Built by the Bremer – Vulkan shipyard, the SS St. Louis was a massive cruise liner ship travelling from Hamburg with a large number of Jewish refugees that were fleeing the persecution, tyranny, and oppression taking place in Germany.
The ship left Hamburg on May 13th, 1939 originally bound to Havana, Cuba with a total of 937 Jewish refugees on board. All refugees had visas signed by the Cuban government that would grant them entry. However, as soon as the ship departed Germany, Decree 937 was released by stating all Cuban visas that were issued are now invalid and could not be used for entry. The ship arrived in Havana but could not unload for 6 days. In the end, 30 people disembarked but 907 were left behind.
Next, the SS St. Louis tried to land in the United States but were denied again. With the ship denied twice, Canada was its last and only hope. During the voyage of the SS St. Louis the Canadian government was fully aware of the situation the ship was facing. While the ship was seeking entry into Canada, Prime Minister Mackenzie King was against the entry of the SS St.
Louis and its passengers into Canada. During the Evian Conference, King clearly stated, ”the admission of refugees perhaps posed a greater menace to Canada in 1938 than Hitler did”. As a result the ship was denied and now the SS St. Louis had no choice but to return to Germany.
It is clear that Canada was not justified in the actions it took in this situation. Many Jews fleeing the country were already facing severe hostility and racial discrimination as they were not a part of the Aryan race. The Jews were ready to leave everything behind in Germany and start a new life where they hoped to be included and treated equally among society. It is because of the severe denial they faced from many of the countries, many of the refugees returned back to Germany where they died in the Holocaust, were put in concentration camps where they were tortured, brutalized and eventually died. Particularly, Canada’s denial of the ship sent the SS St.
Louis back to Germany to suffer what they were fleeing from and allowed the Nazi’s to execute their cruel plan. In other words, Canada unwittingly helped Germany kill the Jews by sending them back from where they came from. Prime Minister King’s statement clearly showed how cruel and bitter he was to the Jew’s that were facing problems back home.
The Jews aboard the SS St. Louis who were fleeing Germany had hope in finding safety. However, their hope was completely lashed down when they were consistently denied at every port of call. Considering all the above, Canada was not justified in the actions it took in this situation regarding the SS St.
Louis as it did not open its doors to the Jewish refugees who were experiencing racism, persecution and tyranny back home. It is now time for the world to change the negative viewpoints, perspectives and ideologies they have on Jews and be able to integrate them into society. Evaluate whether Canada was justified in the actions it took in this situation.
By: Randesh Wijesundera For: Mrs. Dennis Course: CHC2D1 – 04Date Due: Friday May 11th, 2018 Annotated BibliographyCraig, Nelson. Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness. New York: Origin Public Group Limited, 2016.Primary SourceThis Primary Source is a first person point of view from the perspective of sailors, soldiers, emperors and president as they engage in a bloody war against the American military force. Hall, Joseph. The Torontonian who survived the ship the world rejected.
Toronto: Toronto Star, 2016.Primary SourceThis Primary Source document is a first-hand account of a survivor of the SS St. Louis ship, Ana Maria Gordon. This newspaper article talks about her experiences on the voyage, how she was rejected as a refugee into a number of countries and how she was able to survive, despite the horrific events she went through.Robinson, Bruce. Pearl Harbor: A rude awakening. United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation, 2011.
Secondary Source This secondary source is a newspaper article written by Jennifer Rosenberg discussing The background causes to the attack, the countries’ response, and type of attacks, how The attack was executed, how people were killed and much more..Rosenberg, Jennifer. The attack on Pearl Harbor – a date that will live in infamy. n.
p.: Thought Co, 2017.Secondary SourceThis book was used to trace German nationalism back to the Enlightenment era and to look for similarities between the original concept of nationalism and Hitler’s interpretation of it.Schwinghame, Steve. Canada and the MS St.
Louis. Halifax: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, n.d.Secondary SourceThis Secondary Source talks about the story of the SS St. Louis from a different perspective. It includes the various governmental leaders involved in the decision making process, factors leading to the ships denial and a number of opinions from party leaders and members on their view of the situation. .
Wood, Richard. Prime Minister Mackenzie King turns away Jewish refugees on board the SS St. Louis. Cambridge: 2007Secondary Source This Secondary source is a justification on why many countries that the SS St. Louis seeked entry into, including Canada were denied and eventually set back to Germany where very Few people survived the Holocaust