.

Krakow today is executive director of the SS St. Louis Legacy Project, a non-profit whose stated mission is to educate and promote discussion of human rights and immigration and refugee policy.

The 73rd anniversary of the turning away of the ship was observed on September 24, 2012, with an address by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.



No comments: