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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 161 
The Hamburg-America Line issued this ticket to Moritz Schoenberg on the St. Louis for passage from Hamburg, Germany, to Havana, Cuba. Note that the fare was RM 508.75, a princely sum.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Renate and Innes Spanier, twin girls on board the ill-fated refugee ship St. Louis, look from a porthole while waiting to set sail for Cuba. When the St. Louis was denied entrance to both Cuba and the United States and forced to return to Europe, the Spanier family was granted asylum in Holland. During the war they were deported to Westerbork, Holland, where their father served as the head physician. After their liberation, the family emigrated to the United States.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The St. Louis

The tragic story of the journey of the German ocean liner St. Louis epitomized the desperate and futile struggle of Jews trying to escape Germany.

On May 15, 1939, the Nazis allowed more than 900 Jews on the liner, which set sail for Cuba. Hopeful passengers carried what they believed were valid permits guaranteeing them temporary stay until visas and permanent refuge in the United States could be secured. Shockingly, on arrival at Havana, Cuba, only 29 were allowed to disembark. The rest were refused entry under revised Cuban immigration restrictions. When the ship was ordered to leave the harbor, several passengers attempted suicide. Cuban police boats shadowed the St. Louis in case passengers tried to jump ship.

For three days the liner cruised slowly off the U.S. coast, waiting in vain for America to accept its human cargo. In mid-June, after 35 days of aimless sailing, the St. Louis was forced to return to Europe, where the governments of England, France, Holland, and Belgium finally agreed to divide the passengers between them. The world's press followed the ship's sad journey, even recording it on newsreels.
Photo: Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 April 4, 1939: The Institut zur Erforschung des jüdischen Einflusses auf das deutsche kirchliche Leben (Institute for the Study of Jewish Influence on German Church Life) is founded.
 April 7, 1939: Great Britain institutes conscription.
 April 7, 1939: Italian forces occupy Albania.
 April 10, 1939: Voters in Greater Germany approve the Anschluss--Germany's annexation of Austria in 1938.
 April 15, 1939: United States President Franklin Roosevelt asks Hitler to respect the independence of European nations; See April 28, 1939.
 April 18, 1939: Anti-Jewish legislation in Slovakia defines Jews by religion.
 April 20, 1939: The Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt (WVHA; Economy and Administration Main Office) is upgraded. It is concerned with SS economic matters, particularly at concentration camps.
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 161 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.