Voyage of the St. Louis

This month in Holocaust History:

Voyage of the St. Louis

The passenger liner St. Louis set sail from Germany to Cuba with more than 900 Jewish refugees on board in May 1939. When the ship reached Havana, Cuban officials allowed fewer than 30 passengers to disembark, because only they had valid landing permits. The rest had unknowingly purchased fraudulent landing permits from a corrupt Cuban government official. After failing to get permission to enter Cuba or the United States, the refugees were forced to return to Europe on June 6, where the Netherlands, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom took them in.

All of these countries, except the United Kingdom, were later occupied by Nazi Germany, and more than 250 St. Louis passengers were killed in the Holocaust.

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